Charges filed in Ojai sledgehammer murder

Charges have been filed in the case of a bizarre incident involving the murder of a Meiners Oaks man, killed by his roommate with a sledgehammer.

Cameron Lykins

Cameron Lykins, 23, was arrested and charged with murder and a special allegation that he used a sledgehammer in the death of Houston Auer on May 12. Lykins allegedly fled from the area and was arrested the same day in Lone Pine, California, while the search continues for Auer’s body.

Investigators say that despite not having Auer’s body, the crime scene where the murder is suspected to have occurred provided evidence of the crime consistent with a homicide.

Photos of Lykin’s Nissan Frontier truck have been released with deputies hoping that community members may have seen the vehicle and will report it to police.

Lykins is currently in the Ventura County Jail with bail set at $2 million and is expected to be arraigned on June 13.

Arrest made in Oxnard hit-and-run death

The sixth homicide of the year for Oxnard has found its alleged assailant in the intentional hit-and-run death of a 31-year-old Oxnard man.

Juan Gallegos

Juan Gallegos, 26, was arrested on June 4 at the Ventura County Jail where he was already in detention for a parole violation. Gallegos was charged with the murder of Michael Holley and it was alleged that he intentionally drove his vehicle into the victim.

The incident occurred on May 23 on the 2000 block of Marpiosa Street. Investigators allege that Gallegos fled from the scene after hitting Holley, who was transported to a local hospital where he later died.

Eye witness accounts of the incident provided details of a white pickup truck which eventually led to the arrest of Gallegos, who remains in jail on a $500,000 bond. The Oxnard Police Department is asking anyone with information, or anyone who may have taken pictures or video of the incident, to share it with them by calling 805-385-7600.

Santa Clara Wastewater explosion victims to get $2.8 million

On Nov. 18, 2014, an explosion, fire and mile-long plume of toxic gas badly injured three firefighters and 12 employees at the Santa Clara Waste Water site near Santa Paula, sending over 50 people, including a motorcyclist passing on Highway 126, to the hospital for treatment after breathing in a cloud of black toxicity that included chlorine dioxide, a poisonous gas.

Now, an agreement with prosecutors, the Santa Clara Wastewater Co. and its parent company, Green Compass Environmental, has resulted in up to a $2.8 million payout to those injured.

Following the explosion, a search warrant served on the property found that the facility had been storing 5,500 gallons of sodium hydroxide without having reported its presence to the California Environmental Reporting System as required by law.

The corporate defendants pled no contest to eight crimes, including four felonies, and have been ordered to pay $2,797,621 in restitution that comes in addition to $800,000 already paid by convicted co-defendants, bringing the total restitution to $3,597,621.

Marlene Faltemier, former assistant manager at the facility, is the final co-defendant and is expected in court on June 17.

Ventura student victim of indecent exposure

On Thursday, June 6, a teenage girl walking to school in Ventura reported that a man exposed himself to her from inside of his vehicle.

The incident occurred near to Cabrillo Middle School on the 1600 block of East Main Street at approximately 8 a.m. The girl reported to the school’s resource officer that a man had pulled over and called to her. When she approached, she says that the man exposed himself.

The man is described as being in his 30s and wearing dark clothes driving a white compact car.

The Ventura Police Department asks anyone with information to call 805-339-4416.

Santa Paula man shot in leg, woman shot in buttock

A Santa Paula man is recovering after being shot in the leg in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 9. 

Santa Paula Police say that they received a call of shots fired on the 200 block of N. Eighth Street at approximately 1:22 a.m., and a second call reported a man being struck by gunfire. Responding officers found a male victim who was treated at the scene and transported to the Ventura County Medical Center in stable condition.

Witnesses told police that two men dressed in dark clothing fled the scene around the time of the shooting.

At 11:25 p.m., on the same day, a woman, 29, was located on the 400 block of Guiberson Street suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper right buttock.

Names have not been released.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Dan McCarthy at 805-525-4474 x282.