Jan 30, 2015

Studio S closed from February until May

Good news, Susan Strope's art will be featured again at the Wine Spot in Eureka in February.

You can still visit with Susan, drink wine and cheese, you just do it at the Wind Spot.

Wine Spot woos your valentine early starting this weekend with a Rombauer special

The Wine Spot located at Third and F, in Eureka, has a pre-valentine special this Fri, Sat and Sunday only. Three bottles of mix and match Rombauer Zinfandel or Chardonnay for only $80.

Starting next weekend on Arts Alive, until Valentine's day, all bubbly on sale. Susan Strope, the featured artist for January, will have new arts, her florals for February. Live music on Arts Alive by Michael Dayvid.

Check out their facebook for details.

Ryan Robinson's family stares at Judson Stiglich's family; preliminary hearing set for February 17

Today's OR bail hearing and disposition reset hearing was more like a soap opera.

Families staring each other down, confusion about what happened, Judson Stiglich's private counsel Russ Clanton claiming to be unaware of what his own office requested at the last court hearing.

End result Judson Stiglich's bail remains set at $300,000 and he remains in custody. Preliminary hearing is set for February 17 at 8:30 a.m. in Courtroom 2.

Mr. Clanton wanted bail reduced, DDA Stacey Eads who is prosecuting the case wanted bail increased. Both families in a lot of pain and each with their own perspective.

While we were waiting for the Stiglich case to be called, both his family members and the victim's family members were in court. Stiglich smiled at his family members who were in court before victim's family .When Ryan Robinson's family came in to Courtroom 2, wearing RIP Ryan shirts, they glared at Stiglich's family.

The case got moved last minute to Courtroom 2 instead of Courtroom 4. I had checked on my own, and headed to Courtroom 2 well in advance. Judge Timothy Cissna announced the change so Will Houston from the Times-Standard came over as did Stiglich and Robinson family members. The only one who claimed he didn't  know was Russ Clanton whose office represents Stiglich and this is what he told Stiglich family members in hallway and later told Judge Marilyn Miles. Because Mr. Clanton was not in court when Stiglich's case was initially called, Stiglich's case was called after drug court.

While Will and I were in the hallway since all the courtroom seats were filled with drug court attendees Mr. Clanton told the Stiglich family they could go home, if they like. He said "basically I will make a pitch for him to get out of jail but that's not going to happen. I am looking forward to the preliminary hearing. That is when I get to cross-examine people and I can bring up self-defense."  He mentioned someone named Jennifer was avoiding and the office was trying to get hold of her.

All this was in the hallway with him being aware Will and I could overhear his conversation.

The real soap opera started once we were in the courtroom. Things were so tense that each family sat on separate sides of the courtroom and there were two extra bailiffs when this case was being heard. Robinson's mother and another family member were crying inside the courtroom.

When the hearing started, it was stated on record that time has been waived in the case. Bail was set at $300,000. Mr. Clanton did not ask for Stiglich to be released on OR. Instead , he requested that Stiglich's bail be reduced to an amount that he could make and that his client would make all future court appearances.

 Judge Miles looked at the charges and the bail amount and came up with presumptive bail being $150,000. She read some rules, wondered why bail was set at $300,000. Ms. Eads said that Ryan Robinson's mother "had very strong feelings about Stiglich being released and personal concerns" and wanted to address the Court, she had also written a letter. She asked the Court if Mrs. Robinson could speak and then the People would present their reasons for opposition to reducing bail.

Judge Miles then pointed out that the Court first decides about OR and then decides about safety concerns and since Mr. Clanton was not asking that his client be released on OR, that had already been denied. She also said that at this hearing they were addressing bail, there would be other opportunities for Mrs, Robinson to provide input.

At this point, the People interjected instead of reduction, they wanted an increase in bail to $500,000. Mr. Clanton objected saying he needed notice. Judge Miles said she didn't realize there were going to be issues. She had also just received the file and the case last minute. She looked at the rules and basically, score Ms. Eads, loss Mr. Clanton because if the police are requesting a bail increase, they have to give a written declaration but once in court, either the prosecutor or the defense can "ask for departure from bail."

At this point, Mr. Clanton said he waived the hearing, he wanted to address this in motion. He also pulled the time waiver in the case and wanted a date set. Mr. Clanton kept saying that this was the first time he had appeared. Which is true but his office was represented at the other hearings.

It was very frustrating to sit in the audience and Will and I both looked at our notes and we were present at the other court hearings. It was Mr. Clanton's office that requested the OR hearing today. It was Mr. Celli, who works with Mr. Clanton, that had the preliminary hearing vacated.

At this point DDA AJ Kamada who was in Courtroom 2 for the regular calendar whispered in Ms. Eads ear. It was determined that Judge Joyce Hinrichs had set the bail at $300,000. Judge Miles then said all the Judges were basically one court, she cannot change Judge Hinrich's decision.

Kudos to Judge Miles for her patience in clearing the confusion which would not have been necessary had Mr. Clanton  talked with his office and been prepared for a case before he comes to court. At the last hearing, Mr. Celli was prepared and coherent in his request. Kudos to Ms. Eads who knows the law and kudos to Mr. Kamada for communicating with his co-worker. The only loss is certain defense attorneys who don't have Paul to make deals and don't get to run the courtroom anymore.

Links below give background on the case, preliminary hearing.

Previous posts:


With 33 court cases, five previous criminal cases Judson Stiglich, suspect in the death of Ryan Robinson is no boy scout

Judson Stiglich, who is charged with voluntary manslaughter of Ryan Robinson, has a OR Bail and disposition reset hearing scheduled today in Courtroom 4. He is being represented by private counsel, Mr. David Celli. The case is being prosecuted by DDA Stacey Eads. His preliminary hearing for January 26 was continued due to outstanding discovery, including defense not having the police report.

The victim's family was present for the last court hearing. They sobbed outside the courtroom.

Stiglich is no stranger to law enforcement. He has 33 cases in the system, while most are for traffic offenses, he has prior criminal cases in which he was charged with robbery, drug offenses and now this recent case.

I took a quick look at his cases and in detail at two cases. In the last two cases, he was only convicted of a felony: robbery and another felony: drug offense.

Will any of this have an effect on his bail hearing and release today?

Previous post:


Jan 29, 2015

Hoopa shooting victim in stable condition, lookout issued for suspect

On 01-28-2015 at about 5:15 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office along with the Hoopa Tribal Police Department, responded to a shooting that had just occurred on Alameda Drive, Hoopa off Highway 96.

When Officers arrived on scene they learned a male victim age 57 had been shot once with a .22 caliber rifle. The male victim was air lifted to a hospital in the Redding area. The victim is currently listed in stable condition.

During the investigation officers learned two females had got into a physical fight with each other prior to the shooting. Those two females then separated from each other. One of the females, who has been identified as Frances Ellen Billy age 40 armed herself with a .22 caliber rifle.

Billy for unknown reasons shot the male victim with the rifle and then fled the scene. Billy is described as a Native American female, 5’-3”, 120 pounds, brown hair with brown eyes. The Sheriff Office has issued a Be On the Lookout (BOL) to other law enforcement agencies to arrest Billy for attempted homicide.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s office is considering Billy armed and dangerous. This case is still under investigation.

Jan 28, 2015

Criminal justice reform brings together unlikely alliances


$100,000 bail set for "Creeper" aka Anthony Burgess who responds "Oh F...k" when criminal gang association charge is read

Today, Judge John Feeney appointed Ms. Heidi Holmquist, from the Public Defender's office, for Anthony Manuel Burgess. He read the charges during this arraignment hearing, which are listed below.

Bail was set in one case for $50,000 and the other for $100,000. When the criminal street gang association charge was being read, Burgess said, "Oh Fuck." Ms. Holmquist "waived OR without prejudice." His case in on for intervention on February 2 at 3 p.m. and the preliminary hearing was set for February 10 at 8:30 a.m because he did not waive time.

On January 26, EPD arrested Burgess and he was booked into jail for he was booked  with charges for  being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of ammunition, carrying a concealed firearm, felon carrying a loaded firearm in public, felon in possession of a stun gun, participation in a criminal street gang, resisting/obstructing a peace officer, fleeing the scene of a collision, committing a felony crime while out on bail, and possession of a
loaded firearm while under the influence of a controlled substance.

This is not his first brush with the law.
Previous post (with EPD release and other background):


"In the Stiglich case, they charged him with voluntary manslaughter claiming it was a crime of passion. In that case, the victim did not even have a firearm. In our case, the victim had a firearm and it was basically a home invasion."

 An offer was made in the Benjamin Carter case; he is the suspect that called LOCO on the lam instead of his defense attorney and is charged with the murder of Zachery Chapman.

Please see post below for details and background. If you want the gist, I explain the offer below.

I spoke with Mr. Michael Acosta, Carter's defense attorney outside the courtroom, after today's court hearing .No other media was present in the courtroom or has this letter.

Mr. Acosta said that the defense has made an offer that Carter would plead guilty to PC 141 tampering with evidence and PC 148 delaying the investigation and obstruction of justice. Mr. Acosta said that Carter did "commit homicide, but not malicious homicide, which is what murder is," he said. As to burning Chapman's jacket and tampering with evidence, Mr. Acosta said that they acknowledge Carter did these things; and that "he did leave the County when he ran" but in his client's defense said, "he panicked." Mr. Acosta said his client was acting in self-defense.

Mr. Acosta compared the charging decisions made in this case with another high profile case, that of Judson Stiglich, who is charged with voluntary manslaughter.

"In the Stiglich case, they charged him with voluntary manslaughter claiming it was a crime of passion. In that case, the victim did not even have a firearm. In our case, the victim had a firearm and it was basically a home invasion."

"The new administration did not charge Ben's case, that was Paul's administration," said Mr. Acosta. "We want Ms. Fleming to have an opportunity to review the charges in this case. If they end up losing this trial, it will be very costly for the County."