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Illegal Gets 17 Years for Murder:  Francisco Javier Ayala-Lares 21, was sentenced Tuesday after pleading no contest to voluntary manslaughter, two counts of child abuse, and three other felonies.  Ayala-Lares beat to death Elizabeth Reyes, 21, the mother of his two children, with a baseball bat last March because she wanted to end their relationship.  Reyes was found dead at her Oakley home.  The couples' two children, a two-year-old girl and a ten-month old boy, were home during the attack.  Once Ayala-Lares completes his 17 year sentence he is expected to be deported because he is not in this country legally.  The AP has this story.

Men Get 9 Years for Pennsylvania Hate-Crime Killing:  Two Pennsylvania men were convicted of a federal hate crime and sentenced to nine years in prison for the fatal beating of a Mexican immigrant.  Derrick Donchak and Brandon Piekarsky were among a group of white high school football players who attacked 25-year-old Luis Ramirez in 2008.  Prosecutors alleged that this was a hate crime alleging that Donchak and Piekarsky didn't like Hispanics and wanted them out of their town.  Under federal sentencing guidelines, the two could have been sentenced to 12-15 years, but the Judge in this case departed downward from the guidelines "because of their personal character and conduct before Ramirez's beating," AP writer Michael Rubinkam reports.

Napa Police Officer Justified in Shooting of Nurse:
  Prosecutors say a Napa police officer acted justifiably and in self-defense when he fatally shot a man who aggressively lunged at him with a pocket knife.  Richard Poccia 60, was shot and killed outside his home last November.  The psychiatric nurse had lost his job and was on disability for several months after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.  On the day of the shooting, Poccia had a 0.32 blood alcohol level, along with a methadone and diphenhydramine, a common sedative, in his system.  Poccia told a friend that day that if confronted by the police, "they would die or he would die or both," prosecutors said.  Poccia's family filed a wrongful death claim last month claiming that the officers' behavior "escalated their confrontation with a cooperative citizen into an extremely dangerous and hyper-volatile situation."  Jaxon Van Derbeken of the San Francisco Chronicle has this story.

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