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Posted: Friday, March 18, 2005 10:00 pm

Dutra case back in court

Two years after she was convicted of manslaughter for the death of a Woodbridge man, Sarah Dutra's case will once again be heard in court Monday, this time by appellate justices.

Dutra, now 24, is serving an 11-year prison sentence for the poisoning death of Larry McNabney, a Sacramento attorney for whom she worked.

She was arrested in February 2002, not long after McNabney's body was found buried in a Clements vineyard.

San Joaquin County sheriff's deputies launched a nationwide search for the 52-year-old attorney's wife, Elisa, who had fled the state weeks earlier. Authorities soon learned that she had a variety of aliases, including the name Laren Sims, and they finally arrested her in Florida.

After confessing to giving her husband a lethal dose of horse tranquilizers in September 2001 and implicating Dutra in the crime, Sims committed suicide while awaiting extradition to California.

Prosecutors charged Dutra with murder and after a lengthy trial, a San Joaquin County jury convicted her of manslaughter. She is currently incarcerated in Valley State Prison of Women in Chowchilla.

Dutra filed an appeal shortly after her conviction, and a panel of the 3rd District Court of Appeal will hear the case in Sacramento on Monday.

Tokay High graduate is city's newest firefighter

A Tokay High School graduate will work his first shift as Lodi's newest firefighter Monday.


David Rabara

David Rabara, 23, previously worked as a Woodbridge firefighter for a year-and-a -half. He will now work at Lodi's Elm Street station near Downtown.

Rabara was born and raised in Lodi and graduated from high school in 1999. He attended Columbia College in Sonora for two-and-ahalf years, where he studied fire science and was a member of the Columbia College Fire Department.

Rabara graduated Wednesday from a 16-week training course where he and 20 Stockton recruits learned skills ranging from vehicle extrication to hazardous materials mitigation.

He lives in Lodi and is engaged to be married.

Commission to hear Chili's license request

The owners of a Chili's restaurant at the Vintner's Square Shopping Center will ask the city Planning Commission for a key operating license on Wednesday.

The commission will hear a request from RHL Design Group for an Alcoholic Beverage Control and On Sale General Eating Establishment license for the restaurant at the 7 p.m. meeting. Chili's is under construction at 2745 W. Kettleman Lane, near the Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse.

The license would allow the restaurant to sell beer, wine and distilled spirits for consumption at the restaurant. It will have a full bar that operates during the same hours as the restaurant.

Another item on the agenda, a request from Conti and Associates on behalf of Cluff LLC to create 11 residentail lots at 1028 S. School St., was withdrawn.

The Planning Commission meets at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at Carnegie Forum, 305 W. Pine St.

Council will review payments to lawyers

The Lodi City Council is expected to approve payment for legal counsel for work done on the groundwater pollution case during a special meeting to be held at 7 a.m. Tuesday morning in the Carnegie Forum, 305 W. Pine St.

Lodi owes about $450,000 to two law firms for their work on the case, a staff report by City Attorney Stephen Schwabauer said. The largest bill is from the firm Folger, Levin and Kahn for $440,322, which includes a $307,565 charge for work on a case against M&P Investments, the company that owns the site of the former Busy Bee Laundry and Cleaning company.

The attorney fees will be paid out of the water, wastewater and general funds.

Committee applications still being accepted

The application deadline has been extended for citizens still interested in a seat on the Lodi Unified School District's Measure K Citizens Oversight Committee.

The new deadline to submit an application is April 18 at 5 p.m.

The district is looking to fill three seats on the seven-member panel, which monitors the spending of the $109 million obligation bond passed by district voters in 2002.

Each position lasts two years and meetings are quarterly.

The positions that have yet to be filled are: Someone belonging to a bonafide senior citizen organization, a parent active in a parent-teacher organization and someone active in a bonafide taxpayer's organization.

Applications can be found online at http://www.lodiusd.net or can be picked up at the Lodi Unified district office, James Areida Education Support Center, 1305 E. Vine Street, Lodi.

Submitted applications must be brought to the Office of the Superintendent in the district office.

For more information, call 331-7002.

Council to weigh safety fee, study sewer issues

The Galt City Council will consider issuing a fee on future residential development to add police officers and firefighters at a special meeting Tuesday.

The council will consider a fee of $385 per year for houses that have not been built and $253 for multifamily units. For homes, $287 of the fee would go to the Galt Police Department and $98 would go to the Galt Fire Protection District.

For developers who have filed a final subdivision map with the city, but have not acquired building permits, the fee would be $193 per lot annually.

In other action, the City Council will have a detailed discussion on regulatory issues regarding the city's sewer plant on Twin Cities Road and consider spending $151,000 to Boyle Engineering to draw plans to upgrade the sewer plant.

The City Council meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 380 Civic Drive.

New murder trial date set for DUI suspect

A June murder trial date has tentatively been set for a man charged with murder in connection with a fatal Lockeford vehicle accident. The trial had previously been scheduled for April.

Charles Jayson Gillit, 26, of Clements, remains in the San Joaquin County Jail, where he has been held since the Oct. 12 collision.

Gillit was allegedly speeding through an alley and onto Highway 88, where his truck crashed into a car driven by Louise Sequeira, 73, of Acampo. She died of her injuries.

Blood tests taken an hour later showed that Gillit's blood-alcohol content level was at 0.11, according to testimony at a January preliminary hearing. California's legal driving limit is 0.08.

Months earlier, Gillit had pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in San Joaquin County and reckless driving involving alcohol in Calaveras County. Citing those convictions, prosecutors charged Gillit with murder.

Gillit has pleaded innocent to the charges and will return to court May 23, according to court records.

Pombo, San Joaquin Partnership holding annual meeting

Congressmen Richard Pombo and Dennis Cardoza will be the featured speakers at the annual meeting of the San Joaquin Partnership and Business Council, Inc. March 29.

RSVPs are required by Wednesday, and seating is limited.

The hosted breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. at Brookside Country Club, 3603 St. Andrews Drive., in Stockton.

For more information, or to RSVP call 956-3380, or send an e-mail to jklevan@sjpsnet.org.

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Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 85

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