CERES MAN GIVEN 50 YEARS FOR DRUG CONVICTION: A Ceres man struck out Friday when a judge sentenced him to 50 years to life in prison for two counts of drug possession. Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Nancy Ashley said Victor De Anda, 51, deserves the maximum punishment allowed under California's three strikes law because he has been in and out of prison for 30 years, according to a statement from the district attorney's office. Authorities said De Anda is a heroin addict and had five strikes on his record stemming from convictions for burglary and assault with the intent to commit rape.
PATTERSON RAPIST FACES UP TO 50 YEARS: A man who forced his way into a Patterson home and raped a 23-year-old woman faces up to 50 years to life in prison, according to a statement from the Stanislaus County district attorney's office. At the close of a six-day trial that ended late last week, a jury said Genaro Fernandez-Anaya, 42, is guilty of two serious felonies -- rape and assault with intent to commit rape during the course of a burglary. According to authorities, Fernandez-Anaya knocked on the door of a small home in Patterson on Dec. 15, 2006, saying he had a package to deliver, then pushed his way inside, chasing a woman through her kitchen and into the bathroom. The woman grabbed a knife as she fled, but the intruder overpowered her, holding the knife to her throat as he slapped and raped her. The intruder left no DNA or fingerprints; he wore a condom and grasped the knife over the top of the victim's hand. But a sketch of the suspect generated tips that led to Fernandez-Anaya's arrest. He is held without bail and is to be sentenced March 7.
NEWMAN MAN KILLED IN CRASH: A 56-year-old Newman man died Monday night after his car collided head-on with a pickup truck on South Carpenter Road a few miles east of Patterson, the California Highway Patrol reported. CHP officials did not release the Newman man's name pending family notification. The crash was first reported at 6:11 p.m. just south of West Main Street near Ruble Road. CHP officer Gilbert Gomez said the Newman man was driving a Geo south on Carpenter. Witnesses told CHP officers the Geo was passing vehicles along the two-lane road when it collided with a Chevrolet Silverado pickup. Gomez said Matthew Mendonca, 25, of Modesto was driving the pickup and suffered minor injuries. No other injuries were reported, and no other vehicles were involved. Authorities closed the road to traffic for about two hours as CHP officers investigated the crash. No further information was available late Monday.