Wife convicted of killing Olympian husband
Despite weeks of defense testimony that she acted in self-defense, Jane Laut, 58, has been found guilty of first-degree murder and faces the possibility of life in prison.
Jane, wife of former Olympian Dave Laut, stood accused of shooting her husband to death in 2009. The case was a sordid one with expert testimony on gunshot residue and police investigation tactics with detailed, vivid accounts of years of mental and physical abuse Jane said she suffered at the hands of Dave.
Defense Attorney Ron Bamieh argued that Jane acted in self-defense on the night in question, when Dave went into a rage. Fearing for her life, Jane says that she wrestled with her husband until the gun discharged, killing Dave. Experts testified on behalf of the defense that Jane suffered from battered woman syndrome.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Rameen Minoui, however, painted a picture that suggested Jane had constructed a web of lies surrounding the event, pointing to her initial claim that an intruder had shot her husband, concluding that she had acted with “malice aforethought.”
Dave was found with six gunshot wounds, including one to the back of the head; the murder weapon was later found hidden in a grandfather clock by investigators.
Jane earlier turned down a plea bargain for a lesser charge of manslaughter that would have resulted in six years in prison.
Arrests for sex crimes made in Oxnard, Moorpark
Several arrests have been made in Ventura County relating to sexual abuse of a minor.
On March 31, 25-year-old Aaron Reid was arrested after the parents of a child under the age of 14 reported that he had sexual assaulted her at their home. Reid, an acquaintance of the family, was arrested in Oxnard after an interview with the child, with bail set at $750,000.
The Ventura Police Department is asking that anyone who believes they may have been victimized by Reid is urged to contact Detective Ed McCain at 339-4478.
In Moorpark, a San Francisco man was arrested after a botched kidnapping and sexual assault attempt on a 16-year-old girl.
Moorpark police say that the 16-year-old girl was meeting her friend at around 5 p.m. at a park on Peach Hill Road when a man, later identified as 22 year-old Reggie Glass, approached her and forced her into her car, where he told her he was going to sexually assault her, according to the victim.
A passerby noticed the commotion and notified Moorpark police volunteers who were in the area. Glass fled the area after noticing the witness, but was later arrested on suspicion of kidnapping with intent to rape, attempted rape, false imprisonment and resisting arrest, authorities said.
Authorities are urging parents to monitor their child’s internet activity as social media posts could lead to Internet predators gathering information on the child, including where they go to school and where they live.
Stolen electronics found after botched burglary
Early on the morning of March 31, Moorpark police responded to an alarm at Mesa Verde Middle School in Moorpark. At the scene, 19-year-old Oxnard resident Karinna Cortez was found running from the scene. Over 100 iPads and other devices were found near to being removed from the school.
After a short investigation, the Moorpark Police Department and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Special Crimes Unit identified Cortez’s accomplice: 44-year-old Cory Fletcher, also of Oxnard.
Similar burglaries in Camarillo and Thousand Oaks led investigators to serve search warrants at the suspects’ homes, where 150 iPads, several computers, checks and various electronics were found. Fletcher was arrested and charged with commercial burglary at his home. Fletcher is owner of Dynamic Technologies, a computer repair company based in Westlake Village.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who has had dealings with Fletcher or Dynamic Technologies, whom may be a victim of a theft-related crime, to contact Detective Ken Truitt at the Moorpark Police Department at 532-2714.