General Crime

* Michael Littman Pleads Not Guilty Of Killing Walnut Creek Neighbor

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An Alamo man pleaded not guilty today to murder charges for the death of his neighbor during a fight with her husband in August, according to a Contra Costa County prosecutor. Michael Littman, 59, entered the not-guilty plea in Walnut Creek this morning for allegedly striking and fatally injuring his neighbor, Doris Penico, also 59, according to authorities. Around 11 a.m. on Aug. 27, Littman got into a physical fight with Penico’s 55-year-old husband in the 3000 block of Stonegate Drive, according to the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office. During the fight, Littman allegedly knocked Penico down, causing her to hit her head on the ground. She was taken to a hospital where she was later pronounced dead from her injuries. The Contra Costa County coroner’s office have not yet released the results of an autopsy on Penico’s body. Littman was arrested three days after the deadly altercation and charged with murder and assault by force likely to cause great bodily injury.

The defendant and his alleged victim were engaged in an ongoing feud over property, according to the sheriff’s office. Deputy District Attorney Molly Manoukian, who is prosecuting the case, declined to comment on details of the murder investigation. However, she said a judge today rejected Littman’s request to return some of his property seized during a search warrant operation. Littman’s attorney, Michael Cardoza, did not immediately return calls for comment on the case today. The defendant is set to return to court in Walnut Creek on Nov. 29 at 8:30 a.m.

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