Henry Lee's Rap Sheet for Dec. 15, 2015

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Here's the Rap Sheet for Dec. 15, 2015:

PITTSBURG MURDER CONVICTION OK'D: A state appeals court today upheld the first-degree murder conviction of a woman who shot and killed her son's father in Pittsburg, a case that was solved with the help of the city's extensive network of surveillance cameras.

Jennell Renee Wright, 39, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for fatally shooting 31-year-old Andrew Le'Mar Green during an ambush on Pelican Loop on Feb. 23, 2010.

The first trial ended in a hung jury, but a second panel convicted Wright of first-degree murder along with a special circumstance of lying in wait. The jury rejected Wright's arguments that she had only intended to scare Green with the gun.

After the shooting, Pittsburg police located surveillance footage from the city's cameras -- located at all major intersections -- and found images of a 1997 Toyota Avalon leaving a local motel, arriving at the scene of the crime and then returning to the motel after the slaying, authorities said.

Police later determined that the vehicle belonged to Wright's mother.

A cleaning lady at the motel showed officers live cartridges underneath the mattress in Wright's room. They were hollow tip .38-caliber Special Hornady, the same rounds that were used to kill Green, authorities said. The murder weapon was found 10 feet from his body. 

Wright apparently tried to commit suicide by taking a whole bottle of Prozac and ingesting antifreeze, but police summoned paramedics and she recovered.

Wright appealed her murder conviction on various grounds, including her belief that Judge Leslie Landau of Contra Costa County Superior Court failed to give jurors instructions pertaining to provocation and "heat of passion," which could have led to a finding of voluntary manslaughter or second-degree murder.

While the appeals court agreed that Landau failed to provide those instructions, those errors were "'harmless," and there was sufficient evidence for the jury to find that Wright acted with premeditation and deliberation, thus supporting a first-degree murder verdict.

"As we explain, the court made several errors, but we conclude the errors do not warrant reversal," Justice Robert Dondero wrote in the ruling.

Wright is now serving her sentence at the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla (Madera County).

CHARGES LEVELED IN WALNUT CREEK DRUG EXPLOSION: Contra Costa County prosecutors have charged two men with several felonies in connection with a massive explosion that leveled a Walnut Creek townhouse complex last year.

Daniel Burgess, 34, of Danville and William Brown, 37, of Oakland were each charged with drug manufacturing, starting a fire causing great bodily injury and causing a fire of an inhabited structure.

The blast happened on the 1500 block of Sunnyvale Avenue about 10 a.m. on Oct. 31, 2014. According to investigators, the two men were busy making hash oil, a thick, yellow-orange by-product of marijuana also known as honey oil, in a second-floor unit.

They were using butane, a highly flammable gas, to extract the substance, authorities say.

The blast injured both suspects, and they were taken by helicopter to UC Davis Medical Center for treatment of severe injuries.

After formal charges were filed last month, Burgess turned himself in and was released on his own recognizance because of ongoing medical treatment.

Plans are underway to arrest Brown, authorities said.

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