Shooting, gang charges send Lodi man to prison
A Lodi man accused of shooting at a vehicle in a gas station pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges that will send him to state prison for more than five years.
Jose Santoyo, 21, pleaded guilty to one count each of firing at an occupied vehicle and being a member of a criminal street gang. Through the plea deal, he is expected to be sentenced to a total of five years, eight months in prison at his Aug. 10 court appearance, according to Deputy District Attorney John Soldati.
Santoyo was arrested June 4 after firing at a car at the Chevron at Kettleman and Cherokee Lanes.
The occupants in the car were not hit and fled, then soon came across a Lodi Police sergeant who was writing someone an unrelated traffic ticket. Sgt. Bill Alexander caught up to the suspect vehicle and found a revolver and ski mask in the car, police said at the time.
Man pleads guilty of sex crimes
A Lodi man accused of having sex with a woman whose mentally capacity was that of a 14-year-old pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of oral copulation with a minor.
Joel Montgomery, 56, was sentenced to three years in state prison and he will be taken into custody when he returns to court Aug. 17.
In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dismissed two other counts of oral copulation, as well as three counts of rape.
Montgomery was arrested June 3 in Lockeford, where the incident happened, San Joaquin County Sheriff's deputies said at the time. The victim is 27 but is not mentally able to consent to sex, prosecutors said.
The conviction will count as a strike under California's Three-Strikes law, and Montgomery will have to register for life as a sex offender, Judge David P. Warner told him at Wednesday's sentencing.
Montgomery, who posted $125,000 bail shortly after his arrest, will remain out of custody until his August court date.
DSL service problematic for three days
AT&T customers from Lodi to Modesto lost their DSL service intermittently for three days beginning Monday, according to AT&T spokeswoman Vanessa Smith.
For periods of time, DSL service worked, but at other times during the three-day period, customers either had slow Internet speed or no Internet service at all, Smith said. Service was fully restored by 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, she said. Galt was not affected by the intermittent shutdowns, Smith added.
The problem was caused by faulty hardware on two remote terminals in Stockton, Smith said.
AT&T workers did some minor repairs earlier in the week, which they thought would solve the problem, but all it did was keep DSL service running temporarily, Smith said. On Wednesday, workers actually replaced the hardware, she said.
There were no interruptions to AT&T phone lines, she added.
Hearing postponed in care home case
The court hearing for a man charged with sodomy and sexual battery against his Thornton care home roommate was postponed Thursday until next week.
A defense expert was not available and the prosecutor had another court appearance, so Judge Linda Lofthus rescheduled the matter for next Thursday. After that hearing, she is expected to rule whether there is enough evidence for Raymond Gonzalez, 26, to stand trial.
Gonzalez has remained in the San Joaquin County Jail since October, when he was accused of sexual battery against his 20-year-old roommate. Both were living at Milton Ozella Care Home, which houses eight adults who have developmental disabilities.
Legislators honor area wineries
State Sen. Chuck Poochigian, R-Fresno, and Assemblyman Alan Nakanishi, R-Lodi, have jointly sponsored a resolution to honor Macchia, Pasos and Watts wineries.
The three wineries, all with tasting rooms in Lockeford's Vino Piazza, were the only U.S. wines to have been served during the inauguration dinner of Costa Rica President Oscar Arias on May 8.
Representatives of the two lawmakers' offices will present the wineries with the resolution on Friday at 1 p.m. at Vino Piazza, 12470 Locke Road, Lockeford.
Four additional dead birds in northern Sacramento and Yolo counties have tested positive for the West Nile Virus.
A western scrub jay from Antelope, a yellow-billed magpie from Elverta, an American crow in Davis and an American robin in West Sacramento have tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District.
That brings the total to nine dead birds in Sacramento and Yolo counties and two mosquito pools.
"We've stepped up our efforts, but now we need assistance from the public," said David Brown, manager of the mosquito abatement district. "People can help by draining all sources of standing water that may support mosquito breeding habitats, adding mosquitofish to small ponds and bird baths, reporting unmaintained swimming pools to the district and wearing an effective insect repellent."
To report a dead bird, call 1-877-WNV-BIRD or visit the California Department of Health Services online at http://www.westnile.ca.gov.
- From staff reports
First published: Friday, July 14, 2006