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Crime
Police: Suspect kicked cousin in head multiple times
 Mike Eiman  / 
 01.17.17

HANFORD — Police arrested a man Tuesday for allegedly beating his cousin during an argument late last week, the Hanford Police Department said.

Officers responded to Adventist Medical Center in Hanford regarding a Jan. 13 assault. Police said the victim reported that his cousin, Xavier Tapia, 21, beat him during a heated argument at their home in the 2100 block of North 10th Avenue. The victim reported that Tapia kicked him in the head several times while he was on the ground, causing multiple cuts, a black eye and bruising to the right side of his head.

Police said the victim went to the hospital due to vomiting and not being able to eat since the incident. Tapia was arrested and booked into the Kings County Jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. His bail was set at $25,000.

During their investigation, police learned the victim, Simon Pulido, 36, was wanted on a no-bail warrant. He was booked into the jail for three misdemeanor warrants.


Crime
Police: Man drove 2 miles despite siren, flashing lights
 Mike Eiman  / 
 01.17.17

HANFORD — An alleged drunken driver was arrested Tuesday after he led an officer on a 2-mile pursuit, the Hanford Police Department said.

Around 2:27 a.m., an officer tried to stop a vehicle for speeding in the area of Grangeville Boulevard and 10th Avenue. The driver reportedly continued westbound on Grangeville Boulevard despite the overhead lights and siren from the officer’s patrol vehicle.

Police said the driver pulled into the Walgreens parking lot at 11th Avenue and Grangeville Boulevard, circled around the building and returned to Grangeville Boulevard. The vehicle finally stopped in the 1400 block of Cornell Court.

The driver, identified as Adrian Hernandez, 27, of Hanford, was taken into custody without further incident. Hernandez was booked into the Kings County Jail on suspicion of DUI, driving on a suspended license and evading a peace officer. His bail was set at $15,000.

Police said Hernandez’s vehicle was towed.


Crime
HPD investigates birthday party shooting
 Mike Eiman  / 
 01.18.17

HANFORD — The Hanford Police Department is investigating a shooting that left a 20-year-old man injured last week.

Around 1:40 a.m. on Jan. 8, police responded to a report of shots fired in the 1200 block of Muir Way. While in route, officers learned a gunshot victim had been admitted at Adventist Medical Center in Hanford.

Police said the victim was shot twice in the upper torso and arm as he was leaving a birthday party. The victim was treated and released from the hospital.

The police department declined to release additional details about the shooting due to the active investigation. Anyone with information about this case is urged to call the Hanford Police Department at 585-2540.


Seth Nidever / Google Earth 

Some Hanford residents have submitted a petition to hold a referendum on the Hanford City Council's April 24 decision to re-zone the vacant land next to Hidden Valley Park as "low-density residential." However, city officials are challenging the legal validity of the petition, which was submitted on Thursday.


Crime
Few petition local court for Prop 64 relief
Law allows offenders to reduce, seal some marijuana crimes
 Mike Eiman  / 
 01.19.17

More than two months after California voters approved Proposition 64, few Kings County offenders have taken steps to reduce or seal their marijuana-related criminal convictions.

Effective Nov. 9, 2016, Proposition 64 made it legal for adults 21 and older to possess up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and up to 8 grams of concentrated cannabis for recreational purposes. Adults may also grow and process up to six marijuana plants.

The law also allows those who would not have been guilty of a crime, or would have been guilty of a lesser crime under Prop 64, to petition the court for resentencing, reduced charges or sealing of their criminal records.

Jeff Lewis, court executive officer for the Kings County Superior Court, said his office has only received two petitions since Prop 64 was adopted. Both of those, which were for adult convictions, were submitted in the past two weeks.

“It’s started, and we assume there will be more,” Lewis said.

According to state law, eligible convictions may include possession; planting, harvesting or processing; possession for sale; and unlawful transportation, importation, sale, or gift of marijuana.

Proposition 64 allows an offender to do the following:

  • A person currently serving a sentence for an eligible offense may petition the court for resentencing or dismissal of eligible convictions. If the petition meets all criteria for resentencing or dismissal, the court must grant the request unless doing so would pose an “unreasonable risk of danger to public safety.”
  • Those who have already completed a sentence for an eligible offense may file an application to have the convictions dismissed and sealed, or redesigned as misdemeanors or infractions.

The Kings County court had not received any petitions for juvenile resentencing or reclassification as of Wednesday.

Once the court receives a Prop 64 petition, Lewis said, the petitioner must serve a copy to the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in person or by mail.

“The DA can respond, providing that they have an objection to reducing the sentence,” Lewis said.

Deputy Kings County District Attorney Phil Esbenshade said his office had not received any petitions as of Wednesday. It remains to be seen whether either of the two filed with the court will qualify for resentencing or dismissal.

“We would have to really look at the specifics of each case to see if it qualifies,” Esbenshade said.

Lewis said he was expecting a flood of petitions similar to what the court saw after the 2014 passage of Proposition 47, which reduced certain felony theft and narcotics crimes to misdemeanors.

Over the following year, the Kings County Superior Court received more than 1,000 petitions from offenders seeking resentencing and more than 600 applications to have felony convictions reclassified as misdemeanors. The bulk of those were filed within a few months of the law’s adoption.

Lewis said the court has received several phone calls from people asking about Prop 64 petitions. He said more people will likely file the forms after the new laws have been in place for a while longer.

“It may just be that people are waiting to see how this progresses,” Lewis said.