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NEWS FROM ACROSS CALIFORNIA

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POSTED August 27, 2014 8:35 p.m.

• BAN ON ‘GAY PANIC DEFENSE’ HEADS TO GOVERNOR: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Defendants could not escape murder charges by claiming they panicked when they discovered someone was gay or transgender under a bill headed to Gov. Jerry Brown.

The state Assembly approved AB2501 on a 50-10 vote Wednesday.

Current law allows murder charges to be reduced to manslaughter if the killings happened in a sudden quarrel or in the heat of passion. AB2501 by Democratic Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla of Concord would bar defendants from using their victims’ gender or sexual orientation to support a so-called panic defense.

Bonilla says such defenses legitimize violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The American Bar Association urged governments to curtail the use of panic defenses.

 

• MAN ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF LEAVING KIDS IN CAR: SANTA ANA (AP) — A 29-year-old father has been arrested on suspicion of leaving his three young children unattended in a parked car on a warm day in Orange County.

The Orange County Register reports a sheriff’s deputy noticed the children, ranging in age from 5 months to 7 years old, inside a Honda Accord parked illegally near the Orange County Central Jail Complex.

Gerardo Jose Jimenez of Garden Grove told the deputy he ran into the jail to deposit money in his wife’s jail account.

Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna says the children were crying when they were found, but were not suffering from any apparent injuries. Temperatures were in the 80s.

 

• OFFICERS BREAK CAR WINDOWS TO REACH SUICIDAL MAN: ANAHEIM (AP) — Anaheim officers unable to coax an apparently suicidal man from his locked car eventually fired non-lethal rounds to break the windows and pull him out.

Police Lt. Bob Dunn says relatives reported the 55-year-old man was despondent, and officers could see a handgun in the passenger seat of the vehicle.

Officers blocked the car to keep him from driving off. After several hours of trying to persuade the man to open the door, officers broke the windows early Tuesday morning.

 

• TRUCK DRIVER GETS JAIL IN WOMAN’S DEATH: SANTA ANA (AP) — A truck driver has been sentenced to a year in jail for failing to stop after a woman jumped or fell from his truck to her death on Interstate 5 in Santa Ana.

Jaqwun Turner, 33,  pleaded guilty this week to a felony hit-and-run charge in the death of Martha Rodezno.

The judge ordered Turner to turn himself in Oct. 10 to begin his sentence.

Turner says he met the 51-year-old Rodenzo at a gas station and she asked for a ride. He says she appeared upset and at one point opened the door and jumped from the moving truck. But prosecutors say it’s still unclear what exactly happened.

As part of the conviction, Turner’s commercial driver’s license was suspended for a year, and he’ll be on probation for five years.

 

• LAWMAKERS PUSH NEW HOLLYWOOD TAX CREDIT: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown reached a bipartisan deal with state lawmakers Wednesday on a proposal to expand California’s tax credit for Hollywood film productions, offering $330 million a year in credits to producers through a competitive bidding process.

The tax credit program would be in place for five years.

Los Angeles lawmakers had been pushing to replace the current $100 million annual tax credit, which was set to expire in 2017 and operates on a lottery system that producers say makes it hard to plan.

The deal came as other states and countries are increasingly offering incentives to lure film and TV production.

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