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State news briefs
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DR. OZ URGES CALIFORNIA STATE WORKERS TO GET FIT: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Dr. Mehmet Oz is rallying thousands of California state workers to get fit as a way to save money on health care costs.

The host of "The Dr. Oz Show" joined state officials in Sacramento on Monday to launch a pilot workplace-wellness program. A study commissioned by the state controller's office found the state could save between $18 million and $54 million a year if a fraction of its government workers are able to prevent chronic diseases.

The study by the Urban Institute found that California spent $1.6 billion on health care in 2008. About 22 percent, or $362 million, was spent on preventable conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.

State Controller John Chiang told workers that staying healthy will help control skyrocketing medical costs.

LEGISLATURE EULOGIZES FORMER LAWMAKER BOATWRIGHT: SACRAMENTO  (AP) — Former state lawmaker Daniel Boatwright is being eulogized as a long-serving member of the Legislature who worked cooperatively across party lines while representing a district in the eastern San Francisco Bay area.

Boatwright was a Democrat who represented Contra Costa County. He died Friday at 82.

The Senate adjourned Monday in his memory.

A Korean War veteran, Boatwright was a county prosecutor before seeking elective office. He eventually spent 24 years in the Assembly and Senate before being termed out in 1996.

His family said Boatwright was most proud of the landmark laws he helped pass establishing protocols related to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, a Democrat from Concord who now represents the area, recalled that his predecessor brought a "blue collar approach to this white collar job."

DEPUTY PLEADS NO CONTEST IN BURRITO DRUG SMUGGLING: LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles County district attorney's office says a sheriff's deputy has pleaded no contest to charges that he smuggled drugs into a courthouse jail by concealing them in a burrito.

A Justice System Integrity Division prosecutor says 27-year-old Henry Marin entered the pleas Monday in Superior Court to one count each of bringing drugs into a jail and conspiracy to commit a crime.

An indictment alleged that in early 2010 Marin conspired with one or more persons to transport drugs into the county's airport-area courthouse, where he was assigned to work.

Marin has been relieved of duty. He'll be sentenced on June 25 after prosecution and defense arguments over the appropriate punishment.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY SAYS CLIENT KILLED CA POLICEMAN: RIVERSIDE  (AP) — The defense attorney for a man accused of shooting a Riverside police officer to death told a jury in opening statements Monday that her client was guilty but should not face death for his crime.

Attorney Gail O'Rane said she would ask the jury to consider making a second-degree murder finding in the case against Earl Ellis Green, 46, instead of first-degree murder, which would make him eligible for death if convicted.

Green, of Rubidoux, lured 27-year-old Officer Ryan Bonaminio down a darkened path then beat him with a metal weight bar before shooting him with his own police-issued gun in a park, according to prosecutors.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Hestrin called the Nov. 7, 2010, slaying of the Iraq war veteran "a case of cruelty and brutality" and said Green killed Bonaminio after he slipped and fell on wet pavement during a foot chase, The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported.

SUPREME COURT ALLOWS LA COUNTY SHERIFF TO BE SUED: LOS ANGELES (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an effort by Los Angeles County to prevent Sheriff Lee Baca from being sued by a man who claims he was stabbed 23 times while jailed.

Baca's appeal was rejected without comment Monday.

County lawyers argued that Baca couldn't be held personally responsible for the 2006 attack because he had no personal involvement.

The high court, however, let stand a lower court ruling that said Baca could be sued on grounds that he knew about such violence and didn't try to stop it.

Dion Starr sued Baca and jail deputies, claiming that Latino gang members stabbed him at the downtown Men's Central Jail and that a guard kicked him in the face.

TECH EXEC GETS 22 YEARS IN PRISON FOR $30M FRAUD: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A former high-tech executive convicted of defrauding investors of at least $30 million was sentenced Monday to 22 years in prison after a judge denounced him for fleecing nearly 100 victims to finance an "obscene lifestyle" of private jets, gaudy jewelry and Swiss bank accounts.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said Samuel "Mouli" Cohen was "nearly sociopathic" for refusing to show remorse for actor Danny Glover and others who suffered after he told them a company Cohen launched called Ecast that made electronic jukeboxes for bars was about to be acquired by Microsoft Corp.

The fraud caused the collapse of the nonprofit charity Vanguard Public Foundation, which Glover and singer Harry Belafonte founded in 1972, prosecutors said.

SEVEN TON HEAD MAY GET HOME: COVINA  (AP) — A seven-ton head lying in a heap of sand may be getting a more dignified home in Southern California.

The carved Olmec head was presented to the city of Covina in 1989 by its former sister city of Jalapa, Mexico.

It was placed in front of the Police Department until December, when it was moved to a city maintenance yard to make room for a memorial to fallen officers.

The Duarte chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens has called on the City Council to give the head a prominent location.

The City Council plans to discuss possible locations at Tuesday's meeting. Suggestions have included a park and city library.