AUTOPSY: YOLO COUNTY INMATE HAD FATAL AMOUNT OF WATER: WOODLAND (AP) — An inmate who died after being found struggling to breathe at a Northern California jail drank a fatal amount of water, an autopsy concluded.
Yolo County coroner's officials said last week that 29-year-old Todd Phillips died of brain swelling in May due to acute hyponatremia, or abnormally low sodium in the blood because of the presence of too much fluid.
Officials were not able to determine how or why Phillips consumed so much fluid. Yolo County authorities have ruled out foul play, and there were no drugs in his system, sheriff's officials said.
Phillips was being held at the Monroe Detention Center in Woodland on suspicion of misdemeanor and felony drug offenses. Sheriff's officials say he had long struggled with schizophrenia and drug abuse and had been on a suicide watch, though the watch was lifted in the days before his death.
Schizophrenics are among those dealing with mental illness who are prone to drink water compulsively, George Kaysen, a University of California, Davis biochemistry professor, said. The condition is known as polydipsia and can be fatal.
Coroner's officials said Phillips had no known history of polydipsia.
MAN DIES IN JET SKI CRASH NEAR BETHEL ISLAND: ANTIOCH . (AP) — Authorities say a 57-year-old man died after his jet ski crashed into another vessel near Bethel Island in Contra Costa County.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the crash occurred around 1:45 p.m. Sunday. Sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee says the victim was standing on his jet ski when he crashed into a man on a personal watercraft known as a Wave Runner.
The man on the jet ski was taken to Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch, where he was pronounced dead. His name has not been released.
2 TEENS DIE, 3 INJURED IN SAN JOSE CRASH: SAN JOSE (AP) — Police are looking into the possibility that speed was a factor in a car crash in San Jose that killed two teens and injured three others.
Police say the car carrying the five teenage boys hit a tree in a center divider late Saturday night after the 19-year-old driver lost control.
The driver has been identified as Fabian Perez. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The 16-year-old passenger, Salvador Fernandez, was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
One of the other passengers was ejected from the car, but is expected to survive. The two other passengers are also expected to survive.
FALCONS USED TO FIGHT BEACH-POLLUTING OC SEAGULLS: SAN CLEMENTE (AP) — An Orange County beach city is fighting flier with flier — it's sic'ing falcons on polluting seagulls.
Gull droppings have fouled the water at Poche Beach near San Clemente. Bacteria warnings have been posted at the beach almost daily this summer.
The gulls hang out at a nearby freshwater pond.
To scare them off, officials in San Clemente hired falconers Adam Chavez and Sammy Holloway. Last week, they brought seven birds of prey to the area, spooking hundreds of gulls.
Hawks and falcons will take turns patrolling the area until the end of summer under a $20,000 contract.
MAN GETS 35 TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR SIKH KILLING: SACRAMENTO (AP) — A Northern California man convicted of second-degree murder has been sentenced to 35 years to life in prison in the shooting death at a sikh sports festival.
Sacramento County Judge Greta Curtis Fall sentenced 28-year-old Gurpreet Singh Gosal on Friday.
A jury convicted Gosal in June for aiding and abetting in the August 2008 killing of 26-year-old Parjit Singh during the Sacramento Sikh Society sports festival at Bradshaw Temple.
Jurors found that Gosal had fired a weapon but did not hit anybody after his friend, Amandeep Dhami, had fatally shot Singh during an argument.
Prosecutors say that Dhami was able to escape with the help of others after the shooting.
BODY OF MAN SWEPT OVER WATERFALL IDENTIFIED: NORTH FORK (AP) — Authorities in California say they have recovered and identified the body of a camp leader swept over a waterfall in the Sierra National Forest.
Madera County Sheriff's Office said Monday the man is 37-year-old Daniel Stephen Greenlaw of Richmond.
Sheriff's spokeswoman Erica Stuart said Greenlaw, a camp host at the Farm Meadow Campground, was teaching a group of six campers on Saturday how to slide down rocks to reach a swimming hole in the West Fork Chiquito Creek area, but ended up too far downstream.
The campers said when Greenlaw stood up he lost his footing, fell back into the rushing water, and was swept over the 100-foot Camino Falls.
Madera County Search & Rescue found Greenlaw's body at the bottom of the waterfall on Sunday morning.
SO CAL CARJACKING VICTIM GETS NEW VAN: SAN BERNARDINO (AP) — A San Bernardino man whose van was destroyed when a carjacker killed himself in a fiery crash has been given a free replacement.
John Sampson got the 2001 Toyota Sierra minivan on Saturday. Johnson, who's 73, needs the van so his disabled wife can get to the doctor.
A carjacker, Cary Meeks, stole his Dodge van on Aug. 3. Sampson says he got back in the van and tried to convince Meeks to surrender but instead the carjacker dropped him off, then slammed into a freeway pillar at 100 mph.
An anonymous donor provided the replacement, which was spruced up with a brake job, detailing and other work. The minivan has 200,000 miles on it but Sampson says that's fine — the Dodge had 225,000.
SAN DIEGO MAN GETS 6 LIFE TERMS FOR TRIPLE MURDERS: SAN DIEGO (AP) — A San Diego County man was sentenced Monday to six life terms in prison without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to the murder of his wife, mother-in-law and an ex-girlfriend.
Michael Eugene Richardson, 60, agreed to the plea deal to avoid the death penalty and have charges of sex with a minor dismissed, said Deputy District Attorney Kurt Mechals.