|DA Partners with Crime Stoppers for 5K Run|
About 3,000 people gathered at Balboa Park to participate in Crime Stoppers' Annual Light the Night Against Crime 5k Run/Walk.
The race was dedicated to locating Julio Cesar Mendez, a suspect wanted in connection with the July 29th murder of Sonny Carrillo, a 20-year-old college student.
This year the District Attorney's Office partnered with Crime Stoppers and provided the organization with asset forfeiture funding. The money comes from criminal seizures and is distributed to various organizations by law enforcement for crime prevention and other programs.
"Our office is proud to be a strong partner with Crime Stoppers for this outstanding community event and their reward programs throughout the year," District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said. "Thanks to their work, thousands of criminal cases have been solved over the years."
|Jury Convicts Pathologist of Murdering Wife in Mira Mesa |
A guilty verdict was handed down against a 44-year-old Mira Mesa man for murdering his wife, Karina Ditto.
David Patrick Ditto called 911 in March to report that his wife had fallen down a flight of stairs at their Mira Mesa home. When paramedics arrived, they found Karina Ditto's lifeless body on the floor.
"This defendant assaulted his wife and repeatedly kicked and slammed her head against the floor until he eventually strangled her to death," DA Dumanis said. "This conviction holds David Ditto accountable and brings a measure of justice to the victim's family.
Deputy District Attorney Claudine Ruiz prosecuted the case. Ditto faces 25-years-to life in prison and will be sentenced on January 3rd.
DA's Office Launches Anti-Fraud Campaign
The District Attorney's Office is ramping up its public outreach warning against insurance fraud, this time working with ethnic community newspapers in an effort to curtail the problem. Insurance fraud costs California consumers $15 billion every year.
A designated team in the District Attorney's Economic Crimes Unit specializes in reducing fraud. Their efforts have been multiplied thanks to state grants, which led to the public awareness campaign.
"When the economy is poor and unemployment is high, fraud goes up," DA Dumanis said. "Not just auto insurance or workers' compensation fraud, but all fraud."
Deputy District Attorney Dominic Dugo and Community Relations Representative Jesse Navarro are working with newspapers in San Diego's Filipino, Hispanic, and Chinese communities, running ads that promote an anti-fraud message.
Since 2009, the DA's Office has promoted various public awareness campaigns aimed at curbing fraud starting with billboards, brochures, ads on movie screens and now ads in ethnic community newspapers.
"These anti-fraud campaigns will encourage people to think twice about committing insurance fraud and will lead to new case referrals," Dugo said.
DA Announces Innovative
Anti-Gang Girls Curriculum
|Alyse Alexander speaks about the Girls Only Toolkit at the Boys and Girls Club in Encanto |
An innovative curriculum aimed at keeping young girls away from the clutches of gang influences has been made available to community groups countywide, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis recently announced.
The Girls Only Toolkit, made possible through a partnership with the DA's Office and The City of San Diego Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention, promotes self-esteem, develops healthy coping skills and inspires positive motivation.
"This curriculum has the potential to help girls in San Diego make good choices and avoid abusive relationships that often begin with involvement with gang members," DA Dumanis said.
The curriculum first went into use in Southeast San Diego in 2009 and was a highlighted program at the Encanto Boys and Girls Club for two years. Girls from the club spoke about the importance of the curriculum in their lives during a news conference.
Now, the curriculum is available for free online and via DVDs for use by anyone. Click here for more information.
DA's Office Talks Crime on Local Vietnamese TV Channel
| As part of the District Attorney's continuing public outreach, Community Relations Representative Jesse Navarro was featured recently on a local San Diego Vietnamese television newscast. Navarro spoke about the DA's Office and issues related to the criminal justice system that affect the Vietnamese community in particular.|
Andrew David Collins, 27, who is on parole for robbery, was sentenced to 19 years and eight months in prison for robbery, burglary, vandalism and resisting arrest. He robbed two convenience stores last year.
Mark Exter Jernigan, 44, was sentenced to 26 years-to-life in prison for killing his ex-girlfriend's mother in La Mesa in 1986.
Sammy William Thomas, 28, was sentenced to 27 years in prison for robbery and being in possession of a firearm while a felon. Thomas admitted to stealing nearly $30,000 in nine bank heists over a three-month period.
Roman Rivera Martinez, 28, was sentenced to 14 years in state prison for driving an overloaded car while drunk and causing a wreck that killed an 18-year-old passenger.
Ian Suazo, 24, was sentenced to 15 years-to-life behind bars for fatally stabbing his roommate in their Pacific Beach apartment after he claimed to hear voices in his head.