Los Angeles Times - 04.03.2020

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Los Angeles County
prosecutors will not file
criminal charges against two
police officers who fatally
shot “ER” actress Vanessa
Marquez inside her South
Pasadena home in August
2018 during a wellness check,
according to a memo from
the agency released Mon-
The district attorney’s of-
fice determined that South
Pasadena Officers Gilberto
Carrillo and Christopher
Perez acted legally when
they fired 12 rounds at the
49-year-old after she bran-
dished a replica firearm.
“In this incident, the evi-
dence demonstrates that
Carrillo and Perez actually
and reasonably believed
Marquez posed an immi-
nent threat of great bodily
injury or death,” Shannon
Presby, head deputy district
attorney, wrote in the memo.
Police had been dis-
patched to Marquez’s
apartment in the 1100 block
of Fremont Avenue on Aug.
30, 2018, at the behest of a
friend who was concerned
for the actress’ well-being.
When officers arrived, they
knocked on the door for 10
minutes and eventually en-
tered the apartment.
The living area was
stacked with boxes, furni-
ture and other items in what
were described by author-
ities as “hoarding condi-
tions” that made it difficult
for officers to open the door
and move through the unit,
video from a body-worn
camera shows.
As soon as Marquez saw
one of the officers, she
screamed and began having
a seizure, the video shows.
Officers and a county men-
tal health clinician spoke
with Marquez for more than
an hour in an effort to per-
suade her to accept medical
help. Police said at the time
that she was uncooperative,
may have been suffering
from mental health issues
and appeared to be unable
to care for herself.
After Carrillo told
Marquez that she was going
to be taken to a hospital on a
psychiatric hold, Marquez
grabbed a pair of scissors
and what officers thought
was a handgun and pointed
it at them, according to the
“She has a gun! Gun!
Gun! Gun! Gun!” Carrillo
yelled as he ushered other
personnel out of the apart-
ment. He yelled several
times for Marquez to “drop
the gun” as he exited the
apartment and continued
down a staircase into a com-
mon area.
When Marquez emerged
from the apartment, Carrillo
told investigators, he heard
the sounds of a gun maga-
zine being inserted and a
slide being racked.
When Carrillo saw the
handgun being pointed in
their direction, he was

“scared out of his mind” and
fired about eight or nine
rounds from his .40-caliber
handgun through the dry-
wall toward Marquez. Perez
also fired his gun, according
to the memo.
The officers retrieved a
weapon after the shooting
and determined it was a BB
gun that resembled a pistol.
Marquez suffered two gun-
shot wounds and was taken
to a hospital, where she was
pronounced dead.
In 2019, Marquez’s
mother, Delia McElfresh,
filed a wrongful-death claim
against the city of South
Pasadena seeking $20 mil-
lion along with burial and fu-
neral expenses. The status
of the claim was not immedi-
ately clear Monday.
Marquez was best known
for her recurring role as
nurse Wendy Goldman on
the popular medical drama
“ER,” which ran for 15 sea-
sons until 2009. Marquez ap-
peared on the show from
1994 to 1997. She also starred
as student Ana Delgado in
the 1988 film “Stand and De-
liver,” which told the story of
East Los Angeles math
teacher Jaime Escalante.
In the years before her
death, Marquez used social
media to speak of her strug-
gles with celiac disease and
seizures. She wrote on Face-
book in March 2018 that she
was “terminally ill.”
Marquez in 2005 starred
in an episode on the first sea-
son of the reality television
show “Intervention,” which
delved into how a compul-
sive shopping addiction cre-
ated financial problems for
the actress, according to a
synopsis of the episode on
She grabbed headlines in
2017 when she accused “ER”
co-star George Clooney of
helping to blacklist her
from the series. Clooney has
publicly denied the allega-
Marquez had posted on
social media in the months
before the fatal encounter
about her desire to die and
her purchase of an “air” gun
that resembled a Glock.
Minutes before she was fa-
tally shot, she wrote on Face-
book that “there shooting
cremate me pour ashes over
Hollywood sign.”
“Her intention, as evi-
denced by her final Face-
book post, sadly appears
to have been to end her
life,” Presby wrote in the

Officers won’t

face charges in

fatal shooting

South Pasadena cops

reasonably believed

actress was a threat,

prosecutors say.

shown in the early 1990s,
pointed a replica firearm
at officers, police say.


By Hannah Fry

A brush fire that broke
out in the Santa Ana River
bottom in Norco on Tuesday
morning has stopped grow-
ing after tearing through 175
acres and temporarily forc-
ing nearby residents to evac-
The blaze, dubbed the
Mann fire, was reported at
9:51 a.m. along a section of
riverbed near California Av-
enue and Grulla Court. The
fire, which was initially re-
ported to be about 10 acres,
quickly chewed through
heavy, dry brush in the area
and swelled to 100 acres in
less than two hours, accord-
ing to the California Depart-
ment of Forestry and Fire
It stopped growing by
midafternoon, and author-
ities lifted evacuation orders
west of California Avenue
and north of 8th Street.
As of 6:45 p.m., residents

north of North Drive and
east of California Avenue re-
mained under an evacuation
Two people suffered in-
juries that were not life-
threatening. Five properties
sustained minor damage to
fencing and outbuildings,
authorities said.
The homes sit in a city
known for its equestrian
trails and properties, offi-
cials said.
Evacuation centers were
set up at Corona High
School and Corona Jurupa
Valley High School. Resi-
dents with large animals
were told to go to the George

Ingalls Equestrian Event
Students from nearby
Riverview Elementary
School were evacuated from
the campus shortly after
noon and were taken by bus
to Norco High School, school
officials wrote in a message
to parents.
The Jurupa Unified
School District said several
of its schools were put on an
“inclement weather sched-
ule” because of smoke from
the fire.
More than 200 firefight-
ers responded to battle the
blaze amid winds gusting up
to 25 mph. The cause of the

fire has not been deter-
Television images
showed firefighters spraying
down trees and homes near
the fire as strong winds
whipped through the area.
Smoke was visible across
Riverside County.
A high-wind warning,
which expired at noon, was
in effect for the Norco area at
the time the fire broke out.
Northeast winds were gust-
ing between 15 and 25 mph in
the area shortly after noon
as temperatures climbed to
the high 70s.
“The winds are starting
to die down,” said Jimmy
Taeger, a meteorologist with
the National Weather Serv-
ice in San Diego. “Hopefully,
this means things will be get-
ting better soon for firefight-
Large swaths of Califor-
nia are facing the driest com-
bined January and February
on record, and many areas of
the state already have rela-
tively dry vegetation.
Officials with the
weather service in Los Ange-
les wrote on Twitter that the
fire is “an indication of how
dry it is getting in SoCal
without significant rainfall
in the past two months.”

A HELICOPTERmakes water drops over a brush fire that broke out in the Santa Ana River bottom in Norco.
Two people suffered non-life-threatening injuries and some properties sustained damage, authorities said.

Irfan KhanLos Angeles TImes

Winds whip riverbed fire

Santa Ana


Lake Mathews









Nextzen, OpenStreetMap







Paul Duginski Los Angeles Times

Blaze engulfs 175 acres

of dry brush in Norco

and forces residents

nearby to evacuate.

By Hannah Fry and
Alene Tchekmedyian

A man was killed when
the luxury sports car he was
driving slammed into a palm
tree — splitting the vehicle in
half — during a pursuit by
police in Newport Beach
that reached speeds up to
100 mph early Tuesday.
Newport Beach police
began pursuing the 2016
Mercedes-Benz AMG as it
was traveling south on Bal-
boa Boulevard on the Bal-
boa Peninsula shortly after 1
It is unclear why officers
began following the vehicle.
The driver, a man in his late
20s, had been involved in an
argument with someone at a
nearby bar before the pur-

suit began, said Officer Flo-
rentino Olivera, a spokes-
man for the California High-

way Patrol.
The pursuit lasted about
10 minutes and ended when

the car failed to navigate a
turn and crashed into a palm
tree on Balboa Boulevard
near 24th Street, Olivera
The crash left a large de-
bris field across the road.
Photos from the scene show
the mangled car near the
tree with the vehicle’s engine
lying about 100 feet away.
“That shows you he was
going at a high rate of speed
and the impact was very,
very hard,” Olivera said.
It was not immediately
clear whether alcohol was a
factor in the crash. The
driver was pronounced dead
at the scene. A female pas-
senger who was not identi-
fied was taken to a hospital
with major injuries, Olivera

High-speed crash splits car in two

A MERCEDES hit a tree in Newport Beach on Tues-
day as it was pursued by police. The driver was killed.

OnScene TV

By Hannah Fry

SAN DIEGO — Federal
prosecutors received a
court’s approval this week
for extra space in a public
memorandum, which they
requested to provide an “ex-
pansive factual summary” of
the criminal conduct for
which former Rep. Duncan
Hunter (R-Alpine) is to be
sentenced this month.
U.S. District Judge
Thomas J. Whelan granted a
motion that prosecutors
filed Friday asking to exceed
any page limits for their sen-
tencing memorandum, if
they need extra space to re-
count Hunter’s crimes.
Prosecutors said an expan-

sive factual summary was
necessary to counter Hunt-
er’s public statements
downplaying his culpability
and shifting blame to others,
including his wife.
Defense lawyers also will
be allowed to file a memo-
randum longer than the usu-
al 25 pages, according to the
ruling Monday.
Hunter pleaded guilty on
Dec. 3 to one count of con-
spiracy to illegally convert
campaign money to person-
al use.
One of his lawyers argued
last week that Hunter had
clearly taken responsibility
for the crime, so the judge
should reject prosecutors’
Defense lawyer Devin

Burstein also said the
court already has all the
information necessary to
hand down a sentence at a
hearing scheduled for March
The disgraced former
lawmaker faces up to five
years in prison, but is ex-
pected to receive far less
time in custody, based on
recommendations in the
plea agreement with prose-
The plea agreement re-
solved a 60-count indict-
ment filed against Hunter
and his wife and former cam-
paign manager, Margaret, in
August 2018 after a sweeping
campaign finance investiga-
tion. The two were accused
of using more than $250,

in campaign money for per-
sonal expenses including
oral surgery, tuition to their
children’s private school, te-
quila shots, an Italian vaca-
tion, Duncan Hunter’s get-
aways with girlfriends and
Last June, as part of a
separate plea deal with pros-
ecutors, Margaret Hunter
admitted to a single count of
conspiracy and agreed to
testify against her husband.
She also faces up to five
years in prison when she is
sentenced in April but is ex-
pected to receive less time
behind bars.
Hunter resigned from
Congress in January, six
weeks after he pleaded

Prosecutors get more space to recount Hunter’s misdeeds

DUNCAN HUNTERpleaded guilty to misusing cam-
paign funds and faces up to five years in prison.

John GibbinsSan Diego Union-Tribune

By Morgan Cook

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