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Two Arrested For Murder After Fatal Hit-And-Run Crash In Sun Valley

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Sun Valley Crash 2
Devon Miller / The Valley Post

Two suspects have been arrested for murder in connection to a fatal hit-and-run crash in Sun Valley last month. 

Filiberto Espinoza, 23, and Christopher Brown, 28, are both charged with murder after fleeing the scene of a fatal crash, according to Detective Wade with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Valley Traffic Division. 

On Feb. 6, Espinoza was driving a pickup truck when on Coldwater Canyon Avenue when he ran a red light at the intersection with Roscoe Boulevard, according to investigators. 

The pickup truck collided with the driver’s side of a vintage Morris Minor, killing the driver. 

After the crash, police said Espinoza abandoned his pickup truck at the scene of the incident.

Brown was driving behind Espinoza in a Hyundai Tiburon when the fatal crash occurred, according to detectives. 

Instead of rendering aid to the victim, Espinoza then got into the Hyundai driven by Brown and fled the scene, investigators said. 

The LAPD Valley Traffic Division conducted an investigation into the crash and released footage of the incident to locate the two suspects. 

A $50,000 reward was issued for any information that would lead to the capture of the wanted pair.

Espinoza was taken into custody by LAPD Mission Division patrol officers on Feb. 14, according to investigators. 

About two weeks later on Feb. 25, Valley Traffic Division detectives, with the assistance of the Gang and Narcotics Division and parole agents, worked together to arrest Brown. 

Both suspects are still in custody at the LAPD Valley Jail as of Tuesday with Espinoza being held in lieu of $3.3 million bail and Brown held on $2.1 million bail. 

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One Killed In Saugus Stabbing, Deputies In Standoff With Suspect

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Saugus Stabbing Suspect
James Mathew Dorsey, the suspect wanted in connection to the Saugus stabbing. Photo Courtesy of the LASD.

A woman was killed in a Saugus stabbing Thursday morning, with the suspect — the estranged husband of the victim — in a standoff with deputies after fleeing at high speeds.

The incident occurred on Thursday at about 5:10 a.m. on the 22800 block of Fir Court, according to Deputy Grace Medrano, with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Information Bureau. 

Homicide Detectives have identified the suspect as 41-year-old James Mathew Dorsey from Washington State. He is described as a male White, 5’06, 165 lbs, according to Medrano.

Dorsey is the estranged husband of the victim, according to LASD Lt. Barry Hall.

“The information we have right now is that he’s not even living in the state, and they were certainly estranged, he’s not even welcome at the house,” Hall said. “He probably forced his way through the door at the back.”

Dorsey fled the scene driving a white Chevy Malibu, 4-door sedan with a California plate of 7ALF904.

“The suspect is considered armed and dangerous,” Medrano said. “Call 9-1-1 if you see the suspect and do not approach.”

At about 4:40 p.m., deputies initiated a pursuit, following the suspect at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour.

Dorsey the crashed on 300th Street, near the border of Los Angeles County and Kern County.

As of 6 p.m. Thursday, Dorsey is still in the vehicle, with the LASD Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) responding to the scene.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.

To provide information anonymously, call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477) or the website.

Note: This story has been updated with information on the standoff between deputies and the suspect.

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Former Catholic Priest Charged With Sexual Assault Of Four Children

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Los Angeles Courtroom-2

A former Catholic priest has been charged Wednesday with sexually assaulting four boys at two different parishes, including one in Palmdale, dating back more than two decades.

Christopher John Cunningham, 58, is facing 12 felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14. Arraignment will be scheduled for a later date, according to Greg Risling, spokesperson for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

“The victims were innocent children who have spent most of their lives with the trauma caused by the abuse alleged in this case,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement. “My office is committed to holding accountable anyone who abuses and takes advantage of our children, especially when they hold a position of trust.”

The case was filed for a warrant on April 2, according to investigators.

While working as an associate pastor at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Palmdale, the defendant is accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy on two occasions between November 1995 and September 1997. Cunningham also allegedly sexually assaulted a boy at the victim’s home sometime between June 1996 and June 1998, prosecutors said.

Cunningham also worked at Saint Lawrence Martyr Catholic Church in Redondo Beach. While there, he is accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old on two occasions between July 1998 and January 2001. During that same time frame, the defendant allegedly sexually assaulted a 10-year-old boy on multiple occasions, according to the D.A’s Office.

The case remains under investigation by the Special Victims Bureau of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. If anyone has additional information or was a victim, call the bureau at (562) 946-8531.

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UPDATE: No Barricade Suspect Located After Tactical Operation In Lancaster

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LASD File Photo
Photo Courtesy of the LASD

After several hours, no suspect was found after the report of a person wanted for burglary was barricaded in Lancaster Monday morning.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) personnel responded to assist Lancaster Station with a barricaded armed burglary suspect, according to Deputy Trina Schrader.

The incident was reported on April 12, at about 5:09 a.m., on the 3800 block of Avenue K in Lancaster, according to investigators. 

SEB personnel will assume tactical command and Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) is attempting to make contact with the suspect to bring this to a peaceful conclusion, Schrader said.

The surrounding homes have been evacuated for the safety of the residents.

After several hours and many verbal attempts by Lancaster Station deputies, SEB Tactical Team and the Crisis Negotiations Team there was no contact with the suspect.

SEB Tactical Team cleared the premises just before 1 p.m. and no suspect was located, according to Sheriff’s officials.

There is no additional information available, according to Schrader.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lancaster Station at (661) 948-8466.

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