Aug 27, 2015

"This case is like a virulent case of herpes"

After a two day preliminary hearing featuring an array of Humboldt's frequently booked and colorful quotes attributed to HCSO Investigator Greg Musson such as "This case is like a virulent case of herpes", Jonas Semore was held to answer to the murder charge in the death of David Ganfield. Visiting Judge Arvid Johnson was the Judge for the preliminary hearing.

DDA Roger Rees is prosecuting the case.

Ms. Kathleen Bryson is representing Semore. Defense investigator is Mr. Adam Laird. Ms. Bryson's cross revealed a sneak preview of the jury trial.

 This case brought back flashes of the Bodhi Tree trial where the People's witnesses' criminal records and self-admitted drug use was brought up during cross. Investigator Musson acknowledged that a few times quipping, that he/she "would not win citizen of the year."

DDA Rees also acknowledged that point. Judge Johnson's off the cuff comment was the best. "I think we can stipulate that the entire group of people at the house are not the kind you would find at a Bible study at Church."

There were moments like that during the preliminary hearing where the entire courtroom broke into a smile. While Mr. Semore's family was present, others who maybe related to the victim were not present today but a Victim Witness Representative was there.

Arraignment on information is September 9 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 1.

Aug 26, 2015

Now this ladies and gentlemen is what we in Humboldt call a classic case of conflict

Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District agenda tomorrow, under New Business,  Item 11 b is Consideration of renewal of Coast Seafoods Company Tideland Lease.

District 2 Harbor Commissioner Greg Dale manages Coast Seafoods.

This conflict of interest, will it continue after the upcoming election?

"Nick would not let it go and it had to be dealt with"; some details around David Ganfield's murder emerge in the preliminary hearing

Jonas Semore, one of two men arrested for the death of David Ganfield, started his preliminary hearing today. It was full of twists and turns with testimony from several people involved that night.

Allegations of alleged drug activity, drug money owed and women allegedly beaten by the victim; including a name recently in the headlines, Rebecca Hamline, who allegedly said Semore confessed to her that he had beaten Ganfield with a baseball bat. An autopsy was done on Ganfield by Dr. Super and he said cause of death was being "hit in the head by blunt force."

Hamline along with James Cunha were recently charged with Receiving Stolen Property and Identity theft.

Also involved is Randy Cook, a name frequently on LOCO's Booked report from the Humboldt County Jail reports.

However, during cross-examination, Semore's attorney Ms. Kathleen Bryson, poked a few holes in Hamline's credibility and story. Ms. Bryson implied that Hamline snitched on Semore, a friend of hers, to cut a deal with the DA's office. Investigator Musson denied that he made any such promise to Hamline. Ms. Bryson quoted Hamline saying, "I need to get home to my kids and this is the best I could come up with."

Deputy District Attorney Roger Rees presented two HCSO witnesses today, Deputy Dennis Gagnon and HCSO Investigator Greg Musson.

The preliminary hearing continues tomorrow.

I will be posting details of the preliminary hearing after it concludes.

Jury trial date of September 14 set for Rio Dell police officer Kevin Harralson's case; People's offer rejected by defense

After the defense rejected the People's offer during a disposition and reset hearing today in Courtroom 5,a  jury trial date of September 14 has been set for Kevin Harralson. Trial conformation is September 9.

Kevin Harralson, is the Rio Dell officer that was arrested and charged with two counts of battery on the mother of his child PC 243 (e) (1) and one count of exhibiting a firearm, PC 447 (a) (2).

Harralson is charged in Counts 1 and 2 with PC 243 (e) (1), a misdemeanor. PC 273.5. corporal injury on a spouse, cohabitant or fellow parent is a felony.

Deputy District Attorney A.J. Kamada said the "People's offer was to plead to Count 1 or 2 and plead to Count 3." Mr. Michael Robinson, who is representing Harralson, said that they reject the offer and asked for dates to be set.

Mr. Robinson complimented DDA Kelly Neel, who provided him with prompt discovery and said that discovery was complete. Ms. Neel is leaving September 21 to join the Public Defender's office and when Mr. Robinson inquired who would be handling the case now, DDA Kamada indicated he was the prosecutor on the case.

Mr. Robinson told Judge Joyce Hinrichs that "a lot of evidence has been made public. If the People offer that evidence," he would be filing an motion objecting to that under California evidence Code 1108.

No other media was present in court.

From shouse law websiste:

In general, under Evidence Code 1101 EC, so-called “character evidence” is not admissible in aCalifornia criminal jury trial to show that a person acted in accordance with his/her character on a particular occasion.1
What this often means for a criminal defendant is that the prosecutor may not introduce evidence of bad acts you committed in the past—criminal or otherwise—in order to show that you committed the crime with which you are being charged.2


1100.  Except as otherwise provided by statute, any otherwise
admissible evidence (including evidence in the form of an opinion,
evidence of reputation, and evidence of specific instances of such
person's conduct) is admissible to prove a person's character or a
trait of his character.

1108.  (a) In a criminal action in which the defendant is accused of
a sexual offense, evidence of the defendant's commission of another
sexual offense or offenses is not made inadmissible by Section 1101,
if the evidence is not inadmissible pursuant to Section 352.
   (b) In an action in which evidence is to be offered under this
section, the people shall disclose the evidence to the defendant,
including statements of witnesses or a summary of the substance of
any testimony that is expected to be offered in compliance with the
provisions of Section 1054.7 of the Penal Code.
   (c) This section shall not be construed to limit the admission or
consideration of evidence under any other section of this code.
   (d) As used in this section, the following definitions shall
   (1) "Sexual offense" means a crime under the law of a state or of
the United States that involved any of the following:
   (A) Any conduct proscribed by Section 243.4, 261, 261.5, 262,
264.1, 266c, 269, 286, 288, 288a, 288.2, 288.5, or 289, or
subdivision (b), (c), or (d) of Section 311.2 or Section 311.3,
311.4, 311.10, 311.11, 314, or 647.6, of the Penal Code.
   (B) Any conduct proscribed by Section 220 of the Penal Code,
except assault with intent to commit mayhem.
   (C) Contact, without consent, between any part of the defendant's
body or an object and the genitals or anus of another person.
   (D) Contact, without consent, between the genitals or anus of the
defendant and any part of another person's body.
   (E) Deriving sexual pleasure or gratification from the infliction
of death, bodily injury, or physical pain on another person.
   (F) An attempt or conspiracy to engage in conduct described in
this paragraph.
   (2) "Consent" shall have the same meaning as provided in Section
261.6 of the Penal Code, except that it does not include consent
which is legally ineffective because of the age, mental disorder, or
developmental or physical disability of the victim.

1109.  (a) (1) Except as provided in subdivision (e) or (f), in a
criminal action in which the defendant is accused of an offense
involving domestic violence, evidence of the defendant's commission
of other domestic violence is not made inadmissible by Section 1101
if the evidence is not inadmissible pursuant to Section 352.
   (2) Except as provided in subdivision (e) or (f), in a criminal
action in which the defendant is accused of an offense involving
abuse of an elder or dependent person, evidence of the defendant's
commission of other abuse of an elder or dependent person is not made
inadmissible by Section 1101 if the evidence is not inadmissible
pursuant to Section 352.
   (3) Except as provided in subdivision (e) or (f) and subject to a
hearing conducted pursuant to Section 352, which shall include
consideration of any corroboration and remoteness in time, in a
criminal action in which the defendant is accused of an offense
involving child abuse, evidence of the defendant's commission of
child abuse is not made inadmissible by Section 1101 if the evidence
is not inadmissible pursuant to Section 352. Nothing in this
paragraph prohibits or limits the admission of evidence pursuant to
subdivision (b) of Section 1101.
   (b) In an action in which evidence is to be offered under this
section, the people shall disclose the evidence to the defendant,
including statements of witnesses or a summary of the substance of
any testimony that is expected to be offered, in compliance with the
provisions of Section 1054.7 of the Penal Code.
   (c) This section shall not be construed to limit or preclude the
admission or consideration of evidence under any other statute or
case law.
   (d) As used in this section:
   (1) "Abuse of an elder or dependent person" means physical or
sexual abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation,
abduction, or other treatment that results in physical harm, pain, or
mental suffering, the deprivation of care by a caregiver, or other
deprivation by a custodian or provider of goods or services that are
necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering.
   (2) "Child abuse" means an act proscribed by Section 273d of the
Penal Code.
   (3) "Domestic violence" has the meaning set forth in Section 13700
of the Penal Code. Subject to a hearing conducted pursuant to
Section 352, which shall include consideration of any corroboration
and remoteness in time, "domestic violence" has the further meaning
as set forth in Section 6211 of the Family Code, if the act occurred
no more than five years before the charged offense.
   (e) Evidence of acts occurring more than 10 years before the
charged offense is inadmissible under this section, unless the court
determines that the admission of this evidence is in the interest of
   (f) Evidence of the findings and determinations of administrative
agencies regulating the conduct of health facilities licensed under
Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code is inadmissible under this

Last post:

Rio Dell police officer posted bail, was out of custody and has retained private attorney Mr. Michael Robinson to represent him.

He was dressed in blue slacks and black pants for court. He had posted bail. People did not serve him with a protective order. His attorney asked the case be moved from Courtroom 3, early resolution to Courtroom 5, home court for a disposition and reset on August 26.

Mr. Robinson said they anticipate a jury trial. Only KAEF TV and I were in court. Channel 3 showed up later in Courtroom 2 looking for this case, where I was covering the Phoenix Campbell-Loya jury trial.

Mr. Robinson said his client waives time, because there is an extensive discovery, he requested the disposition and reset hearing in 60 days, said he anticipates motions and a jury trial.

Mr. Robinson requested the case be moved out of early resolution court and be moved to the home court. The defense also stipulated to a CAST agreement.

The victim was not present but victim witness representative was in court.

DDA Kelly Neel filed the complaint and is the prosecutor on the case.

Previous posts:

Judson Stiglich jury trial next Monday in question due to DA filing amended information and a petition to revoke

A trial readiness was scheduled today for the Judson Stiglich case. He is charged with the death of Ryan Robinson. At that time, Stiglich's was dating Robinson's sister.

DDA Stacey Eads is prosecuting the case. Mr. Russ Clanton is representing Stiglich. Family members for both Stiglich and Robinson families were present.

In court today, Mr. Clanton said he would be filing a motion to continue given the new petition to revoke probation that was handed to him in court and the DA's amended information on the homicide case which he just received this morning.

Both attorneys spoke with the families before court.

The matter to continue and other "matters" will be addressed at trial assignment this Friday.

No other media was present in court.

Previous post:
(has other links in previous posts)

Aug 25, 2015

Humboldt County has a plan for matching funds for construction if the proposal for the new Humboldt County Corrections Re-entry and Day Reporting center goes through

On today's Humboldt County Board of Supervisors agenda, under the Probation Department heading, item # 9 talks about a proposal for a new Humboldt County facility.

Approval of Agreement with Criminal Justice Research Foundation and Approval of
Supplemental Budget in Budget Unit 294 (4/5 Vote Required)
That the Board of Supervisors approve the Consultant Agreement with Criminal
Justice Research Foundation to develop Humboldt County's proposal for a
Humboldt County Corrections Reentry and Day Reporting Center under Senate
Bill 863; authorize the chairperson of the Board to sign two copies of the
Consultant Agreement; authorize the Clerk of the Board to forward two copies of
the Consultant Agreement to Probation Attention: Ellisha Hardison, Legal Office
Business Manager; and approve the Probation Department Supplemental Budget
request to increase the Contract Services line of Probation Public Safety
Realignment Budget Unit 294 (4/5 vote required).

I think this new facility is a great idea. A new facility will be able to house offenders by risk level, level of crime and it could be even more of a rehabilitation facility. The new jail expansion facility has been discussed before at a press conference and was reported by several media. The discussion has come up again. So this item is not new "news."

In this case, the cost of to staff and run would be less expensive compared to the cost of the booking fees, court fees, attorney fees, housing and other expenses that taxpayers pay for repeat offenders and others who are released due to lack of jail space, only to commit a new crime. 

You do not need a consultant to see what releasing people who do not want to change costs the taxpayers. That is why crime headlines drive blog traffic and sell newspapers. There are people who want to change, get an education, re enter into society. They should be housed separately so they are around supportive people with the same goal. That cost is an efficient use of investing into people who want to change and leave their criminal past behind.

Read this link under that agenda item:

Point to pay attention to:

There is no financial impact to the County General Fund; all expenditures will be covered by increased revenues from realignment.

There has been concern raised over at the Humboldt Consequential blog
 about the cost of constructing the facility taken from an article in the Times-Standard That is a good question.

I was curious myself. I contacted a couple of Supervisors and Supervisor Virginia BAss got back to me. Supervisor Ryan Sundberg will be getting back to me as well.

"The county intends to pursue the issuance of certificates of participation for $1 million. If the county decides not to go that route we currently have 1 million available in the criminal justice fund that could be applied to the project. The county has also identified $500,000 cash contribution from the Humboldt County Community Corrections Partnership. That accounts for the 1.5". This is a point Supervisor Bass 

She said she would get back to me about the other 100,000." I reached both her and Supervisor Ryan Sundberg after they had left for day and they were only able to talk for a few minutes. They are going to check and get back to me.

Today, Supervisor Sundberg got back to me. "Below is the language from the resolution attached to the agenda item that explains where the funds are coming from for the project:

The County intends to pursue the issuance of Certificates of Participation to fund this project and currently has $1 million available in the Criminal Justice fund that could be applied to the project if COPs are not issued. In addition, the County has identified $500,000 cash contribution from the Humboldt County Community Corrections Partnership (HCCCP). The total county cash contribution for this project is $1.5 million.

The $500,000 is from AB109 funds.

The last $80 K or so will be part of the contingency. This is a small amount when dealing with a $20 million construction project. In other words, we don't know if we will need that, or if it would be a general fund payment or if another grant source would open up and pay it."
I wrote aboout the Humboldt County Community Partnership

Murphy's market grand theft embezzlement suspect arraigned, jury trial set for October

Today, arraignment on information was scheduled this afternoon in Courtroom 2 for Michael Noriega.

Noriega is charged with grand theft embezzlement and possession of a controlled substance, heroin. These are the same charges as the preliminary hearing. DA Maggie Fleming was in court for the People. Newly hired DDA Dave Christensen was in Courtroom 2 observing with Ms. Fleming.

His attorney, Mr. Casey Russo, from the Public Defender's office said his client is not waiving time.Trial Confirmation is at 2 p.m.  September 22, Trial Readiness is 1 p.m. on October 14 and Jury Trial is October 19 at 8:30 a.m..

On August 12, Noriega, the man charged with grand theft embezzlement at Murphy's Market was held to answer on all charges after a preliminary hearing.

Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett prosecuted the preliminary hearing. At the preliminary hearing, she presented two witnesses, Murphy's Market Controller and Director of Human Resources, David Breisacher and APD Officer Vincent B'Oconnor.

Noriega was suspected of embezzling after discrepancies showed up on a computer report and his usage of the safe transaction feature on the Sunnybrae location was reviewed. He is being represented by 

Previous post (with background):

Heroin, Meth, hash, cash and marijuana in POP bust on I street

On 08/25/15 at about 10:26 a.m., Detectives with the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP) served a search warrant at an apartment on the 100 block of I Street in response to numerous citizen complaints.

Inside the apartment, Detectives located 21 grams of Heroin, 24 grams of Methamphetamine, and 220 grams of Hash all packaged for sales.  Scales, over $1,000 in cash, and a Butane Honey Oil extraction lab were also located inside the apartment. Two people were contacted inside the apartment and arrested.

Caleb Hanevik, 37 of Eureka, was arrested for manufacturing a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for sales, possession of Methamphetamine for sales, and possession of Marijuana for sales.  Lynzi Mcintire-Morgan, 22 of Eureka, was arrested for possession of Methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Pysch evaluation ordered for suspect charged with stabbing her husband

A disposition and reset hearing was scheduled this afternoon a 2 p.m. for Lindsay Kaminsky. At the last hearing on August 13, the defense requested yet another continuance stating a confidential reason.

A funding order was just signed today to get a psych evaluation for Kaminsky. Her husband was not in court for the first time today. Intervention is set for September 24 at 3 p.m. in Courtroom 2. Preliminary hearing for September 30 at 8:30 a.m. Her attorney Mr. Daskal said "I think we have a,resolution" when preliminary hearing date was set.

DA Maggie Fleming was present for the People.

Lindsay Kaminsky is charged with corporal injury, assault with deadly weapon, great bodily injury and stabbing her husband with a knife. 

She previously had preliminary hearing scheduled on August 13.Her attorney Mr. Manny Daskal asked for a continuance that day stating the reason was confidential and asked to approach the bench. The People did not object to the continuance. DDA Brie Bennett was going to handle the preliminary hearing for her colleague Ms. Kelly Neel. 

Glenn Kaminsky, the husband and alleged victim in this case was in court.

Previous post (with other links):

$747,781 federal grant given to California to help small businesses boost trade

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) today announced that California received a $747,781 grant from the federal government to help small businesses boost trade and export abroad.

“California is already a global economy and today’s announcement bolsters the state’s efforts to help more small businesses become international exporters,” said GO-Biz deputy director Brian Peck. “GO-Biz will use the funds to help small businesses participate in activities like foreign trade missions and access foreign markets through trade promotion initiatives.”

The grant is part of the US Small Business Administration (SBA) State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) program which awarded grants to 40 states and territories to support activities to increase exporting by small businesses. California has received STEP funding in previous years but this is the first year that funds were awarded directly to GO-Biz – the state’s lead entity for international affairs and economic development. GO-Biz will work with other partners including the California Community Colleges international trade program - the Centers for International Trade Development (CITD), California Department of Food and Ag (CDFA), the LA Chamber of Commerce and BizFed in providing grants to qualifying small businesses and trade promotion programs. GO-Biz and CITD will partner to administer the STEP Program.

Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, the head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and member of President Obama’s Cabinet, announced the grant award at a press conference in Los Angeles on Monday. She was joined by GO-Biz deputy director Brian Peck, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Gary Toebben and other community & business leaders.

"Exports are a central part of America's economic growth; with export-supported jobs paying 15-18% more. Yet less than one percent of small businesses export; and of those that do, 58 percent of them export to only one country. Unlocking trade opportunities for small businesses is key to continued growth and expansion.  SBA's STEP program ensures local resources are available to help small businesses tap global markets. By funding states and their export development partners, the SBA is delivering the tools and resources required for small businesses to launch their services and products abroad. With 95% of the world’s consumers living outside of the United States, SBA's STEP program ensures that America's small businesses can succeed in the 21st century global economy,” said Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.

The STEP program is designed to increase both the number of small businesses that begin to export and the value of exports for small businesses currently exporting. The grants help states assist small businesses with export related activities or other export initiatives that are in line with the objectives of the program. These objectives include participation in foreign trade missions, foreign market sales trips, subscription services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, as well as design of international marketing campaigns, export trade show exhibits, training workshops and more.

In addition administering the STEP grant, GO-Biz welcomes hundreds of foreign delegations each year, oversees the California-China Trade Office in Shanghai, administers the state portion of the EB-5 foreign investor visa program and regularly sends state officials abroad to strengthen economic ties with our international partners.

For additional information on the STEP program and the FY 2015 awardees, visit