YEAR IN REVIEW: Violent crime, deaths top stories
Corning may be a small town, but that doesn't mean the crime here is small.
During 2012, the town witnessed murders, attempted murders, shootings, child molestations, stabbings, armed robberies, police standoffs, drug crimes, and more.
One of the most recent egregious crime that occurred in the area was the death of a man allegedly by the hand of his brother.
Clifford Palmer, 46 of Corning, is accused of killing his brother, 40-year-old Fermin "Mitch" Alberro, during a physical altercation on Nov. 27, in their Flournoy Avenue home.
When Tehama County Sheriff's deputies arrived at 5:45 p.m. the found Alberro lying in the entry way of the residence unconscious and not breathing. Following life-saving efforts, Alberro was declared dead at the scene.
Palmer admitted to law enforcement the two men had been consuming alcohol throughout the day and began arguing.
"Palmer said the argument turned into a physical fight and that he used his fist to strike (Alberro) in the face, and that his brother then fell to the floor unconscious," said sheriff's Lt. Donald Thomas.
Palmer has pleaded not guilty to a charge of voluntary manslaughter in the death of his brother. He remains in the Tehama County Jail on $60,000 bail.
On July 12, Victoria Stapleton, 28, of Corning, was attacked and stabbed by her estranged husband, Humberto Perez, 23 of Los Angeles, at her apartment on Kaufman Avenue.
Perez broke into the apartment through a window and attacked Stapleton with a knife, cutting her several times to her abdomen and right forearm, before leaving the residence. Stapleton's injuries required extensive surgery.
Corning police arrested Perez and he was charged with attempted murder and other felony charges. In November, Perez was sentenced to eight years in state prison after pleading guilty to the lesser charges of assault with a deadly weapon by mean of force likely to produce great bodily injury with two special allegations of great bodily injury with domestic violence and having a prior felony.
A 57-year-old Chico man is accused of robbing the Bank of America at gunpoint, as well as the Subway restaurant and attempting to rob the Chevron station at Rolling Hills Casino.
Gary Dean Belcher has pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree robbery and one count of attempted second-degree robbery, each with a special allegation of using a firearm while committing a robbery.
The suspect reportedly walked into the Corning bank around 2:15 p.m. on Sept. 10, approached a teller, displayed a handgun and ordered her to put money into a white plastic bag, police said.
The robber of the Subway shop also had a gun and escaped with what was reported to be a little more than $200, Corning police said.
After being arrested in Chico on Sept. 13, Belcher reportedly told Corning police investigators that he robbed the Bank of America on Sept. 10, the Subway shop on July 25 and the Chevron station on Aug. 23.
Additionally, Belcher is said to have confessed to robbing the US Bank in Colusa on Aug. 31.
Murder of CHP officer
The California Highway Patrol still does not know the motive behind the shooting death of 37-year-old CHP Officer Kenyon Youngstrom by Rancho Tehama resident Christopher Boone Lacy, on Sept. 4.
Lacy, 36, shot and killed the officer with a handgun during a traffic stop on Highway 680. During return fire by another CHP officer, Lacy was struck and killed.
Other headlines in 2012:
• A man brandished a pistol at a 7-Eleven clerk in January, getting away with an undisclosed amount of cash.
• Jesus Alberto Saenz, 41, of Corning, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder when he shot a round from a .45-caliber pistol into the floor of his estranged wife's home on Center Street in April. Saenz pleaded guilty to assault with a semiautomatic firearm and is awaiting sentencing.
• In April, nine suspects were arrested in a long-term Tehama Interagency Drug Enforcement task force investigation into the sales of methamphetamine.
• An 8-year-old Gerber girl was accidentally shot with a shotgun in May when the loaded gun was left unattended in her Oat Avenue home. The girl, suffering wounds to her arm, underwent surgery and returned to school a week later.
• William Quinn Anderson, 59, of Corning, was kidnapped from his Fig Lane home in May, and stabbed while trying to escape. Anderson's former stepdaughter, Rebecca Diane Bochantin, 40, of Chico, and former nephew, Ricky Gene Nolan Jr., 32, of Oroville, were arrested for the crime and have pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder, first-degree burglary, kidnapping, assault and several special allegations.
• More than 70 Corning residents woke-up on June 18 to tires on their vehicles having been slashed or punctured.
• A Corning teen, 18-year-old Frankie Cooley, was arrested on Sept. 27 at Tehama County Mental Health on suspicion of committing sexual acts on a 9-year-old boy. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of continuous sexual abuse on a child under 10 and three counts of sodomy or sexual intercourse with a child under 10. It has been reported the abuse took place on at least three occasions between November 2011 and September 2012.
• Nearly $300,000 worth of walnuts was stolen from two Crain Walnut site in Los Molinos in October by a man driving a white semi-truck who picked up the walnuts but never delivered them to their approved destination.
• Throughout the summer and fall, law enforcement busted several marijuana gardens in and near Corning. At a site on Houghton Avenue, more than 500 plants were pulled from a garden located in the middle of an olive orchard.