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California woman charged with killing man over cat dispute

(AP) — A California woman has been charged with killing a man by ramming her car into him after accusing him of trying to run over a cat in the street, authorities said Wednesday.

Hannah Star Esser, 20, was charged with murder in the death of Luis Anthony Victor, 43, and detained on $1 million bail, the Orange County prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

Esser was driving in the community of Cypress on Sunday night when she confronted Victor and accused him of trying to run over a cat, authorities said.

She and Victor both got out of their vehicles and got into an argument that Esser recorded, authorities said.

Esser then returned to her car, turned around, drove toward Victor and hit him, authorities said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

“This action showed a complete disregard for human life,” District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in the statement.

Esser was arrested Sunday and had an initial court appearance Tuesday, court records show. She is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 13. An email message was sent to defense attorney Michael Morrison seeking comment.

Kimberly Edds, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office, said it was not immediately clear whether a cat was actually involved. The crime is still being investigated, she said.

No planes — but trains and automobiles — on Fresno council agenda

Fresno City Council members have their sights trained on two transportation-related items this Thursday — one vintage and the other upcoming.

A measure from Councilmember Miguel Arias would donate the Southern Pacific Engine 1238 to the Kingsburg Train Depot. The train engine has been behind a chain-link fence at Roeding Park for decades and presents a liability, said Arias. People would climb on the train and could hurt themselves.

Donating the train to Kingsburg’s train museum would help maintain the artifact into the future. Arias said it’s not currently getting the care it deserves.

“In order to preserve history, you have to use it,” Arias said.

Arias likened the measure to the Fresno Water Tower as well as Armenian Town. The Water Tower is currently under renovation where it will house Frida Café, a coffee shop and bakery.

Developer Tom Richards of Penstar Group is currently working to turn Armenian Town into affordable housing, according to Arias.

Under the agreement, the Train Depot would take on all costs to transport the historic engine as well as preserve it.

The Train Depot opened in 2016 as an effort to preserve the role railroads played in the development of the San Joaquin Valley, specifically the 1872 San Joaquin Valley Line of the Central Pacific Railroad.

Arias said the effort would keep the train in Fresno County, adding the donation to the museum is fitting as the train’s last conductor hailed from Kingsburg.

Southern Pacific Engine 1238 was retired and donated to Fresno in 1956.

The second bill is the next step in Mayor Jerry Dyer’s plan to unite Fresno State, the Tower District and Downtown Fresno by way of trolley.

Councilmembers will consider approving $865,664 for three buses.

The company, Wisconsin-based Hometown Manufacturing, offered six different trolley floorplans to the City, ranging from 22 passengers to 38 passenger-capacities.

The route would go from Fresno State through Tower and end in Downtown Fresno before turning around to continue the circuit.


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