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Two found guilty of killing boy, 15

VAN NUYS -- Two men were convicted Wednesday of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy who came to the aid of a disabled friend being attacked by gang members.

The Van Nuys Superior Court jury deliberated less than a day before finding Enrique Diaz, 31, and Luis Vega, 28, guilty in the Aug. 13, 2005, slaying of Sammy Salas.

Jurors also convicted the two of misdemeanor battery involving the teen's 21-year-old disabled friend.

The two victims were walking in a North Hollywood alley when the disabled man -- who has no mobility in his left arm and walks with a limp -- was confronted by a group of gang members, authorities said.

Salas was shot in the head when he intervened to try to help his friend, police said shortly after the shooting. He died the next afternoon at a hospital. "It's a day for justice for Sammy Salas," Deputy District Attorney Dan Akemon said after the jury's verdict.

Diaz and Vega are due back before Judge Darlene Schempp for sentencing June 5.

-- City News Service

Security exercise may cause delays

A major security exercise at Union Station is expected to cause minor delays for commuters from 6 a.m. to noon Saturday, officials said.

Metro Red and Purple line trains will be stopped at the Civic Center station, and Metro Gold Line trains will stop at the Chinatown station. Officers will board the trains and ask to search passengers' bags.

Individuals and cars entering Union Station will also be searched. No buses, except for the FlyAway, will be allowed to enter the Transit Plaza during the security exercise.

-- Daily News

Public help asked in 'Magoo' search

VENTURA -- The FBI sought the public's help Wednesday in identifying the Magoo Bandit, a gunman who sports oversize eyeglasses and is suspected in the robberies of four Ventura County banks.

The suspect is described as a 30- to 35-year-old Latino man, 5-feet-8, with brown hair, brown eyes and a goatee, officials said. He has brandished a weapon in at least two of the robberies.

Anyone with information is urged to call the FBI's Ventura office at (805) 642-3995 or its 24-hour line at (310) 477-6565.

-- Daily News

Education agency for L.A. sought

With continued controversy over the siting of new charter schools and court challenges to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's reform plan, Councilman Richard Alarcon called on Wednesday for the city to create its own Department of Education.

Alarcon said the new agency would have authority to create and operate charter schools, apart from the Los Angeles Board of Education.

"We cannot let the recent court decision on AB 1381 diminish our efforts to reform the Los Angeles Unified School District," Alarcon said. "The city needs to take greater responsibility for the success of our students."

Alarcon's proposal was sent to the Education and Neighborhoods Committee, of which he is chairman.

-- Daily News

Nunez to co-chair Clinton campaign

State Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez will co-chair Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, officials said Wednesday.

"Over her 35 years in public service, Hillary has fought for the issues I care most deeply about -- improving education for our children and making health care available to all Americans," said Nunez, D-Los Angeles.

"Given her breadth of experience, she is the only candidate who can hit the ground running on her first day in the Oval Office."

Clinton and other Democratic candidates are expected to attend the state party's annual convention this weekend in San Diego.

-- City News Service
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 26, 2007

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