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POSTED December 20, 2013 10:21 p.m.

PROPOSED MEASURE WOULD CHANGE CRIME CLASSIFICATION: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco's top prosecutor is seeking to reclassify some crimes that could save money which could be used to fund crime prevention and mental health services.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports (that District Attorney George Gascon filed a proposed ballot measure Thursday that would reduce most nonviolent crimes such as petty theft and drug possession from felonies to misdemeanors. The measure needs about 500,000 signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

Supporters estimate the shift could save up to $250 million a year and that money could be earmarked for programs aimed at reducing recidivism.

The proposed measure follows Proposition 36, which was approved by voters and curbs California's Three Strikes law.

EX-YOUTH LEADER SENTENCED IN CHILD PORN CASE: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A former youth camp leader in Northern California has been sentenced to 40 years in federal prison for making and distributing child pornography.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports 31-year-old Dylan Josh Zara was sentenced earlier this week in a San Francisco federal courtroom. He pleaded guilty in June to six counts and told investigators he used two children under the age of 7 to make pornographic materials.

Zara was an assistant director of a Sebastopol youth camp and worked as a computer technician at a middle school.

He was sentenced in 2011 to 16 years in prison for child molestation. He will serve his state and federal sentences concurrently.

DRUG DEALER WHO SET WOMAN AFIRE GETS LIFE TERM: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A San Francisco drug dealer has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2007 killing of a homeless woman whom she burned alive.

A jury in October convicted 36-year-old Mia Sagote of murder, kidnapping and robbery with special circumstances including torture.

Prosecutors said the victim, 49-year-old Jill May, was a crack addict struggling to turn her life around. The father of May's three children, they said, refused to pay Sagote $150 for crack.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Sagote beat May, then became angry after May reported the incident to police.

The next day, the Chronicle says, Sagote and a fellow dealer drove May to a parking lot at Candlestick Park, where she was doused in gasoline and set afire.

 

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