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Fog City News Briefs

By Emmett Berg

June 20, 2007

East Bay Man Shoots Family, Then Himself

Each of the four family members fatally shot Monday night in Tilden Regional Park died from a single gunshot wound to the head, according to Contra Costa County Sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee.

Investigators believe that a Berkeley father, 51-year-old Kevin Morrissey, shot his wife and two young daughters before turning the gun on himself, East Bay Regional Parks Police Chief Timothy Anderson said.

Investigators won't be able to confirm their theory on the killings until gunshot residue tests come back from the county crime lab, a process that could take several weeks, Anderson said.

Kevin Morrissey, along with his wife, 40-year-old Mamiko Kawai, and their two daughters 8-year-old Nikki Morrissey and 6-year-old Kim "Lena" Morrissey were found dead in the Mineral Springs parking lot in Tilden Regional Park at about 7 p.m. Monday, police reported.

The two adults were found lying on the ground near a car and the two little girls were found shot to death inside the car, police reported.

The gun, a .357 magnum revolver, was registered to Kevin Morrissey, Anderson said.

Police found an apparent suicide note that suggested that the family was having serious financial difficulties, Anderson said. Police believe that Kevin Morrissey wrote the note.

Officers who went to the family's house, located at 1357 Northside Avenue in a quiet residential neighborhood in north Berkeley, found the place empty and locked last night, Anderson said.

Investigators were talking to neighbors in Berkeley and employees at the family's skin care business in Albany on Tuesday in the hopes of gaining a more complete picture of what happened, Anderson said.

FBI Searching For Toothless Bank Robber

The FBI is looking for a toothless blond woman in her 40s who is believed to have robbed two banks in Contra Costa County over the last four days.

The woman, whom Martinez police described as toothless, first robbed the West America Bank at 601 Ferry Street in Martinez on Friday at about 4:25 p.m.

According to Martinez police, the woman handed tellers a bag and instructed them to put all of their money inside it. She reportedly told a teller that she had a gun, and that there were two men with guns waiting outside the bank.

The woman was described as a white female with blond hair wearing a yellow construction vest and a white hardhat, Martinez police reported.

She was approximately 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing around 160 pounds and in her mid to late 40s, the FBI reported.

Then on Monday, at about 4:30 p.m., a woman with a similar physical description but wearing a yellow hard hat and no construction vest robbed the U.S. Bank branch located at 720 San Ramon Valley Boulevard in Danville, the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported.

Anyone with information on the suspect or either of the robberies is encouraged to call the Danville Police Department at (925) 314-3410, the Martinez Police Department at (925) 372-3457 or the FBI's Concord office at (925) 671-7330.

Restaurant Owner Charged For Housing Illegal Immigrants

The operator of two Bay Area pizza restaurants is facing charges on Tuesday that he allegedly hired illegal immigrant workers from Brazil and arranged for some of them to live at his businesses.

Glenio Silva, 38, a legal permanent resident of Brazil, was taken into custody Friday at Monterey Pizza in San Francisco, one of his restaurants.

Silva made his initial appearance in federal court Monday following his arrest by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. Silva has been charged with harboring illegal immigrants, a violation that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

ICE agents also executed criminal search and arrest warrants at a second establishment that Silva runs in Hayward called the Pizza House.

Silva allegedly staffed the two restaurants with unauthorized workers from Brazil, paying them in cash to conceal their illegal employment and avoid paying payroll taxes.

"ICE will use every tool at its disposal to target businesses that exploit an illegal workforce to turn a profit," said Charles DeMore, special agent in charge of the ICE office of investigations in San Francisco, in a prepared statement.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernard Zimmerman set a $75,000 unsecured bond for Silva and ordered him and his wife to surrender their passports. In addition to Silva's charges, four workers illegally employed by the restaurants are being charged with federal identity theft. Those workers allegedly assumed the names of U.S. citizens and used the information to obtain identification documents from the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Hazardous Waste Facility Stays Open During Hearing

An East Palo Alto hazardous waste treatment facility will continue to operate while attorneys for the company seek a hearing responding to allegations its operations are unsafe, a state Department of Toxic Substances Control spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

The DTSC on May 30 ordered that Romic Environmental Technologies Corp.'s East Palo Alto facility at 2081 Bay Road shut down its hazardous waste treatment operations, citing "an unacceptable risk to public health and the environment."

Romic was ordered not to handle, treat or store hazardous bulk liquid waste in containers larger than 85 gallons, and not to store bulk liquid waste in tanks. Following the order, Romic had 20 days to respond and request a hearing, according to DTSC spokeswoman Angela Blanchette.

Robert Hoffman, an attorney for Romic, filed the request for a hearing on behalf of his client on Thursday.

The state agency's enforcement order charges Romic with unsafe operations, reckless disregard for the risk of serious injury to an employee, and violation of a previous $849,500 civil judgment brought by the DTSC in April 2005.

The DTSC found Romic culpable for violations in which two employees were seriously burned in June 2004 and March 2006 at the East Palo Alto facility, as well as a 4,000-gallon chemical release at the facility in June 2006.

The DTSC is currently reviewing the request for a hearing and has not yet made a decision, according to Blanchette.

Until then, Blanchette said, "the company can continue to operate under its existing permit during the administrative hearing process."

Former Teacher Sentenced For Lewd Acts With Students

A former Vacaville teacher was sentenced in Solano County Superior Court on Tuesday to one year in the Solano County jail and five years probation on lewd act charges with students.

Michael Chastaine, attorney for 59-year-old Kenneth Anderson, said Judge Harry S. Kinnicutt ruled Anderson could serve half of his one-year sentence under electronically monitored home confinement or another alternative to jail. Anderson also must register as a sex offender, Chastaine said.

Anderson, former fourth-grade teacher at Callison Elementary School in Vacaville, pleaded no contest in March to committing a lewd act with a child under age 14 and to continuous sexual abuse of a child. The plea was part of an agreement whereby Anderson would not serve state prison time.

Chastaine said a psychologist has already determined Anderson is amenable to probation and is not a pedophile or sociopath.

Anderson was charged with 13 counts of committing lewd and lascivious acts with five students but the jury deadlocked at his trial in February. The plea agreement was reached as the prosecution was preparing for a second trial.

The defense said the allegations of lewd acts between September 2004 and April 2006 involved improperly touching the children beneath their clothing. Chastaine also said Anderson received back rubs from students and gave them hugs but there was no inappropriate behavior.

Deputy District Attorney Krishna Abrams argued at the trial that the hugs escalated to sexual behavior and that Anderson used his popularity to gain the students' trust and touch the students under their clothing.

Man Trapped Beneath Bulldozer

The Santa Clara medical examiner was summoned to a rural road west of Cupertino on Tuesday on a report of a man trapped beneath a bulldozer, a California Highway Patrol officer said.

The apparent fatality was first reported around 3 p.m. on private land near Montebello Road, the officer said.

A representative of the medical examiner said an investigator remained at the scene. No identifying details were immediately available. No one from the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office was immediately available.

Monterey County Man Imprisoned For Molesting Stepdaughter

A Monterey County man was sentenced to 58 years in state prison on Monday after being convicted of 22 felony charges for molesting his stepdaughter for approximately seven years.

James Edmund Daly, 66, molested the victim from 1992 to 1999 when she was between the ages of 5 and 12, a deputy district attorney said.

Daly, who was free on a $500,000 property bond during his trial, was convicted by a Monterey County jury in April 2005 but failed to appear in court for closing arguments. He was traced through multiple South American countries as well as Canada and Ireland before INTERPOL agents arrested him in Uruguay in October 2005. U.S. Marshals returned him to Monterey County on March 7.

While he was married to his first wife, with whom he shared a medical practice, Daly began an affair with the victim's mother.

About two years after their affair started and one year before they married, Daly began molesting the victim, then 5.

The victim testified that the defendant molested her at her home and at Daly's medical practice when the office was closed, according to Monterey County deputy District Attorney Stephanie Hulsey.

Daly continued to molest the victim until he and the victim's mother divorced in 1999, Hulsey said. Shortly after the victim moved to Brazil with her mother and younger sister in 2002, the victim told her mother about the sexual abuse. However, the molestation wasn't reported to law enforcement officials until 2004.

During a phone call placed by the victim and recorded by law enforcement, the victim asked Daly why he had sex with her, Hulsey said. Daly responded, "You became my focal of, how should I say...closeness taken to the wrong extreme," according to Hulsey.

Oakland Airport Police Officers Reassigned To Streets

Fifteen officers patrolling Oakland International airport are being reassigned to Oakland's streets in an effort to reduce crime in the city, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums announced on Tuesday.

The Alameda County Sheriff's Department will monitor the airport for the next two years, the mayor said.

The reassignment of officers comes on the heels of an Oakland Tribune report that said union officials would block a plan proposed by Police Chief Wayne Tucker to reorganize Oakland's police department.

The plan, which would restructure the police department into three separately commanded geographic areas, was slated to commence July 1, according to Karen Stevenson, communications director for the Oakland mayor's office. Dellums, who backs the plan fully, believes the reorganization would reduce crime and violence in Oakland.

"Now that (the plan) is postponed, what we can do is at least take 15 officers from the airport and give them to the city for added safety," Stevenson said.

Eight officers and two sergeants will immediately be moved into community policing beats funded by Measure Y, a 2004 initiative that provides approximately $19 million annually in violence prevention and public safety programs and services, the mayor said.

Four officers responsible for Transportation Security Administration bomb dogs will remain at the airport as officials negotiate the transfer of those duties to the Sheriff's Department.

The number of Oakland Police Department Officers increased at the airport in reaction to the events of September 11, 2001. Dellums said peaceful streets in Oakland are his highest priority.

Cal Rugby Player Scheduled To Appear In Court For Assault Charges

A former Cal rugby player who allegedly assaulted a 22-year-old man in Berkeley is scheduled to be arraigned June 27, according to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.

James Sehr is being charged with one count of felony assault, according to Berkeley police Lt. Wes Hester.

The assault took place May 5 after Sehr, 22, allegedly broke a window in the 2300 block of Prospect Street, according to Berkeley police.

Charles Roshon was home at the time of the incident and followed the vandal on foot.

Roshon contacted the suspect at the intersection of Prospect Street and Hillside Avenue where the two got into a physical altercation, police reported.

Witnesses intervened and when Roshon attempted to call authorities, Sehr allegedly assaulted him and fled the scene.

Police Search For Man Responsible For 5-Year-Old Nephew's Death

Police on Tuesday are continuing their search for a convicted murderer who was scheduled to be arraigned in Alameda County Superior Court on gun violations and negligence after his 5-year-old nephew fatally shot himself in the head in early June.

An Alameda County District Attorney's office spokeswoman said on Tuesday that a $75,000 warrant was issued Thursday for Shawn Johnson, 28, when he failed to show up at his scheduled arraignment on June 12.

Keonnu "Nunie" Franklin apparently accidentally shot himself fatally in the head with a gun at 9:12 a.m. on June 8, according to Oakland police.

As an ex-felon, Johnson was not supposed to be in possession of a gun, authorities said.

However, the gun Johnson possessed was reportedly the same one Franklin used to accidentally kill himself while at his grandfather's ex-wife's house in the 3900 block of Edgemoor Place.

According to authorities, Johnson was convicted of second-degree murder for killing 29-year-old Michael Ward in the 3900 block of Webster Street in Oakland in May of 1991.

Johnson was only 12 at the time of Ward's murder. He received a 20-year sentenced but was released after only nine years.

Santa Cruz Beaches Declared Unsafe

Santa Cruz County health officials announced on Tuesday that the Santa Cruz main Beach and Cowell Beach west of the wharf are unsafe for swimming after recent water quality tests detected unsafe levels of bacteria.

Tests on Monday at the two beaches detected the elevated levels of bacteria. Health officials believe the recent breach of the San Lorenzo River is the likely cause of the elevated bacteria.

There is no indication that the bacteria levels are the result of sewage, according to Santa Cruz County Environmental Services spokesman Steve Peters.

BART Trains Delayed After Accident At Balboa Park

Delays crippled Bay Area Rapid Transit trains on Tuesday for about two hours after a man was reportedly hit on a Balboa Park Station platform in San Francisco.

The Balboa Park Station reopened at 1:02 p.m. and delays system-wide ended at about 1:45 p.m., BART spokesman Linton Johnson said.

The person struck at about 11:30 a.m. was extracted and taken to San Francisco General Hospital, a fire dispatcher said.

Copyright © 2007 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.




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