MERCED Opening statements are expected to begin next week in the trial of a couple accused of killing a Planada woman and kidnapping her 2-month-old son.Maria Teresa Ceja Robles, 34, and Jose Augustine Velarde, 38, are charged with murder in the December 2010 death of Ana Lila Diaz DeCeja, 26. They also are accused of kidnapping her son, Anthony Ceja-Diaz.
MARIPOSA Two of five men accused of participating in last year's $1.3 million robbery at the California State Mining and Mineral Museum in Mariposa pleaded no contest Monday to numerous charges.Michael Anthony Gomes and Matthew Campbell reached plea deals with prosecutors in Mariposa County.
MERCED UC Merced student and aspiring dentist Julianne Soria, 21, isn't waiting for dental school to jump-start her career.For the past four years, Soria has participated in Project Smile, a UC Merced campus club dedicated to teaching children the importance of dental health. She is currently the club's president.
MERCED Tom Price's forays into the universe of producing comedy film festivals had somewhat unlikely origins, at least to the outside observer. Then again, Price understands good comedy isn't just about making people laugh, but causing audiences to ponder, reflect and maybe push a few buttons along the way. Four years ago, Price was in the midst of producing what he now refers to as a "way serious film festival."
MERCED Sheriff's Sgt. James Pacheco breathed a sigh of relief Monday after a jury acquitted him on one count of driving under the influence and deadlocked on a second count.After two years of maintaining his innocence, the Merced County jury found Pacheco, 45, not guilty of one count of misdemeanor driving with a blood- alcohol level of 0.08 or above.
MERCED A Merced County judge on Friday denied a defense motion in the Ana Lila Diaz DeCeja homicide case. The motion would have excluded a crucial piece of evidence from the upcoming trial of DeCeja's alleged killers.Defendants Maria Teresa Ceja Robles, 34, and Jose Augustine Velarde, 38, are charged with murder in the December 2010 death of DeCeja, 26. They also are accused of kidnapping her then-2-month-old son, Anthony Ceja-Diaz.
A Gilroy police officer is in hot water with his department after being charged for an alleged incident between Merced County Sheriff's Department deputies and himself.
MERCED Testimony began Wednesday in the trial of Merced County Sheriff's Department Sgt. James Pacheco, who is accused of two misdemeanor DUI counts. Prosecutors with the state attorney general's office claim Pacheco, 45, was drinking and driving the night of April 17, 2011. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
ATWATER No one was hurt Sunday afternoon when the front landing gear of a plane collapsed after setting down at Castle Airport.
The case of accused drunk driver Justin Nappi took a new turn recently, as prosecutors say they've filed charges against a man who they say supplied alcohol to the defendant before he crashed. Jason Midiere, 25, will face two misdemeanor counts: furnishing alcohol to a minor, and furnishing alcohol to a person under 21, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Harold Nutt.
MERCED Two teenagers accused of gunning down an 18-year-old man in Los Banos last month will be tried as adults on murder charges.
The jury trial of a couple accused of killing a Planada woman and kidnapping her baby is on track to move forward later this month.
Political consultant Mary Ward pleaded no contest Tuesday to embezzling $23,000 from a Merced County ag committee, although it remains to be seen whether she'll spend time in jail.
MERCED The pounding of island drums and a festive island atmosphere were on display this weekend at the Merced County Fairgrounds, as the 34th Kiki Raina Tahiti Fete entertained a diverse crowd.
A Planada man faces a maximum of four years in prison after being convicted Thursday of having a sexually explicit conversation online with a person he thought was a 13-year-old girl -- but in reality was a Merced police officer. A jury convicted Luis Miguel Munoz, 23, of two felony counts: attempting to communicate with a minor with intent to commit a sexual offense, and attending an arranged meeting with a minor for a sexual purpose.