Man arrested in battery
SANTA BARBARA — A man was arrested and is accused of battery in connection with a fight that occurred Monday morning near Santa Barbara City Hall, police said.
Around 9 a.m. Monday, police received a report of a man challenging people to fight in the 800 block of State Street. The suspect, Jacob Scott Williams, 36, described as a transient, got into an altercation with a woman and was arrested, said Anthony Wagner, spokesman for the Santa Barbara Police Department.
Mr. Williams was arrested on suspicion of battery, assault, drug charges and resisting or delaying a peace officer, Mr. Wagner said.
Police had to physically restrain him and carry him into a patrol vehicle.
The victim, a woman whose name was withheld, suffered moderate injuries, he said.
— Mitchell White
Third suspect arrested in murder case
NIPOMO — Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a third suspect for the 2018 murder of Santa Maria resident Joseph Martin Govey.
At 4:48 p.m. Monday, detectives arrested Benjamin Mersai, 33, of Grover Beach on suspicion for three felonies: murder, conspiracy and accessory to murder. Mr. Mersai was scheduled to be booked at the Main Jail in Santa Barbara, and he is being held without bail.
Detectives arrested Mr. Mersai at Blacklake Golf Resort, the same Nipomo site where Mr. Govey’s remains were found on Sept. 21. A sheriff’s dive team found the remains in the lake at the golf course, which is in the 1400 block of Golf Course Lane.
Suspects previously arrested for this case include Santa Maria residents Kimberly Machleit, 35, and Donald Anderson, 37. Both suspects remain in custody, and the court has ordered that Ms. Machleit be held without bail.
Ms. Machleit is accused of using a firearm to murder Mr. Govey on or around Dec. 2 and 3, 2018. Mr. Anderson has been charged with being an accessory to the murder, according to the criminal complaint filed Thursday in Santa Barbara County Superior Court.
Mr. Govey was 53 at the time of his death in December 2018. His family had not heard from him since late 2018 and reported him as a missing person with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 23, 2019, said Raquel Zick, sheriff’s spokeswoman.
— Dave Mason
Closures set for resurfacing project
LOMPOC — A four-day project to resurface portions of State Route 246 will begin next week.
The project will be conducted Oct. 6 through 9 and will include resurfacing the 246 from the State Route 1 interchange near North 12th Street to Mission Gate Road. A full closure will be implemented from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, according to Caltrans.
Motorists headed west may detour onto Purisima Road to reach Lompoc, while eastbound travelers towards Buellton can detour on H Street to Purisima Road. Electronic message boards will be activated to keep motorists informed.
Motorists are reminded to move over and slow down when driving through construction zones.
— Mitchell White