May 23, 2016

New charges for Lusk in 2015 case include forcible rape, torture, 6 counts of forcible oral copulation, human trafficking, sexual penetration, assault, using a screw driver and a broom handle

The District Attorney refiled charges in the 2015 case that they had dismissed against Thomas Lusk. He was arraigned on the new charges this afternoon in Courtroom 5.  There are a total of 11 counts.

Lusk is charged with Count 1 Forcible Rape with two special allegations: Torture;  Using a dangerous or deadly weapon, a screw driver and a broom handle and administering a non-prescribed substance, meth.

Count 2 Forcible Oral Copulation with three special allegations: Personally inflicting great bodily injury; Defendant inflicting great bodily injury and Using a dangerous or deadly weapon, a screw driver and a broom handle and administering a non-prescribed substance, meth.

Count 3 Forcible Oral Copulation with three special allegations: Personally inflicting great bodily injury; Defendant inflicting great bodily injury and Using a dangerous or deadly weapon, a screw driver and a broom handle and administering a non-prescribed substance, meth.

Count 4 Forcible Oral Copulation with three special allegations: Personally inflicting great bodily injury; Defendant inflicting great bodily injury and Using a dangerous or deadly weapon, a screw driver and a broom handle and administering a non-prescribed substance, meth.

Count 5 Human Trafficking with the special allegation: infliction of great bodily injury 

Count 6 Sexual Penetration by a foreign object

Counts 7, 8 and 9 Forcible Oral Copulation

Count 10 Torture

Count 11 Assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury with with the special allegation: infliction of great bodily injury 

Each crime Counts 1-4 and Counts 6-9 involved the same victim on separate occasions.

May 19, 2016

Court grants DA motion to dismiss and refile charges against Thomas Lusk now with two victims and two cases including false imprisonment, torture, rape human trafficking and sexual assault

The District Attorney had a motion to amend the information for the 2015 case against Thomas Lusk and they were looking to amends Counts 2,3 and 4. Count 2 Rape by Force, Count 3 Penetration by a Foreign Object, Count 4 Oral copulation with Force/Violence/Duress

This afternoon, the People said they were withdrawing their motion to amend counts in the 2015 case. Instead, they submitted a motion to dismiss the 2015 case and refile the charges and consolidate "with another."

The defense had objected to the DA's motion to amend information in the 2015 case as well as  their motion to dismiss and refile.

Both the prosecution and the defense presented their arguments to Visiting Judge Douglas Mewhinney this afternoon. After hearing both arguments. Visiting Judge Mewhinney said "the Court grants the motion to dismiss over defense objections. The defendant is discharged in this matter."

Since Lusk has been arraigned on the 2016 case, both the People and the defense confirmed the Preliminary hearing for the 2016 case on May 24. Time estimate is two hours.

May 17, 2016

Thomas Lusk charged with torture, rape by force , false imprisonment of female victim who met him at a bus stop gets new charges of human trafficking and sexual assault

The jury trial for Thomas Lusk that was scheduled for May 16, 2015 has been vacated. On May 11, Lusk, who has been in jail for 314 days, was arraigned for a new case, involving a new victim that came forward.

In this new case, Lusk is charged with two felonies. Count 1 Human trafficking. Count 2 Assault with intent to commit a sex offense. Both counts have special allegations that Lusk has a prior conviction for criminal threats.

On 5/19, there is an intervention scheduled for the recent 2016 case and a disposition and reset as well as a motion to amend information in the 2015 case. The jury trial for the 2015 case scheduled for May 16 was vacated. A preliminary hearing for the 2016 case is scheduled for May 24.

May 3, 2016

Trial maybe continued for Miranda man charged with torture, rape by force , false imprisonment of female victim who met him at a bus stop because another alleged victim has come forward

Trial confirmation was scheduled for Thomas Lusk this afternoon. Jury trial is scheduled for May 16. He waived his preliminary hearing on March 8.

Some decision will be hopefully made this Friday at 11 a.m., a special set by Judge Joyce Hinrichs.

Both prosecution and defense attorneys had colleagues substituting for them. Lusk refused to waive time without talking to his attorney.

DA informed defense there was another alleged victim; defense wanted a continuance; DOJ even with a request for expediting won't have DNA results for at least another eight weeks.

Jan 30, 2016

Preliminary hearing continued for Thomas Lusk, Miranda man charged with torture, rape by force , false imprisonment of female victim who met him at a bus stop

Both the intervention hearing and Preliminary hearing for Thomas Lusk were continued and new dates have been scheduled. Intervention is February 25 at 3 p.m. and Preliminary hearing March 8 at 8:30 a.m.

Nov 19, 2015

Preliminary hearing finally set for Thomas Lusk charged with 6 felonies including torture, rape, false imprisonment, oral copulation and has prior conviction of terroristic threats

A preliminary hearing was finally set for Thomas Lusk, who had yet another disposition and rest hearing scheduled for today.

Lusk is charged with six felonies. Count 1 Torture; Count 2 Rape by Force, Count 3 Penetration by a Foreign Object, Count 4 Oral copulation with Force/Violence/Duress, Count 5 Assault likely to produce great bodily injury; Count 6 False Imprisonment and a special allegation of a prior felony conviction, which was of making terroristic threats.

Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis was present in court today with Lusk. Deputy District Attorney Zachary Curtis is prosecuting the case.

Jul 23, 2015

Preliminary hearing for Thomas Lusk, the Miranda man accused of sexual assault continued

A disposition and reset hearing set for August 13 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 2. Lusk waived time. DDA Brie Bennett is prosecuting the case. Conflict Counsel's Mr. Marek Reavis is representing Lusk.

Lack of courtrooms is reason for the change.

Lusk's bail was  set at $650,000. 

Jul 9, 2015

Man who was arrested for mistreating a dog in 2011 now charged with alleged sexual assault

HCSO Press Release:

On Monday, 07/06/2015, at about 8:15 PM, a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputy was dispatched to CA Highway 254 just north of Phillipsville to contact a California Highway Patrol Officer who was standing by with the victim of an alleged sexual assault.

The 31 year old female victim reported that she met Thomas Leonard Lusk Jr., age 34 years, about three days ago near Miranda, CA. She was waiting for the bus to continue her travels. Lusk told her the bus wouldn’t be arriving for several hours and he suggested she wait at his residence. The victim thought this was a good idea and she went with Lusk to his residence in Miranda.

Lusk and the victim were at his residence for several hours conversing. When the victim questioned Lusk about the bus, he became angry and started beating her with his fists and threatened to kill her. Lusk kept the victim captive, by force and fear, in his residence for the next three days where he sexually assaulted her repeatedly. On the third day Lusk left the victim alone and she was able to escape through a bedroom window. She ran to the highway where she encountered a subject in a parked car making a phone call. She jumped in the car, told the subject she had been sexually assaulted, and requested a ride to the hospital. The driver started toward the hospital and encountered the CHP officer who notified the Sheriff’s Office of the assault.

On Wednesday, 07/08/2015, Lusk was arrested at his residence where a search warrant was served. Lusk was arrested and charged with rape through force and violence, sexual battery, oral copulation through force or fear, sexual penetration through force or fear, criminal threats, and false imprisonment.

From Times-Standard article in June 2011:

Humboldt County Sheriff's Office arrested a Miranda man Wednesday night for allegedly firing shots at another man after the man confronted him about mistreating a dog.
Deputies arrested Thomas Leonard Lusk, 29, and booked him into the Humboldt County jail on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful discharge of a firearm, robbery and vandalism. His bail is set at $100,000.

Deputies received a call around 8 p.m. from a 23-year-old Eureka man who said he was shot at by an unknown person on the side of U.S. Highway 101 near the Miranda Bridge. Deputies and the California Highway Patrol responded.

According to a press release, the man had been parked in the turnout working on his broken-down vehicle when he saw Lusk mistreating a dog. The man said he "verbally confronted" Lusk about the mistreatment, reportedly angering Lusk, who threatened to shoot the victim before riding off on his bicycle.

About five minutes later, Lusk returned on his bicycle carrying what appeared to be a rifle. Lusk reportedly started shooting at the Eureka man, who fled into the bushes and called 911. Law enforcement officers reportedly arrived after Lusk allegedly entered the man's car and began removing items before fleeing into nearby bushes.

The officers ordered Lusk out of the bushes, and he complied.

After deputies informed Lusk he was under arrest, he reportedly began kicking the inside of the patrol car, damaging it. He was transferred to another deputy's patrol car and reportedly damaged the interior of the second.

Private attorney for one of the suspects in Jesus Garcia homicide requesting a continuance

Trial confirmation is scheduled tomorrow for the four suspects in the Jesus Garcia homicide.

Anakalia "Andrea" Kaluna Sullivan, Joe Olivio III's private attorney She is a Lake  and Mendocino County criminal defense attorney with offices in Ukiah and Lakeport.

Ms. Sullivan has requested a continuance for Joe Olivio III for the jury trial currently scheduled for June 6.

That motion for continuance is scheduled tomorrow at the same time as trial confirmation for Olivio III and the other three suspects.

Apr 4, 2016

Four suspects in the Jesus Garcia homicide held to answer on charges, case to proceed to jury trial

The four suspects in the Jesus Garcia homicide were held to answer all charges and special allegations today by Judge Hinrichs.

The preliminary hearing lasted all of last week and concluded today.

 Arraignment on information for the jury trial is on  April 18 at 2pm in Courtroom 5.

Previous post (includes all previous coverage):

$75,000 bail for man allegedly firing a gun near a residence and armed robbery, he had an outstanding warrant

On 5-22-2016, at about 1140 a.m., MCSO Deputies were dispatched to the area of the 81000 block of Highway 271 in Piercy regarding the illegal discharge of a firearm.

Upon arrival Deputies were advised by the victim that she was inside her house preparing a meal when she heard a gunshot outside her home. When she looked outside she saw S-Bradley Nystrom standing in front of her house with a shotgun. S-Bradley Nystrom then took a wheelbarrow belonging to the victim, discharged the weapon again and walked to his residence.

MCSO Deputies, with assistance from the California Highway Patrol, contacted S-Bradley Nystrom in front of his residence and arrested him without incident.

S-Bradley Nystrom was arrested for an outstanding arrest warrant, armed robbery, possession of a loaded firearm in a public place and the discharge of a shotgun within 500 yards of an occupied dwelling. He was transported to the Mendocino County jail where he is being held on $75,000.00 bail.

BOLO issued for alleged kidnapper who is armed

On Sunday, May 22, 2016, at approximately 12:00 p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a kidnapping that occurred near a residence on the 1300 block of Walker Point Rd, in Eureka. Deputies arrived and spoke with the 21 year old male victim. The victim stated he was outside the residence when 31 year old Travis Lee Morgan, Jr. pulled up in a white Ford Explorer and pointed a shortened or sawed off shotgun at him. The victim told deputies Morgan demanded he get in the vehicle with him. The victim got into the car and drove off with Morgan. The victim told deputies he and Morgan argued over a personal issue. Morgan then released the victim at the intersection of Walker Point Rd and Hidden Valley Rd, and drove away.
Deputies located the vehicle on the 200 block of Hidden Valley Rd in Eureka. A search was conducted by deputies along with the Fortuna Police Department’s K-9 unit. Deputies were unable to locate Morgan.
Morgan is wanted for kidnapping, exhibiting a firearm, false imprisonment, and threatening to commit a crime. A Be-On-the-Lookout was issued for Morgan’s arrest on the listed charges. He is believed to be armed. The victim was not injured during this incident.

All is well in Mckinleyville, lockdown just caution

Mckinleyville Middle School is on lockdown. According to Undersheriff William Honsal,"School locked themselves down.  Fireworks caused several people to call in suspicious "shot fired" calls in the area of the school.  All is well in Mckinleyville. "

May 22, 2016

If Humboldt has an emergency, here are the people you need to look for

Supervisor Estelle Fennell's quote and photo:

"Here are the Graduates of our Recent Humboldt County FEMA Integrated Emergency Management Course at Emmittsburg, Maryland. This was a very helpful course that prepared those of us who will be called to respond and work with each other, Cal-OES and FEMA in the event of a major emergency. Thanks, again, to all involved!"

Jon Yalcinkaya aka Liberal Jon reiterates his "plan" to run for Linda Atkin's Eureka Council seat and his platform

"... to represent the bridge district. You should know upfront that my focus will be those working and living in this district because I think these are the people and values that need a greater voice in government. Remember, prioritizing does not mean exclusion of other values or interests."

  • LMOB says:
These are edited portions of comments Jon Yalcinkaya left on THC's latest post on Linda Atkins.
Jon, so planning to run, instead of may run, does this mean actual filing of papers?

May 21, 2016

Help law enforcement locate this car stolen from a Mckinleyville owner


May 20, 2016

People will present their final witness in the Jonas Semore jury trial next Tuesday

Today, the jury got to go home early before noon. Monday, there will only be a morning session until noon due to the availability of the People's last witness. Tuesday, forensic pathologist Dr. Mark Super will testify about the autopsy and injuries to David Ganfield.

"We have become the zombies they said we were"; Stacey Cobine tells her story about the aftermath of the Palco Marsh evictions

Since Sunday, May 15, Stacey Cobine, one of the 11 plaintiffs in the "Palco Marsh lawsuit" has been sitting out in the front of the Courthouse. She is joined she said by her "boss", an old roommate, and another man who used to live in the Marsh. She arrives around 8:30 and leaves "between 3 and 5" "I am not trying to start another Occupy." "The media has misrepresented us," she told me. "Either they are for us or against us. It is one-sided."

Stacey is trying to raise awareness about the Palco Marsh "evictions." She said except for "four or five negative experiences"outside the Courthouse, she has had positive experiences, she especially thanked HSU students. No one else from the media has approached her this past week.

I asked her some questions and she was very forthcoming. She is very pleasant to talk to, not confrontational. You can tell the frustration and sadness in her voice.

I wanted to give her this space, just for her voice; to talk about how she feels, not through her lawyer and not through an advocate.

She said, at first, she did refuse the offer to stay at the shipping containers. "A neighbor was on the list, they said later she was not on the list to make room for us 11. I did not want that." Eventually, both ended up moving to the 3rd and Commercial lot. "I can't go to Serenity because I have a dog; I can't go to the Rescue mission because I am not Christian, I can't go to the MAC because I am 43 don't want to be treated like a child and have a curfew."

"I lasted a week. There are only 40 spots. We can't talk to friends after 10 p.m. through the fence, can't hang out with each other. They can come to the gate. It feels like a prison, like Sempervirens."

She said that she does understand why there are rules at the Third and Commercial lot. "They are trying to prevent theft and for safety."

There are 40 people, 22 dogs.  At night, with everyone inside, the noise is unbearable. "

"We have become the zombies that they said we were."

Breaking down, her voice wavering a bit she said,  "I didn't realize the sense of community we had; I miss that."

I asked her about the lawsuit. She said they did not seek out Peter Martin, they were approached.

I asked her that if a landlord were to forego security deposit, let her keep her dog, and give her a break on a couple month's rent, would she want to move into a place and get on her feet? Her response was "yes." She said she cannot afford security deposit and twice the rent just to move into a place. She also said that while some people were living in the Marsh, she was wandering  about when she first became homeless. "I was told by the police to go down to the Marsh and I would not be bothered. Now, they are saying we are trespassers."

"Homeless does not equal criminal" and "Who would Jesus house?" are two of the signs in the photo below.