Transient Couple Plead Guilty to Murdering Local Good Samaritan
A pair of transients accused of murdering a local woman who was helping them pleaded guilty to first degree murder charges ahead of their pending trial. Caitlin “Rose” Crenshaw and Cody “Alex” Brandon Huynh accepted a plea bargain this week for charges of murder, conspiracy, robbery, and special enhancement for use of a deadly weapon after the pair brutally murdered Kimberly “Sky” Smith, a Good Samaritan who helped them and invited them into her home. According to preliminary testimony offered in the case, Crenshaw and Huynh met Smith in March of last year while she was taking donations to a local church. Smith invited the transient couple to her home, and she took them shopping on the day of the murder. Crenshaw and Huynh stabbed Smith in her home at least 31 times in her head, neck, and torso. They then stole the victim’s SUV and drove to San Bernardino County. They each face at least 30 years in prison for the killing. Sentencing is scheduled for August 31st.
Armed Robbery on Third Street
Thursday morning around 12:30AM, SCPD responded to the 300 block of Third Street for a report of an armed robbery at gunpoint involving someone in an SUV robbing someone sitting in their car. The victim described a male and female rolling up on him and robbing him while sitting in his car. Nobody was arrested but they had a good description of the getaway vehicle and possibly had video of the robbery. Sounds like a drug deal gone bad since the victim was robbed of weed.
Shots Fired During Watsonville Carjacking
Wednesday afternoon around 2PM, Watsonville Police responded to the Sunny Meadows apartments near Freedom Elementary School after getting reports of an armed carjacking. The victim told police that two suspects carjacked a Mercedes Benz 250 sedan from him, and fired at least two shots from a black semi-automatic handgun before fleeing. Police found bullet casings at the scene but police from multiple agencies were unable to spot the car. No injuries were reported and nobody was arrested.
Relax, it’s Holiday Inn
Saturday night around 11:30PM, SCPD responded to the Holiday Inn Express on the 1400 block of Ocean Street after getting reports that a transient female was causing a disturbance in the lobby and trying to break into rooms. They eventually arrested a 35 year old female and charged her with felony burglary, trespassing, drug possession, and being under the influence of drugs, as well as having a number of outstanding warrants for robbery, burglary, and battery. Last check she’s still in jail on a $25K bond.
Two Die in Watsonville Motorcycle Crash
Two people were killed in a head-on collision in Watsonville at around 4PM on Saturday, after their motorcycle crashed directly into a Ford F-550 truck on State Route 152, east of Carlton Road. According to reports from the California Highway Patrol, a 43 year old Hollister man, along with a 41 year old woman from Hollister, crossed into on-coming traffic while passing a vehicle. The driver died at the scene and the passenger died after being taken to a nearby hospital.
Teenager Arrested in Watsonville Stabbing Death
Last week I wrote about the murder of a 15 year old boy from Watsonville who was stabbed to death. Monday, Watsonville Police Detectives announced an arrest in the case. The suspected killer is also a juvenile. The victim was stabbed to death last Saturday night on Marin Street. A second person was also stabbed and is expected to survive their injuries.
Banging in the Beach Flats
Sunday night around 5:30PM, a Community Service Officer with SCPD stopped a vehicle on 3rd Street near Kaye in the Beach Flats section of Santa Cruz. Along with the driver and occupant, they also found a loaded Glock 19 handgun with a 31 round magazine hidden in the car. Both men were taken to jail, and a bail increase was sought for and granted for both men but they both bonded out.
Thursday around 4:30PM, SCPD responded to the grassy area near the lighthouse on West Cliff Drive after getting reports of a physical fight involving two women, one who was seen swinging some kind of metal object and the other spraying mace. The suspected transient who instigated the assault took off in a beat up green camper truck before police arrived. They found the suspected vehicle parked near the bathrooms across the street, and located the woman who had been maced in the face.
Don’t Want Him Near the Kid’s Playground
Last Friday, Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies arrested a 52 year old male and charged with being a transient sex offender who repeatedly failed to register as required with the state. Last check he’s still in jail on a no bail hold.
Did He Hear Himself Getting Arrested?
Monday night, a couple of SCPD’s finest were on a foot patrol through San Lorenzo Park when they spotted a guy walking through the park with a meth pipe and a police scanner. He was on parole, and a parole hold was placed on him so he actually went to jail.
Meanwhile Elsewhere in the Park
Also Monday night, the same officers conducted a probation search on a well known criminal recidivist and found about a half ounce of methamphetamine, a scale, and some heroin. She went to jail with a new narcotic sales case.
Do You Know the Way to San Jose?
Last Friday around 11PM, SCPD responded to the 100 block of Dakota Avenue where they arrested a 34 year old woman who had an outstanding felony warrant from Santa Clara for car theft and resisting arrest. Last check she was still in jail waiting for a ride to the Santa Clara jail.
Arsonist Arrested in Scotts Valley
Early Monday morning, a fire was reported after a tree was set on fire behind the Scotts Valley Community Center. Scotts Valley Police noticed the fire and the fire department was able to extinguish it before it spread to buildings or other trees. After an investigation into the arson, they got a tip that led to a suspect description. Tuesday night, officers contacted a person who matched the description of the suspect, and they said he confessed to starting the fire. Officers said they found videos on social media that he uploaded showing him starting the fire.
Zooming in on the Santa Cruz City Council
The Santa Cruz city council returned to action this week after taking the month of July off. It wasn’t a particularly exciting meeting, when are they ever actually exciting? They bore the hell out of me. The entertainment is the parade of characters and kooks that usually line up to speak, but we haven’t had that kind of entertainment since COVID moved the meetings online. But they do effect what’s happening locally, so despite the posturing and pontificating, I try to cover actual actions.
This week, they unanimously approved a deal between the City of Santa Cruz and the California Coastal Commission regarding parking spaces for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). The city wanted to eliminate a requirement of one off-street parking spot for each bedroom of ADU units located in the coastal zone, which of course the Coastal Commission didn’t like. The compromise reached is that ADUs only within 500 feet of the coast must have off-street parking. The council voted unanimously in favor of the proposal, with Golder absent. They plan to have a second reading of the proposal during the August 24th meeting, after which final approval will be up to the Coastal Commission, who are notoriously a pain in the ass to please. They also discussed the acquisition of military surplus gear for SCPD, and voted unanimously to require city council approval for any future acquisitions for the Santa Cruz Police Department. They also appointed Santa Cruz city water director Rosemary Menard as interim city manager. Current city manager Martin Bernal is retiring at the end of August. The council will vote on the appointment at its August 24th meeting. If approved, Menard will take over on September 1st and will hold the role until a permanent city manager is hired.
Get Your Swagger On!
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