Monthly Archives: February 2012

Former L.A. neighborhood commissioner faces child porn charges

A former president of Los Angeles’ Board of Neighborhood Commissioners surrendered Wednesday to federal agents after he was indicted by a grand jury for allegedly possessing and distributing child pornography, federal prosecutors said.

Albert Noah Abrams, 63, of Tarzana was named Tuesday in an eight-count indictment that includes five counts of distributing child pornography, two counts of receiving child pornography and another count of possessing child pornography.

Investigators using a peer-to-peer sharing network were able to download more than 150 pornographic videos and images from a computer in Abrams’ home.

Abrams resigned in August from the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners, days after investigators searched his home, officials said.If convicted on all counts, Abrams could face as much as a 150-year sentence and at least five years in federal prison.He is expected to be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles later Wednesday.

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FIELD POLL: Growing support for same-sex marriage

SACRAMENTO — A new Field Poll shows more California voters than ever approve of letting gay and lesbian couples marry, little more than three years after passage of a ban on same-sex marriage.

Fifty-nine percent of voters approve of same-sex marriage, up from 51 percent in 2010, according to the poll. Thirty-four percent of voters disapprove of it, down from 42 percent in 2010. Seven percent of voters have no opinion.

The survey highlights an ongoing shift in voter attitudes toward same-sex marriage since the narrow passage of Prop. 8 in November 2008. The latest numbers mark a reversal in sentiment from the first Field Poll on the issue in 1977, when 59 percent of voters opposed letting gays and lesbians marry.

“It’s remarkable the change that’s occurred,” said Field Poll Director Mark DiCamillo. He linked today’s poll findings to voters’ awareness of recent legal setbacks for Prop. 8 as well as the legalization of same-sex marriage in other states, such as New York and Washington.

“They’re being influenced,” DiCamillo said of voters. “The weight of court decisions shouldn’t be underestimated. Voters have a certain degree of respect for judges.”

Support for extending marriage laws to gays and lesbians is strongest in the San Francisco Bay Area, where 66 percent approve of it. It’s 58 percent in the part of Southern California that includes Riverside and San Bernardino counties, virtually identical to the percentage in Los Angeles County.

Voters 18 to 39 years old are much more likely than voters 65 and older to support same-sex marriage, 69 percent to 45 percent, according to the poll. But DiCamillo said demographics — more positive attitudes of same-sex marriage as older voters die off — play only a small part in the overall shift.

The strongest opposition comes from conservatives, 63percent of whom disapprove of letting gays and lesbians marry.

Poll respondent James Watson of Riverside said he used to oppose the idea of same-sex marriage.

“Then one day it clicked and I thought I could really care less what other people do with their lives,” said Watson, 21, a registered Libertarian who lives in Moreno Valley. “Times are changing.”

Prop. 8, pushed by, passed with 52 percent of the vote following a campaign in which proponents warned that, if the measure failed, same-sex marriage could be taught in schools. Earlier this month, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the measure, setting up possible consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court.

A spokeswoman declined to comment on today’s poll. Spokeswoman Carla Hass said the group is focused on the Prop. 8 legal fight.

A spokeswoman for Equality California, which opposed Prop. 8 and has helped lead the legal battle against it, reacted cautiously to today’s poll. A survey commissioned by the organization last September found that 51 percent of likely November 2012 voters strongly or somewhat support allowing same-sex couples to be legally married.

Spokeswoman Rebekah Orr said the organization has found that a significant segment of voters seems to accept same-sex marriage in polls but votes against it when they have the chance.

“I think that it’s important that we take poll numbers with a grain of salt. What we know about voters is that they very often poll two positions on this issue,” Orr said.

Today’s poll was conducted for The Press-Enterprise and other California media subscribers from Feb. 2 through Feb. 18. It reflects the answers of 515 voters, a random sub-sample of the poll’s sample of 1,003 registered voters. The sub-sample has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.


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MURRIETA: Stolen scale, pot, lead to arrests

A 17-year-old and a 20-year-old were arrested last night in Murrieta with marijuana and a scale stolen from a Murrieta school, police said.

About 9:30 p.m. officers were dispatched to the 41000 block of Amiens Court where two people were reported sitting in a parked car, possibly engaged in a drug deal, a Murrieta Police Department news release said. Officers found a 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl in the car. Further investigation led police to James Lyons, 20, of Murrieta, at an address nearby, police said.

Lyons and the boy were arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property and marijuana possession. Lyons also was arrested on suspicion of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and the boy on suspicion of being a minor in possession of tobacco products, the release said.


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REDLANDS: Body found in ditch beside busy road

The discovery of a man’s body this week beside a busy Redlands street has prompted a homicide investigation, though an autopsy will be conducted to determine whether the death was the result of an accident or a crime.

“It’s believed he may have been homeless,” San Bernardino County Coroner’s spokeswoman Sandy Fatland said of the victim, who has been tentatively identified as a 54-year-old man with ties to Yucaipa.

A bicyclist found the body in a ditch about 11:20 a.m. Monday along Orange Street just north of Pioneer Avenue and south of the Santa Ana River wash. The victim had injuries to his head and upper body.

His name is being withheld pending notification of relatives.

Orange Street was closed for about five hours Monday during the investigation.


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REDLANDS: Occupy Redlands plans Walmart demonstration today

Members of Occupy Redlands will demonstrate in front of the Walmart store at 2050 W. Redlands Blvd. starting at 6 p.m. today, a spokesman said.

The group will join other Occupy movements across the United States in a day of non-violent direct action targeting corporate members of the American Legislative Exchange Council, Occupy Redlands spokesman Keith Jackson said in a news release. Wal-Mart is a corporate member of the organization, an Occupy Redlands press release states.

The ALEC’s mission is described on its website a nonpartisan parternship of state legislator and members of the private sector, federal government and general public. It’s mission is said to be advancing “the Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism and individual liberty,” the website states..

Occupy Redlands members have been attending Redlands City Council meetings to urge the council to adopt a resolution to oppose and abolish corporate constitutional rights, which they refer to as corporate personhood.


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Jerry Perdomo Missing: Daniel Porter Arrested In Fla. Firefighter’s Death

Jerry Perdomo

JACKSON, Maine — A man was arrested Tuesday on a murder charge in the case of a firefighter from Florida who had been missing in Maine since mid-February, said police, who are calling the killing drug-related.

State police charged Daniel Porter, 24, of Bangor, in the death of Jerry Perdomo of Orange City, Fla., who had been missing in Maine since Feb. 16. Spokesman Stephen McCausland of the Maine Public Safety Department said the 31-year-old Perdomo’s body had not been recovered.

McCausland would not comment on how Perdomo was killed, saying that and other details, including how Porter and Perdomo knew each other, would be revealed in an affidavit to be filed when Porter makes his first court appearance.

“It was a drug-related homicide,” said McCausland. Porter could appear in court as early as Wednesday, he said.

Porter was arrested at a home rented by his father in Jackson, a small, rural town in central Maine. He was taken to a county jail in Belfast, and McCausland said he did not know whether Porter had an attorney.

Porter had been identified earlier as a person of interest in the case as some of Perdomo’s friends put up posters around the Bangor area hoping for his return. Perdomo was a firefighter for Seminole County, Fla.

Perdomo’s brother-in-law, Chris Lerch, was at the Jackson house earlier Tuesday afternoon when state police pulled into the driveway with Porter in the front seat, the Bangor Daily News said. Lerch had been putting up posters showing Perdomo’s picture.

“It’s difficult,” he told the newspaper. “It’s just very difficult.”

A car Perdomo had rented was found in the parking lot of a Bangor Wal-Mart. Police also seized a car that had been owned by Porter and was left behind a dealership in Oakland, about 70 miles south of Bangor, and a new car bought by Porter and his girlfriend, 25-year-old girlfriend, Cheyanne Nowak. The girlfriend was not charged in the case.

“We believe Porter is the one responsible for Perdomo’s death,” McCausland said.

In an interview Monday, Perdomo’s wife, Tonya Perdomo, described the father of 3- and 10-year-old children as a dedicated man who “helped people a lot.”


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T.J. Lane, 17-Year-Old Suspect In Ohio School Shooting, ‘Not Well,’ Prosecutor Says

CHARDON, Ohio — The 17-year-old suspect in a deadly rampage at an Ohio high school has appeared in juvenile court as the community grieves with relatives of the three students killed.

A prosecutor says suspect T.J. Lane admitted taking a .22-caliber pistol to Chardon High and firing 10 shots at a group of students sitting at a cafeteria table Monday.

A judge ordered Lane held for at least 15 days. The court hearing Tuesday offered few answers about what prompted the shootings.

A prosecutor described Lane as “someone who’s not well” and said the teen didn’t know the victims but chose them randomly.

A fourth student who was hurt remained hospitalized in serious condition late Tuesday. Police said an injured Chardon student was released from the hospital and was home with her family.



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