May 5, 2016

"We are not even together no more" says alleged domestic violence suspect

On May 3, William Arthur Basteyns was arraigned in Courtroom 5. Judge Joyce Hinrichs kept the bail set at $50,000. Deputy District Attorney David Christiansen was present in court for the araignment. Conflict Counsel's Mr. Marek Reavis was appointed to represent Basteyns.

There was no criminal protective served on Basteyn's that afternoon.

Before Mr. Reavis entered pleas of not guilty for Basteyns and said time was not waived; Basteyn was upset in court and he said to Mr. Reavis, "We are not even together no more." Mr. Reavis explained the court hearing to him calmly and managed to get Basteyns quiet.

An OR/Bail hearing and a referral for supervised release was scheduled for May 4; Intervention hearing is on May 11 and the Preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 15.

HCSO Press Release:

On Thursday, April 28, 2016 at about 10:45 p.m., Humboldt County Deputy Sheriffs responded to Hufford Rd in Orick for a possible arson.

Upon arrival, deputies met with a 43 year old female victim. The victim stated 38 year old Erin Renee Jones-Martin attempted to set her trailer on fire. Deputies observed a pile of charred garbage and smoke damage under the front part of the trailer.

Deputies searched the area for Jones-Martin and located her in the area of Dryden’s Rd, Orick. Jones-Martin was with her boyfriend, 42 year old William Arthur Basteyns. Jones-Martin had evidence connected to starting the fire at the trailer, and had multiple visible injuries consistent with domestic violence. Jones –Martin told deputies she thought Basteyns was cheating on her with the victim. Jones-Martin further alleged Basteyns assaulted her and forced her into a vehicle and ordered her to take him to his property he thought Jones-Martin had removed from their shared residence.

Basteyns and Jones-Martin were arrested and taken to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. Basteyns was booked for domestic violence and false imprisonment. His bail was set at $50,000. Jones-Martin was booked for arson to an inhabited structure. Her bail was set at $250,000.

May 4, 2016

Got to be at least 21 to purchase tobacco in California

Today Governor Jerry Brown signed SB2X-7 raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 for the nearly 40 million people living in California.

Assemblyman Wood said, “Getting to this point feels like reaching the finish line of a long quest in California, but it is just the beginning for the country.  We have kicked this door down for our colleagues in other states to follow. The wave in Hawaii has turned into a tsunami in California, and I think it won’t be long before we see it roll all the way to Washington D.C.  As the largest state in the country California’s courage on this issue should lead the way for other states to step up to the challenge. The Governor and my colleagues deserve tremendous credit for displaying the courage it took to do the right thing.”

Senate Bill (SB) 2X-7 is part of the Second Extraordinary Session called by the Governor in June 2015 and represents a merger of Assemblyman Jim Wood’s (D-Healdsburg) Assembly Bill (AB) 2X-8 and Senator Ed Hern├índez’s (D-West Covina) SB2X-7.  Assemblyman Wood is the principle co-author of the bill.

Assemblymember Wood served as Mayor when the City of Healdsburg became the first city in the state to pass a ban on the sale of tobacco products to anyone under 21 years old.

“It is incredible to see something I worked on in a small town in northern California turn into such a huge public health victory and something that will benefit the whole state.  Finally, after decades of stagnation, we have passed the most significant tobacco reform legislation in 50 years in California.  This policy will prevent countless young people from becoming addicted to a substance that has claimed the lives of millions of their ancestors,” said Assemblyman Wood.

Garberville staffing has increased due to Measure Z funding, So hum's most wanted nabbed in today's arrest

On 04-27-2016, at approximately 2:40 p.m., Sheriff Deputies with the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office conducted surveillance on a residence in the 400 block of Par Avenue, Redway.  Deputies were attempting to locate Jason Lloyd East (age 44) who was recently featured on the Southern Humboldt's Most Wanted Poster.  East was wanted for felony warrants that included charges of kidnapping and domestic violence.

Deputies located East driving a vehicle on Redway Drive near Moss Avenue.  East briefly attempted to elude Deputies but surrendered without incident.  East was placed under arrest for his outstanding felony warrants.  The passenger in East's vehicle, Rose Marie Cooper (age 34), who was previously featured on the Southern Humboldt's Most Wanted Poster, was also placed under arrest for outstanding narcotics warrants.  

On 05-04-2016, at approximately 12:00 p.m., Sheriff's Deputies were in the Alderpoint and Rancho Sequoia areas following up on tips regarding outstanding wanted poster fugitive, Chase Lee Ganey (age 24).  An anonymous tip led Deputies to a residence in the 100 block of 6th Street, Alderpoint.  Deputies were able to locate Ganey and took him into custody without incident.  Deputies searched Ganey incident to his arrest and located approximately 2 grams of suspected methamphetamine on his person.  Another Alderpoint resident, Michael Douglas Minnehan (age 54), was also located and placed under arrest for misdemeanor warrants.
Thanks in large part to Measure Z funds, staffing of the Sheriff's Office Garberville Station has increased significantly.  Sheriff's Deputies will continue to place a high priority on community led tips and wanted fugitives will be pursued.

Is CALM USA the coalition formed to oppose the recreational marijuana measure on CA's November ballot?

Sacramento Bee reports in an article that there is a coalition opposing recreational use of marijuana on the ballot. No name.

North Coast News did a piece on the same coalition, with similar information, no name.

A search brought up this organization:

Is Calm USA, the one opposing the recreational use of marijuana measure on this November's ballot?

Jury selection complete, due to witness availability, opening statements in Semore jury trial on May 11

Tw men and two alternates were selected as alternate jurors for the Jonas Semore jury trial.

Due to witness availability, opening statements will be on May 11. The trial will not be in session on May 19, May 30 or May 31.

It is expected to conclude by or before June 10.

Data breach on fifth floor of County may have resulted in access to limited confidential information

The County of Humboldt announced today that five computer terminals used by the public in an office on the fifth floor of the county courthouse were misconfigured by a third-party software provider, potentially allowing access to limited confidential information.
On April 4, 2016, the county learned that individuals accessing parcel information in the fifth floor office may have been able to access certain information typically accessible only to county staff. Upon learning this, the county immediately launched an internal investigation and worked with its third-party software provider who maintains the software used on the terminals. The investigation determined that when the county upgraded its property assessment software last year, five computer terminals on the fifth floor of the county courthouse were misconfigured by a third-party software provider to allow access to additional non-public information.
Individuals who viewed parcel information from one of the misconfigured computer terminals may have been able to access confidential information, including the parcel owner’s name and Social Security number. However, access to these computers is monitored by staff and, to date, the county has no evidence that any information has been used improperly or even accessed as a result of this incident. Moreover, the affected computers are not permitted to access the internet and the USB ports are disabled, further limiting the ability for someone to download or email information externally. Still, as precaution, we are posting a website notification with more information. The website notice includes a number to call if an individual believes they may be affected by this incident or if they have any questions.
“Even though there was probably pretty limited exposure here, we take these issues very seriously because we’re dealing with people and their personal information,” said Rex Bohn, First District Supervisor. “Regardless of how few computers could access the information or how likely it was that people even noticed it, the bottom line is this information needs to be protected. That’s our top priority.”
To help prevent a similar incident from reoccurring, we have already taken steps to enhance the security of our public terminals and correct the misconfiguration by our third-party provider. Going forward, we are running checks of our existing publicly accessible software and instituting additional measures to ensure security concerns are addressed on any new or upgraded programs.

Preliminary hearing for Joshua Keyes, the man arrested while gambling at the casino, continued until May 11

A preliminary hearing  scheduled for Joshua Keyes on April 28 was continued until May 11..

Mar 5, 2016

With his bail now up another $25,000 and charges in another case, Joshua Keyes whispers, "I pick you. I love you" to a woman in court

Joshua Keyes, who had just been arraigned on Thursday, was back in Courtroom 5, again on Thursday. While waiting for his case to be called, he kept glancing in the direction I was sitting, making goofy faces and smiling once or twice.

Keyes was arraigned for another case. Two felonies and one misdemeanor were alleged in the complaint. Bail was set at $25,000.

Count 1, first degree residential burglary, with five special allegations that he failed to remain free from custody from the required time; one other special allegation that he had a prior conviction of a serious and violent felony; Count 2 possession of firearm by a felon with same special allegations; Count 3 was a misdemeanor, possession of a controlled substance.

Dates were set on a no time waiver basis. This time Mr. Owen Tipps asked for a date for confirmation of counsel which will be March 8 at 2 p.m. Intervention March 10. Preliminary hearing March 17.

Just as I thought, he was off his rocker, his behavior finally made sense when he left the courtroom.
He whispered to a woman sitting behind me, "I pick you. I love you."

Mar 3, 2016

Joshua Keyes, the man gambling at casino arrested yesterday had previous felony warrant for concentrated marijuana possession; arraigned today

Joshua Keyes was arraigned on a felony, petition to revoke his post release community supervision, in Courtroom 5 this afternoon. Deputy District Attorney David Christensen was present for the People. The Public Defender's office was appointed to represent Keyes.

Intervention is on March 11. Hearing is on March 16.

HCSO Press Release:

On Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at about 7:30 p.m. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the Cher-ae Heights Casino for a report of wanted person, 34 year old Joshua Reed Keyes. Keyes was said to be gambling at the casino. Keyes is wanted for armed robbery and a felony parole warrant. Deputies arrived on scene and located Keyes. Keyes initially attempted to pull away from deputies to flee. Deputies were able to apprehend Keyes and handcuffed him without further protests. Neither Keyes nor deputies were injured during the arrest.
Deputies located 9 grams of suspected methamphetamine on Keyes’ person. A silver jaguar was later located in the parking lot by deputies. The keys to the silver jaguar were located in Keyes’ possession.
Keyes was taken to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for robbery and his felony parole warrant. He is not eligible for bail.

Previous (2/19/16):
On Thursday, February 18, 2016 at approximately 4:00 a.m. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the 2300 block of McKinleyville Ave, for a report of an armed robbery. When deputies arrived on scene they spoke with a male and female victim. The female victim stated two male suspects forced entry into her residence and held her at gunpoint and stole her purse and jewelry. The male victim believed the suspects took an assault rifle and processed marijuana from his 215 grow. The suspects then left the residence and the victims were unharmed. The suspects are considered armed and dangerous.
Suspect #1 is described as a white male adult, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, a dark scarf over his mouth and nose, and blue jeans. Suspect #2 is described as a white male adult, tall in stature, heavy build, wearing a dark colored hooded sweatshirt with a “white bandana” print on the chest, and dark colored shorts. The suspect’s vehicle may be a white Jaguar.
Arcata Police Dept. Press Release:

On 8/12/2013 at about 8:45pm, an officer with the Arcata Police Department conducted a traffic enforcement stop in the 500 block of K Street.

The driver of the vehicle, identified as McKinleyville resident Joshua Reid Keyes (age 31), was taken into custody for an outstanding felony warrant for the possession of concentrated cannabis.   A search of Keyes’ vehicle and it’s occupants, which included two subject’s on probation for drug related offenses, yielded five pounds of marijuana packaged into separate one pound increments.

Keyes was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for H&S 11360 - Transportation of marijuana and H&S 11359 - Possession for sales of marijuana.

Humboldt Hill shooting suspect to be arraigned on May 11; custody status will also be addressed that day

On April 29, District Attorney Maggie Fleming was in court for the People. Mr. David Lee, who represents Brian Swan, was also present. The OR/Bail hearing was continued for the same day as arraignment on information for the jury trial, whuch is May 11.

Apr 28, 2016

Brian Swan release continued until Judge Hinrichs is back

An OR/Bail hearing was scheduled for Brian Swan this afternoon. Visiting Judge Bob McNatt was subbing in today for Judge Joyce Hinrichs. That hearing has been continued until tomorrow, April 29.

Apr 26, 2016

Devil's Playground, Tip Top Club, rape threats; a love triangle, victim claiming he asked to be shot and more at preliminary hearing for Humboldt Hill shooting suspect

HCSO Investigator Greg Musson was the only witness to testify at the preliminary hearing for Brian Swan this morning.

On April 8, 2016, Mr. Musson said he received a call at home, "12 minutes after midnight. I was informed there had been a shooting incident." He called HCSO Detective Todd Fulton to respond at the alleged crime scene, as a second investigator.

The property where the alleged shooting ocurred is on Aspen Way, at the top of the Hill, near the Tip Top Club. When Investigator Musson got to that location, there were other officers present who had initially responded to the call and there were also civilian witnesses.

Investigator Musson was first directed to a female witness, Kirsten Kierney, who he learned later was the mother of 4 year old girl at the house. The child's father is the defendant, He was also directed to another female witness, Charlene Hughes, who was the great grandmother and was holding the child.. The name of the child is not being used in this post due to the age.

After being briefed by Sgt. Sam Williams and Deputy Hill, Investigator Musson took a full statement from Hughes. She said she was asleep and "at approximately 11:30 awoke to a large sound. She thought it was the dogs making a ruckus."

Hughes told Investigator Musson that she heard Swan come down with the child and with a long gun. He told her to call 911 "because he had shot Bob." She called 911.

Investigator Musson then spoke with Kierney, who was "somewhat girlfriend of Swan and also of Robert Babb."

Kierney was not home at the time of the alleged shooting. She saw law enforcement lights on top of the hill and went up to the house. She had been with the alleged victim, Babb earlier that evening.

Kierney told Investigator Musson she was not sure what had happened at the time of the shooting; instead she told him about what happened earlier that evening.

Investigator Musson interviewed Robert Babb aka Robert Waters on April 14 at the ICU Unit at St. Joseph's hospital.

"Mr. Babb said he and Ms. Kierney were in his vehicle in Eureka and they had gotten into an argument. Whether she wanted to be with Swan or Babb. She denied being with Swan. Babb did not believe her. She told Babb, 'why don't you go up to the house' and talk to Swan. Babb said the front door was unlocked. He did not knock and walked into the house. He stepped over a baby gate onto a landing.He saw Swan dozing off on a couch. He told Swan we need to talk about the relationship. Swan responded he did not want to talk and Swan told him to get out of the house. Babb kept saying he wanted to talk. Then Swan went into another room and came back with a shotgun. Swan told him again, to get out."

Investigator Musson said that "Babb told him, 'It was my fault; I told him to shot me and he did."

Deputy Hill told Investigator Musson that he saw "a baseball sized hole and liver hanging out." Investigator Musson said, "there was a lot of blood on the scene where the shooting took place." He said he was "surprised the victim survived."

A Charles Daly brand 12 gauge pump action shotgun was recovered from the alleged crime scene.

On April 9, Investigator Musson interviewed the defendant. "Mr. Swan and his 4 year old daughter were in the living room. She wanted to play on the laptop. Around 11:30, both began to doze off."

The child heard something and said woke up and said "hello. Usually, she would say hello and the name of a person. That made Mr. Swan think it was a stranger."

"Mr. Swan saw Babb standing by the baby gate. He retrieved a knife near the couch and told Babb, 'Get the hell out of here.' Babb said, 'We need to talk.' Mr. Swan said that he responded, 'At this time of the  night, we have nothing to talk about.' Babb said something to the effect of 'What are you going to do? Stab me?' Mr. Swan felt Babb was not taking him seriously so he retrieved the gun from a cabinet and told Babb to leave. Mr. Swan said Babb told him, 'You know I am crazy; you pointing a gun at me? I'm going to do something. ' That's when Mr. Swan shot Babb; he was standing about five feet away and he shot him in the chest." 

Babb fell down, Swan said he took his daughter down and told Hughes to call the "cops. I shot Bob; he's an intruder."

Investigator Musson said that Swan told him that Babb "was not taking him seriously. He felt belittled, at least 3 or 4 times."  After the last time, he asked Babb to leave, Swan told Investigator Musson, "he was a little scared."

Swan did not tell Investigator Musson that Babb had a weapon. He told Investigator Musson that two weeks prior to this incident, a car had been vandalized and he believed Babb did it. Swan said he told Babb "unless you have money, we have nothing to talk about."

Investigator Musson did not get medical records but based on his conversation with Babb and his mother, it was Investigator Musson's understanding that "part of the kidney and liver were removed subsequent to the surgery."

During cross examination, Conflict Counsel's Mr. David Lee, who represents Swan, asked Investigator Musson if Swan had known Babb "years prior." Investigator Musson said Swan did.

Swan told Investigator Musson that Babb had "a history of domestic violence and threats." He also mentioned an alleged domestic violence incident against Kierney. This was confirmed by Kierney and she told Investigator Musson that "her eardrums had been broken."

Kierney also told Musson that Babb had threatened to burn the house down and take her to Devil's playground and that he "would allow his friends to do bad things to her, rape type things."

Babbs had mentioned to Kierney that he had killed people in the past. This is something Swan was aware of. Kierney 

Originally Babb could not "remember a lot", said Investigator Musson. While he was being questioned, Babb told Investigator Musson, "you are starting to piss me off." Investigator Musson responded that he was not clairvoyant and that he was asking Babb to tell him about the incident.

Babb admitted he was asked to leave several times by Swan; Investigator Musson said that Babb told him he advanced at Swan and that is when Swan pulled the trigger. A knife was recovered in the living room.

Hughes told Investigator Musson that Swan was living in the house with her permission. Both Swan and Hughes said the front door was unlocked but a side door may have been unlocked, they could not remember. Kierney said she did not give Babb permission to enter the house; she may have given Babb Swan's cellphone.

Judge Timothy Cissna said that the burden of proof at a preliminary hearing was not the same as it was at a jury trial. He said he looked at CALCRIM jury instruction 3475, right to object to trespassing. Judge Cissn read part of that instruction and defined reasonable force as it is in that instruction. He also looked at 3476, right to personal property as well as 505 self defense.

There was discussion that with Babb having no weapon, was the amount of force used by Swan reasonable. Both attorneys gave their input.

Judge Cissna's final ruling was that there was "sufficient evidence to hold" Swan to the charges at the preliminary hearing.

Apr 26, 2016

Humboldt Hill shooting suspect, Brian Swan, held to answer on all charges after preliminary hearing today

A preliminary hearing was scheduled this morning for Brian Swan.

Yesterday, an intervention hearing was held but his  supervised release report from probation was not in, that was not addressed this morning

Deputy District Attorney David Christiansen is prosecuting the case. Swan is being represented by Conflict Counsel's Mr. David Lee.

After the preliminary hearing, Swan was held to answer on Count 1 and for both special allegations by Judge Timothy Cissna.

Mr. Lee asked Judge Cissna to lower bail for Swan's next court appearance. Judge Cissna denied that request today. He said Judge Hinrichs had set the bail and scheduled an OR/Bail hearing in Courtroom 5 at 2 p.m. on April 28.

Arraignment on information for jury trial is scheduled for May 11 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 5.

Other than court staff, the Judge, the attorneys and HCSO Investigator Greg Musson, I was the only one in the courtroom.

Apr 21, 2016

Preliminary hearing next week for suspect in alleged Humboldt Hill assault

Brian Swan was arraigned on April 13. He is charged with a felony. Count 1 is assault with a firearm. There are two special allegations: personally using a firearm, a shotgun in the commission and attempted commission of the assault and personally inflicting great bodily injury in the commission of the crime.

The alleged victim is Robert Alan Babb.

Judge Joyce Hinrichs denied OR/Bail on April 15.

An intervention hearing and another OR/Bail hearing is scheduled on April 25 at 3 p.m.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 26.

Deputy District Attorney Roger Rees is prosecuting the case. Conflict Counsel's office has been appointed for Swan.

Apr 9, 2016

Brian Swan arrested in Humboldt Hill for alleged attempted homicide

On Friday, April 8th, 2016, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call for service on the 6000 block of Aspen Way, in the Humboldt Hill area of Eureka, Ca.  The caller reported that a male subject had been shot inside the residence.  It was further reported the shooter was still on scene.

Deputies arrived on scene moments later and established a perimeter around the residence.  Deputies attempted to call the suspect out of the residence numerous times.  However, the suspect did not immediately comply with orders to come out.  Deputies continued their efforts, and eventually the suspect exited the residence and was taken into custody.  The suspect was identified as 34 year old, Brian Swan, of Eureka, Ca.

Deputies secured the scene and located a single gunshot victim in the residence.  Medical personnel were staged and brought in immediately after the scene was secured.

The victim was taken to the hospital for medical treatment, and is in critical condition.

The suspect was taken to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and booked for attempted homicide.

This case is currently being investigated by Humboldt County Sheriff’s Detectives.

Fastest jury selection I have seen in a homicide trial

Fastest jury selection I have seen. This morning, jurors were questioned in Courtroom 1 and by noon, 7 men and 5 women have been selected as jurors in the Jonas Semore trial for the alleged homicide of David Canfield.

At 1:30, selection for four alternates will begin.

Semore is also the best dressed defendant for a local jury trial. With fashionable black rimmed glasses and a stylish pinstriped suit today, he looked more like a lawyer or investigator than the defendant.

Previous post and links:

228,000 pounds of trash cleaned up in Palco Marsh in two days

On May 3, 2016, the City of Eureka wrapped up the clean-up operation at the Palco Marsh.  The police enforcement and property maintenance operation had been in the planning stages since March 19, 2016, when the City Council announced a firm May 2nd exit date for all illegal campers at the Palco Marsh.  

The City of Eureka worked with several shelter organizations, animal rescue groups, DHSS, MIST, and other community partners to relocate many of the individuals living in the marsh into housing or temporary and transitional shelters.  Eureka Police collaborated closely with other agencies to plan and implement the operation while ensuring the safety of the homeless living in the marsh, city work crews, and officers.  The extensive planning helped to ensure a safe operation that was completed much more quickly than anticipated.  

An estimated total of nearly 114 tons (228,000 lbs) of trash was collected during the two day clean-up.  On Monday alone, more than 60 tons were collected.  That number is comparable to a one day collection of garbage within the entire City of Eureka including commercial pickup.  Dozens of sharps containers were filled with used hypodermic needles and collected by Eco Medical.  

A total of eight arrests were made during the course of operation.  One female was arrested Monday for refusing to leave the operational area as a statement of protest.  Seven individuals were arrested Tuesday while police teams were conducting follow-up enforcement in nearby greenbelt areas.  Five were contacted and arrested for unrelated warrants and two were arrested for illegal camping just outside the Palco Marsh.  

Campers leaving the area who could not take their belongings with them were given 96 gallon totes to store their items for a period of 90 days.  Other items too large for the totes were placed on pallets, secured in plastic wrap, and also stored in large weatherproof containers. The City of Eureka will ensure that property is stored and secured according to applicable laws.  Appointments can be made with Eureka Police to claim property stored for safekeeping.  

Eureka Police and Humboldt County Animal Control officers, as well as several rescue groups, were available on scene to assist with any animals.  No animals were seized, surrendered, or taken to the shelter.  

The Eureka Police Department will continue enforcement throughout the Palco Marsh and other greenbelts areas in the city.  Camping in any City park or greenbelt is strictly prohibited.  Anyone who notices illegal camping in a City greenbelt or park should contact the Eureka Police Department.   

The success of this operation could not have been possible without the hundreds of people who worked together as a team under challenging conditions.  The Eureka Police Department extends our thanks to all the City and County employees, private businesses, and volunteers from numerous organizations who contributed so much throughout all stages of the Palco Marsh operation.