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POSTED July 4, 2012 7:24 p.m.

6,500 POUNDS OF FIREWORKS SEIZED IN COMPTON : LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies have seized a cache of 6,500 pounds of illegal fireworks, a gun stolen from a police officer and approximately $30,000 in cash at a home in Compton.

Sheriff's officials said in a release that deputies executed a search warrant Tuesday and found a detached garage that had been converted into a fireworks stand with skyrockets, mortars and assorted other pyrotechnics and explosives for sale. The fireworks are valued at $15,000.

They also found a gun that was reported stolen from a Long Beach police officer.

Two men were arrested and face charges including possession of an explosive device, selling fireworks without a permit, and receiving stolen property.

Both were booked into the sheriff's Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood. Their names were not released.

POLL: DISAPPROVAL RATE RISING FOR GOVERNOR: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — The latest Field Poll finds a growing number of California voters disapprove of Gov. Jerry Brown job performance just days after he signed a new budget.

In the statewide poll released Wednesday, 42 percent of voters said they disapproved of the Democratic governor, up from 31 percent a year ago. His approval rating has slipped from 48 to 44 percent in that time.

Californians aren't pleased with a key provision of the state budget that hinges on tax hikes. Three-quarters oppose the automatic spending cuts planned for schools if voters fail to approve Brown's tax initiative on the November ballot.

The poll surveyed 997 registered voters by telephone from June 21 through July 2. It has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

JUDGE FREEZES USE OF DISPUTED 49ERS STADIUM FUNDS : SACRAMENTO  (AP) — A Sacramento judge has frozen the spending of a disputed $30 million originally earmarked for the San Francisco 49ers new stadium in Santa Clara.

The San Jose Mercury News reports that Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly on Tuesday issued a temporary restraining order, barring use of the funds until the matter is settled.

The dispute arose after a Santa Clara County board responsible for allocating redevelopment funds said the money should be used for more pressing community needs like schools.

The 49ers argue the money is legally theirs because it was allotted by voters in 2010 to help build the $1.2 billion stadium. The city of Santa Clara, where the stadium is being built, agrees.

EX-RAIDER SMITH FACES 3 ADDITIONAL MURDER CHARGES: LOS ANGELES (AP) — Three additional murder counts have been filed against former Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders lineman Anthony Wayne Smith who is awaiting retrial in another murder case.

The Los Angeles Times reports Smith was charged Monday in the November 1999 slayings of brothers Kevin and Ricky Nettles, and the June 2001 death of Dennis Henderson.

Smith also faces other charges, including kidnapping and robbery.

An email message left for Smith's attorney, Michael Evans, was not immediately returned Wednesday.

A mistrial was declared in April after a jury deadlocked on whether Smith should be convicted of murder in the death of Maurilio Ponce in 2008.

Smith was a defensive end with Oakland and later the Los Angeles Raiders from 1991 to 1998.

LAWSUIT PLANNED ON ANNIVERSARY KELLY THOMAS CASE: FULLERTON  (AP) — The father of Kelly Thomas plans to file a lawsuit on the anniversary of the clash with Fullerton police that led to the homeless man's death.

Ron Thomas will announce details of the suit at a news conference Thursday. A spokeswoman for Thomas' attorney declined to say Wednesday who Thomas will sue.

Kelly Thomas suffered from schizophrenia and was severely injured on July 5, 2011, during a confrontation with six officers who suspected him of breaking into cars. He died five days later.

The encounter was captured on video and raised issues about whether officers are adequately trained to deal with the mentally ill.

Thomas' death stoked an outcry by residents, the recall of three council members, an FBI investigation, and criminal charges against two of the officers.

MAN GUILTY OF 1ST-DEGREE MURDER FOR HAMMER SLAYING: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — A Sacramento jury has convicted a man of first-degree murder after finding that he fatally bludgeoned his girlfriend with a hammer.

The jury on Tuesday convicted 60-year-old Robert Lee Syas for the murder of Pamela Johnson after deliberating for less than half a day.

Prosecutors said the 55-year-old Johnson was killed on Feb. 5, 2011, her body found on her living room floor surrounded by blood spattered from more than 20 hammer shots to her head.

Syas was a transient with previous convictions for possession of drugs and weapons who had an on-and-off again relationship with Johnson. She had reported violent quarrels with Syas to police prior to her death.

Syas' sentencing is scheduled for July 31.

 

VALLEJO POLICE KILL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SUSPECT : VALLEJO  (AP) — Vallejo police say they fatally shot a 44-year-old man when he reached for a pistol after being hit with a stun gun.

The Vallejo Times-Herald reports (that officers killed the suspect, Marshall Tobin, early Wednesday after responding to a domestic violence call.

It was the sixth officer-involved shooting by Vallejo police in recent weeks.

Police said officers responding to the domestic violence call found Tobin in a nearby Safeway parking lot armed with a gun.

Tobin refused orders to place his hand on his head, police said, and was initially hit with a stun gun.

Police said Tobin was still able to reach for a nearby handgun, leading officers to shoot him multiple times.

The officers were placed on administrative leave and the shooting is being investigated.

MAN, 87, ACCUSED OF ASSISTING IN WIFE'S DEATH: PALM SPRINGS . (AP) — An 87-year-old Southern California man is behind bars on a charge he helped in his wife's death.

The Desert Sun reports William Bentinck was arrested Monday at his home in Palm Springs.

Sgt. Mike Kovaleff says the county coroner called police to the home, where officers met Bentinck and two hospice nurses, who led them to the woman's body.

Kovaleff tells the newspaper Bentinck is being held on a preliminary charge of murder "based on the totality of the circumstances, including but not limited to statements and evidence."

Kovaleff says the nurses were not in the home at the time of the woman's death. He declined to discuss any more details of the case.

The Riverside County coroner did not release the woman's name or her cause of death.

 

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