Panetta to speak at college's graduation

Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will give the keynote address at the Saint Mary's College commencement May 24, the college announced Monday.

The Monterey native graduated in 1960 from Santa Clara University. He served as an Army officer, congressman and CIA director, among other roles, before he became defense secretary in 2011. He retired in 2013.

"Leon Panetta is an extraordinary public servant and a true American statesman," Saint Mary's President James Donahue said in the announcement. "His high regard for public service is inspiring and we are honored he will address this year's graduating class at Saint Mary's."

About 730 students are expected to graduate this year from the Catholic liberal arts college, the largest class in the school's history.

-- Katy Murphy, Staff


Fuel spill closes freeway ramps

The onramps and offramps to Interstate 880 at West Grand Avenue in West Oakland were closed Monday afternoon after a big rig overturned and spilled more than 40 gallons of diesel fuel, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The wreck happened about 3:05 p.m. on the northbound I-880 onramp at West Grand and left the tractor-trailer on its side, said Officer Sean Wilkenson.

No one was injured.

At least 40 gallons of diesel fuel spilled from the truck, which was hauling a tanker trailer carrying 43,000 pounds of a fuel additive, Wilkenson said.

The tanker was not breached, and nothing spilled from it, authorities said.

The Oakland Fire Department was able to contain the spill but requested an environmental cleanup company to assist.

-- Harry Harris and Natalie Neysa Alund, Staff


17-year-old girl killed in solo car crash

A passenger killed Monday morning when the car in which she was a passenger crashed into a wall in West Oakland has been identified by the Alameda County coroner's office as 17-year-old Sariah Cleveland.

Cleveland, of Oakland, was riding in a white 1995 Mercedes-Benz that crashed about 1:25 a.m. near the intersection of Fifth and Union streets, close to an Interstate 880 offramp, police said.

The unidentified male who drove the Mercedes was critically injured in the wreck.

Police did not release the man's name or age or say how the two knew each other. Investigators also did not say what caused the Mercedes to crash.

Cleveland was pronounced dead at the scene.

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call police at 510-777-8570.

-- Harry Harris and Natalie Neysa Alund, Staff


Man pleads guilty to negligently firing gun

A San Leandro man on parole for pimping has pleaded guilty to negligently firing a gun during a fracas involving two women in San Rafael.

Rodrick Nathan McNutt Jr., 34, is expected to receive a two-year prison term when he is sentenced in June, deputy district attorney Michael Wear said Friday.

The incident began Jan. 6 in San Rafael's Canal area when witnesses told police they saw a woman who appeared to be a prostitute arguing with a man over money and then beating a woman with a baseball bat.

Then a van pulled up, and the driver fired a gun. The suspected prostitute left with the van driver.

The California Highway Patrol stopped the van on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, and police said they found the suspects, a handgun and suspected drugs inside.

Police identified McNutt, who is on parole for pimping and child molestation offenses, as the driver and gunman. The passenger was 29-year-old Oakland resident Enjoli Mixon, police said. She has pleaded guilty to drug-related charges, Wear said.

-- Marin Independent Journal


Man found guilty of sexually abusing girl

A San Leandro man faces more than five decades in prison after a jury found him guilty of sexually abusing a female relative from ages 8 to 14, prosecutors said.

An Alameda County Superior Court jury on April 17 convicted Francisco Daniel Dominguez, 36, of eight counts of lewd and lascivious acts, oral copulation and sexual penetration with a foreign object.

The abuse occurred from 2004-2011 in San Leandro, said deputy district attorney Samantha Kim. In 2012, the girl reported the crimes to investigators at the San Leandro Police Department.

The jury rendered its verdict after two days of deliberations at the Hayward Hall of Justice before Judge Roy Hashimoto, court records show.

Dominguez is scheduled to be sentenced on June 2. Dominguez, who is being held without bail at the Santa Rita Jail, faces 53 years to life in prison, prosecutors said.

-- Natalie Neysa Alund, Staff