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Suicide

NEWS
By DAN EVANS | September 22, 2009
It has been an interesting few weeks here in Burbank. Our fair city has seen more than its fair share of mayhem recently, some of which is detailed in today’s paper. Before I get into this, however, I want to announce what I’m calling a “Meet the Editors” event. A week from today, on Sept. 30, the Burbank Leader’s editors and reporters will be at Tavern on the Brand, 208 N. Brand Blvd. in Glendale, to meet you and answer your questions. I’ll be there from 6 to 8 p.m., as will City Editor Jason Wells and anyone else I can persuade to come.
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LOCAL
By Jeremy Oberstein | January 12, 2009
NORTHWEST BURBANK — A fatal incident Saturday in which a woman stepped in front of a Metrolink train in Burbank was likely suicide, police said Monday, as officials work to speed up safety regulations on rail crossings throughout Southern California. Authorities have not released the woman’s name, but Burbank Police Department Sgt. Robert Quesada said she was a 39-year-old resident of North Hollywood. Her family had not yet been notified Monday. The Metrolink train was traveling north at 6:25 p.m. Saturday when the engineer saw a woman approach the tracks at the corner of Buena Vista Street and San Fernando Boulevard, Quesada said.
NEWS
By Billie Barron | August 13, 2008
This letter is in response to the question, “Should sober-living facilities be put in residential areas?” (“Suicide riles neighborhood,” Aug. 2-3). Similar questions have been asked when the public expresses concerns about developing landfill areas, constructing new prisons and power plants. The answer is generally the same: Not in my backyard. The suicide that took place at the sober-living facility is unfortunate. Suicide under any circumstances is a tragedy and horrific.
LOCAL
By Jeremy Oberstein | June 21, 2008
LOS ANGELES — Defense attorneys started their closing arguments Thursday in the case against Juan Manuel Alvarez, telling jurors that he never intended to kill anyone, and that prosecutors’ attempts to portray Alvarez as an arsonist belie his true intent: suicide. Alvarez is charged with 11 counts of murder with special circumstances and one count each of felony murder, train-wrecking and arson for his role in the Jan. 26, 2005, Metrolink crash that left 11 dead and 184 others injured.
LOCAL
By Jeremy Oberstein | June 18, 2008
LOS ANGELES — Deputy Dist. Atty. John Monaghan told jurors during closing arguments Wednesday that Juan Manuel Alvarez never intended to commit suicide when he drove his SUV onto train tracks at Chevy Chase Drive, having instead perpetrated the 2005 Metrolink train derailment that killed 11 and injured more than 180 passengers as an attention-grabbing stunt. Alvarez is charged with 11 counts of murder with special circumstances and one count each of arson and train wrecking for causing a Jan. 26, 2005, three-train crash when he drove his Jeep Cherokee onto the Metrolink tracks between Glendale and Los Angeles and doused his vehicle with gasoline.
LOCAL
By Jeremy Oberstein | June 12, 2008
LOS ANGELES — An emotional Cynthia Alvarez told jurors Thursday of her brother’s erratic behavior beset by swift mood swings and violent proclivities as she testified at his murder trial. Juan Manuel Alvarez is charged with 11 counts of murder with special circumstances and one count each of train wrecking and arson for causing the Jan. 26, 2005, Metrolink train wreck that killed 11 people and left nearly 200 others injured. Juan Manuel Alvarez’s unpredictable behavior, which may have been aided by an addiction to methamphetamine, resulted in violent outbursts toward his family and hallucinations that his wife, Carmen, was cheating on him, his sister said.
NEWS
By Jeremy Oberstein | April 30, 2008
LOS ANGELES ? More than three years after a train crash near Chevy Chase Drive left 11 passengers dead, prosecutors told a jury Monday that a mentally unstable and drug-addled Juan Manuel Alvarez intentionally caused the fiery crash in an attempt to reconcile with his estranged wife. ?He needed to do something big to get her attention,? Deputy Dist. Atty. Cathryn Brougham said during the trial?s first day. ?He chose to kill 11 strangers.? Pictures of the wreckage and mangled bodies of the 11 victims were displayed during opening statements as family members of the dead openly wept in the packed Los Angeles courtroom Monday.
LOCAL
By Jeremy Oberstein | April 5, 2008
GLENDALE — A judge on Thursday refused to dismiss charges against 29-year-old Juan Manuel Alvarez, who is accused of causing a 2005 Metrolink derailment that killed 11 people and injured nearly 200 others. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David S. Wesley rebuffed defense attorneys’ claims that not enough evidence had been given to the court at a May 2005 pretrial hearing where Alvarez was ordered to stand trial. Alvarez was charged with 11 counts of murder with special circumstances and one count each of arson and train wrecking.
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