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California Chaldean Store Owners Are Feeling Safer
By Sam Yousif :: Friday, March 13, 2009 :: 55402 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society

California, USA – Local convenient store owners in the El Cajon and the San Diego area feel safer.  Jeda Athra, a mother of three teenagers works long hours with her husband at a corner retail store says she is happy to see the police and prosecuting attorneys taking a stronger stance against crime.  “They need to clean-up the criminals from the streets and let everyone know that holding-up a store in our town means you will go to jail.”

Athra’s husband adds, “Our state is bankrupt which means more crime and more problems.  We need police to scare bad people away from here before they kill anyone else.  Look at those two evil criminals that now face the death penalty.  It does not pay to hurt people in our city.”

The convenient store couple refer to the Thanksgiving bandits.  Franko “Dopes” Bernal and Samuel Thomas “Tommy” McCauley, 21 face a death sentence or life in prison for gunning down store workers in 2006.

Bernal, 24, and Samuel Thomas “Tommy” McCauley, 21, were convicted Feb. 11 of two counts of murder for gunning down, an 18-year-old man, and killing a 54-year-old clerk at Lemon Grove 7-Eleven, during a robbery.  The two were also convicted of attempted murder for shooting a customer in the jaw in the Nov. 25 robbery on Broadway near Buena Vista Avenue.  Bernal also was convicted of robbery and attempted robbery, and McCauley was convicted of robbery but acquitted of attempted robbery.

Lawyers for the two criminals argued for mercy, saying Bernal and McCauley had horrible childhoods.

McCauley's mother testified that she was a drug-addicted, alcoholic prostitute and couldn’t even count how many times she has been arrested on drug and prostitution charges. She said McCauley's trial was the first time she had seen her son since he was about 5 years old.

McCauley's father was a convicted sex offender who abused drugs and alcohol and often fought with his son, said defense attorney Daniel Mangarin.

Bernal had an equally hard life, his lawyers said. When he was 9, his father, a heavy drug user, was killed when he got caught up in a gang-related shooting. Two of the boy's uncles were shot in the head but survived, said Alternate Public Defender Jacqueline Crowle. She said Bernal's mother was addicted to heroin and methamphetamine.   Bernal was “a throwaway child,” Crowle said.

Deputy District Attorney James Romo told jurors that no matter how bad their childhood was, it doesn't make up for the pain McCauley and Bernal caused the families of those they killed.

“There are millions of children who grow up in horrible circumstances (with) alcoholic parents and fathers in prison and do not take that additional step to end another person's life,” Romo said.

Judge Allan J. Preckel set a March 20 hearing to determine the next step in the case.

Sacred Heart Parish, MI USA

 

Sacred Heart Parish
310 W. Seven Mile. Rd.
Detroit, MI 48203
Tel: (313) 368-6214
Fax: (313) 891-0132

The parish was established by Rev. Jacob Yasso in 1973

Rev. Jacob Yasso

Rev. Jacob Yasso was born in the village of Telkaif, Iraq.  After completing high school he was recruited to Rome and Urbaniana University where he completed his Masters Degree in philosophy and Theology.  Fr. Yasso was ordained a priest in 1960 and served the Diocese of Mosul, where he worked in the public school system. Fr. Yasso was also asked by the Patriarch to teach at the Patriarchal Seminary in Baghdad, where he served as administrator, professor of philosophy and religious life, and rector of the minor seminary. 

In 1964, Fr. Yasso was appointed to the United States to serve the growing Chaldean community in Detroit.  There he served as the 4th Pastor of Mother of God Parish.  .  In 1972, the Patriarch charged Fr. Yasso with building a new parish for the Chaldeans in Detroit.  In taking great pains to care for the community Fr. Yasso accelerated the development of a new church and community center.  In 1975, Fr. Yasso completed the development of Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit and shortly thereafter he added the Chaldean Center of America in 1980, 

A few years later in 1982, Fr. Yasso was asked to assist the late Fr. Kattoula at St. Peter’s Church in San Diego, CA.  Before long, Fr. Yasso was once again recruited to Rome to study new Canon Law of the Church.  While in Rome Fr. Yasso completed his third Masters Degree in Church Law, making him the only Chaldean priest trained in Canon Law. 

In 1988, the Patriarch and Vatican authorities asked Fr. Yasso to travel to Canada and establish a parish and community center.  While there he served as a Tribunal Judge for the Archdiocese of Toronto.  Four years later Fr. Yasso returned to Sacred Heart church in Detroit to help care for the remaining Chaldean community residence in the Detroit area.  To this day, Fr. Yasso continues to serve as the parish pastor creating activities and advising the City of Detroit on community related matters. 

Fr. Yasso is a member of the International WYCLIF Bible translators, since 1975, and has completed the translation of the New Testament from Greek and Aramaic into Arabic and spoken Chaldean.   The publication of his scholarly work is set to be released soon.