Year in Review: Top 10 stories of 2016

The cigarette landed in dried leaves, fueling flames that spread to eucalyptus trees near the East Washington Street highway exit. Hot embers floated into nearby backyards, creating an inferno of trees and multiple homes, just yards from passing northbound commuters. Traffic backed up into Marin County.


A fundraising effort for victims so far has raised about $18,000.

DEADLY DEAL

The black market value of California marijuana continued to fuel violence.

Two East Coast visitors suspected of coming to Sonoma County for a lucrative pot deal, then leaving after killing two people and wounding a third, remain at large.

Suspects Robert Lee Randolph, 30, and his girlfriend Maria Teresa Lebron, 28, evaded authorities when they fled the Highway 116 South property after the Oct. 15 shooting. They vanished again when authorities came knocking at their Philadelphia homes.

Investigators said Randolph and Lebron were supposed to buy about 100 pounds of marijuana — estimated to be worth between $100,000 and $200,000 — from former teacher Nathan Proto, 36, of Sebastopol, in a deal arranged by John Jesse Mariana, 28, of Guerneville, who is originally from the Philadelphia area.

But the Sonoma County men were killed — and a 23-year-old woman seriously wounded — during the deal. The woman, the sole survivor of the attack, hasn’t been identified while the suspected killers remain free.

POT VIOLENCE

Marijuana trimmers turned on their boss in a robbery that turned deadly, said detectives investigating the killing of longtime Laytonville…

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