MANTECA — In the absence of two attorneys, the Jan. 30 preliminary hearing for three Tracy residents charged in a dog fighting case was moved to late February.
Kenneth Baldwin, 35, Gracie Baldwin, 36, and Luther Brewer, 49, all of Tracy, are accused of training dogs to fight and permitting and aiding dogfights.
In addition, Kenneth Baldwin and Gracie Baldwin, who are husband and wife, are accused of being present at dogfights, cultivating marijuana and possessing hash oil.
Gracie Baldwin is also charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition, and Brewer is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Ron Northup continued their hearing to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 26, because Deputy District Attorney Ron Indran and Armando Villapudua, Kenneth Baldwin’s defense attorney, were both absent Thursday.
The three defendants were allegedly involved in a large dog fighting ring that was raided by several law enforcement agencies in Benton County, Miss., on March 31.
Brewer and the Baldwins were arrested April 3, when the sheriff’s departments of Sacramento and Placer counties and the Humane Society of the United States raided two houses in Tracy.
During the search of the houses — at 2386 Lighthouse Circle and 2105 Elsie Way — officers seized 14 pit bulls allegedly used for fighting and more than 26 pounds of marijuana.
The three defendants remain free on bail.
Drug ring suspects to be in court Thursday
Two Mountain House residents are scheduled to go before a federal magistrate in Sacramento on Thursday for a preliminary hearing for their alleged involvement in a local methamphetamine distribution ring.
Francisco Javier Andrade Felix, 40, and Alejandro Martinez, 24, are accused of meth distribution and conspiracy.
Both men are being held without bail in Sacramento County Jail.
Bank robbery suspect going to trial
A Los Banos man will be held to answer for charges that he robbed the Bank of Stockton branch in Tracy on Dec. 10.
Jaime Cortes Frutos, 20, is accused of robbery, evading police and making threats to cause great bodily injury.
At the end of a one-day preliminary hearing Jan. 28 in Manteca, a San Joaquin County Superior Court judge ruled that the prosecutors had shown enough evidence to try Frutos.
The bank at 1175 N. Tracy Blvd. was robbed around 11 a.m. Dec. 10.
According to police, Frutos fled after the robbery in a Saturn sedan, crashing the car into an SUV near Kelly School, 535 Mabel Josephine Drive. Police arrested him after the crash and reported finding the stolen money inside the sedan.
Frutos, who is free on bail, was ordered to return to court at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in Department 35 in Stockton court.
Tiptons due back in court Monday
Tracy husband-and-wife William and Frayba Tipton returned to San Joaquin County Superior Court in Stockton this week for a pretrial conference in Department 14.
According to court records, the couple appeared with attorney Vittoria Monica Bossi on Monday, but their proceedings were continued to the following Monday because Deputy District Attorney J.C. Weydert was absent.
William Tipton was convicted by a jury Aug. 8 of three counts of grand theft embezzlement and one count of perjury. The same jury convicted Frayba Tipton of two counts of grand theft embezzlement and two counts of perjury.
The couple is reportedly seeking a new trial, but no new trial motions have been filed with the court, according to Weydert.
They are also accused of setting their Tracy house on fire at 27771 S. Fagin Road on July 5, 2008, and are expected to go to trial for arson.
The couple was ordered back to court at 9 a.m. Monday.
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