A brief look at crime 12/28 – 1/03

Gunman, other man dead at Calif casino office

The bodies were discovered about five hours later when authorities sent two robots to the office, Gore said. He declined to identify the victim until his family was notified. “Our worst fears were confirmed,” Gore told reporters outside the convention center of the Barona Resort and Casino. “It appears to be a murder-suicide.”

A man who was fired from his job at a Southern California casino shot and killed a man in his former manager’s office Tuesday, then fatally turned the gun on himself, authorities said. Donnell Roberts, 38, walked into the Barona Gaming Commission building around 10 a.m. with a shotgun slung over his shoulder, ordered three secretaries to leave, then quickly opened fire in the manager’s office, said San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore. Another 13 to 15 people fled through a back door, Gore said. Witnesses heard three shots.

School fund embezzler still free of charges

In one of the biggest embezzlement cases in state history, Kathy Borrego was terminated this July for writing more than 500 checks from a school district account, yet as 2009 comes to a close, still no charges are filed against her despite new information revealed in court documents. Earlier last month, Eyewitness News 4 reported how Borrego remains free and uncharged despite accusations she stole $3.3 million dollars from the Jemez Mountain school district. An audit states she wrote 538 district checks to herself and others over a period of years.

Summer shocker: Parks director Reber charged with stealing funds

Many in the Pottstown community were shocked to learn of theft allegations against former Parks and Recreation Director John Reber when the announcement came that he was the target of an investigation in late July. Just weeks after investigators confirmed Reber was the focus of an investigation into missing funds from Independence Day LTD, a nonprofit that provided funds for Pottstown’s July Fourth celebration, Reber turned himself in to police. He was arraigned on charges including theft by deception, theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received, misapplication of entrusted property, receiving stolen property and access device fraud. Investigators alleged he stole $15,721 from the July Fourth fund.

Home Aide Steals $527,000 from Elderly Elk Grove Couple

A former in-home healthcare aide was sentenced in Sacramento County Superior Court Tuesday to four years in prison after pleading no contest to stealing more than $500,000 from an elderly Elk Grove couple and tax evasion.  Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Lani Biafore said Jocelyn Pascual Wong, a Phillippine citizen in the U.S. illegally, befriended the couple and was given full house privileges. The victims, retired school teachers, became so fond of Wong they referred to her as their daughter, according to Biafore. Wong began asking the couple for money four years ago, saying she would repay it, investigators found. Wong admitted to Elk Grove police she didn’t intend to pay back the money and didn’t claim the income on taxes, Biafore said. Wong took $527,000 from the couple for gambling, according to Biafore.

Laurel man shot to death

A 35-year-old Laurel man was shot to death Monday night and authorities said it may have stemmed from an argument over gambling. Police were called to a home in the 800 block of Sandy T. Gavin Avenue shortly after 9 p.m. Officials said the victim was shot multiple times and was pronounced dead at the scene. A suspect is in custody, and police say he will be charged with murder. Names of the victim or suspect have not been released.

Man Orders Attack On Trader After Losing Gambling Game

Angry over losing money in a gambling game, a man hired two men to rob and slash a trader at a house in Lorong Galing 34, Jalan Haji Ahmad here, on Tuesday. The 49-year-old victim, who was suffered a slight injury to his body after being attacked with a machete by two men, contacted the police at 2am, said Pahang CID chief ACP T. Narenasagaran. He said the police arrested a 34-year-old man, who had earlier played a gambling game with the victim at an entertainment outlet here, in connection with the attack and attempted robbery.  Following the arrest, the police picked up two men aged 22 and 28, he told reporters here on Wednesday.

Shooting suspect’s relatives sought on felony charges

Two relatives of an Outlook teenager accused of shooting at Yakima County sheriff’s deputies face cockfighting charges.  Authorities say the pair’s roosters and fighting gear were discovered when state gambling investigators searched the teenager’s home after the July shooting, which wounded Deputy Bobby Miranda and missed Deputy Chris Stearley. His parents have said he was at their Outlook home when the shooting happened. He awaits trial on two counts of attempted murder.  Warrants for the two men’s arrest remained active as of Tuesday, according to the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office. The state Gambling Commission often handles cockfighting investigations.

Fireman charged in thefts

The treasurer of a Dupont volunteer fire company who admitted to losing about a quarter million dollars gambling was charged by police Wednesday with stealing more than $60,000 from the organization’s relief association. John Thomas Lyons, 31, of Main Street, Avoca, told investigators he used most of the money to gamble at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and Mount Airy Casino Resort.  Another company officer, whose allegedly forged signatures appeared on checks made out to Lyons, said Lyons told her the thefts began after he won a jackpot of around $1,600 at the Mohegan Sun casino and an additional $700 more while gambling.

Couple arrested for abandoning daughter to gamble

A couple were arrested early on New Year’s Day and accused of leaving their 8-year-old daughter alone in a hotel room while they gambled at the Hard Rock Casino.  Donovan Jewell, 42, and his wife, Nancy Ellen Jewell, 41, were charged with child abuse by neglect and were each being held in lieu of $2,000 bail.  According to reports from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the couple left their daughter alone at the La Quinta Inn from 10 p.m. until 4-4:30 a.m., when the scared, crying child awoke and went to the lobby for help, worried because her mother was not there.

For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH, & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION

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