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Archive for the 'Crime' Category

Death penalty could be on table for Orinda man

Torture charges may be added to the murder charges against James Collin, 62, of Orinda, who is accused of killing his  girlfriend, Evangeline Cumbe Devera, in their Orinda home on June 26.

If Collin is convicted of the murder charges currently against him, he could receive a sentence of life in prison. If he is convicted of the murder charge with the torture charge as a special circumstance connected to the murder, the prosecutors could argue for the death penalty.

Devera was killed due to being hit repeatedly by a 2 1/2-foot-long machete, according to police.

Collin will return to court on Aug. 2 to enter a plea.

Posted on Thursday, July 26th, 2012
Under: Crime, Orinda | No Comments »

Former Moraga 24 Hour Fitness worker found guilty

Pornthep Suvanasarn, a former employee at the 24 Hour Fitness in Moraga and former Saint Mary’s College student, was convicted Thursday of indecent exposure, and annoying or molesting a child. The charges stem from an incident where he exposed himself to a 5-year-old boy while working in the 24 Hour Fitness child care center.

Suvanasarn was also charged with the same two crimes in connection to a 5-year-old girl, but the jury acquitted Suvanasarn on those charges.

Suvanasarn will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. He will return to court on Aug. 13 when he will be sentenced to a punishment ranging from probation to one year in county jail.

Posted on Friday, July 20th, 2012
Under: Crime, Moraga | No Comments »

Orinda man charged with murder

James Collin, 62, was charged with murder Thursday in the killing of his longtime girlfriend in their Orinda home on Tuesday.

Collin’s girlfriend, 56-year-old Evangeline Cumbe Devera, died from “blunt force and sharp force injury,” according to the sheriff’s office. Law enforcement officials have reported that the death came following a machete attack on the victim.

An enhancement for use of a deadly weapon will be applied to the count of murder.

Collin is being held on $1 million bail. His next scheduled date in court is July 9.

Posted on Thursday, June 28th, 2012
Under: Crime, Orinda | No Comments »

Bail set for Orinda murder suspect

The man accused of killing his girlfriend in their home in Orinda on Tuesday is being held on $1 million bail at the County Detention Center.

According to police, the suspect, James Collin, 62, killed his girlfriend, then went to a neighbor’s house and forced the neighbor to call 9-1-1. When police arrived, Collin led them to the body of his girlfriend in the kitchen of their home.

The sheriff’s office reported the cause of death as “blunt force and sharp force injury of head.” A source reported to the Bay Area News Group that the weapon used in the murder was a machete.

The name of the victim has not yet been released.

Posted on Wednesday, June 27th, 2012
Under: Crime, Orinda | No Comments »

Homicide in Orinda

According to police, a 51-year-old woman was killed in a home in Orinda today, while the man that lived with her was taken into custody.

Police responded to the home on the 600-block of Moraga Way after a neighbor called to report the murder. A voice was heard in the background of the 911 call feeding the caller information. Police say the voice in the background of the call was the man who was later taken into custody.

When police arrived on scene, the suspect met them from the neighbor’s home and once taken into custody told police he had “killed her.”

Police have not released the names of the victim or the suspect at this time.

For the full story, visit

Posted on Tuesday, June 26th, 2012
Under: Crime, Orinda | No Comments »

Police looking for help on Lafayette burglary

An attempted burglary of a house on Sierra Vista Way in Lafayette was interrupted this morning by neighbors, according to police.

According to witnesses, the burglars fled the house in a car once they were interrupted. The witnesses described the vehicle as a light blue Buick four-door sedan with a license plate of 5WZT563. The description matches the description of a vehicle seen at multiple burglary locations recently.

If anyone sees the vehicle or has information about the crime, Lafayette Police are asking that you call 925-284-5010.

Posted on Tuesday, June 19th, 2012
Under: Crime, Lafayette | No Comments »

Family of Thomas Gonzales II sues for stolen ashes

The family of Thomas Gonzales II has sued StoneMor California, the corporate owners of Oakmont Memorial Park in Lafayette, for their alleged negligence in the stealing of the ashes of Gonzales.

The suit is for a minimum of $3.2-million, which is what it cost the family to have the white marble mausoleum built to hold the ashes of Gonzales.

The ashes were stolen during a break-in of the mausoleum in January of last year. The family is claiming negligence due to the fact that a break-in just a few days before that went unreported to the family.

Gonzales co-founded the software firm Commerce One during the dot-com boom. He died in 2001 from gastric cancer.

Posted on Saturday, June 16th, 2012
Under: Crime, Lafayette | No Comments »

Arrests at Lafayette massage parlors

Arrests were  made at two different massage parlors in Lafayette today, according to police. The crimes those arrested are being charged with have not yet been released.

The arrests come just two weeks after the City of Lafayette passed an ordinance stating that all massage therapists and practitioners be required to have state certification.

The issue came into discussion at the city level after a number of residents reported alleged illegal activity happening at the massage parlors in their neighborhoods. The issue of illegal activity in Lafayette’s massage parlors has plagued the city in the past.

Posted on Wednesday, June 13th, 2012
Under: Crime, Lafayette | No Comments »

Cunnane banned from MCC

Kristen Cunnane, the woman who recently came forward about how she was raped by her P.E. teacher at Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School in the 1990s, had offered to do a free swimming clinic for kids at the Moraga Country Club. The MCC Board won’t let that happen.

Cunnane, who is currently an assistant swimming coach at Cal and was just honored as the top assistant coach in the country by the NCAA, wanted to give back to the swim club she started at in her youth and credits for turning her into the swimmer she became.

The MCC Board decided to ban Cunnane from doing the clinic or speaking at MCC. While the board did not cite a reason, Cunnane believes the board is worried about it looking like they are “siding” with her in regards to the fallout of her rape accusations.

For the full story:

Posted on Thursday, June 7th, 2012
Under: Crime, Moraga, Sports | 1 Comment »

Lafayette Bank of America robbed

The Bank of America located at 3530 Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette was robbed Tuesday afternoon around 4:00 p.m.

The man entered the bank, presented a cashier with a note and escaped the scene likely on foot, according to the Lafayette Police Department.

Lafayette Police searched the area for the suspect and stopped BART trains to search the BART station, but they were unsuccessful in locating the suspect.

Anyone with information that could help police in their investigation are being asked to call the Lafayette Police Department at 925-299-3230.

Bank security cameras captured the image of the robber seen below.

Photo of bank robbery suspect (Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office)

Posted on Wednesday, May 30th, 2012
Under: Crime, Lafayette | No Comments »