County Roundup: Wednesday, February 2, 2011

From the Mohave

Daily News

A Bullhead City man was killed Jan. 29 while attempting to cross Highway 95 in Bullhead City. Charles Hinesley, 52, was struck by a car driven by Jerry Dodd, 71, of Bullhead City around 5:30 p.m. at Highway 95 and 3rd Street. Hinesley was flown to a Las Vegas hospital with serious head injuries and died around 10:47 p.m. The accident is under investigation.

An attempt to incorporate Laughlin is gaining speed. The Committee for the Incorporation of Laughlin has collected 1,159 signatures for its petition in support of a bill proposed in the Government Affairs Committee of the Nevada Senate and Assembly. The bill would put the issue to a vote of Laughlin residents. Two previous attempts to incorporate the city failed. If voters approve the measure, Laughlin would become the sixth city in Clark County. The other five cities are Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Boulder City, Henderson and Mesquite. The last city to be incorporated in the county was Mesquite in 1986.

A Bullhead City Boy Scout group is warning residents of a counterfeiter. A man passed a fake $50 bill to the Scouts during a bake sale they were having outside of Walmart the weekend of Jan. 22-23. The man bought $10 worth of goods and handed the Scouts a $50 bill. An adult later became suspicious of the bill and found that the security thread in it belonged to a $5 bill. The bill was turned in to a local bank, and the Secret Service is looking into the matter.

A 69-year-old man died while driving his RV along Casino Drive in Laughlin Jan.20. According to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the man was driving the motor home when he had a medical event, lost control of the 40-foot vehicle and crashed into the back of a car parked at a traffic light near the Riverside Resort Hotel and Casino. His wife managed to stop the RV before it drove off. A portion of Casino Drive was closed until the man could be removed from the RV and transported to Western Arizona Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

A write-in candidate for the position of Bullhead City mayor is defending his background. Frank Costigan, 70, a talk show host for KTOX radio station, said that a case involving his arrest in 1986 on suspicion of embezzlement while serving as the probationary chief of Los Angeles International Airport Security was sealed and expunged. Nearly 98 percent of the case was dismissed before it reached a California Superior Court, he said. He claims he was put in the position by the Los Angeles mayor and airport commissioner to clean up some of the complaints against the department and that he threw out a number of crooked cops. He was accused of using department funds to rent a vehicle for personal use and submitting false travel vouchers. Costigan said he was nailed on a technicality, that he signed employee time cards before leaving on vacation. The Los Angeles Times reported that he resigned his post in October 1984. Costigan denied that he resigned. He said he was transferred to the Los Angeles Ontario International Airport where he served as superintendent of airport operations for the city of Los Angeles, he said. He worked there until August 1986. However, the Los Angeles Times states that he was arrested in February 1986 while working as a private security consultant at his office in Inglewood.

A Mohave County grand jury has re-indicted a Bullhead City man on murder, assault and robbery charges. Last month, Mohave County Superior Court judge sent the charges against Steven Blake Prindle, 27, back to a grand jury after his lawyer argued that the grand jury had not been properly informed. The grand jury re-indicted him on one count of second-degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault and one count of aggravated robbery on Jan. 31. Prindle is accused of attacking two men outside of the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Bullhead City in October. One man, Richard Lee Huffines, later died from serious head injuries. The other man was beaten and had his wallet stolen. Prindle's trial is set for April 5. His co-defendant, John Floyd Castillo III, 29, is facing the same charges and has his trial set for April 26.

Two students at River Valley High School in Mohave Valley are in trouble after they were caught with drugs during a drug search at the school on Jan. 31. A drug dog found marijuana residue in the center console of a 17-year-old student's vehicle, and a 16 year old was questioned after he allegedly threw his wallet containing possible prescription drugs into the trash. The drugs have been sent to the Arizona Department of Public Safety's Crime Lab for analysis. Neither student was arrested. The 17 year old was referred to the Mohave County Probation Department. Possible charges against the 16 year old are pending the analysis of the drugs.

A trial date has been set for a Bullhead City man accused of killing a Mohave Valley man. Santiago Fidel Sanchez, 25, is charged with first-degree murder and misconduct with a weapon in connection with the death of Jamie Ramos Banuelos, 32. Banuelos' body was found Feb. 7, 2008, off of Silver Creek Road, east of the Bullhead Parkway. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty in the case. Sanchez could serve life in prison with or without parole after 25 years. His co-defendant, Jorge Guerrero, 22, was convicted of the same charges in April. Sanchez is currently serving time for several other cases.

A former Mohave Valley resident is awaiting trial for several counts of fraud, criminal impersonation, theft, forgery, custodial interference and perjury. Carrie Anne Smythe, 37, of Flagstaff is set to go to trial on March 15. She has four cases pending against her. In one case, she is charged with fraudulent schemes and artifices, four counts of criminal impersonation and seven counts of theft. In another case, she is charged with five counts of forgery. In a third case, she is charged with three counts of custodial interference, and in a fourth case, she is charged with one count of forgery and two counts of perjury. Her lawyer has proposed a deal that will resolve all four cases. In 2008, Smythe allegedly posed as a real estate agent to get cash from her victims by encouraging them to invest in properties or vehicles. She also assumed the identity of four victims and allegedly took more than $25,000 from them, including around $16,500 from one victim. She also allegedly forged five checks from the Chase Bank account of Smythe Enterprises in 2008. The victims in that case were the firefighters of Mohave Valley and Fort Mojave Mesa Fire districts. She was also involved in an alleged case of custodial interference in 2009. She also allegedly lied while testifying in court on Feb. 24, 2009, and produced a false letter from her doctor.

From Today's News-Herald

Lake Havasu City firefighters got a chance to practice their rescue and firefighting skills Jan. 30 by cutting into the old Lake Havasu City Civil Air Patrol headquarters at Lake Havasu City Municipal Airport. The headquarters was a 1950s-era 9-by-40-foot trailer and was replaced last year with a newer trailer. Firefighters practiced two rescue drills by cutting into the metal sides of the trailer. The drill was good practice for when firefighters have to rescue residents from older model trailers that can burn very quickly, said fire officials.