National Roundup


Police arrest 2 in ‘wrong car color’ gangland killing 
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — San Jose police say they have arrested two people in the shooting death of a man relatives say was targeted for driving the wrong-colored car in a gang-plagued neighborhood.
The San Jose Mercury News reported Tuesday that 21-year-old Richard James Guerrero was arrested on suspicion of murder and 20-year-old David Ramiro Martinez was arrested on suspicion of being an accessory to the murder.
Eric Mendoza was gunned down April 3 in East San Jose. Family members say the 25-year-old was driving a red car in a neighborhood where the Sureno street gang is active. The gang claims the color blue and clashes with its red-bearing Norteno rivals.
Relatives say Mendoza had no gang ties.
Police are searching for two more suspects. Investigators say they are treating the killing as gang-related.
Man accused in bomb and bank robberies plot 
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state man who said he wanted “carnage” plotted to blow up a Wal-Mart and two gas stations to divert police while he engaged in a bank-robbery spree, authorities said Tuesday.
Larry Gillette, 53, of Shelton, was arrested Monday as he tried to ignite what he thought was a car bomb, said the U.S. attorney’s office in Seattle. In reality, it was a dud provided by investigators.
Gillette was ordered held without bail when he appeared Tuesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Tacoma on charges of soliciting a crime of violence and being a felon in possession of a firearm. It was not immediately known whether he was represented by a lawyer.
According to a federal complaint unsealed Tuesday, Gillette began plotting the spree while serving time for identity theft at the Washington state prison in Shelton, west of Tacoma on the Olympic Peninsula. He told others at the prison, one of whom offered to put Gillette in touch with his “cousin” — really an undercover officer, the complaint said.
In meetings after he was released on April 14, Gillette told the undercover agent that he was serious about the plan, the complaint said, and he showed the agent where he wanted explosives planted and the three banks he wanted to rob.
“Gillette believed that the chaos caused by the explosions would allow Gillette to commit a series of bank robberies in the old town area of Shelton,” FBI special agent Dean W. Giboney wrote in the complaint. “In addition, aside from wanting the explosions to create a diversion, Gillette expressed that he wanted to kill as many individuals as possible with these devices. Gillette stated he wanted the targeted Walmart leveled, and intentionally wanted the explosives placed in areas which would prompt secondary explosions causing more damage.”
He also said he wanted “carnage,” Giboney wrote.
Gillette asked the undercover agent to provide the explosives, including two that would be hidden in vans, as well as handguns to use during the robberies, the complaint said, with the agent being reimbursed from proceeds of the robberies. The agent was to do all the talking during the robberies, while Gillette would serve as the trigger man, shooting several victims before any demands were even made, it said.
The agent provided four inoperable 9 mm handguns, which Gillette inspected and accepted, Giboney wrote.
Va­nderbilt player attorneys w­ant case dropped 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Defense attorneys for a former Vanderbilt player charged with raping a woman in a campus dorm last June are accusing prosecutors of destroying or not preserving evidence.
The allegations were contained in a motion filed Tuesday asking for the case against Brandon Vandenburg to be dismissed. It’s the latest filing in the criminal case involving allegations of a gang rape on the Vanderbilt campus. The case has been fractious between prosecutors and defense lawyers, with both sides trading allegations of misconduct.
The attorneys who represent Vandenburg on Tuesday accused prosecutors of “subterfuge” and said they intentionally concealed evidence from Vandenburg's defense. A spokeswoman for the Davidson County District Attorney’s office said in an email to The Associated Press that prosecutors had not seen the filings.
Vandenburg’s defense team said in the paperwork filed in Nashville that some of the evidence that was missing was text messages from then-Vanderbilt coach James Franklin and phone records and call logs from Franklin.
The attorneys say the alleged victim told detectives that Franklin and a former Vanderbilt strength training coach contacted her during her medical exam days after the alleged assault, telling her “they cared about her because she assisted them with recruiting.” The paperwork doesn’t elaborate. The legal filing also says “Coach Franklin called her in for a private meeting and told her he wanted her to get 15 pretty girls together and form a team to assist with the recruiting even though he knew it was against the rules.”
Franklin took over at Penn State in January.
“The allegations that I did something wrong are simply not true,” he said in an emailed statement put out by his new school. “I have cooperated fully with the authorities in this matter but, out of respect for the legal process, I am not able to comment any further.”
Vandenburg is one of four former Vanderbilt players accused of being involved in the gang rape. He is charged with five counts of aggravated rape, two counts of sexual battery, unlawful photography and tampering with evidence. Vandenburg and the other accused players have all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The paperwork filed by the Vandenburg’s defense lawyers says they were given surveillance video from 14 different cameras of the Vanderbilt dorm parking lot, dorm hallways and surrounding areas. But they say after reviewing the footage from the 14 cameras “it became apparent that material video footage has been intentionally removed.” The lawyers allege that about 55 percent of the video footage has been removed. They also say a number of other items are missing, including social media, text messages from other witnesses and texts from the phone of the alleged victim.
Prosecutors also have made serious allegations against the defense. They accused one of Vandenburg’s attorneys of causing evidence to be destroyed and one prosecutor called the defense attorney an unindicted co-conspirator.


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