*Jan 29, 2009 SONOMA CO. 160-YEAR TERM FOR MAN WHO MOLESTED STEPDAUGHTERS

Published by on January 12, 2009

Jan 29, 2009 SONOMA CO.: 160-YEAR TERM FOR MAN WHO MOLESTED STEPDAUGHTERS

A Sebastopol man was sentenced to 160 years to life in prison Tuesday for molesting his two pre-teen stepdaughters in 2007. Michael David Cornett, 46, was convicted of seven felony sexual assault counts and several enhancements, including being an habitual sex offender.Sonoma County District Attorney Stephan Passalacqua said the victims were six and 10 years old when the offenses occurred.Cornett was unaware the girls’ 13-year-old brother photographed him molesting one of the girls. The brother reported the crime and testified at Cornett’s two-week trial before Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Rene Chouteau, Passalacqua said. Chouteau sentenced Cornett to three consecutive life terms, Passalacqua said.Cornett was convicted in 1996 in Marin County for molesting his then 9-year-old stepdaughter from a previous marriage, Passalacqua said. That victim, now 23, testified at the Sonoma County trial about the abuse Cornett inflicted on her years ago, Passalacqua said.

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Jan 29, 2009 CONTRA COSTA CO.: MAN CRITICALLY INJURED IN SHOOTING IN RODEO

A 33-year-old man was critically injured after suffering two gunshot wounds in Rodeo Wednesday, a Contra Costa County sheriff’s sergeant said.Officers responded to the area California Street and Trigger Road at about 4:55 p.m. and found multiple casings, Sgt. Keith Chelini said.Chelini said friends of the victim were transporting him to a local hospital, but flagged down emergency personnel on the way. The victim was then flown to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where he was listed in critical condition.No arrests were made and no suspect information was immediately available.

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Jan 29, 2009 GILROY: MAN REPORTS BEING ASSAULTED BY A GANG IN FRONT OF HIS HOME

Officers are investigating what appears to be a gang-related assault on a man in front of his home Wednesday evening, according to the Gilroy Police Department. Police responded to a disturbance on the 500 block of East Seventh Street at about 7:45 p.m. where a man in his 20s reported being assaulted by up to a dozen men demanding to know his gang affiliations, according to investigators.The victim reported that one of the men threatened him with a gun, and after he denied any association with gangs was able to run inside his house and lock the doors, according to police.The armed man reportedly smashed a window and pointed his gun inside while other men shouted gang slogans before fleeing the area.Police made no arrests and did not report what was shouted during the assault.Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Gilroy Police Department at (408) 846-0350, or anonymously at (408) 346-0330.

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Jan 29, 2009 CHP REPORTS 16 CITATIONS ISSUED IN BAY AREA SINCE TEXTING AND DRIVING BAN TOOK EFFECT

The California Highway Patrol as of Wednesday has issued 16 citations in the Bay Area for text messaging while driving since a law banning that activity went into effect Jan. 1 Statewide, there have been 88 citations issued for text messaging while driving since the law took effect, according to CHP Sgt. Trent Cross.”It’s very dangerous,” Cross said. “It’s important for people to focus on their driving and not be distracted byanything.” He said he has not heard of any remarkable protests to the new law when officers cite drivers caught text messaging.The first citation one receives warrants a $20 fine, but first-time citations are also accompanied by about $100 in court fees, Cross said.Each time a driver is caught text messaging after the first citation, a ticket of $50 is issued, in addition to about $200 in court fees, according to Cross.Another statewide law that prohibits talking on a cell phone without using a hands free device while driving went into effect July 1, 2008.

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Jan 29, 2009 SAN MATEO CO.: SHERIFF’S OFFICE TURNS SPOTLIGHT ON UNSOLVED 1979 MURDER CASE

The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office will hold a news conference Monday afternoon on the 30th anniversary of a cold-case rape and murder of a Modesto mother in an effort to revive the case.Authorities are reopening the 1979 case because, although six potential suspects were questioned the year 43-year-old Roann Schweitzer was murdered, no arrests have been made to date in connection with her death, sheriff’s Lt. Ray Lunny said.Schweitzer was last seen leaving a San Francisco restaurant in early February.Her body was found the next day in a remote area of San Bruno Mountain. An autopsy revealed she had been sexually assaulted and shot, Lunny said.Schweitzer had taken her two daughters to dinner at the Canterbury Hotel at 750 Sutter St. in San Francisco the night of Feb. 2, 1979, when one of her daughters became ill, Lunny said.Schweitzer left the restaurant to get her car from a nearby parking lot. She never returned.Schweitzer was reported missing to the San Francisco Police Department, and her vehicle, which had disappeared from the parking lot, was entered into the Police Department’s stolen vehicle log, Lunny said.The next day, a passerby discovered Schweitzer’s body in an unincorporated area of San Mateo County on San Bruno Mountain, about 10 miles south of where she was last seen.Schweitzer’s car, a black and gold Ford Thunderbird, was found a short distance from where she had eaten dinner with her daughters the previous night, Lunny said. It was determined Schweitzer had been sexually assaulted and shot, but there was no indication of where the shooting took place, according to Lunny.Schweitzer was also missing some personal items when her body was found, including her ID, credit cards, cash and jewelry, Lunny said.In May 2001, those items were examined for DNA evidence and a DNA profile was created. No matches have been found, however, despite the profile’s entry into a federal DNA database. At Monday’s news conference, the sheriff’s office, in cooperation with the Carole Sund/Carrington Memorial Reward Foundation, plans to announce a reward for information on the crime, Lunny said.

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