Upcoming court dates for crimes and matters.
May 20: James Francis Lee
Gross vehicular manslaughter and DUI
Lee faces manslaughter and drunken driving charges after he crashed his vehicle into a parked car along Highway 101 while driving home from a heavy metal concert, killing 4-year-old Gilroy resident Jose Cortes-Diaz. May 20: trial begins at 1:30 p.m. in room 49 in the Hall of Justice in San Jose.
May 20: Stacy Lonnberg
Two counts of murder and one count of child endangerment
The 51-year-old Gilroy woman was charged with two counts of murder and child endangerment after she was allegedly driving under the influence when she crashed on Highway 85. Her daughter and husband died in the crash Jan. 14. May 20: Motion to continue at 8:30 a.m. in room 24 in the Hall of Justice in San Jose.
May 20: Rucker Avenue home invasion
Residential burglary, robbery, torture, theft
Suspects Norberto Serna, Juan Fonseca, Ernesto Gonzalez and Juvenal Reyes are accused of beating, torturing and stealing from Gilroyan Gary Wise at his Rucker Avenue home Feb. 6, 2011 in a home invasion. May 20: Preliminary examination at 9 a.m. in the Hall of Justice in San Jose. *Suspect Danny Rivera has been sentenced.
May 20: Tara Romero murder case
Fatal drive-by shooting
Esmeling Bahena, 18 of Morgan Hill; Ricardo Diaz, 19 of Morgan Hill; Fernando Mateo Lopez, 20 of Gilroy; Primitivo Hernandez, 23 of San Jose; and Ramon Gutierrez, 17 of Morgan Hill; The five young men are charged with murder and attempted murder, with a special circumstance of carrying out the crime in the interest of an illegal street gang, in relation to the Nov. 4, 2011 murder of Tara Romero, 14, near the intersection of Cosmo and Del Monte avenues in Morgan Hill. Three other Morgan Hill teens were shot and injured in the drive-by attack. May 20 at 8:45 a.m. for a preliminary examination in the Hall of Justice in San Jose.
June 18: Francisco Dominguez
Grand theft, embezzlement
The former Gilroy Unified School District Board of Education trustee and Assembly candidate faces charges for swindling $52,000 from a leading South County nonprofit organization; billing an engineering firm for meetings that supposedly never occurred; and misusing thousands of dollars from his 2010 campaign donations. Francisco Dominguez, 51 of Gilroy, was charged May 7 by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office with one count of grand theft and three counts of perjury based on Dominguez' use of campaign contributions during his successful School Board race three years ago. June 18: Plea hearing at 1:30 p.m. in room 38 in the Hall of Justice in San Jose.
July 8: Batzi Kuburovitch
Real estate fraud/grand theft/embezzlement
Kuburovich, 51, was arraigned April 6 on charges of embezzling $1.6 million through real estate grand fraud and three counts of aggravated white-collar crime. If convicted, investigators say Kuburovich could be facing up to $4.8 million in restitution, fines and possible jail time. Kuburovitch is the co-founder of the former MediLeaf medical marijuana dispensary in Gilroy. July 8: Motion to continue at 8:30 a.m. in room 24 in the Hall of Justice in San Jose.
July 26: Ben Tan, Olivia Soza-Mendiola
Diversion of funds meant for retirement accounts
Two former leaders of the Mexican American Community Services Agency who allegedly used employees’ retirement savings to pay for school operational costs, and are now being charged with felony grand theft and could face up to three years in prison. July 26: Probation and sentencing at 9 a.m. in dept. 23 in the Hall of Justice in San Jose
Blair Franklin is the city and online editor for the Gilroy Dispatch and Morgan Hill Times. Reach her at 408-847-7037.