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Gang Member Gets Life Sentence for Tulare Girl's Murder

Gang Member Gets Life Sentence for Tulare Girl's Murder

A gang member from Tulare was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 2009 murder of a 15-year-old girl.

Last month, a jury found 22-year-old Jesus Aleman guilty of first degree murder in the shooting death of Mireya Rodriguez.

According to the Tulare County District Attorney's Office, Aleman was driving around the city on the evening of October 3, 2009, looking to shoot a rival gang member. Investigators say three other gang members were in the car with him.

The DA's Office says Aleman drove by a house, shot at a group of teenagers he thought were rival gang members, and drove off.

A bullet struck Rodriguez in the stomach. She was taken to a Fresno hospital but later died.

Aleman was arrested the following day.

"Justice Run" to Help Victims of Domestic Violence

Tulare County District Attorney Phil Cline discuses the inaugural Justice Run to create awareness and raise money to help victims of Domestic Violence.

Inaugural Justice Run Planned to Raise Domestic Violence Awareness

Inaugural Justice Run Planned to Raise Domestic Violence Awareness

Tulare County District Attorney Phil Cline is planning a 5k race/1-mile walk on Saturday, Oct. 22, as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Registration is at 7 a.m. at Mooney Grove Park in Visalia, and the events begin at 8 a.m.

The registration fee is $25 if paid by Oct. 14 or $30 day of event. Same-day registrants may not receive an event T-shirt.

"Domestic violence shatters lives and is more prevalent than most people realize," Cline noted. "Batterers come from all walks of life and the violence hurts everyone in the family.

Help Needed to Find Stolen Equipment to Help Tulare Co. Children

Help Needed to Find Stolen Equipment to Help Tulare Co. Children

Sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning, Oct 1, 2011, thieves cut a fence and broke into the Tulare Youth Athletic Association trailer at Sundale School.

The person(s) stole a sound system, scoreboard components, generators and snack bar supplies.

If you know anything about this theft, you are urged to call the Tulare Sheriff Dept immediately!

"It's bad when people steal, but it's even worse when they steal from children, which is the case in this theft," says George Herrera.

Repeat Offender Sentenced to 80 Years for Child Molestation

Repeat Offender Sentenced to 80 Years for Child Molestation

48-year-old Douglas Schaap was sentenced this week to 80 years to life in state prison.

Schapp lives in Monticello, Kentucky-- but lived in Tulare and Goshen, where he faced charges.

On September 1, 2011 Schaap pled guilty to one count of a lewd act upon a child under the age of 14 with substantial sexual conduct. 

He told the court he had been convicted eleven times for lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14-- and that he was a habitual sex offender. 

He told the court those prior convictions were under the state's Three Strikes Law.  

Schaap must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

He was ordered to register as a sex offender, and he was ordered to pay a $10,000 restitution fine. 

Tulare Police Department Receives $1.2 Million COPS Grant

Tulare Police Department Receives $1.2 Million COPS Grant

The Tulare Police Department has been selected as one of 238 law enforcement agencies in the U.S. to receive a Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services grant.

In all, $243 million dollars were awarded for the hiring of new officers and deputies.

Tulare received $1.2 million dollars. The money will fund four officer positions for three years.

Tulare was selected along 2,712 applications that were received. Funding decisions were based on an agency’s commitment to community policing, crime rates, changes in law enforcement budgets, and other local fiscal data (poverty, unemployment, foreclosure rates, etc.).

"Cities across the country are dealing with numerous challenges and we are pleased to be able to assist their public safety efforts," said COPS Director Bernard Melekian.

Police: Teacher Arrested for Sex with Minor

Police: Teacher Arrested for Sex with Minor

A Tulare teacher arrested last week is now facing more than child pornography charges.

39-year-old Juan Carlos Tafolla, a teacher at Mission Oak High School, was arrested Thursday after investigators say he had child porn.

He bailed out Friday, but was then re-arrested on suspicion of having sex with a minor.

Tulare Police Officers say their investigation is ongoing.

Stay with KMPH News and KMPH.com as we continue to follow this story.