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POSTED November 15, 2012 1:03 a.m.

• LOS ANGELES COURTS PLAN FOR DIMINISHED SYSTEM: LOS ANGELES (AP) — With budget shortfalls looming, Los Angeles County may be forced to close 10 courthouses in such high profile venues as Malibu, Beverly Hills and West Los Angeles next year.

Presiding Superior Court Judge Lee Smalley Edmon released a preliminary proposal for court reductions Wednesday but told The Associated Press the plan could change before taking effect in July 2013.

She says courts are still absorbing $70 million in cuts made earlier in the year which led to closed courtrooms, elimination of court reporters in civil courts and staff layoffs.

A $56 to $85 million deficit is anticipated.

Edmon says proposed courthouse closures will mark the end of the neighborhood court system and many will face transportation challenges to get to distant courthouses that will pick up the slack.



• LA SHERIFF DEPUTY ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED MURDER: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy was arrested Wednesday after a police investigation identified him as the suspect in a murder case.

Seventeen-year veteran Francisco Gamez, 41, was taken into custody following a months-long Los Angeles Police Department investigation into the death of Armando Casillas.

“The off-duty acts that led to the arrest of Francisco Gamez are deeply disturbing to me and to the entire Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department,” Sheriff Lee Baca said in a statement Wednesday.

Just after 11 a.m. June 17, patrol officers were flagged down in Sylmar after Casillas was gunned down. He was pronounced dead after being taken to Providence Holy Cross Hospital.

The assailant also shot at a second victim who was not injured.

LAPD Officer Venus Hall said details about the nature of the incident were not being released.

Gamez was being held on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and use of a firearm during the commission of a felony. The district attorney’s office had not yet received a filing from LAPD detectives requesting formal charges.



• SACRAMENTO WOMAN GETS 5 YEARS TAX REFUND SCHEME: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — A 25-year-old Sacramento woman has been ordered to serve five years in prison for her role in a refund fraud scheme where prosecutors say she and two others collected nearly $1 million.

Federal prosecutors say Tomisha Lee McKinnie, 26-year-old Nakia Renee Vaughn and 33-year-old Nadiyah Muhammad Woods used a tax service that loaded debit cards with tax return money after a return was filed and approved.

Prosecutors say the three Sacramento women victimized more than 200 people and took in $962,079 from the Internal Revenue Service by having the debit cards and checks mailed to various addresses under their control in Sacramento County.

All three have pleaded guilty in the case. Besides the prison term, McKinnie will also have to pay restitution and will be under supervised release once she gets out of prison.



• BODY FOUND INSIDE CAR SUBMERGED IN RESERVOIR: GLENDORA  (AP) — Authorities discovered a body inside a car found partially submerged at the edge of the San Gabriel Reservoir in the Angeles National Forest.

City News Service reports the vehicle apparently tumbled about 400 feet down an embankment along state Route 39.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Andy Berg says the car had apparently been in the reservoir for some time but did become visible until Wednesday after the water receded.

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