Crime

Nipomo man charged with murder after LA-area man’s burned body found near Joshua Tree

SLO Sheriff announces arrest in Paso Robles stabbing death

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office announced that Fausto Ortega Maldonado, 28, was arrested in the stabbing death of Primitivo Pacheco-Ortega in the North County last month.
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The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office announced that Fausto Ortega Maldonado, 28, was arrested in the stabbing death of Primitivo Pacheco-Ortega in the North County last month.

A Nipomo resident is one of three people charged with the murder of a Los Angeles-area man, whose charred body was found in a dry lake bed near Joshua Tree National Park earlier this month.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday it charged John Schiefer, 38, of Nipomo; Shavonne Webster, 40, of Winchester, Indiana; and Haena Kealia Worthing, 44, of Marina Del Rey with one count of murder for the death of William Webb, 72, of Marina Del Rey.

Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office, confirmed Thursday that Worthing is Webb’s stepdaughter.

A District Attorney’s news release states that Webb was murdered by the trio on Aug. 15. Webb’s burned body was found the next day in the dry lake bed near Sunway Road and Rosehedge Avenue in an unincorporated area near the Joshua Tree National Park.

The criminal complaint includes an allegation that Schiefer and Webster personally used a hammer in the commission of the killing, the DA’s Office says.

If convicted, Schiefer and Webster face a possible maximum sentence of 26 years to life in state prison, and Worthing faces a 25-years-to-life sentence.

Worthing was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court; it was unclear the status of her case Thursday.

Schiefer and Webster are scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 9.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.

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Matt Fountain is The San Luis Obispo Tribune’s courts and investigations reporter. A San Diego native, Fountain graduated from Cal Poly’s journalism department in 2009 and cut his teeth at the San Luis Obispo New Times before joining The Tribune as a crime and breaking news reporter in 2014.
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