Felony complaint filed in traffic fatality
SANTA BARBARA — Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley has announced that a felony complaint has been filed against Raul Gonzales, 48, of Santa Barbara.
Mr. Gonzales pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the charges, all of which are related to the Nov. 7 collision near East Cota and North Salsipuedes streets, which resulted in the death of Kenneth Sterling. Mr. Gonzales was the driver of a Jeep Patriot, and his vehicle and Mr. Sterling’s moped collided, which ultimately resulted in Mr. Sterling’s death.
Mr. Gonzalez is charged with one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and one count of driving under the influence of alcohol and causing bodily injury to another person. Both are felonies.
Additionally, it is further alleged that Mr. Gonzalez personally inflicted great bodily injury to a victim over the age of 70 in the Santa Barbara incident.
Mr. Gonzalez was arraigned Tuesday and entered not-guilty pleas to the charges. Mr. Gonzalez’s case was continued for preliminary hearing on Dec. 16 in the Santa Barbara County Superior Court in Santa Barbara.
Bail has been set at $100,000.
— Katherine Zehnder
Suspect identified in shooting death
LOMPOC — Lompoc police have identified the suspect in Monday’s shooting death of Jordan Savard, 34. The incident occurred on the 200 block of South Third Street.
On Tuesday, the suspect, Daniel Birdsell, 21, was arrested in San Diego County with the assistance of the Oceanside Police Department on suspicion of murder, Sgt. Sergio Arias said in a news release.
On Wednesday, Mr. Birdsell was transported back to Santa Barbara County and booked into the Lompoc Police Department Jail on suspicion of murder.
The investigation is still ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Lompoc Police Department Detective Bureau at 805-875-8120.
— Dave Mason
Deputies investigate reports of shots
VANDENBERG VILLAGE — At approximately 12:22 a.m. Wednesday, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the 4000 block of Polaris Avenue, in response to reports of shots heard in Vandenberg Village.
When deputies arrived on scene, they learned that the victim had heard rummaging in his car that was parked outside his house. The victim confronted multiple suspects outside and even engaged in a physical altercation with one of them, according to Raquel Zick, the Sheriff’s Office public information officer.
During the fight, the victim heard what sounded like multiple gunshots in close proximity. The victim retreated from the fight and called for help.
Sheriff’s deputies, a K9 unit and air support checked the area but were unable to locate suspects or their vehicle.
This investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office Lompoc Substation at 805-737-7737.
— Katherine Zehnder