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Articles by Neal Putnam

Criminal  proceedings  were  suspended  April  18  against  an  Alpine  woman  after  her  attorney  told  a  judge  she  doubted  she  was  mentally  competent  for  trial.    The  defendant  is  suspected  of  inflicting  corporal  injuries  to  her  husband.  A  mental  competency  hearing  is  set  for  June  11  in  San  Diego  Superior  Court&n

By Neal Putnam    
For The Alpine Sun

EL CAJON---Sunny May Hall made a surprise guilty plea Tuesday when she admitted she committed gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the 2012 deaths of Alpine resident Angela August and Jimmy Arevalo, a teacher.
Hall, 31, of Lakeside, is expected to receive a 9-year prison term, said Deputy District Attorney Doug Rose, who said probation was ruled out.
“She’s going to state prison,” said Rose.

By Neal Putnam  
The Alpine Sun
SAN DIEGO—Martel Valencia-Cortez, 36, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on 25 counts bringing in undocumented immigrants, conspiracy, plus assault and interference with U.S. Border Patrol agents in Boulevard.
Valencia-Cortez has pleaded not guilty to all counts. U.S. District Court Magistrate David Bartick ordered him held without bail in the Metropolitan Correctional Center. He was arrested April 14.

EL CAJON—The preliminary hearing for a Potrero man accused of killing his girlfriend after he lit a homemade cannon was delayed Monday to October 17 because the same sheriff’s homicide detective was testifying in another murder case Monday.

Detective Suzanne Fiske investigated the case of Richard Dale Fox, 39, who is charged with murder and exploding a destructive device causing death to his girlfriend, Jeannette Ogara, 38.

El CAJON— A Crest man pleaded guilty Aug. 16 to animal cruelty that involved the beating of his puppy that was so severe the dog had to be euthanized.

Phillip Shawn Rich, 26, will be sentenced Sept. 21 by El Cajon Superior Court Judge William McGrath. Rich could receive three years in prison, probation, or be housed in a special program for veterans, said Deputy District Attorney Ryan Karkenny.