San Francisco Bay Area Tuesday Morning News Roundup
Attorney Says Suspect in Oakland's Oiko's Shooting is Mentally Incompetent
A psychiatrist has concluded that the man accused of killing seven people in a shooting rampage at Oakland's Oikos University earlier this year is incompetent to stand trial, the man's attorney said Monday.
The psychiatrist, whose report was discussed at a brief court hearing Monday, found that One Goh, 43, "has long-standing paranoid schizophrenia" and is unable to cooperate with his lawyers because he doesn't understand the criminal justice system, defense attorney David Klaus said.
However, a second court-appointed psychiatrist hasn't yet completed his report on Goh, so a hearing on whether criminal proceedings against him should remain suspended was postponed until Jan. 7.
Goh, a Korean national who lived in Oakland, is being held without bail on seven counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder for allegedly shooting three victims who survived and 10 special-circumstance allegations, including committing murder during a carjacking.
Police said that Goh fled the campus after the April 2 shootings in a car belonging to one of the victims. He was arrested in Alameda a short time later after he confessed to a Safeway security guard that he had just shot several people, according to police.
Goh is a former student who had left the school voluntarily.
Prosecutors have said he appears to have wanted a refund of his tuition, and may have been targeting an administrator who was not present the day of the shooting. According to a probable cause statement filed in court by Oakland police Officer Robert Trevino, Goh has admitted that he carried out the shootings.
Those killed were students Lydia Sim, 21, Sonam Choedon, 33, Grace Kim, 23, Doris Chibuko, 40, Judith Seymour, 53, and Tshering Bhutia, 38, and Katleen Ping, 24, who worked at the school. In addition to the murder and attempted murder charges, Goh faces 10 special circumstance allegations that could result in the death penalty if he's convicted.
Vallejo Teen's Arraignment for Kidnapping and Assaulting Woman Postponed
The arraignment of a 14-year-old Vallejo boy charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 65-year-old Solano County woman Thursday was continued until Nov. 26 in Solano County Superior Court in Vallejo. Kaviar King is being prosecuted as an adult.
The Solano County District Attorney's Office filed ten charges Friday afternoon against King that include attempted murder, torture, kidnapping for ransom, carjacking, robbery and sexual assault, Deputy District Attorney Andrew Ganz said.
King was booked at 6 a.m. Friday in juvenile hall and remains in custody.
Police said the woman was kidnapped at gunpoint in front of a retail business in the 100 block of Plaza Drive near the Gateway Plaza in Vallejo Thursday. The woman was forced to drive her white minivan several miles, where she was assaulted, left unconscious and bound in duct-tape in a ditch. The suspect then left in the minivan.
There is no known relationship between King and the victim, Lt. Lee Horton said.
Passersby helped the woman in distress and called police and requested medical aid, Lt. Jim O'Connell said. The passersby also gave information that led to King's arrest, O'Connell said.
Police responded around 6 p.m. and found the woman, a victim of an egregious physical and sexual assault, in the area of Hiddenbrooke Parkway and Interstate Highway 80 outside Vallejo city limits, O'Connell said. One of the victim's family members received a phone call from someone who demanded money in exchange for the victim's return, O'Connell said.
Police arrested King when he returned to the Plaza Drive area, and he was found in possession of the victim's property, a replica handgun and her minivan, O'Connell said.
Alameda County Transportation Tax Measure Just Misses Passage Almost 2 Weeks After 2012 Election
Nearly two weeks after the November election, Measure B1 has missed the required two-thirds passage by several hundred votes, or about 0.14 percent, the Alameda County Registrar of Voters announced Monday.
The measure, which would have raised Alameda County's transportation sales tax to a full 1 cent, garnered 350,899 votes, or 66.53 percent, short of two-thirds of the 527,403 people who cast ballots on Nov. 6, county officials reported.
The tally of votes in the race for Measure B1 was so close on Election Day and after an updated count last Tuesday that the registrar could not say whether it passed or not until now.
Measure B1 would have increased the county's transportation sales tax, first passed in 1986, from a half-cent to one cent and would have made the hike permanent.
The money raised by the measure would have been spent on roads, freeways, pedestrian, bicycle and other transit-related projects. But opponents of Measure B1 said the tax increase was too steep and would have disproportionately impacted working people because a higher percentage of their incomes go to sales taxes.
Alameda County DA Declines to File Charges Against Man with "Suspicious Watch"
The Alameda County District Attorney's Office has declined to file charges against a Southern California artist and teacher who was arrested Thursday evening at Oakland International Airport for wearing a suspicious watch. A district attorney's office spokeswoman declined to comment on why charges weren't filed against 49-year-old Geoffrey McGann of Rancho Palos Verdes.
McGann was arrested at about 7:45 p.m. Thursday after airport security found him wearing a watch that looked like a timing device for an explosive, Alameda County sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson said.
McGann's attorney Douglas Horngrad said Monday that McGann did not have any harmful materials, didn't intend to harm anyone and didn't pose a threat to anyone.
Horngrad accused Transportation Security Administration and Alameda County sheriff's officials of "overreacting" and said the prosecutor's decision "illustrates the unreasonableness of law enforcement's actions here."
Nelson said McGann was wearing a watch on his wrist that had a toggle switch and wires and fuses protruding from it that looked suspicious.
A bomb squad was called to the checkpoint and determined there was no explosive device connected to the watch. McGann was arrested and taken to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin but was later released after he posted $150,000 bail, Horngrad said.
Nelson said even if McGann truly is innocent and didn't intend to harm anyone, he still thinks that McGann showed "a lack of good judgment" and "was not being very smart" in traveling with the watch. However, Horngrad said McGann has traveled with the watch before and has never previously been arrested.
SF Superior Court Clerks Await Judges' Approval of Pact Repealing Pay Cut
About 240 San Francisco Superior Court clerks have ratified a labor contract that would repeal a 5 percent wage cut, but are awaiting approval from the judges on the court's executive committee.
Members of Service Employees International Union Local 1021 approved the proposed contract, which was negotiated with court representatives, by a vote of 215 to 1 in late October, according to union spokesman Steve Stallone.
Stallone said the unit is made up of about 240 court clerks who work in courtrooms, stand behind public counters and maintain files.
The agreement must be approved by the court's executive committee, which has 11 of the court's 46 judges as its members.
Court spokeswoman Ann Donlan said the committee has tentatively scheduled a meeting Dec. 4 "to consider labor issues" but said she could not give any details. In the meantime, the 5 percent cut was suspended beginning on Sept. 14 as a negotiating gesture by the court, Stallone said.
The court imposed the pay reduction at the start of the new fiscal year on July 1 at a time of deep funding cuts for courts statewide.
In San Francisco Superior Court, the budget crisis resulted in the layoff of 67 court workers, the closure of 11 courtrooms and an emergency loan of $2.5 million from a state agency last year. The court repaid the loan to the California Judicial Council in June, Donlan said. The clerks held a one-day strike on July 16 to protest the cut.
In addition to rescinding the cut, the proposed contract would include a $3,500 bonus for each worker this year, a 3 percent raise next year, two more floating holidays in each of the next three years and in addition, one extra floating holiday this year.
Asked how the clerks achieved the proposal at a time of budget crisis, Stallone said the workers were able to negotiate with the court representatives to draw on a $12 million court reserve fund. "It's a matter of workers organizing. We went out on a strike. We showed them we were serious," Stallone said.
11-year-old Sea Otter Dies at Monterey Bay Aquarium
An 11-year-old female sea otter at the Monterey Bay Aquarium died over the weekend, aquarium officials said Monday.
Mae, the first surrogate mother otter to raise a pup on exhibit at the aquarium, began having seizures last Wednesday and died late Saturday afternoon, aquarium spokesman Ken Peterson said. The animal's cause of death is unknown, pending the results of a necropsy.
Mae, nicknamed "Mayhem" by aquarium staff because of her feisty personality, was rescued in April 2001 as a two-day-old pup and ended up staying at the aquarium after researchers determined she was not acquiring the skills needed to survive in the wild. The name Mae -- that of a truck stop waitress with a screeching voice in Monterey-area native John Steinbeck's famous book "The Grapes of Wrath" -- was chosen by the public for the animal in an online poll.
Mae's first surrogate pup, Kit, is now at SeaWorld in San Diego, and she also served as a surrogate mother to four other pups and as a companion animal to many others at the aquarium. Peterson said sea otters typically live up to 20 years old.
The sea otter exhibit at the aquarium is currently closed for renovations and is set to reopen in mid-March 2013.
Supes Committee Reccommends Against Free Youth Muni Pass Proposal
A San Francisco Board of Supervisors committee voted Monday to recommend against a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency proposal that would give free Muni passes to youth.
The proposal is part of $6.7 million awarded to the SFMTA as part of Transit Performance Initiative funding from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission that also would include service reliability improvements. However, SFMTA's proposal to use $1.6 million to fund a free Muni pass program for youth has come under criticism by some city lawmakers.
During Monday's Government Accountability and Oversight Committee meeting, Supervisor Scott Wiener cited Muni's the poor performance record and the $420 million in differed maintenance to vehicles.
"For decades, we as a city have severely under-invested in Muni," Wiener said. "There's always a reason for diverting money away from investing in Muni. Politicians, interest groups and others can always think of great ideas for using Muni maintenance vehicles and other operational money for a purpose other than making Muni more reliable."
The proposal will now be heard by the full Board of Supervisors but the committee's recommendation will be to disallow the free pass program. Muni vehicles are operating on-time 60.8 percent of the time, which is 24.2 percent below the mandated 85 percent stated in Proposition E, according to the SFMTA. Prop. E was passed in 1999.
"There's always a great reason and money then gets diverted and Muni and the riding public suffer," Wiener said.
The MTC awarded SFMTA with the Transit Performance Initiative funding last month, giving the SFMTA $6.7 million for improving reliability and increasing the ridership of the transit agency, but leaving it up to the agency to determine what programs it will be used for.
"There is no more effective way to achieve these goals than a system that's in good shape, that's reliable, and on which people believe they can depend," Wiener said. "These funds should be dedicated 100 percent to improving Muni's deteriorating reliability by maintaining, rehabilitating, and purchasing Muni vehicles and improving Muni's operations."
SFMTA's proposal would use $1.6 million to fund the first five months of a 22-month free youth Muni pass pilot program. "I don't see this as an either or," Ed Reiskin, SFMTA director of transportation, said. "We have ridership goals, we have the other goal of... productivity. We're trying to use these dollars to address both."
Police Arrest Five in Connection with Santa Cruz Encampment Killing
Police have now arrested five people in connection with the death of a 51-year-old man in a Santa Cruz homeless encampment on Friday.
Police have arrested 26-year-old Jeremiah Long, 21-year-old Shaelyn Gonzales, 41-year-old Michael Hudson, 43-year-old Tina Anderson, and 31-year-old Jason Weiland on suspicion of killing the man, who was found by police in a homeless encampment south of Depot Park around 10:55 p.m. on Friday night.
When police found the man, he was unresponsive and later pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
Police first arrested Long at the scene, followed by Gonzales and Hudson late Sunday afternoon. Anderson and Weiland were arrested in the last 24 hours, police said Monday afternoon.
All of the suspects are transients who have been living in Santa Cruz, according to police. Police said they believe the death may have resulted from a fight between the victim and the suspects, but say they are still investigating.
The victim's name has not been released pending notification of his next of kin.
San Francisco Bay Area Morning Weather Report
Mostly cloudy skies and a chance of rain are expected in the Bay Area today. Highs are likely to be in the mid 60s, with southern winds up to 20 mph.
Rain is likely tonight, with lows expected to be in the mid 50s and southern winds up to 20 mph. Mostly cloudy skies are likely on Wednesday, with a chance of rain throughout the day.
Highs are expected to be in the lower 60s.
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