Roundup: Guilty plea in murder case, driver sentenced in fatal DUI crash, more news




  • In US
  • 2022-08-10 02:13:29Z
  • By VC Star | Ventura County Star
A California Highway Patrol sergeant inspects a fatal accident site off southbound Highway 101 in Ventura on June 20, 2021.
A California Highway Patrol sergeant inspects a fatal accident site off southbound Highway 101 in Ventura on June 20, 2021.  

Here's a roundup of recent incidents from Ventura County agencies:

DUI driver sentenced in 101 crash that killed teen

VENTURA COUNTY - An Oxnard man has been sentenced to more than five years in prison for a 2021 DUI crash that left a teenage girl dead and a second teen with major injuries.

Nelson Manuel Rivas, 23, was sentenced Tuesday to five years and eight months by Ventura County Superior Court Judge Bruce Young, court records show. Rivas had pleaded guilty in June to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and an alcohol-related DUI causing injury. He also admitted to special enhancements.

The accident took place on June 20 last year on southbound Highway 101 in Ventura. Rivas was behind the wheel of a Nissan Sentra when the car went off the right shoulder and down an embankment south of Victoria Avenue, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Nelson Manuel Rivas
Nelson Manuel Rivas  

Ventura resident Chloe Arbuckle, 16, and a second girl, then 17, were thrown from the car, which overturned several times. Arbuckle died at the scene. The 17-year-old was hospitalized with major injuries.

Rivas will also pay restitution and must undergo alcohol counseling.

Guilty plea in 2017 fatal shootings

VENTURA COUNTY - One of three defendants charged in a 2017 case that left two Oxnard men dead has pleaded guilty to murder.

Joel Randy Montijo, 26, of Oxnard pleaded guilty last month to one count of second-degree murder and four counts of second-degree robbery, according to Ventura County Superior Court records. Montijo also admitted multiple special enhancements involving use of a gun, great violence and sophisticated planning.

On the night of May 16, 2017,  the two victims - Aaron Austin, 29, and Eduardo Leon, 23 - were shot in separate incidents that Oxnard police said took place about 20 minutes apart. Austin was killed in an alley in the 300 block of North G Street. Leon's body was found the next morning in the 5400 block of Perkins Road. Police linked the shootings in part using security video that showed a vehicle used in both crimes.

Police said the victims were both fathers who were gunned down as they returned home.

A second defendant, Joseph Angel Martinez, 24, pleaded guilty in 2020 to two counts of voluntary manslaughter and multiple counts of second-degree robbery, court records show.

The third defendant, David Napoleon Diaz Flores, 24, has pleaded not guilty to two murder counts and other charges. A jury trial is slated for late September.

Montijo, who remained in custody at Todd Road Jail on Tuesday, is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 18 in courtroom 14.

Man will stand trial in 67-year-old woman's death

James Beam
James Beam  

VENTURA COUNTY - Two years after he was declared unfit to stand trial, the suspect in a fatal 2020 stabbing outside an Oxnard laundromat was ordered to stand trial last week by Ventura County Superior Court Judge Barry Taylor, court records show.

James Lee Beam, 25, had previously been declared incompetent to stand trial at a mental competency hearing in July 2020. He has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge.

Beam is accused of fatally stabbing Sibyl Woodbury, 67, on April 9, 2020 at a shopping center in the 200 block of West Pleasant Valley Road. Authorities have described both Beam and Woodbury as homeless.

Beam remained in Ventura County's main jail Tuesday with bail set at more than $1 million. His next hearing is scheduled for the morning of Aug. 15 in courtroom 12.

Items may be updated if more information becomes available.

This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: DUI driver sentenced in fatal Hwy 101 crash, murder case plea, more

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