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Crime

Suspect in murder of Placerville's Annie Le plans to plead guilty

NEW HAVEN, CT (AP) - An attorney for an animal research technician charged with killing a Yale University graduate student says his client plans to plead guilty Thursday.

Public defender Joseph Lopez said Raymond Clark III, who was charged with strangling Annie Le, 24, of Placerville, would plead guilty Thursday in New Haven Superior Court.

Lopez would not specify the charges, but said it was part of a plea deal.

Le's body was found stuffed behind a research lab wall on the day she was supposed to get married in September 2009.

Clark, 26, has pleaded not guilty to murder.

Police have said a green-ink pen under Le's body had her blood and Clark's DNA. Police said Clark signed into the secure building with a green pen the day Le disappeared.

The Le family released a statement Tuesday afternoon through their spokesman Kevin Eckery.

Hundreds came to mourn loss of Placerville principal

PLACERVILLE, CA -- A memorial Tuesday afternoon for principal Sam LaCara, who was gunned down last week in his office at Louisiana Schnell School in Placerville, brought out a wide cross-section of the community.

READ: Condolences

The service, attended by some 1,500 mourners, was held at Green Valley Community Church in Placerville.

"We've lost a lot," said one woman. "The kids have lost a lot, the parents have lost a lot and his family (shakes head) so sad."

Parent Doug Stephens said LaCara impacted many in the school and Placerville community.

"I've talked to many people I've known in the area and their families, all of them, have kids that have been touched by Mr. LaCara, and it's just a wonderful thing to see the outpouring of love for him," Stephens said. 

El Dorado County standoff ends peacefully

EL DORADO HILLS, CA - A man who barricaded himself in his El Dorado Hills home has given himself up.

El Dorado County Sheriff's Department Lieutenant Bryan Golmitz said deputies were called out to the 7100 block of Hearst Drive for a man acting suicidal. When they arrived, Golmitz said the man charged deputies, causing them to use non-lethal force on the man. He then ran into his home and barricaded himself. 

Golmitz said deputies called out SWAT and crisis management teams. Neighbors were asked to stay in their homes while a perimeter was set up near the intersection of Hearst and Edgehill Drive.

 

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.

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

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