Law & Order

POSITIVE ID ON HOMICIDE VICTIM: Tuolumne County sheriff's investigators identified a man who was shot to death Aug. 25 as Jon Steven Flaherty, 29, of Wallace. His body and pickup were left in Murderer's Gulch, north of Big Oak Flat. Investigators are still interviewing witnesses and processing "numerous crime scenes" with the help of the state Department of Justice, Lt. Dan Bressler said Tuesday. Authorities arrested David Roy Stanton, 39, on suspicion of murder and weapons charges. His sister, Shawna Lea Stanton, was arrested on suspicion of being an accessory.

THREE ARRESTED: During a traffic stop in Twain Harte, Tuolumne County sheriff's deputies arrested three people, one of whom spit on and kicked a deputy, officials said. At 2 a.m. Saturday, a deputy saw a 1989 Chevrolet Blazer driving erratically near Twain Harte and Blackhawk drives. The driver, Kevin Lewis Sovereen, 25, of Sonora was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. One of Sovereen's passengers, Jay Nichols, 47, of Columbia had methadone pills on him, the deputy said. As the deputy tried to arrest Nichols, he spit in the deputy's face and kicked him several times, deputies said. Deputies used a Taser to subdue Nichols. The deputy was treated for his injuries and was able to return to work the next night, the Sheriff's Department reported. Nichols was booked on charges of suspicion of resisting arrest, battery on a peace officer with injury, and possession of narcotics. A second passenger, Charlotte Dickson, 21, of Sonora was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of narcotics and possession of them.

OLD MISSING PERSONS CASE A HOMICIDE? The missing persons case of Christine Marie Sexton, also known as Christine Sexton-Stuart, soon will be reclassified as a homicide, said Stanislaus County sheriff's spokesman Royjindar Singh. After the case was profiled on TV in the spring, the Sheriff's Department received several credible tips about what may have happened to her. The tips were similar to those received soon after her disappearance, Singh said, but the sources of the more recent tips were more reliable. Sexton was last seen April 17, 1989, about 2 a.m. leaving the Office Cocktail Lounge, in the 100 block of South Center Street in Turlock. She was last seen talking to a man in the lounge's parking lot. Ten days after her disappearance, her vehicle was found submerged in a canal near Turlock Lake. Officials ask anyone with information about Sexton to call the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department at 525-7076.