Dec 20, 2014

NYPD police officers assasinated by a coward

The coward then committed suicide.

Rest in peace officers.

EPD, Fire Department and Target shoppers get the true meaning of the holiday spirit

Wtg EPD, Fire Department and shoppers. You get the true meaning of Christmas!

EPD Press Release:

On Saturday, December 20, 2014, Chief Andrew Mills and a dozen members of the Eureka Police and Humboldt Bay Fire Departments had the great privilege of taking 12 underprivileged children to “Shop with a Cop” at Target in Eureka.  The event began at 8:00 AM at the Betty Kwan Chinn Day Center where the participating officers, firefighters, and children shared donuts, milk and juice. The children were then transported to Target via a motorcade of police and fire emergency vehicles.

Each child was partnered up with a police officer or firefighter and given an allowance of over $100.00 to shop for Christmas presents.  Betty Chinn and staff members from her Day Center were also on hand.  Funding for this event was obtained through donations and ticket sales from the EPD/HBF cornhole fundraising match held earlier in the week.  In all, over $1,200.00 was raised toward the event. Target also offered the children a 20% discount on their purchases.

Several shoppers caught up in the holiday spirit spontaneously gave money to the event.  One customer paid for the entire contents of the cart of a child behind him in the checkout line. Another gave all the money left in his wallet and then returned and bought a Target gift card for the children as well.
After returning to the Betty Kwan Chinn Day Center, one of the children led the others in singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” to the cops and firefighters before they parted ways.  There were a lot of hugs and smiles around.

9 members of EPD and a 3 person HBF engine company participated in the event. One officer later described the experience as being, “One of the biggest highlights of my year.”

Dec 19, 2014

Prime example of Humboldt's finest criminals: Booked and rebooked

On the above date at 9:55 AM, Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were called to a business at the 2100 block of Central Avenue, in McKinleyville, regarding a disturbance and trespassing.

When deputies arrived they contacted a male matching the description of the subject causing the disturbance, who was identified as Jason Edward Balke, a 34 year old resident of McKinleyville. Deputies approached Balke to take him into custody for being under the influence of narcotics. Balke physically resisted and started struggling with the arresting deputies. During the struggle he attempted to strike one of the deputies with a closed fist and was unsuccessful. Balke pulled on the hair of one of the arresting deputies and ripped the deputy’s shirt.

As Balke continued to fight, one of the deputies deployed their Taser (electronic control device) at Balke. After it was deployed, the other deputies were able to place Balke in handcuffs.

Balke was then transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest, public intoxication, trespassing, and violation of terms of probation. Balke is currently in custody with a bail amount set at $50,000.

Protect and serve should be look out and duck

Protect and serve should be changed to look out and duck. Especially, here in Humboldt.

Multiple offenders, not taking the law seriously, laughing in courts, shooting and attacking law enforcement without provocation.

Realignment, another failure by out of touch California legislators; Prop 47 another mistake by touchy feely voters who cannot be bothered to read before they vote.

I am so fed up of crime and the headlines of stabbing and shootings. What is worse are the idiots blogging away in the comment section with no clue, just a keyboard addiction.

Look in the mirror.

Are you a part of illegal money? Are you the lynch mob inciting hate against law enforcement? Are you a bleeding heart lawyer or voter that thinks every criminal needs to be coddled or is innocent?

Law abiding, working citizens are being run over by career criminals and those that assist and enable them.

This isn't a Democrat or Republican problem. A rich or poor problem. It is a you problem. Rights come with responsibilities. Your right doesn't come at the expense of someone else.

How many of you would watch out for someone constantly belittling and blaming you?

Some of the public have way too much time on their hands, filming and questioning every law enforcement encounter on their cell phone. Life is not a video game fantasy.

Get off your butt, take care of your business and if you have extra time, do something to make this a better community.

Be grateful they still protect and serve.

Burglarly suspect admits to EPD that he intended to break into vehicles

On December 19, 2014, at approximately 4:45 a.m., Officers from the Eureka Police Department were dispatched to the 4900 block of Lundblade Drive on a report of a suspicious subject seen in the area.  A resident, on their way to work, observed a male subject with a backpack walking in the neighborhood.  The resident notified our dispatch center and stayed on scene to assist officers in locating the subject.  Officers located the subject and detain him.  The subject was identified as Jerrad Rishard Lafayette, (26 years old Eureka resident).  Lafayette was found to be on searchable probation for narcotic and theft related offenses.

Officers conducted a search of Lafayette’s person and the backpack he was carrying.  The Officers located three (3) screwdrivers in his pant’s pockets and located a pair of bolt cutters, a glass punch, wire cutters, a file kit with files, crowbars and other various tools in the backpack.

Lafayette admitted to the Officers that he went to this neighborhood to break into vehicles.  At this time Officers are unable to determine if Lafayette actually broke into any vehicles in this neighborhood.  It appears his intended criminal behavior was thwarted by the observant resident.

Lafayette was arrested for possession of burglary tools, public intoxication, and probation violation.  Lafayette was transported and booked at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.

Dec 18, 2014

Attorney General files opening brief in Timothy Littlefield child molestation case

Why is this relevant?

The first step in an appeal is to file a brief. That trigger the defendant to file a responding brief. The People are appealing and they have the burden to file a reply to the defendant's brief and what the defendant is arguing. This means the appeal will not be dismissed because of a default.

Paul would have struck a plea deal with his buddy, the defendant's attorney Russ Clanton, and the so called local media would have sat by and reported nothing.

The scrutiny on this blog and Rose's linking the posts did make a difference. Children and victims matter.

Nov 25, 2014

Attorney General to default on Littlefield molestation case? Will Paul do his job?

Listed below is a link to the Attorney General's office. It is regarding the Timothy Littlefield child molestation case.

Does it look like the The Attorney General's office is about to default on the Littlefield Appeal?

I believe the DA's has 15 days from 11/18 notice. Does Paul intend to dispose of this case  inappropriately? Kamala Harris is Paul's buddy as is Littlefield's defense attorney Russ Clanton. Rathercthan appeal Judge John Feeney's decision, it would have been better to try take the case to trial. Twice the jury believed the victim, despite who prosecuted the case.

Previous links:

This is yet another case where the local media did not start covering the appeal or the case until I reported on possible plea deals and the case. When they do, they write what Paul spins.

And I will keep pointing this out occasionally until the media does it's job and reports the whole story and gives proper credit when they cover cases they had no previous interest in  and include information that they did not have access to because it came from history and research they did not know about.

Cocaine, meth, marijuana and illegal drug connection from Mexico?

On 12/17/14 at about 10:00 a.m. Humboldt County Drug Task Force Agents served a search warrant on a residence at the 300 block of Loleta Drive, in Loleta. Task Force Agents had the house under surveillance and several agents were in position behind the residence. As the Task Force Agents made the approach on the residence, a male subject standing at the rear of residence spotted the approaching agents and fled on foot toward his parked vehicle at rear alley area. That suspect was later identified as Rolondo Coneuo-Beccerra (age 24). Coneuo- Becerra refused to stop and ran south toward the alley, but was quickly apprehended by the surveillance team. Coneuo-Becerra was found to be in possession of over $9,000.00 in cash and 58 grams of suspected cocaine that he had dropped while fleeing from the approaching search team. Coneuo- Becerra’s vehicle was later searched and agents more than ¾ lbs of bulk packaged methamphetamine and Hydrocodone pills hidden within the vehicles engine frame.

A complete search of the residence was conducted and five (5) additional subjects were located inside the two story home. The five subjects were detained and interviewed regarding  four (4) pounds of processed and packaged marijuana, 10 additional grams of suspected cocaine. These items were found during the evidence search.  A pistol gripped 12 gauge shotgun  was found hidden in the ceiling tiles of the laundry room.

In addition to Rolondo Coneuo- Becerra arrest for possession of Methamphetamine for sales, transportation of controlled substance for sales, Possession of cocaine for sales and resisting arrest. Heriberto Galvan-Rosiles  (42) was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance. Antonio Galvan-Rosiles (46) was arrested and charged possession of marijuana and cocaine for the purpose of sales. Ernesto Corneuo-Garcia (24) was arrested and charged possession of false identification cards.  The two other adult males found in the residence were questioned and released at the scene.  Pending further investigation, additional charges may be added.

Evidence in the residence included items possibly connecting suspects to illegal drug connections in Mexico. Photographs of”Jesus Malverde”, pendants of “Santa Muerta” and gold colored emblems with
“EL CARTEL” engravings.

California-China Trade and Investment Office Hires Ken Petrilla as New Executive Director

Positioning California to attract a growing share of China’s massive foreign investment pool and bolstering California-China trade, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and the Bay Area Council today announced the hiring of Ken Petrilla as the new Executive Director of the California-China Office of Trade and Investment.  Petrilla was previously the head of the China Desk for Wells Fargo, the largest bank in the United States by market cap.
“The hiring of Ken Petrilla, one of the most experienced international banking executives in California, shows how serious California is about its trade relationship with China,” said Mike Rossi, Governor Brown’s Senior Jobs Advisor.
The California-China Office of Trade and Investment was established by Governor Brown in 2013 to serve as a hub for California companies interested in entering or expanding in China – the world’s second largest economy – and Chinese companies seeking investment opportunities in California – the world’s eighth largest economy by GDP. California exported $24.2 billion to mainland China and Hong Kong in 2013, as the combined China region became the state's number one export market.
"It is hard to imagine a more exciting job than straddling two of the world's most dynamic economies and lending my expertise to helping them both grow more intertwined," Petrilla said.  "The people of California and China have so much to gain as trade shifts into what many people have called the Century of the Pacific.  I hope in this role I can give back to California as much as this state has given to me."
Prior to becoming Executive Director of the California-China Office, Petrilla was an executive vice president and head of the China Desk at Wells Fargo.  He worked to facilitate and capture China-related business in the United States, both inbound and outbound.  Petrilla has held many positions within Wells Fargo, including responsibilities for all Wells Fargo business and activities within Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
“There is a Chinese expression that opportunities multiply as they are seized, and Ken Petrilla is just the person California needs to seize these opportunities,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council, which manages the Trade Office for the state.
The California-China Office of Trade and Investment is California’s vehicle for cultivating transpacific trade and investment relations between the state and the People’s Republic of China, California’s third largest trade partner.  It officially was opened by California Governor Jerry Brown in Shanghai during his Gubernatorial Trade Mission to China in April 2013.

Dec 17, 2014

Matthew Brown murder case jury trial delayed a week

The jury trial was set for January 5, defense requested it be delayed a week. Defense also pulled the previous time waiver. It is now scheduled for January 12. ADA Kelly Neel is prosecuting the case, Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis is Brown's lawyer.

I don't know if this was a joke or Matthew Brown was addressing someone else. But as his case was called, he looked towards media seated and mouthed, "No."

Original post:

Arcata chef stabbing jury trial scheduled April 6

Juan Ferrer, who is charged with the stabbing of Arcata chef Douglas Anderson-Jordet, was in court today. DA Paul Gallegos was present. There is a status hearing in January and the jury trial is scheduled for April 6.

I talked with Ferrer's attorney Mr. Mark Reavis later and asked him about the motion to compel attendance of certain witnesses. That could not be heard since some witnesses are avoiding subpoena.

Some previous posts:

Bullock whispers "I love you" to supporters in audience; Fr. Freed's family retains Kathleen Bryson

Gary Lee Bullock dates "remain set." The family submitted a Marcy letter via Ms. Kathleen Bryson to defense counsel and DA's office and court.

The case is being prosecuted now by DDA Stacey Eads. In court DA Investigator John Burke was present.

Bullock seems to gain weight with each hearing. Usually he listens to Mr. Cockrum before court in their private brief chat, says okay and then goes back to a stern gaze. Today he looked in the audience, initially where he saw familiar faces, I presume mother and step father.

Today he whispered, "I love you" to those family members. The family seemed quite defensive in court, staring towards other attorneys and looking at the media. Ryan Burns, Lashay Wesley, Will Houston and I were seated towards the right side of the courtroom.

Three times Bullock glanced in my direction, our eyes locked briefly and he looked away.

Jury trial is scheduled for January 26.

Will Gary Lee Bullock stand trial for Fr. Eric's murder?

This afternoon, a pre-trial hearing is scheduled in Courtroom 1 for Gary Lee Bullock, the suspect charged with the murder of Fr. Eric Freed, beloved pastor of St. Bernard's Parish in Eureka.

Judge Feeney has been the judge overseeing the hearings; formner DDA Elan Firpo was assigned to the case; today we find out who takes over. Bullock is being represented by Conflict Counsel's Kaleb Cockrum.

I will update in a separate after this afternoon's hearing. There are two other cases at the same time this afternoon, the Juan Ferrer and Matthew Brown case. I will update all as soon as I can.

Previous posts:

Fieldbrook double murder suspect waives right to preliminary hearing, case to go to trial

Not looking happy but indicating yes to the Judge, Jason Arreaga waived his right to preliminary hearing.

His attorney Heidi Holmquist said that while the preliminary hearing was waived, it was with the condition the only charges against her client would be the one in original complaint.

In a preliminary hearing, which is held after the defendant has been arraigned, the Judge decides whether there is enough evidence provided by the prosecution to hold the defendant accountable on charges to to stand trial. My guess is that by waiving trial, the defense did not want prosecution to be able to amend and add more charges after the preliminary hearing.

Arreaga is charged with murder in Count 1 of Harley Wayne Hammers and Count 2 murder of Angel Tully , both felonies. Two special allegations for both counts: personally and intentionally discharging a firearm and personally and intentionally discharging a firearm resulting in great bodily injury or death.

Ms. Holmquist spoke with Arreaga before his case was called. He was silent and softly answered yes, when Judge Marilyn Miles asked him if he was waiving his right to a preliminary hearing. Then he mumbled, "I don't like...". Some of us covering the case in the court thought he said, I don't like the way this is going but I understand; others thought he said he did not like the way things were worded.

Wanting to make sure, Judge Miles asked him again, if he wanted to waive his right and if he understood what that meant, he indicated yes again.

Arreaga's arraignment of information for jury trial will be on January 5 at 2 pm in Courtroom 1.

Previous posts:

Dec 16, 2014

Details on Coastal Commission and Ocean Protection Council grants

Thank you to Senior County Planner Rob Wall for the following details and information:

The Coastal Commission and Ocean Protection Council approved Humboldt County’s grant requests to update the Humboldt Bay Area Plan or Local Coastal Program. We were approved December 2 by the OPC for $90,000. A $35,000 dollar grant was approved by the Coastal Commission on November 12th.  The Coastal Commission grant was contingent on the OPC grant approved on December 2, 2014.

POP Press release regarding Backues and buddies

On 12/15/14 at about 4:23 p.m., detectives from the Eureka Police Department Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP) responded to the 200 block of 3rd Street after receiving complaints from patrol officers about a recent increase in call volume in the area.
Detectives made contact at several apartments and ultimately located an open window facing a parking lot.  Detectives saw Gavin Lee Backues, 22 of Eureka in the window and determined that he was on active parole.  A parole search was conducted in the apartment and Autumn Breit, 18 of Eureka and Steven Paul Jessen Jr., 26 of Eureka were also contacted inside.
A large amount of cash suspected to be from drug sales, methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, and stolen property were found inside the apartment.  One bicycle has been confirmed stolen and a second is awaiting confirmation.  Backues had 10 grams of heroin on his person.
It was evident based on the search that drug sales were being made through the window.  Backues and Briet were arrested for being in possession of heroin for sale, possession of marijuana for sale, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of stolen property.  Jessen Jr. was arrested for out of county warrants for domestic abuse and child abuse.
POP detectives will be contacting the property owner to have the tenants evicted.   Anyone with information concerning suspected drug activity, or other nuisances occurring in the City of Eureka is encouraged to call the Problem Oriented Policing Unit at (707) 441-4373.

Repeat offender Gavin Backues and buds busted in POP arrest

I recognize Gavin from Frequently Booked. It isn't a log but it should be.

Coastal Commission approves money to County for local harbor clean up programs

This little tip from a reliable source is just missing a few details like how much? Grant?

Waiting on County for confirmation of details.

Usually the State is taking from us, whether it is water, funds, tsxes so is nice that for once they are giving something to us.

Suspects not charged yet; Investigation continues in Mckinleyville Deputy involved shooting

The investigation into last night’s officer involved shooting in 2300 block of Chapel Hill Road in McKinleyville is still ongoing.  Sheriff’s Office Detectives and members of the countywide Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) are currently investigating the incident. CIRT consists of investigators from the District Attorney’s Office, Eureka Police Department, Arcata Police Department, State Department of Justice and the California Highway Patrol.

The male suspect, Michael Lawrence Barrett (age 23) remains in the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on a no bail warrant for Parole Violation out of Los Angeles.  The unidentified adult female remains in a hospital, out of the area, with a non-life threatening injury to her hand.  Investigators are still trying to confirm her identity due to her not cooperating with law enforcement.  Neither Barrett nor the Deputy was injured.  

The Deputy involved in the shooting is not being identified at this time and remains on administrative leave per the Sheriff’s Office Shooting protocol which is standard procedure in a case such as this.

Barrett and the unidentified female have not been charged with a crime at this point pending the outcome of the investigation.

Further information will be released as it becomes available.

Traffic stop leads to seizure of marijuana, meth and firearms

On 12/15/14 at about 12:28 a.m., an officer with the Eureka Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a Ford pickup truck at the 3500 block of Broadway Street.  The driver was identified as Gerald Lee Gerarden, 39 of Eureka.  Gerarden was found to have a felony warrant and was driving on a suspended license.
During a search of Gerarden’s vehicle, officers located two AR-15 style rifles, several fully loaded magazines for the rifles, .5 lbs. of processed marijuana, and a small amount of methamphetamine.  One of the rifles was determined to have been reported stolen out of Nevada.
Gerarden was arrested for numerous weapon and drug possession violations, including being a prior convicted felon in possession of a firearm, and for possession of stolen property.  He was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.
At about 11:30 a.m., in connection to the traffic stop, detectives from EPD’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP) conducted probation searches at two residences on the 1400 block of California and the 1100 block of G Street.  Detectives seized an illegal modified rifle with a cut down barrel, a 12 gauge shotgun, a 22 revolver, and a replica BB gun.
This is a continuing investigation.  If anyone has information regarding this case or other nuisances in the city, you are asked to call the POP office at (707) 441-4373.

Gabriel's burglarly by juveniles business familiar with, merchandise and cash recovered

The restaurant said that the burglary that occured this weekend was committed by two juvenile youth the business is familiar with; they broke in, stole a bottle of Crown Royal and the cash drawer only had some coins. The police caught one of the suspects and recovered the cash box in a dumpster down the alley. 

Candle left burning in house causes $10,000 in damage

On 12-16-14 at approximately 0806 hours, Humboldt Bay Fire was dispatched to a possible structure fire on the 900 block of Hill St. in Eureka.  HBF responded with a full first alarm assignment consisting of three fire engines, one ladder truck and two Chief Officers.
First arriving units located the actual incident location at a duplex at 1231 Myrtle Ave., but accessed off of Hill St.  Crews encountered the tenant who stated that there had been a fire in the bedroom of his apartment, but he had extinguished it using a garden hose.  Crews investigated the interior of the apartment and found extensive smoke damage through, with heavy fire and smoke damage in the bedroom.  The tenant stated he had entered and exited the residence three times to attempt to suppress the fire prior to the fire department arriving.
Crews remained on scene for approximately one hour to ensure that the fire was indeed out, clean up water from the floor, and to investigate the fire cause.  The fire did approximately $10,000 damage to the structure and contents therein.  There were no injuries.
The tenants had left approximately one hour prior to go for a walk, but had left a candle burning on top of chest of drawers in the bedroom.   Investigation showed the cause of the fire was the unattended candle.
Humboldt Bay Fire would like to remind residents that leaving lit candles unattended, as in this case, can result in great danger to lives and property.  If using candles, please make sure that they are extinguished prior to leaving your residence.
Additionally, re-entering a structure that is on fire is extremely dangerous.  Once you have escaped safely, there is no guarantee that if you re-enter that you’ll be able to escape again.  Often times, persons re-entering a structure that is on fire become trapped and require rescue from fire personnel.  This can also result in delayed notification of the fire department.  While this situation did not result in injury, the potential for injury or loss of life is increased dramatically.

Rex in a suit! Santa makes a special appearance at Board of Sups meeting

Before the  morning session of the Humboldt Board of Supervisors meeting, seeing Supervisor Rex in a suit, staff and some audience members gave him a hard time.

"What's the occasion?" "Where did you steal that?" Unfazed, Rex quipped back, "It will be fun when I try to return this during lunch."

When the meeting was about to start, Rex was missing. Supervisor Sundberg rang the bell at Rex's desk. His name plaque was covered in Christmas lights. In walked Santa Rex with presents for fellow Supervisors and staff. They asked if they could open them and Santa asked, if they had been good.

All Supervisors got tshirts from Humboldt Republic. Supervisor Estelle Fennell who will be Board chair next year gave Rex a plaque thanking him for all his hard work.

After the lighthearted start, it was business as usual.

Dec 17 will be a busy day with several high profile homicide cases and status overlapping

Tomorrow morning, there is the preliminary examination scheduled for Jason Arreaga, the suspect in the Fieldbrook homicide and at the same time there is a preliminary hearing for Jason Armstrong, the suspect in the Redway murder.

In the afternoon, there is a pre trial hearing  Gary Lee Bullock who is charged with the murder of Fr. Eric Freed and trial confirmation for murder suspect Matthew Brown in one courtroom and at the same time a motion hearing and disposition reset hearing for Arcata murder suspect Juan Ferrer in Courtroom Four.

Background in all cases can be done by searching on the blog. I will add links and times later.

HCSO deputy involved shooting in Mckinleyville

On 12-15-14 at about 9:00 p.m., a Humboldt County Sheriff Deputy attempted a traffic stop on a vehicle on Azalea Rd. near Chapel Hill rd. McKinleyville. The solo Deputy had observed a black SUV and learned that the vehicles registered owner had a felony warrant.  The vehicle initially failed to stop and continued to drive in the 2300 block of Chapel Road. During the traffic stop the suspect vehicle pulled down into a private driveway with the Deputy following. At this time, the suspect vehicle attempted to drive back out of the driveway towards the Deputies location, at which time shots were fired by the Deputy Sheriff.  During the suspects attempt to evade the Deputy, the suspect vehicle had struck two parked vehicles in the driveway.  An injured female inside the vehicle has not yet been identified. The adult female received an unknown type of hand injury and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. A male suspect fled from the vehicle and ran into a wooded area. Information was gathered that the fleeing male suspect may have been armed at the time he fled. A search of the area was conducted utilizing Sheriff Deputies, and responding officers from Arcata Police Department, Eureka Police Department and the California Highway Patrol. A Fortuna Police K-9 Officer arrived and assisted with the search. After several hours of searching, the Police K-9 located a male suspect hiding in the wooded area. The male suspect, Michael Lawrence Barrett (age 23) was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Jail and booked for his no bail charge for the Parole Violation warrant.
A County wide Shooting Investigative team has been activated and is currently investigating the incident and conducting interviews with all of the involved subjects. The Deputy has been placed on administrative leave per the Sheriff’s Office Shooting protocol.
Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

Dec 15, 2014

Challenge Chief Mills and help make holidays brighter for children who are homeless

On Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 12:00 PM, the Eureka Police and Humboldt Bay Fire Departments will be holding a friendly cornhole fundraising match between EPD/HBFD command staff.  Members of the public are also invited to come and watch or participate in the game. Chief Andrew Mills welcomes all challengers.  The match will be held at Humboldt Bay Fire Station #1 (533 C Street, Eureka).

On Friday, December 19th, at 12:00 PM, there will also be a drawing held to win two custom made EPD and HBFD cornhole boards.  Tickets can be purchased for $10.00 at the Eureka Police Department (604 C Street), Humboldt Bay Fire Station #1 (533 C Street), and Humboldt Hardware (531 2nd Street).

All proceeds will go towards making the holidays a little brighter for several local homeless children during a special “Shop with a Cop” event to be held on Saturday, December 20th at 8:00 AM.  EPD and HBFD officials will be taking several children on a Christmas shopping trip to Shafer’s Ace Hardware (2760 E Street) and Target (2525 4th Street). Both businesses have generously agreed to participate in this event. Shafer’s Ace Hardware will be matching donations spent by the children at their store dollar for dollar, and Target is offering the children who go shopping 20% off.
EPD/HBFD encourages everyone to come watch the game and buy tickets.  The more money raised, the more kids that will get to go “Shop with a Cop” this Saturday.  

Gabriel's restaurant restaurant burglarized last night?

EPD does not have details either other than they heard it was burglarized.  The restaurant is closed on Sunday and Monday so cannot confirm.  There were also three police cars in the neighborhood last night while I was in Old Town, a block away. Also heard Gallaghers might also have been targeted but that is untrue according to owner Kelly Erben. Just spoke with her.

Tomorrow's Eureka Council meeting historic with all Councilwomen

So are you going to come in person to witness this historic event?

A local business, individuals and community come together and surprise Fr. Eric Freed's family with an unexpected gesture

A year ago, Fr. Eric Freed's family learned of the brutal death of their loved one through international headlines. They made a trip up for his funeral, still in shock, and met St. Bernard parishioners and many others for the first time, sharing grief and memories with us, Fr. Eric's other family.

During that trip, they connected with some of us and sought some of us out over the course of this year, there is much we have shared; all which is private. I asked the family's permission to share what I am writing in this post.

Twice, the trial for the suspect charged with Fr. Eric's murder has been postponed and on December 17, we will know if the jury trial will proceed on January 26. The family would like to travel and be here for the trial, especially his two sisters. They family does not live locally and so there are significant costs associated and they have been working on raising funds.

All people involved wished to remain anonymous, even the person came up with a design and the person who donated personal funds to repay the business for most of the costs. The cost of printing and labor and the shirts was donated by a local business.  Some other people in the community when they heard about this effort donated. These are people well-known in the community and some from the Catholic church community. All the funds from the sales of this t-shirt will go towards helping the family.

This is not a church endorsed effort. I say this for a couple of reasons. I know some people have strong feelings about the Catholic church. I am saying this for the people outside the Church who were also affected and cared about Fr. Eric. This is for his family and for him.

Those who are not a part of the Church may not understand rules, regulations and how things work.

The business and individuals involved in this effort are a diverse group, some of us are Catholics but all of us are individuals who knew Fr. Eric and were impacted personally by his death. Those of us who are parishioners are also individuals and   are free to help Fr. Eric's family without it being a Church associated effort.

That is what it means to be Christian. That is what Christ meant in Mark 3:35 when he said "Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."

Even though the people involved wanted to remain anonymous, I am making an exception in two cases because Fr. Eric's family asked me to: the person who spearheaded this effort and is the family's lawyer is Kathleen Bryson. The business who jumped in to print the shirts, not expecting anything in return, is Humboldt Republic. The family wants to thank them both. I thank them both.

I also wanted to do this post because it is important for people within the Catholic community to know that Fr. Eric does not belong to any one person, group or to the Church. He was also a teacher, a friend, a community member who reached out and was involved in HSU and the Japanese community. People who did not know him within the Church context but live in this community were also deeply affected.

You have the option of buying the shirts directly from Humboldt Republic. Humboldt Republic is also allowing me to distribute shirts to anyone who knows me from the church or the community. Shirts are $20.

Too often, we seem divided as a community but as we have often seen through many tragedies, this community comes together for each other. That is the Humboldt I wish we wrote and spoke more often about.

Local juries send a message to local defense attorneys

It did not work in the Bodhi Tree case, it did not work in the William Nelson case. Blaming law enforcement, character assassination of prosecution witnesses doesn't  sell, unless it can be proven; especially when it is overused.

Both cases had unrepentant defendants with a grudge. Would the result have been different if we had seen a sympathetic or human side to the defendant?

Both cases had prosecutors, in the Bodhi Tree case, former DDA Elan Firpo; and in the Nelson case, ADA Kelly Neel that presented the facts but also did an excellent job of making the case human and personal. They were powerful but not aggressive, they were respectful.

In an overworked District Attorney's office, kudos to both ladies. Local juries this year give me hope.

Upcoming is a jury trial that will hit very close to home for me. Gary Lee Bullock, I hope, in January 2015, will finally stand trial for his brutal murder of Fr. Eric Freed. His attorney, Kaleb Cockrum, is the one who made me change my mind about defense attorneys. I was on a jury for a high profile case.

What Kaleb did in a difficult case was make the defendant human, he raised reasonable doubt. He was successful for his client. Bullock could not have hoped for a better lawyer.

I don't know who will prosecute the Bullock case but I hope that the DA's office thinks carefully about that decision. Will the prosecutor  be able to convince a jury of the tremendous international loss, the impact on thousands of lives and put a local, human, real face to the case. Just being well-versed in the law is not good enough. That prosecutor needs to understand who Fr. Eric was to this community and that extends beyond the Catholic church.

Guilty on all counts, justice for Bang

Jury verdict came in just before lunch... I will update this tomorrow with dates and a few more details.

The jury found William Nelson guilty of attempted homicide of a peace officer with use of a firearm.
They did not find Nelson guilty of premeditated attempted murder. This time Nelson didn't jump up and cause an outburst in court. Sentencing is in mid-January.

Kudos to ADA Kelly Neel on a great job.

Previous posts:

Verdict in for Shelter Cove man who shot Deputy Cao

This just happened a few minutes ago...see post has all the background.