MARTINEZ

Manslaughter plea in fatal Concord stabbing

A Concord man pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter Wednesday afternoon in the stabbing death of a neighborhood acquaintance, according to Contra Costa deputy district attorney Mary Knox.

Joshua Cardone, 22, was sentenced to 12 years in prison, Knox said.

Cardone was charged in the April 3, 2011, death of Richard Gilliam, 20, who was killed outside a fast-food restaurant in the Clayton Valley Shopping Center on Ygnacio Valley Road in Concord. Investigators believed the stabbing was the result of a dispute between the two men.

-- Gary Peterson, Staff

Martinez

Hwy. 4 offramp closed for man firing shotgun

A highway offramp was shut down and neighbors were on alert after someone reportedly began firing a shotgun on a residential street Thursday afternoon.

The Contra Costa Sheriff's Office received a call at 3:30 p.m. about someone firing rounds into the air in the 4700 block of Pacheco Boulevard.

As a precaution, the Pacheco Boulevard offramp of Highway 4 was temporarily closed. The unidentified suspect was taken into custody about 4:20 p.m.

The Sheriff's Office is continuing to investigate the incident.

-- Karina Ioffee, Staff

Pacifica

Auto burglary suspect from Antioch arrested

Police said they arrested a man Wednesday suspected of a string of auto burglaries throughout the city.

The suspect, 31-year-old Jose Herrera, of Antioch, is also suspected of auto theft and drug possession, according to Pacifica police.

At about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, police responded to a call about an auto burglary in progress in the 200 block of Winwood Avenue. Upon arrival, police observed the suspect taking property from a vehicle and placing it in another vehicle that was parked in the middle of the street. Police determined the suspect's vehicle had been reported stolen in San Francisco.

When the suspect saw the officers, he fled on foot. Officers gave chase and took Herrera into custody without incident, police said.

During an interview with officers, Herrera admitted to burglarizing other vehicles in Pacifica.

Herrera was booked into San Mateo County Jail on suspicion of burglary, possession of stolen property, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and delaying or obstructing an officer.

-- Bay City News Service

ANTIOCH

Early-morning fire claims two dogs

Two dogs died and three people were displaced after a one-alarm fire at an Antioch home early Thursday, a Contra Costa Fire District inspector said.

A third dog was injured in the blaze, which broke out around 12:15 a.m. in the 3000 block of Westbourne Drive, fire inspector Lisa Martinez said. Firefighters controlled the blaze at the single-story house in about 25 minutes, Martinez said.

Two women and a man living there were out of the home by the time fire crews arrived and were uninjured.

Inspectors have not determined a cause for the fire, Martinez said.

-- Rick Hurd, Staff

Sonoma

Concord man arrested after vehicle pursuit

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office arrested a Concord man Monday night who allegedly rammed a deputy's patrol car after a vehicle pursuit in Sonoma.

A deputy saw a gray Toyota Camry driving erratically near Verano Avenue and Riverside Drive around 10:30 p.m., Sgt. Adrian Mancilla said.

When the deputy tried to stop the Camry, the driver sped away at 100 mph during the ensuing 15-minute pursuit, Mancilla said.

Deputies finally managed to spin out the Camry to force it to stop, Mancilla said. But the driver then drove toward and rammed the pursuing patrol car, causing moderate damage to both vehicles, Mancilla said.

Deputies arrested 61-year-old Christopher McRee, of Concord, for assault with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest, evading a police officer and driving on a suspended license. He was booked in the Sonoma County jail in lieu of $30,000 bail.

-- Bay City News Service

San Francisco

Court: Red-light cam evidence 'authentic'

The California Supreme Court on Thursday made it easier for prosecutors to use red-light camera evidence against drivers who fail to stop at traffic signals.

In the ruling, the court unanimously said that images and data automatically recorded by the cameras have a "presumption of authenticity" similar to the presumption for other types of photos and videos.

The court said that under the presumption, the camera evidence is considered valid unless a defendant can successfully challenge it.

Under the red-light camera system, which is authorized by the California Vehicle Code, drivers are identified through photos of their license plates.

-- Bay City News Service