CRAB SEASON HAS BEGUN: EUREKA (AP) — Commercial fishermen on the North Coast of California are getting ready for the start of Dungeness crab season. The Eureka Times-Standard reports that the season is scheduled to kick off on Sunday and not be delayed as in previous years. The crab season off the Central California coast has already begun. State officials tell the newspaper they are expecting an average or below-average year in the number of crabs after several good years statewide. Crab fishermen are operating under a new law this year that limits the number of traps they can set. The idea is to help smaller, local fishermen compete with larger boats.
MAN WHO TARGETED HOMELESS MEN DIES IN JAIL: SANTA ANA (AP) — A former Marine who was awaiting a death penalty trial in the deaths of six people, including four homeless men, died after ingesting something while in his jail cell, his defense attorney said Friday. Attorney Michael Molfetta would not say what his client ingested but said the death raises serious questions about how much supervision 25-year-old Itzcoatl Ocampo was getting from Orange County sheriff's deputies. The substance was not drugs, according to Molfetta, who said he was briefed on his client's death. Ocampo was found shaking and vomiting in his single-man cell Wednesday and taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at around 1:30 p.m. Thursday, said Orange County sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock. Prosecutors alleged that the native of Mexico stabbed four homeless men in what they called a serial thrill-kill rampage in late 2011 and early 2012. Ocampo targeted his homeless victims because they were vulnerable and because he felt they were a blight on the community, authorities said.
CALIFORNIA SUSPECTED OF SHOOTING WIFE: FOOTHILL FARMS (AP) — A Sacramento-area man is in custody on suspicion of killing his wife. Sheriff's officials say 54-year-old Gary Eberly was arrested on Thursday, a day after he called 911 to report that he had found his wife dead at their home in the community of Foothill Farms. The woman has not been identified. Eberly allegedly told investigators his 51-year-old wife went missing on Nov. 19 after they had an argument. According to Sacramento County Sheriff's Sgt. Lisa Bowman, he said he had not seen her until finding her body. Bowman told the Sacramento Bee she did not have details on a motive or cause of death, but she said sheriff's officials have responded to numerous domestic disputes at the couple's home.
BURNING MAN DEAL LIKELY DONE DESPITE FIREWORKS: RENO, Nev. (AP) — Organizers of the annual weeklong celebration of self-expression and eclectic art known as Burning Man and a Nevada county where it is held thought they had resolved their legal dispute over the festival. They hoped to get the blessing of a federal judge overseeing the case, and asked him to dismiss the lawsuit earlier this week. Instead, they got an earful from U.S. District Senior Judge Robert C. Jones, and threats that the lawyers in the case should either go back to law school or be disbarred. Exactly what in the agreement between festival organizers and Pershing County lawyers prompted Jones' criticism was unclear, though he said the agreement amounted to malpractice. The two sides, however, believe they still have a deal. They expect a ruling from Jones next week.