Matt Fountain, The Tribune

Matt Fountain

The Tribune

San Luis Obispo, CA, United States

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Past articles by Matt:

Sherry Gong repaid $28,500 embezzled from band, wants to avoid a trial, attorney says

Sherry Gong, wife of San Luis Obispo County, California, Clerk Tommy Gong, has repaid $28,500 of the money she embezzled from the Atascadero High School band boosters and won’t go to trial, her attorney says. → Read More

‘Plain error’ trims 5 years off convicted scammer Kelly Gearhart’s prison sentence

The prison sentence of a former Atascadero, California, real estate developer was cut by five years after his 2014 conviction for wire fraud and money laundering. Kelly Gearhart was once Citizen of the Year. → Read More

County clerk’s wife charged with embezzling $32,000 from Atascadero High band boosters

Sherry Gong, wife of San Luis Obispo County Clerk Tommy Gong, was charged Monday with embezzling more than $32,000 from the Atascadero High School band booster club. → Read More

Atascadero man accused of fatal stabbing pleads not guilty

Atascadero, California, resident Kejuan Bynum pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a count of murder for the alleged stabbing death of Cristopher Wilson in Shandon last month. Bynum is being held without bail. → Read More

Jury finds SLO man guilty on all nine counts in child molestation trial

Matthew Roland Betts, 47, of San Luis Obispo was found guilty by a jury Friday of sexually molesting two girls in 2016. He now faces a possible life sentence in state prison after being convicted on nine counts. → Read More

Law that could free accomplices of murder ruled unconstitutional by SLO judge

San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Tim Covello ruled that SB 1437, a new law prohibiting charging accomplices with murder, possibly freeing convicted killers from prison, is unconstitutional. → Read More

‘Nobody paid attention to him’: Former SLO County Jail inmate sues public defender’s office

An Air Force veteran who spent 10 months in San Luis Obispo County Jail and state hospital custody filed a lawsuit against the law firm SLO Defenders for alleged malpractice after representing him in court. → Read More

Paso Robles man sentenced to prison for sexually molesting a 12-year-old girl

Paso Robles, California, resident Juan Antonio Esquivel was sentenced Tuesday to six years in prison for sexually molesting a 12-year-old girl in 2016. → Read More

Jordan Cunningham bill would create ‘toughest anti-teen vaping policy in the nation’

A bill co-authored by San Luis Obispo Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham would ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in gas stations and liquor stores in an effort to prevent teens from vaping. → Read More

‘Angered, troubled, confused’: Two girls testify against SLO man in child molestation trial

The child molestation trial for San Luis Obispo, California, resident Matthew Roland Betts, 47, began this week with testimony Friday from two alleged victims. Betts is accused of nine felonies. → Read More

SLO police pursue suspect on foot — with the help of a helicopter

A suspect was being chased by the San Luis Obispo, California, Police Department in the South Higuera Street area on Friday. The man has a reported outstanding misdemeanor warrant. → Read More

Man struck, killed in Oceano Dunes ATV crash involving drunk driver, State Parks says

An ATV crash at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area near Pismo Beach, California, killed a Brentwood man and led to the arrest of a suspect on suspicion of driving under the influence, State Parks says. → Read More

Man accused of killing Paso Robles man in Shandon stabbing makes first court appearance

The Atascadero, California, man accused of stabbing to death a Paso Robles man in Shandon in early June made his first court appearance Wednesday in his murder case and was appointed a public defender. → Read More

SLO judge says alleged rape victim of ex-Paso Robles cop can file lawsuit against city

An attempt by the city of Paso Robles, California, to stop an alleged rape victim of former officer Christopher McGuire from filing a lawsuit was overruled by a San Luis Obispo judge in a ruling Wednesday. → Read More

This Paso bartender is a ‘cocktail czar’ — and just won a national award

SLO Bitter Company founder Robin Wolf, who is also a bartender at The Hatch Rotisserie & Bar in Paso Robles, California, won an award for a whiskey creation at the Tales of the Cocktail conference in New Orleans. → Read More

He found ‘peace in a time of war’: Atascadero man writes how Vietnam changed him

Atascadero, California author Bruce West, who served as a civic action officer with the U.S. Navy Seabees during the Vietnam War, wrote a novel about working in a village in war-torn Quang Nam Province. → Read More

Templeton man killed in Hwy. 101 crash in Buellton over the weekend

The California Highway Patrol identified the driver who died in a crash on Highway 101 in Buellton on Saturday morning as 79-year-old Pietro Boumpensiero. The accident is still under investigation by CHP. → Read More

Vegetation fire burning at Heritage Ranch damages 1 home, threatens another

Firefighters are fighting a vegetation fire in Paso Robles, California, on Saddleback Lane at Heritage Ranch south of Lake Nacimiento, Cal Fire says. The blaze has damaged one home and is threatening another. → Read More

Chef who attempted to sexually assault woman at Atascadero park gets maximum sentence

A former Paso Robles, California, chef convicted of attempting to sexually assault a possibly drugged woman in Atascadero was sentenced to San Luis Obispo County Jail. The man lived in Pismo Beach. → Read More

‘Incredibly kind’ Cal Poly student who died in crash loved to travel, had a job lined up

A Cal Poly SLO business student killed in a wrong-way crash on Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo, California, was days away from graduating and returning to Washington to work at Costco’s corporate office. → Read More