DA charges second suspect in killings of two women

Visalia police locate second suspect in murder case, District Attorney charges him with first degree murder

VISALIA – A man arrested for the killing of one woman in Visalia and then a second in Tulare while trying to evade capture, is now believed to have an accomplice.

Late last month Visalia and Tulare police arrested Barry Dantzler, 30, for killing Heather Sloan, and then a female bicyclist a few days later when he tried to flee from police from a Motel 6. In an update released last week by the Visalia Police Department, Dantzler was working with suspect, Adam Hernandez, 26, during the homicide.

District Attorney Tim Ward released a statement that his office is charging Hernandez with one count of first-degree murder with the special circumstances that the crime was committed during the commission of a burglary and a robbery, and special allegations of felony murder during the commission of a burglary and robbery.

Dantzler is also charged with first-degree murder with special circumstances and allegations in the same case. Additionally, Dantzler is charged with a separate count of murder as a result of hitting the cyclist.

Dantzler possesses prior strikes for criminal threats in 2011 and three attempted robberies in 2013 which also included being a felon in possession of ammunition and a firearm. Dantzler was sentenced to nine years in state prison for both cases and released on parole in 2018. Shortly after being released, Dantzler committed another felony offense and failed to appear at his June 2019 sentencing. In August of that year, Dantzler was charged with felony evading and hit and run causing injury.

After being in custody since Aug. 2019, Dantzler pleaded no contest to the felony evading and hit and run causing injury charges on Feb. 25, 2020. At the plea hearing, Dantzler requested a Cruz Waiver over the objection of the prosecutor. The court granted the waiver, which allows the defendant to leave custody until time of sentencing on the condition that the court can change the indicated sentence if the defendant fails to appear at sentencing. In this case, Dantzler was facing an indicated term of three years, four months in prison.

At the time of the murders, Dantzler was considered a parolee-at-large and was in violation of his Cruz Waiver terms, as he had not contacted parole and county probation.

Hernandez was arraigned on the charges this afternoon and is being held without bail. Dantzler was arraigned on June 2, and is also being held without bail. If convicted, both men face the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole. They will return to court for a preliminary hearing conference on June 19.

Visalia police logs

Sunday, June 7

At approximately 6:06 p.m. members of the Visalia Police Department responded to Golden West High School located at 1717 N. McAuliff Street in Visalia for a report of a male subject possibly stealing a forklift. Upon arrival a youth service officer located the suspect in the area of Lovers Lane and Houston Avenue on a Gradall forklift. Officers followed the subject to the area of Lovers Lane and Norman Ave where they were able to take the suspect into custody without incident. The investigation revealed that prior to leaving the campus on the equipment the suspect had used the forklift to cause a significant amount of damage to a light pole and fencing on the campus. The suspect has been identified as 25-year-old Anthony Angel Rocha. He was booked into the Tulare County Adult Pretrial Facility for auto theft and felony vandalism.

At 3:54 a.m., Visalia Police Department responded to a 9-1-1 call from a store employee at 7- Eleven at 4445 W. Noble. The employee advised that a white male adult wearing a black mask entered the store and was acting suspicious and was possibly in possession of a gun. Prior to the officer’s arrival, the male left in a black Jeep. Visalia California Highway Patrol was in the area and observed a black Jeep occupied by a white male in the parking lot at Motel 6, 4645 W. Noble. CHP and a Visalia patrol officer contacted the subject, Eric Hoisington, 31, and found he possessed drug paraphernalia and a loaded magazine concealed in his waistband. During a search of his vehicle, a loaded handgun was located. Hoisington was found to be a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing the firearm. Hoisington was arrested for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of firearm in a public place, possession of a high capacity magazine, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Saturday, June 6

At approximately 7:31 p.m., the Visalia Police Department responded to the area of Divisadero and Meadow for an assault with a deadly weapon that had just occurred. Upon arrival, officers contacted a family who stated they were walking northbound on Divisadero at Meadow when a newer four-door black Honda or Toyota approached from northbound Divisadero. Officers were advised that the front passenger shot at them with an unknown type Airsoft weapon. Three of the family members were struck by projectiles and received minor injuries. The victims were treated at the scene and released. This incident is not related to any protests that occurred in the city of Visalia on Saturday. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Visalia Police Department. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the tip line at (559) 713-4738.

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