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Courtesy of the Hatfield Family/
Rachel Hatfield Winkler and her daughters, Ariel, 3, left, and Eva, 4. Winkler was killed in her Cameron Park home Feb. 27, 2012.
GJE33VNCK.4Senior Photojournalist
Renée C. Byer/
Defense attorney David Weiner, left, talks to his client, Todd Winkler, who is charged with murder for the 2012 killing of Rachel Winkler, his third wife. On Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, El Dorado County prosecutors began presenting a circumstantial case questioning his role in the death of his previous wife.

The trial of a former Air Force fighter pilot charged with killing his wife with a pair of scissors in their Cameron Park house took a step back in time Tuesday to a fiery crash on a remote Georgia highway 15 years ago.

Todd Winkler, 47, is charged with murder for the 2012 killing of Rachel Winkler, 37, his third wife. On Tuesday, El Dorado County prosecutors began presenting a circumstantial case questioning his role in the death of his previous wife.

Deputy District Attorney Lisette Suder brought forth two witnesses who described Winkler as acting erratically after he scared awake other campers in a Georgia national forest with chilling wails, “Help! Help! Help! My wife is dead!”

She also introduced a co-worker of Winkler’s second wife, Catherine Winkler, who testified that the couple had financial problems and that Catherine was in the process of updating her life insurance coverage weeks before the accident.

Provided by FBI
Bank surveillance photos of AK-47 Bandit

A $100,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a man armed with an assault rifle who is linked to an attempted bank robbery in Sacramento in 2012, as well as bank robberies in multiple states.

Dubbed the “AK-47 Bandit” by law enforcement officials, the man shot and wounded a Chino police officer after robbing the California Bank and Trust in the Southern California community on Feb. 29, 2012. The same man is believed to have robbed the Bank of the West in the 1000 block of Helen Power Drive in Vacaville on March 12, 2012, three days after the attempted robbery at Tri Counties Bank in the 1700 block of Challenge Way in Sacramento.

Most recently, the man was linked to the Aug. 22, 2014, robbery at a First Nebraska Bank in Nebraska City, Neb.

In the February 2012 Chino robbery, the man, described by witnesses as white, 25 to 40 years old with a stocky build, robbed the bank and was fleeing when he was spotted by a police officer patrolling the area. The suspect fired on the officer, seriously wounding him. During and following the robbery, the suspect wore body armor over a dark-colored, collared short-sleeved shirt, blue pants and a ski mask covering his face, according to an FBI news release.

Visit the Sacramento Crimemapper to see what's happening in your neighborhood

Jeremy Anthony Mendivil walked into the courtroom Tuesday, nodded at his brother Johnathan, who was on trial for murder, and told a jury how the older sibling pulled out a shotgun and shot to death a 15-year-old kid he’d tussled with a couple weeks earlier.

Until last week, Jeremy sat next to Johnathan at the defense table, before prosecutors gave him a voluntary manslaughter deal in exchange for his testimony against his brother. Jeremy on Tuesday reluctantly delivered on his end and provided the jury the view from the front line on Dec. 31, 2010, the evening that Johnathan admittedly gunned down Elijah Stacy Cook.

Twelve days before the killing, Johnathan Isaac Mendivil, now 24, worked as a cashier at the Walgreens at 24th Street and Florin Road. On his shift, he got jumped by a group of youths who came into the store. Defense attorney Thomas Asker said the trouble began with an exchange of tough stares. Assistant Public Defender Amy Rogers said in court papers that Mendivil caught the group shoplifting.

The clash left Mendivil with a few staples in his head and a desire for revenge, the DA said. Sometime after 9 o’clock on the New Year’s Eve night of the killing, the prosecution says Mendivil got word one of the rivals from the Walgreens fight was hanging out on 29th Street. He and Jeremy Mendivil drove over to take a look.

Sue Cockrell/ The Davis Enterprise
Deputy District Attorney Amanda Zambor gives opening statements in the Daniel Marsh trial that began Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 in Yolo Superior Court in Woodland, Calif.
courtesy Unitarian Universalist/
Chip Northup and Claudia Maupin

The killings were unfathomable, the crimes unspeakable, and Daniel William Marsh was sane when he committed them, a Yolo Superior Court jury found Tuesday.

Marsh was 15 when he broke into Oliver Northup and Claudia Maupin’s south Davis home in the predawn hours April 14, 2013, and savagely murdered the elderly pair. The jury convicted Marsh, 17 now, last week of first-degree murder.

On Tuesday, jurors, some shaken so deeply by the evidence that they asked for counseling, concluded the Davis teenager was of right mind when he attacked the couple in their bedroom with a hunting knife.

With the sanity finding, the panel quickly rejected Marsh’s plea that he was not guilty by reason of insanity. A Nov. 12 hearing will determine when Marsh is sentenced.

A former state employee has been sentenced to 210 days in jail for using his work computers in pursuit of ways to commit identity theft.

Matthew Shadle, 34, was also sentenced to five years probation after pleading no contest to a felony charge of unlawfully accessing and removing information from government computers and a misdemeanor charge of possessing identifying information of more than 10 people with the intent to defraud, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office news release.

Shadle, a former associate governmental program analyst with the California Correctional Health Care Services, was arrested in August during an investigation into identity theft crimes.

The Roseville Police Department initiated an investigation of Shadle when he was detained at an El Grove hotel room. Authorities said numerous stolen business files, narcotics and indicia of identity theft were inside the room.

What was the sentence for Sacramento attorney Donald Wanland, who was found guilty of tax evasion Sept. 27, 2013?

– Rural Reader, Amador County

A federal court judge in March sentenced Donald Wanland, a Sacramento attorney, to four years in prison.

Wanland, 56, was convicted by a jury in September 2013 of 28 criminal counts, including tax evasion, failing to file tax returns and multiple instances of trying to conceal assets from the Internal Revenue Service, according to stories in The Sacramento Bee.

A custodian/security guard at Las Plumas High in Oroville has been arrested after being accused of possessing child pornography and having an inappropriate relationship with a student at the school.

Javier Torres, 40, of Oroville was arrested at the high school Monday by Butte Count sheriff’s detectives on suspicion of possessing child pornography, communicating with a minor for sexual crimes, arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts, and disorderly conduct that involved looking into a private area and invading the privacy of people. He was booked into Butte County Jail with bail set at $36,000.

The arrest followed a criminal investigation into allegations that Torres had an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old female student a Las Plumas High, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release. Authorities said Torres met the victim through his job with the school and the relationship is believed to have started about a year and a half ago. The Sheriff’s Office reported that school officials had been briefed and are conducting an internal investigation. Torres has been placed on administrative leave.

In a letter accompanying a copy of the Sheriff’s Office’s news release on the high school’s website Tuesday, Oroville Union High School District Superintendent Corey Willenberg said, “We are aware of no other potential student victims at this time. We ask that you please contact the Butte County Sheriff’s Department immediately if you have additional information.”

Sacramento police are warning residents of a phone scam in which suspects pose as law enforcement or Internal Revenue Service agents calling from phone numbers that appear to belong to the agencies.

Police said it appears scam groups have obtained personal information about their victims and are targeting senior citizens in the area.

Intended victims have received phone calls from an individual who identifies himself either as a law enforcement officer or IRS agent. In each instance, the caller identified the victim by name and also knew the victim’s Social Security number, according to a Sacramento Police Department news release.

The victims were told that they either owed taxes or had a warrant for their arrest. They were told an amount that must be paid to avoid being arrested and were directed by the caller to immediately go to their bank to withdraw the money owed. In some instances, victims also were directed to obtain a bond or money order and send it to the suspect.

Fire officials say a fire started in a burn barrel spread to an Arden Arcade home, causing significant damage Tuesday morning.

Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District crews responded shortly after 8 a.m. to the 4100 block of Hancock Drive regarding a report of a fence and garage fire. The fire, which started in a burn barrel alongside the home, quickly spread from the fence to the garage and attic, according to a fire district news release. A neighbor noticed the fire, alerted the resident and used a garden hose in an attempt to slow the spread, officials said.

Firefighters were able to contain the fire to approximately 30 percent of the home. Damage was estimated to be $150,000, fire officials said. No one was injured in the fire.

Fire officials remind residents that burn barrels are considered open burning and are not allowed in Sacramento County.

CBS Sacramento video image/

A man surrendered to police after a long standoff Tuesday morning in Rocklin.

The man peacefully surrendered at about 8 a.m. after hours of effort by police negotiators. No injuries were reported in the incident at a home in the 6300 block of Galaxy Lane near Nightwatch Drive and Sierra College Boulevard.

Rocklin police dispatchers received a call from a frantic woman shortly before 3 a.m. Tuesday. She told dispatchers that she had been in an argument with her 33-year-old fiance after he had injested pills and drank alcohol.

The caller said she was locked inside a bedroom with one of her children and that her fiance was getting firearms and putting on a bullet-resistant vest.

Tuesday, September 30 2014
Jury convicts two in Caymus Park murder

A Sacramento Superior Court jury today convicted Anthony Devon Roberson-Anders and Kevin Lee Henry Jr. of first-degree murder in the robbery slaying of Colen Lugo last year in Caymus Park.

Prosecutors charged that Roberson-Anders, 29, and Henry, 26, shot and killed Lugo, 43, during an Aug. 17, 2013, marijuana deal in the park in unincorporated southeast Sacramento.

Judge Greta Curtis Fall scheduled a Nov. 7 sentencing for the defendants.

murder rate

Californians today are less likely to be murdered or fall victim to violent crime than during any other time since the 1960s, according to new figures from the California Department of Justice.

The murder rate last year was 4.6 killings per 100,000 California residents, an 8 percent decline from 2012 and a 64 percent decline from 1993, when cities throughout the state struggled to stop gang killings.

The violent crime rate last year was 397 per 100,000 Californians, down 7 percent from 2012 and a 64 percent decline from 1992.

Experts have a variety of explanations for the decline, which is a long-term, nationwide trend. Top theories include better policing methods that utilize data to pinpoint crime hotspots, harsher criminal sentences for repeat crime offenders and a sharp drop in gang warfare.

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