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Morgan Hill
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September 22, 2020

Election: Measure S wins by a landslide

The City of Morgan Hill’s long-standing growth control policy was never under threat of dying at the polls Nov. 8, as Measure S was resoundingly supported by 77 percent of those who cast ballots.

Crime and courts: Hearing on 2015 murder, domestic violence at the park

Hearing for 2015 murder suspects delayed againThe preliminary hearing for two young men accused of murdering Morgan Hill resident Cody Flores in 2015 was delayed yet again, according to authorities.Suspects Chase Benoit, 22, and Spencer Smith, 22—both of Morgan Hill—were scheduled to appear in court at the Hall of Justice in San Jose Sept. 19. However, the preliminary hearing—where the judge will determine if there is enough evidence against the suspects to go to trial—was continued to Oct. 3, according to Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney David Pandori.Smith and Benoit are accused of stabbing Flores to death in a field in east Morgan Hill May 31, 2015, according to authorities. Both suspects were arrested shortly after Flores’ death, and have remained in custody on a murder charge since then.The stabbing happened near the intersection of Diana Avenue and Ringle Drive, according to police.The suspects pleaded not guilty at a previous hearing.The D.A.’s office and Sheriff’s investigators have revealed few details about the late-night stabbing incident and the suspects’ possible motive. The court file on the case, which is held at the clerk’s office in San Jose, does not contain police reports or other narrative of the incident.Pandori expects the Oct. 3 preliminary hearing to conclude as scheduled.Driver accidentally collides with post officeNobody was injured when an elderly woman accidentally drove her car into the front window of the Morgan Hill Post Office Sept. 23, according to police.The vehicle, a four-door sedan, was parked in a designated spot just in front of the front doors of the post office, located at 16600 Monterey Road, when the woman accidentally drove into the glass panels, MHPD Cpl. Scott Martin said. The vehicle was not moving at a high rate of speed at the time of the impact, which resulted in a shattered glass window panel and damage to a planter outside the post office.No injuries were reported, and there is no suspicion that drugs or alcohol were involved, Martin said.Woman, 30, arrested on suspicion of domestic violencePolice arrested a 30-year-old woman on suspicion of domestic violence after someone reported a couple fighting at the Morgan Hill Community Park Sept. 23, police said.Morgan Hill police officers responded to a call about 2 p.m. reporting a man and woman were involved in a scuffle at the public park on West Edmundson Avenue, MHPD Cpl. Scott Martin said. When officers arrived they located the couple in the parking lot next to the Community Park tennis courts.The male victim suffered non-life threatening injuries during the fight, and declined medical treatment, Martin said.The female suspect was booked at Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of domestic violence, police said.

Police warn residents about recent property crime incidents

Morgan Hill police have responded to a number of property crimes in recent days—including a home invasion robbery—and are cautioning residents to keep their doors and windows locked.At 9:33 a.m. March 14, police responded to the 17000 block of Rosemary Circle on a report of a home invasion, according to a press release from Morgan Hill Police Department.Officers arrived and spoke with the victims, who said two suspects entered the home and demanded they open the safe, police said. The suspects said they had a weapon, but the suspects never brandished it.The suspected robbers got away with an undisclosed amount of cash and property, according to police. Neither victim was hurt during the incident.The victims described the robbers as Hispanic males, police said. One was about five feet, three inches tall and about 140 pounds. He was wearing a black mask which covered the bottom half of his face and spoke with a Spanish accent.The other suspect was described as about five feet, four inches tall and about 150 pounds, police said. He was wearing a black ski mask, a black hoodie and dark pants. He also spoke with a Spanish accent per the victims.The suspects may have been seen leaving the area in a dark silver colored vehicle, police said. Police are looking for neighbors in the area who might have video surveillance footage to assist in the investigation.Then at 9:15 a.m. March 11, a resident on the 400 block of Cascades Court reported a suspect was attempting to break into her residence using a pry tool, according to MHPD. The victim said the suspect ran when she opened up the blinds.The suspect was described as a male, about five feet, seven inches tall with a thin build, according to police. The suspect wore a black beanie with openings for the eyes and mouth, a pair of black or blue jeans and a gray sweatshirt.He was last seen running southbound toward Community Park on West Edmundson Avenue, police said. Morgan Hill officers arrived on scene within minutes and were unable to locate the suspect. A neighbor in the area reported seeing a dark colored SUV in the area around the time of the incident.At 6:35 a.m. March 10, a resident on the 17000 block of Tassajara Circle reported seeing a subject in their backyard, according to police. The subject was a dark-skinned male wearing black and gray clothing.  Morgan Hill officers were unable to locate the subject.“The Morgan Hill Police Department wants to take this time to remind our community to lock their windows and doors even when they are home and beware of their surroundings,” police said in the press release.Anyone with information about these incidents can contact MHPD Detective Fernando Del Moral (408) 779-2101.  

Drive-by shooting victim now a suspect in unrelated violent crime spree

In yet another bizarre twist in the ongoing attempt to bring five suspects to trial following the 2011 drive-by shooting that killed 14-year-old Tara Romero, the attorney for one of the suspects had to recuse himself from the case Friday because his office is representing a victim of that shooting who is now a suspect in an unrelated violent crime spree that happened earlier this year in San Jose. 

Youth crime task force wants to hear from you

To squelch youth crime in Gilroy, community leaders are seeking input from residents about the types of crime juveniles are getting into in their neighborhoods, and what can be done about the problem.  

Crime briefs: Man rejected for date, attacks woman

Police responded to several incidents this week involving drunk driving, car theft, robbery and assault. Here are a few of those incidents:

Predicting crime: It’s a science

It’s only been a week since Morgan Hill police implemented new crime mapping and prediction software, and officers have already arrested at least six people on suspicion of various crimes, authorities said.

MHPD crime analysis goes high-tech

Crime analysis just got more high-tech in Morgan Hill, as the city is one of the first in Santa Clara County to implement new predictive policing software that allows law enforcement to identify and focus resources on geographical “hotspots” where patterns of crime have occurred.