FARMER KILLED IN TRACTOR ACCIDENT: A 46-year-old farmer died Wednesday after being run over by his tractor while harvesting almonds on his ranch, officials said. The man, whose name was not released, had an unknown mechanical problem about 3:30 p.m. while driving the tractor near his home, on the 6100 block of Vivian Road, southwest of Modesto, sheriff's spokesman Royjindar Singh said. The tractor's engine stopped, and when he restarted it, the machine began to roll forward. The man ran in front of the tractor in an attempt to jump onto its seat, Singh said, but instead he got caught in front of it. Westport and Ceres fire departments responded. The man was flown to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, where he was pronounced dead, Singh said.
EX-PASTOR'S ARRAIGNMENT DELAYED: The arraignment of Doug Porter, the former preacher from east Modesto accused of murdering Frank Craig in an auto wreck in 2004, has been continued until Oct. 4. Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Thomas Zeff on Thursday issued the delay after defense attorney Kirk McAllister requested time to prepare for several changes the prosecution made to the complaint against his client. Deputy District Attorney John R. Mayne filed one new charge and two clarifications to the three counts Porter already faces: murder, attempted murder and theft or embezzlement from an elder adult by a caretaker. The new charge is elder abuse causing death, based on the 2004 collision, with a special enhancement stating Craig was older than 70 at the time. Mayne also added a special circumstance to the existing murder count, stating that Craig was killed to prevent testimony about Porter's theft, Mayne said. The new charge won't change Porter's sentencing possibilities, Mayne said. Porter still faces life without parole if convicted.
CAR CRASH VICTIM STILL CRITICAL: Police officials said an 18-year-old Modesto High School graduate, who remained in critical condition Thursday, ran a red light and collided with a pickup last week in a traffic collision in Redding. Doctors at Mercy Medical Center in Redding put Kassandra Cummings in an induced coma and performed emergency surgery Sunday to relieve pressure on her brain. Jessica Cummings said Thursday afternoon that her sister's condition had not worsened and the brain swelling had reduced at times. She said her sister remained in the induced coma, but family members are optimistic. Cummings is enrolled at Simpson College in Redding. The accident occurred Sept. 6 at the intersection of Churn Creek Road and Browning Street. Cummings was driving a white Honda Accord north on Churn Creek Road and William Barrett, 56, of Redding was driving a green Dodge Ram pickup east on Browning Street. Cummings failed to stop at the red light and collided with the pickup, said officer Michael Stufflebeam, a traffic specialist. He said the cause of the collision was determined by witnesses' statements and evidence gathered at the scene. Barrett suffered minor injuries in the crash, but was not taken to a hospital. A passenger in Cummings' car, Scarlette Cortez, 17, a Simpson student from San Jose, suffered minor injuries.
SEX OFFENDER FACES NEW CHARGES: A registered sex offender convicted in 1984 for sexually abusing a child has been arrested on suspicion of molesting another child -- a 10-year-old boy, Atwater police reported. Police arrested Jesus Gonzalez-Castellanos, 61, on Wednesday at his home on the 500 block of Cedar Avenue after the boy's father allegedly saw the suspect watching pornographic films with his son. Detective Armando Echevarria said the boy's father had come to pick him up from Gonzalez-Castellanos' house and looked through a window, where he saw Gonzalez-Castellanos showing his son the pornographic materials. Echevarria said the father confronted Gonzalez-Castellanos, who said the film had been played accidentally. The father called police, who searched the suspect's home. Gonzalez-Castellanos was booked on felony charges of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor, sodomy, continuous abuse of a minor and displaying harmful content with intent to seduce a minor, Echevarria said. Gonzalez-Castellanos is being held in lieu of $440,000 bail.
HOME INVASION: Stanislaus County sheriff's officials are investigating a home invasion robbery that occurred early Thursday in the 4000 block of Anna Avenue in Keyes. No injuries were reported and no shots were fired. Two men and a woman kicked open the front door of the home and awoke the victims who were sleeping in the living room, said deputy Royjindar Singh, a sheriff's spokesman. He did not know how many victims were involved. The robbery took place about 12:50 a.m. in the neighborhood just east of Highway 99. The robbers went into the home and all three were carrying semiautomatic handguns, Singh said. The robbers tied up the victims and stole several items from the home, he said. The victims could not give sheriff's deputies a specific description of the robbers, Singh said.