Double Homicide Lead to Chase in Kerman

July 22, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The break-in happened at a home in Kerman. It lead to a police chase that ended with a crash in South Fresno near Golden State and Jensen Avenue.Kerman Police found a lot of marijuana growing inside the victims' home. Neighbors and friends identify the victims as husband and wife ... Gary and Sandra Debartolo.

Friends are shocked that the couple was allegedly growing marijuana. Kerman Police say they have known about the couple's activity and that's what could have led to the deadly home invasion.

A sheriff department helicopter circled this quiet Kerman neighborhood. Police say at 9:00 Wednesday morning ? three suspects barged into the home owned by Sandra and Gary Debartolo. They live near Kerman High School where Sandra worked. Her students were shocked to hear the couple was shot in their own home.

Erica Pimentel said, "She was a really nice lady. She was respectful and well known at the high school."

Investigators said the suspects ran from the Kerman home ... Got into a silver sedan and led police on a wild chase. It ended in Fresno with a major crash on Jensen and Golden State.

"We seen this car come around the corner and slam into this other car and raising four feet in the air and landing right where it is sitting now," said Scott Walsh.

The suspects bailed. Eventually police captured all four ... Including a man who needed medical attention.

Kerman's police chief said the victims' home was under surveillance at the time because investigators suspected the school employee and her husband were growing pot. After the home invasion ... Chief Bill Newton said their suspicions were confirmed.

Chief Bill Newton said, "We just assumed we'd take the search warrant downtown, get is signed, execute the warrant this afternoon and be done with it. This home invasion was a total surprise."

All four suspects are in custody. Kerman residents are very anxious about this double homicide. Kerman's police chief said his city's last murder happened in 1994. He can't recall any double murders in Kerman's history.

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