MOTIVE UNCLEAR IN SHOOTING AT CHICKEN PLANT: FRESNO (AP) — The ex-convict who shot a handful of his co-workers execution-style at a California chicken-processing plant, killing two, kept to himself but was a model employee, according to his boss and neighbors.
Lawrence Nathaniel Jones, 42, had been in and out of prison since 1991 for crimes ranging from armed robbery to a car theft. A neighbor described him as intimidating, but a co-worker and his boss said he was nice and respectful.
As police tried to determine what motivated Jones' attack at the Valley Protein plant in Fresno on Tuesday, those who knew him painted a conflicting portrait of a man who had a history of mostly non-violent crime but appeared, at least outwardly, to have straightened out his life.
Armed with a handgun, he moved methodically among his first three victims a few hours into his morning shift, placing the gun against their head or neck and then pulling the trigger, authorities said.
He shot a woman who tried to flee, and then put the gun to one more person's head and pulled the trigger, but the gun was out of bullets, according to police.
Bob Coyle, president and owner of Valley Protein, said Jones was then confronted by one of the plant's managers. He left the building, reloaded, and shot himself to death.
1 DEAD, 1 WOUNDED AFTER HOMEOWNER SHOOTS INTRUDERS: FAIR OAKS (AP) — Sacramento County authorities say they have arrested a homeowner who fatally shot a suspected burglar and wounded another intruder.
Sheriff's officials say Jerry Rasmussen, 60, of Fair Oaks was booked into Sacramento County jail Wednesday on suspicion of possessing prohibited ammunition and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Officials say Rasmussen was startled by intruders in his home early Wednesday. Armed with a handgun, he shot two strangers, who were in their 30s. One fled and the other died.
Authorities say when deputies arrived at Rasmussen's home they found the dead man, as well as evidence of forced entry. The other man was found at a hospital with a gunshot wound. He is expected to be arrested.
MAN BEHIND ANTI-MUSLIM FILM SENTENCED TO PRISON: LOS ANGELES (AP) — The California man behind an anti-Muslim film that led to violence in many parts of the Middle East was sentenced Wednesday to a year in federal prison for probation violations in an unrelated matter, then issued a provocative statement through his attorney.
The sentence was the result of a plea bargain between lawyers for Mark Bassely Youssef and federal prosecutors. Youssef admitted in open court that he had used several false names in violation of his probation order and obtained a driver's license under a false name. He was on probation for a bank fraud case.
ACLU CHALLENGES HUMAN TRAFFICKING INITIATIVE: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit challenging California's new voter-approved law to boost penalties for those convicted of human trafficking.
Voters approved Proposition 35 on Tuesday with 81 percent of the vote, toughening the state's penalties for human trafficking and its monitoring of sex offenders.
In its lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, the ACLU of Northern California and the Electronic Frontier Foundation argue that another provision of the measure restricts the First Amendment rights of registered sex offenders.
The initiative requires them to provide their Internet identifiers to authorities, which the groups say sets a dangerous precedent. They filed suit on behalf of registered sex offenders.
CALIF. VOTER TURNOUT LOOKING LOWER THAN IN 2008: SACRAMENTO (AP) — Tuesday's election shook up the state's political landscape but appears unlikely to have shattered voter turnout records.
Shannan Velayas, spokeswoman for the secretary of state's office, said that by Wednesday afternoon counties had counted roughly 9.5 million ballots cast at the polls or in early mail-in voting. That's compared to 10.4 million ballots counted at this time in 2008.
Elections workers are still processing hundreds of thousands of provisional and mail-in ballots.
A record number of Californians requested absentee ballots this year. Shasta County registrar Cathy Darling Allen said voters returned roughly 4 million ballots by Monday.
A Field Poll predicted turnout of about 70 percent this year, with 1 million fewer voters casting ballots than in 2008.
Field predicted more than half of the electorate would vote by mail.
JUDGE REJECTS INJUNCTION AGAINST DISH DVR: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California judge has rejected a request for a preliminary injunction against Dish Network's ad-skipping digital video recorder in a dispute that has pit broadcasters against a main distributor of their programming.
Judge Dolly Gee of the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Monday struck down the request by News Corp. broadcaster Fox, according to a statement from Dish. A Fox spokesman confirmed the ruling but said the network would appeal.
The ruling was not released publically.
Dish Network Corp. and the broadcast networks have been at odds over a new digital video recorder called the Hopper, which allows consumers to record prime-time programming from the four broadcast networks — ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox — and play the video back the next day with the commercials stripped out.
Gee determined that Fox was unlikely to be able to prove that it has suffered irreparable harm from the copies Dish made as a way to back up recordings on consumers' DVRs, Dish said.