MODESTO TEACHER SENTENCED IN STUDENT SEX CASE: MODESTO (AP) — A California high school teacher who left his wife for a former student has been ordered to register as a sex offender in a criminal case stemming from an alleged encounter with another teen.
James Hooker was sentenced on Wednesday in Stanislaus County after pleading no contest earlier this week to a misdemeanor charge of having oral sex with a 17-year-old girl in 1998. In addition to registering as a sex offender, he was ordered to serve four years of probation.
His alleged victim, now 32, told the court that Hooker took advantage of her at a time when she was suffering from depression.
Hooker made national headlines earlier this year when he left his wife and job as a high school teacher in Modesto to move in with his now 19-year-old former student, Jordan Powers.
CHILD ABUSE CHARGE FOR MOM OF EMACIATED 4-YEAR-OLD: SANTA ANA (AP) — Authorities say an Orange County woman has been charged with abusing the youngest of her nine children after she took the malnourished 4-year-old girl weighing just 18 pounds to a hospital.
Santa Ana police say the girl and the woman's eight older children have been placed in Social Services custody.
Authorities say 35-year-old Antonia Benitez took the girl to the hospital last month with an infected wound on her leg. Police investigated and eventually learned the girl had no disease causing the malnourishment, so an arrest warrant was issued.
The district attorney's office says Benitez was arrested Thursday and charged with three felony counts of child abuse. She's being held on $250,000 bail and is scheduled for a Friday arraignment.
RECORDS: GRANDSON IN MURDER CASE HAD BODY IN TRUNK: MURRIETA (AP) — A man charged with killing his 71-year-old grandmother in Riverside County had a body in the trunk of her car with a belt wrapped around the neck, court records show.
Kyle McLean, 21, was seen on surveillance cameras buying machetes, gloves, bleach and beer at a Wal-Mart, and investigators reported finding evidence of blood that had been cleaned up in the home he shared with Catherine Sutton, his grandmother, the Press-Enterprise reported Thursday, citing the documents.
A detective wrote in the court papers that 18-year-old Neil Erickson told investigators that McLean had called him shortly after the pair was arrested on July 11 in a vandalism case. Erickson said they met on a dirt road and McLean showed him a dead body in the trunk of his grandmother's car.
Erickson said McLean told him he had killed his grandmother and he didn't know what to do, the court papers said.
McLean has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in Sutton's death. Erickson has pleaded not guilty to being an accessory to the crime.