Tag Archives: santa ana

OC Mother Gets 11 Years For Stabbing Children

 Staff Reports

Santa Ana – On Fri., Jan. 23, a mother was sentenced to 11 years to life in state prison for attempting to murder her two young children by stabbing them while they were asleep.

Thuy Thi Le, 43, of Westminster, was found guilty by a jury Feb. 4, 2014, of two felony counts each of attempted murder, and child abuse and endangerment with sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a deadly weapon and committing great bodily injury.

On Oct. 27, 2014, a unanimous jury found the sentencing enhancement for premeditation and deliberation for the attempted murder charge to be true following a retrial of the sentencing enhancement, as a former jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

The defendant, who entered pleas of “not guilty” and “not guilty by reason of insanity,” was found to be legally sane at the time of the murder by the jury on Oct. 31, 2014.

Back on Sept. 16, 2009, Le spent the night at a family member’s home with her children, a 5-year old and a 3-year old.  Her boyfriend – who is the father of the children – was at work. Le slept with her two children together on a mattress in the family room.  At approximately 6:30 a.m., she went into the kitchen, picked up a knife from the sink, walked back over to the children, stabbed each of them in the chest, and then stabbed herself nearly 25 times. She then called 911.

The children were rushed to the University of California Irvine Medical Center.  The 5-year old child suffered a stab wound to the chest and the knife penetrated her heart; she underwent emergency open-heart surgery to save her life. The 3-year old child suffered a stab wound to the chest area, but the knife missed all vital organs.

Both children are reportedly recovered and are living with their father.

Lakewood Woman Embezzles Thousands In Credit Union Scheme

FBI News Release

Santa Ana – A Lakewood woman who pleaded guilty to a protracted embezzlement scheme, which resulted in the failure of a credit union, was sentenced today to 21 months in federal prison.

Wendy Wall, 50, was sentenced by United States District Judge James V. Selna, in Santa Ana, California. In addition to the prison term, Judge Selna ordered a four year term of supervised release, to include 12 months of home confinement, and ordered Wall to pay $480,273.77 in restitution.

Wall pleaded guilty to bank fraud on September 2, 2014, for engaging in the embezzlement scheme while employed at the Pepsi Cola Federal Credit Union.

Beginning in 1993 and continuing to February 2014, Wall was the manager and sole employee at the Pepsi Cola Federal Credit Union, a small financial institution in Orange County that served local Pepsi Bottling Company employees. While employed there, Wall operated an embezzlement scheme over a period of more than a decade by using her position to create fictitious bank accounts. Wall withdrew funds against those accounts by creating fictitious loans and by writing checks using the accounts. Wall then deposited the misappropriated funds into bank accounts belonging to Wall or her family members.

The scheme was discovered following an audit by the National Credit Union Association, whose personnel contacted the FBI to investigate further. Analysis indicates that the embezzlement scheme led to the eventual failure of the Pepsi Cola Federal Credit Union; however, members were indemnified against losses under an agreement with the National Credit Union Administration.

This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in Orange County.

Orange County: Murder Suspects Arraigned

BY EMILY LUNDBERGicon.crime.weekly.news

Santa Ana – Suspects in Orange County’s serial homicides were arraigned on March 15 according to a press release from the Anaheim Police Department. The arraignment came a little more than a month after their arrests on March 11.

The suspects, Franco Cano, 27, and Steven Dean Gordon, 45, were arrested for murdering four women, three of which were last seen in Santa Ana. The victims are as follows: Kiana Jackson, 20, a resident of Las Vegas who was last seen in Santa Ana on Oct. 6, 2013; Josephine Vargas, 34, a resident of Santa Ana who was last seen there on Oct. 24, 2013; Martha Anaya, 28, a resident of Santa Ana who was last seen there on Nov. 12, 2013; and Jarrae Nykkole Estepp, 21, an Oklahoma resident whose body was found on March 14 at an Anaheim recycling center. Estepp’s is the only body that has been found.

Detectives from the Anaheim and Santa Ana Police Departments are currently trying to identify a fifth victim who was last seen between February 14 and 16 near Katella Avenue. The victim is believed to be a petite African American woman in her early 20s.

Both Cano and Gordon have been previously convicted of committing “lewd or lascivious acts with a child under fourteen years of age,” according to California’s Sex Offender Registry. At the time of the crimes, both men were wearing GPS bracelets to track them because of these prior offenses. A Los Angeles County press release reported that both men had previously cut off their bracelets and fled to Nevada before being arrested again in 2012. Los Angeles County Supervisor, Michael Antonovoich, said, “This illustrates the fact that the ankle bracelets and GPS monitoring do not prevent crime.” Indeed this incident does provoke questions regarding the true effectiveness of bracelets including the extent to which they should be trusted to control and monitor criminals.