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School custodian pleads not guilty to Placerville principal's murder

PLACERVILLE, CA - The school custodian charged with the murder of a Placerville principal in his office Wednesday entered a plea of not guilty Friday afternoon.

John Harold Luebbers, 44, was arraigned in El Dorado County Superior Court on one count of murder with a special allegation he used his personal .357 revolver in the death of Sam LaCara, principal of Louisiana Schnell School. The district attorney alleges the crime is a violent and serious felony under the definition of law.

According to the Placerville Union School District, the shooting evolved from a dispute, reportedly over staffing, between Luebbers and LaCara, 50. The principal had told Luebbers to go home and cool-off.

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Valentine's Private Tastings at Toogood Winery

Valentine's Private Tastings at Toogood Winery

Plan a romantic evening of wine and fun at Toogood Winery.  Imagine you and your date in their comfortable wine cave dining room, sipping on 9 library wines plus Foreplay 2 and Foreplay 7 and their newly released Foreplay 8.

You'll also get to have an inaugural barrel tasting of their 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009 Malbec, 2009 Toogood Estate Zinfandel and their delicious Charbono Port – WOW!

This is a private sit down event limited to just 16 people, includes a gourmet pizza lunch.

Phillip Garrido declared competent to stand trial

PLACERVILLE, CA - An El Dorado County court judge has ruled Phillip Garrido is mentally competent to stand trial for the kidnapping and rape of Jaycee Dugard.

IN DEPTH: Jaycee Dugard Kidnapping Case

Judge Douglas Phimister made the ruling after reviewing evidence, including evaluations from psychiatrists. Phimister said a defendant must be capable of understanding the proceedings and assisting his attorney in his defense. The judge said sealed evidence showed Garrido satisfied those requirements. The El Dorado County district attorney and defense attorneys concurred.

"After receiving advice from several experts, the question was resolved, and we're prepared to move on now with the proceedings," said Garrido's attorney Susan Gellman.

Students return to class at Schnell elementary after shooting

PLACERVILLE, CA -- Two days after their principal was shot and killed in his office, students returned to class at Louisiana Schnell School.

Parents walked their children Friday morning past the makeshift memorials that paid tribute to Principal Sam LaCara.

Sean McGeever and his two daughters, a first grader and a fourth grader, lit candles at the memorial as they remembered the principal who welcomed them to school every day. 

"He'd be out there every morning, greet the cars.  He cared about the kids, that was his whole life," McGeever said.  "The whole town, everybody, we're trying to figure out how we move on from this."

Counselors will spend time with each class, helping the children deal with the tragedy, their grief, and inevitable confusion.

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School custodian makes first court appearance Friday

SLIDESHOW: School shooting

PLACERVILLE, CA - The school custodian accused of fatally shooting a school principal will be in court Friday.

John Luebbers confessed to investigators Thursday, saying he had been fired from his job on Wednesday when he shot principal Sam LaCara, but the Placerville Union School District says that wasn't the case.

According to district Superintendent Nancy Lynch, who held a news conference Thursday afternoon, Luebbers and principal Sam LaCara had a disagreement and LaCara directed Luebbers to go home and cool off.

Lynch said Luebbers and LaCara were friends.

Shooting at Schnell Elementary School

PLACERVILLE, CA - A man has been taken into custody in the shooting of an administrator at Louisiana Schnell School in Placerville, says the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office. SLIDESHOW: Shooting at Schnell Elementary School

El Dorado man charged by feds in Shingle Springs tribal dispute

SHINGLE SPRINGS, CA - An El Dorado County man who claims the tribe that built the Red Hawk Casino is a band of imposters has been charged with trying to divert the tribe's mail.

Cesar Caballero, 41, faces three misdemeanor counts of mail obstruction in a complaint filed Wednesday with the U.S. District Court in Sacramento.

According to the complaint, Caballero submitted three change of address forms with the postal service last August to forward mail from a post office box belonging to the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians to Caballero's home address in the town of El Dorado.

Caballero is locked in a bitter dispute with the Shingle Springs Band, claiming he and several hundred other Native American outsiders are the true descendents of the Miwoks who lived in El Dorado County.

Three athletes from Oak Ridge sign college letter intent

EL DORADO HILLS, CA - A proud day in El Dorado Hills as three student athletes from Oak Ridge high school signed college football athletic scholarships Wednesday afternoon.

Quarterback Will Tostenson will play for Azusa Pacific, while Running Back Jordan Matanane and Wide Reciever Willie Tucker will become instant rivals playing for Sacramento State and Cal Poly.

"Now I'm going to play against one of my best friends at Sac State so that's kind of crazy," said Mustang bound Tucker. "But it is nice to move on and have another level to go to."

"We've been together since sixth grade so it feels good to sign together, but now Willie Tucker is my rival now so it is different relationship, " joked new Hornets signee Matanane.

"It is really good feeling that I have my two brothers next to me," said Tostenson. "It feels good to have gone through the program for this many years and get something out of it."

Placerville principal fatally shot; Custodian in custody

PLACERVILLE, CA - The principal of a Placerville elementary school has died after being shot on campus Wednesday morning.  A school janitor and close friend has been arrested.

Louisiana Schnell Elementary School Principal Sam LaCara, 50, was pronounced dead at Placerville's Marshall Hospital at 11:16 a.m., said Placerville Chief of Police George Nielsen.  Nielsen said LaCara had been shot at least once in the upper torso.

CAUGHT ON TAPE: Suspect taken into custody

Marriage Conference - February 25 - 26

You don't have to have a hurting marriage to learn more about how to strengthen your union and learn more tools and resources for a solid and impactful marriage.

The conference will be lead by Dr. John Street, the chairman of the biblical counseling department , will share the truth for relationships within the family, the roles in a marriage, communication, conflict resolution and intimacy. Dr. Street will challenge each one of the attendees to evaluate their marriage and themselves in a light of the truth and hope.

God's Way for the Family
Friday, 6:30 - 8:00pm
Saturday, 7:30 - 3:30pm
Gold Country Baptist Church
3800 North Shingle Road
Shingle Springs
530-677-4122
Goldcountrybaptist.org