Feb 14, 2015

"So what the heck is all this about? Doesn't matter what I believe, what Mr. Elvine-Kreiss believes, it matters what you believe."

"So what the heck is all this about? Doesn't matter what I believe, what Mr. Elvine-Kreiss believes, it matters what you believe." This is a quote from DDA Kelly Neel's closing, just a couple hours later, Matthew Brown listened in shock as he was convicted of 2nd degree murder for the death of Neil Decker.

No media covered the entire trial. Only one media outlet, Channel 3 was there for the first two days. Times-Standard got a quote after the verdict was in and jury had left.

I covered the entire trial as I do the cases I follow from start to finish. From detailed opening arguments to the closing arguments and the verdict. You can find all the posts on this blog and I would urge you to read them.

Did the jury in the Matthew Brown base their decision on evidence or emotion? The jury came back in less than 3 hours. It is very unfortunate that Neil Decker was shot and killed.

The jury decided the fate of a man in less than three hours. They had the option of murder, first degree or second degree, voluntary manslaughter and justified killing. They asked for the interviews while deliberating. I wrote earlier that the interviews could impact the outcome of the case.

The fact that this case has the outcome it did is because DDA Kelly Neel is a very good prosecutor. My opinion of this case is not a reflection on her abilities. In fact, she did an incredible job of what I think was a case weak on evidence and full of unanswered questions.

Mr. Elvine-Kreiss did an incredible job of defending Brown. His closing argument is how I felt after sitting through that trial. I am someone who would be considered pro-law enforcement and pro-prosecution but from Day 1, the defense had my attention because the prosecution witnesses were supporting the defense theory. As a juror, you have to keep an open mind, if I had been on the jury, I would listen to all the evidence. I have been on a high-profile jury before and I was one of the strongest hold-outs in not convicting someone based on the evidence. I held my ground even after being intimidated and pressured. That was not a murder case but a serious case, and the more serious the case, the stakes are higher.

If you have followed the daily coverage of this trial, you already know how I feel. There was more testimony from experts, more details on evidence collection, a lengthier trial in the Bodhi Tree case. There were many questions asked and left unanswered in the Brown case that would raise reasonable doubt in at least one or two jurors. Matthew Brown is a defendant who showed remorse unlike a cold, unrepentant Bodhi Tree or a unremorseful, unrepentant Gary Lee Bullock who sits in jail stubborn and defiant despite overwhelming evidence that he killed, tortured and then robbed and fled the scene.

The jurors were tense and refused to speak to me or the attorneys and left in a hurry. When they were polled, they all said this was their verdict. So all one can do is speculate. Most juries talk and get along before going into the jury room. This jury sat by themselves, some people from their demeanor did not want to be there. So did a few strong voices overwhelm the rest? Did not wanting to come back from a three day weekend play a role? A murder verdict in less 3 hours shows many had their minds made up. I think they gave a lot of weight to Matthew Brown's initial interview where he denied shooting Decker. Even though that was explained. I think the people on that jury cannot relate to someone who has a past, they do not know what it is like to be an outsider in Humboldt County, they cannot relate to the wild rural west or being hungry or homeless. They either are clueless to the world of drugs and vigilante justice or in denial about what rural Humboldt is really like. In their worlds, things are black and white.

Opening and closing arguments are not evidence, they are opinion. Juries are given instructions about that. Mr. Elvine-Kreiss' opening and closing  had evidence to back it. Mr. Elvine-Kreiss told the jury, Don't let emotions overcome the facts?"

Link to definition of murder, degrees of murder, voluntary manslaughter, self-defense and penalties:

http://www.shouselaw.com/murder.html

"This is a third world country, wild west in Humboldt County"

DDA Kelly Neel's closing:

Ms. Neel showed a photo of Neil Decker to the jury and the shotgun Matthew Brown used to kill Decker. She had his last words typed on the screen, very powerful and emotional. "Mr. Decker can't be here to tell you what happened because Matthew Brown killed an unarmed man." Ms. Neel said that the killing was not justified and that Brown did not have a valid excuse to kill Neil Decker. "
She then picked up the shotgun and said that Brown had "this firearm strapped on his back." Ms. Neel said that Matthew Brown not parking in the driveway but a longer distance away was "so he wouldn't be seen coming and going."

In his testimony, Brown had said he parked where he did because he was concerned and wanted a safe route. He had said this after explaining why he feared for his life and things that night about being called up to Scott Johnson's house that set off red flags for him.

Ms. Neel said that "Matthew Brown knew he was going to kill someone" and that witnesses said that Neil Decker and Scott Johnson were unarmed. These witnesses were Decker's girlfriend and Johnson's girlfriend who openly on the stand stated how much she disliked Matthew Brown.

"So what the heck is this all about? Doesn't matter what I believe, what Mr. Elvine-Kreiss believes, it matters what you believe," she said to the jury. "Matthew Brown had nowhere to go, that's why he killed Neil Decker."

Ms. Neel brought up that Brown lied to law enforcement in his initial interview and brought up two felony convictions as reasons not to believe him. The only lie he told in that interview was denying shooting Decker. He did not go to prison for his two convictions and the prosecution's own witness, Johnson's girlfriend, Johanna Hames, who was in the adjoining room upstairs where Decker was shot, testified on the stand and the prosecution's own witnesses contradicted some of her testimony.

Ms, Neel said that Brown was "trying to position himself with Scott Johnson instead of Neil Decker."
Ms. Neel quoted Brown's ex-girlfriend and an ex of Scott Johnson's, Kara Williams (Kessler) saying that Brown had allegedly told her,"I will kill Neil for my dad if I have to."

"It does not matter how many crocodile tears he (referring to Brown taking the stand) cries up here, it does not change what happened that day," said Ms. Neel. She asked the jury to watch the interviews again and "juxtapose it with the sad face in court." Ms. Neel said that because Brown had loaded the shotgun and parked a distance away from the house, he had an "escape plan" and that showed pre-meditation. The jury did not convict Brown of  the charge of "wilful, pre-meditated murder."

"The person who can tell the truth is dead," said Ms. Neel. She was referring to Scott Johnson. It was the defense who questioned HCSO about Johnson's death and who the suspect was and they were tight-lipped.

Referring to Brown's testimony on the stand, Ms. Neel said, "Matthew Brown had six to seven months to concoct this version."

Mr. Elvine-Kreiss' closing:

"We all have moments we react to to based on our life's experiences. Neil Decker and Matthew Brown had a moment and sadly, Neil Decker is dead."

Mr. Elvine-Kreiss said that  the "evidence consistently shows the killing is justified."

"Matt experienced Neil as a vigilante in the Wild West. He knew as an outsider living in that area put him in a different position. He reasonably thought Neil Decker would harm him when Neil Decker came around that bed." Brown had testified that he shot Decker when Decker came at him and reached behind his back and that he had done this previously as if reaching for a gun.

"You heard Ms. Neel make theories. You can make up theories," said Mr. Elvine-Kreiss. "It's not reasonable to think there's a plan." Mr. Elvine-Kreiss said if there had been a plan, "Neil Decker could have been killed in the dark, in the driveway, with no witnesses. Why kill him in a bedroom with others around?" Brown had testified that he initially ran into Decker in the driveway that night and no one else was around.

"Each of you individually has a responsibility to weigh what is reasonable or not reasonable and give my client a fair trial."

"Matt got up on the stand and said he lied and why. He was honest, he was sincere, he was terrified." Mr. Elvine-Kreiss quoted Williams (Kessler) saying Brown " was scared shitless."

"This is not a plan he contrived so he could stay at a horrible place, you saw the property. These people chose to live in a lawless place with vigilantism and the wild west."

 Don't let emotions overcome the facts."

"Ms. Hames, she loved Neil and Scott. I have lost someone I loved. She tells you Neil was calm, that's not realistic or credible. Kara (Williams/Kessler) told you Neil was angry, my client told you Neil was angry."

Mr. Elvine-Kreiss referring to a statement Ms. Neel had made said, "At any point thinking that he could get away with it, is ridiculous. "

Referring to Brown's state of mind in that room before the shooting, "He was trapped upstairs with nowhere to go, he jumped off the balcony. Neil was pissed off, he reaches behind his back, Matt is thinking that this is the moment he is going to get killed. Scott (his dad) is not doing anything. He is lying on the bed near a gun hidden under the headboard."

"Matt lived  in intimidation in the Wild West." Mr. Elvine-Kreiss brought up the fact that law enforcement wouldn't give details on Scott Johnson's death. He was the only eye witness to the shooting.

"The People can sanitize this, but there are certain facts in this case. One, my client killed Neil Decker. Two, my client was scared shitless."

"In this well-lit room, we cannot understand the condition my client was in."

He brought up the credibility of prosecution witnesses. "Melissa Toner and Johanna Hames loved Neil Decker. Of course they are going to paint Neil in a different light. Neil Decker's family sitting in a courtroom intimidated Kara Williams (Kessler)." Williams still testified that "Neil was intimidating."

Mr. Elvine-Kreiss brought up that a prosecution witness, Laura Hall testified that Brown came to her the day after the shooting and testified that Brown showed genuine remorse for what he did. "This is not a cold-blooded killer."

"He was a caretaker so he moved the tools" to keep them safe, he was kicked out of living on Johnson's property (after Williams broke up with him) and he still came back to work. This is not someone trying to position himself."

"Everyone is trying to make a big deal that Matt didn't make a self-defense claim (to law enforcement). He is a felon with a gun who killed someone, he is not going to tell law enforcement that he hated Neil Decker. He is not going to write a self-defense claim, he gets a lawyer."

"People do not run away if they are not scared." Mr. Elvine-Kreiss brought up that HCSO Sgt. Sam Williams said that in seven years, he did not go that area alone. Others had testified that they usually went up there with someone, unless they had to alone, and preferred a partner.

"This is a third world country, wild west in Humboldt County."

 Mr. Elvine-Kreiss brought up that when DOJ's Kay Belschner testified, blood and fingerprints were not tested on a hammer from the crime scene. Forensic pathologist Dr. Super did not give any definitive answers but did say that the "victim could have been lunging towards the shooter."

Greg Benson, someone who had testified earlier about Decker shooting him "was not happy to be here" because Decker and he were friends. Defense had called him as a witness. "So in court, he tells you a different version of what happened."

"I brought detectives to show you the lawlessness of the area, they won't tell you who killed Scott Johnson, it wasn't my client." Referring to the gas can found by Johnson's body that was discovered 4 days after Decker was shot and what Brown told law enforcement in that first interview, Mr. Elvine-Kreiss said that "common sense would tell you  they were coming down to the cabin to burn it down and kill my client."

"I don't know why law enforcement won't talk about the deaths of Scott Johnson and Garrett Rodriguez. No one wants to talk about meth. Neil Decker's blood had  high levels of meth." Brown had admitted to doing meth earlier that morning. Decker did meth regularly but no one testified to any timeline. "Meth did not make my client kill Neil Decker, he could have killed him in the drieway, in the dark, with no witnesses."

Penalties and potential years in prison Matthew Brown could get for shooting Neil Decker

Before hearing closing arguments yesterday, on the very last day of the trial, a juror was unwell and an alternate sat in right before final jury instructions and closing arguments. That juror was also elected the foreman.

Matthew Brown was convicted of California Penal Code 187 of second-degree murder, according to California law, he faces 15 years-to-life in the state prison. There are special circumstances that can enhance his sentence. Brown can get an additional 10, 20 or 25-years to life in prison since he personally used a firearm during the commission of the murder and that was one of the special allegations charged. He also caused great bodily injury by personally and intentionally discharging the firearm in the shooting of Neil Decker.

We will have to wait for sentencing to know the outcome.


Link to definition of murder, degrees of murder, voluntary manslaughter, self-defense and penalties:

http://www.shouselaw.com/murder.html

Unfortunate drowning in Orick

On 02/13/15 at about 2252 hours, deputies were dispatched to the area of the Redwood Creek Bridge in Orick for a report of a possible drowning that occurred.  Deputies arrived on scene at about 2330 hours, and located a white Ford truck with a boat and trailer on the river bar northwest of the Redwood Creek Bridge.  Two subjects reported their friend had drowned and was currently in the boat on the trailer.

The victim and his two companions started their three day rafting trip at Stover Bridge on Redwood Creek and planned on rafting down the river over the next three days.  At approximately 1600hrs., the group reached Redwood Falls, 12 miles from Orick.  The victim and one companion exited the boat and proceeded down river, while the other companion negotiated the falls.  The victim and his companion set up a series of safety ropes to assist in catching the boat if it didn’t make it through the falls safely.  The boat made it safely through the falls, but the victim was caught in the safety rope and unable to free himself. Once the companions were able to reach the victims location in the water 15-20 minutes had gone by.  When the companions reached the victim he was deceased.

Due to the remoteness of the area, the companions were unable to notify the authorities at the time. The two companions transported the victim, by boat, the remaining distance to Orick, where they contacted law enforcement.

Feb 13, 2015

Jury finds Matthew Brown guilty of second degree murder

The jurors did not want to discuss their decision and left after Judge John Feeney excused them.

The jurors had an option of first and second degree murder or voluntary manslaughter. They were also told what constituted a "justified killing."

Matthew Brown was found guilty of second degree murder and guilty of the two special allegations of personally and intentionally discharging firearm in the commission of that crime and personally and intentionally discharging a firearm that caused great bodily injury.


Verdict in for the Matthew Brown case...stay tuned

It pays to wait around. The jury started deliberating after lunch. They heard closing arguments this morning.

Stay tuned...

Next Bullock court date of February 18 still a go

This afternoon, the private meeting with Judge John Feeney meeting with both prosecution and defense in the Gary Lee Bullock murder case took place. It was originally scheduled for this Wednesday but was rescheduled due to the court calendar running later.

Bullock is charged sith the murder and torture of Fr. Eric Freed.

This meeting was to discuss the appointment of a psychaitrist or psychologist since Gary Lee Bullock entered a not guilty by insanity plea at his last court hearing on February 11.

After the meeting which took place in the Judge's chambers, Mr. Andrew Isaac who is co-prosecuting the case with Ms. Stacey Eads told me, "we are authorized to say next court date is February 18."

No other media was present today.

Alleged Domestic violence victim refuses to cooperate with law enforcement

On 02-13-2015 at about 1:30 p.m. Humboldt County Sheriff deputies responded to a possible domestic violence incident occurring inside Rogers Market on School Road, McKinleyville. A female subject had run inside Rogers Market  screaming for help. When deputies were en route they learned through dispatch a male suspect  associated with the domestic violence call just entered Rogers Market with a handgun. Deputies were responding code-3 with lights and sirens.

When deputies arrived on scene they were contacted by a male clerk, who said the male suspect with the handgun just ran over to the apartments located on Fischer Road with the female victim. Deputies located the suspect inside one of the apartments and detained him at gunpoint. The suspect was identified as 20 year old, Nicky Dean Bjorkstrand. Deputies recovered a  loaded.32 caliber which was used in this incident.

Deputies tried to talk to the 22 year female victim about the domestic violence. The female victim was uncooperative  with the deputies and refused to give a statement.

Deputies spoke to the male clerk, who said the female came running into the store screaming for help. They then called the Sheriff’s Office for help for her. The male clerk said Bjorkstrand then entered the store and racked a round into a handgun he was carrying. Bjorkstrand then pointed a hand gun at a male customer’s head and told him to get on the ground. The clerk said Bjorkstrand then pointed the hand gun at him and said  you want some too. The male clerk said Bjorkstrand then told the female to come with him and she walked out of the store with him.

Bjorkstrand was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility in Eureka . Bjorkstrand was booked for assault with a deadly weapon, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, being a convicted felon in possession of ammunition and for brandishing a firearm. Bjorkstrand bail was set at $50,000 dollars. No one was injured in this incident.

Closing arguments over, jury deliberating Matthew Brown's fate

This morning both sides presented their closing arguments to the jury in the Matthew Brown case. The jury is currently deliberating.

Feb 12, 2015

"I was waiting for the day Neil was going to kill me"; Matthew Brown infers who Alderpoint 8 leader was and who they reported to

Dressed in black pants and a white shirt, Matthew Brown took the stand in his own defense yesterday. His attorney, Mr. Elvine-Kreiss asked him, "how are you doing? Brown responded, "I'm hanging in there." His eyes teared up as he responded and he dabbed his eyes with a tissue. Often during his testimony on direct, Brown's eyes would well up and he would wipe his eyes.

Mr. Elvine-Kreiss questioned him about his family, growing up, how he met Johnson and before Brown talked about his time in Humboldt, Mr. Elvine-Kreiss brought up two prior convictions which occurred after Brown finished high school. Brown is 30 years old, he was 23 years old when he "stole a vehicle" in 2006 and in 2013, he plead to a charge of "false imprisonment". He did not go to prison for either of these offenses but he did go to prison for violation of his probation.

"What brought you to Humboldt County?" asked Mr. Elvine-Kreiss.

"Work," responded Brown. He said that he knew Scott Johnson since 2006. Johnson knew his "mom and her old man" and Johnson had him visit once in 2007 and then last year asked him to come up to work on his property. Initially, he was only supposed to be here for a month and his initial duties were operating heavy equipment, tree work and cleaning up trash. Brown said he stayed longer and worked for Johnson for the 8 months because he started a relationship with "Kara"  and there was a lot of work to be done. He put up a gate, security cameras and cleared the brush. Other people living on the property lived in trailers and had access to the house to use the kitchen and bathroom.

Joey Johnson (Richards), Scott Johnson's son lived in a trailer and grew marijuana, said Brown. He saids he met Decker in 2007 when he was visiting and then within a couple of weeks of coming up last year.

"Did you shoot Neil Decker," said Mr. Elvine-Kreiss.
"I did," said Brown.
When he was arrested 3 days later, Mr. Elvine-Kreiss asked, "Did you lie to law enforcement?" Brown said yes and Mr. Elvine-Kreiss asked him why."I was very scared. I don't know."
Mr.Elvine-Kreiss asked if his past experience with law enforcement impacted that and Brown responded yes. Then Mr. Elvine-Kreiss asked him if he had been read his miranda rights and he said no. "So you were not under oath?" referring to the interviews the jury had seen. Mr. Elvine-Kreiss continued, "You are under oath today. Will you tell the truth?" Brown said, "Yes."

Mr. Elvine Kreiss," When you first came up here this last time to work for Scott, what were your general feelings of the area?"

"It was very secluded. People were very different. Very standoffish," said Brown. He characterized his relationship with Johnson as "good" and Johnson's girlfriend "Hana" as "allright."

"Did Scott Johnson tell any stories about violence and aggression in this area that impacted you?"

"The thing that scared me most was that he said cops don't come to the area," said Brown. "People take activities into their own hands." Brown said Johnson told him about his neighbor who put a gun in his mouth when Johnson asked him not to cross into his property. He told me about Neil shooting Mr. Benson." Greg Benson is a witness in this case.

Mr. Elvine-Kreiss asked Brown if he was afraid of Johnson. Brown responded, "Not at all." Brown referred to Johnson as "dad."

"Did you look up to him," asked Mr. Elvine-Kreiss.
"I did," said Brown.
"Did you love him?" said Mr. Elvine-Kreiss.
"I did," said Brown.

Mr. Elvine-Kreiss asked Brown that in his conversations with Johnson, " was there any discussion about taking the law into his own hands if he had to?"

"They try to keep the police out of there as much as possible by taking the law into their own hands," was Brown's response.

Then Mr. Elvine-Kreiss asked Brown about "Quinton." This is a person whose name has come up in the Garrett Rodriguez case. Brown said that "Neil and Bob" were driving a car and that "a man was blindfolded and he had injuries" and that had no direct knowledge of who this was other than being told who this man was and that Brown was told that "Neal and Bob went to his house and kidnapped him to have him show them where Garrett Rodriguez's body was"

"Are you familiar with the Alderpoint 8?" Mr. Elvine-Kreiss asked Brown.
"I am," he said.
"Do you know the names of the Alderpoint 8?" asked Mr. Elvine-Kreiss.
"I do," said Brown.
Brown said that the Alderpoint 8 would all report to Johnson. "He was the one they reported to, I was with him when they reported. They called themselves the Great 8.I saw them bring Quinton blindfolded.  "

Mr. Elvine-Kreiss asked if all the members were present when Quinton was brought and Brown said "only Neil and Bob." Brown then said he had seen Decker "on occasion with a gun." He said Johnson did not keep guns in his house except for the one under the headboard near his bed.

Brown then filled in details about the pepper-spray incident.  He said at first Decker was appreciative of him being there but once the gate was installed and that Brown wasn't leaving that he realized "he could not do the things he did when I was not around. like trashing the property; leaving the gate unlocked bringing whoever he wanted to the property." Other witnesses have corroborated Brown's testimony. In their testimony, they left out details and gave no specifics. On the stand, Brown filled in those details. You can read the testimony in other posts about this case on this blog.

Brown then described the problems between him and Decker. "At first, it was verbal abuse, he referred to me as 'bitch boy' and 'tweaker." He did not make any physical threats until the wrestling incident which occurred over the gate. Brown said that Decker said to him that he was sick of Brown "being a control freak."

The pepper spray incident happened a month before Decker was shot and the wrestling incident a month prior. Brown said that he had told Kara Williams (Kessler) that he was afraid of Decker. he had told Sarrie Stillwell and her dad, Michael Stillwell was present.  he then got a gun from Joe Shibler (another witness in the case) after the wrestling incident.

Brown said that Decker threatened him on "a daily basis. He would say he would knock me out and butt-fuck me me like in prison". After the wrestling incident, Brown said that Decker "swore he would kill me."

Brown said that when he came up here to work, he was clean and sober.  This is the same testimony others gave. They all did meth and Brown said that after he came up here, "he was doing meth every morning."

He said he carried his gun everywhere because "I was waiting for the day when Neil was going to kill me."

Brown said initially Johnson gave him a gun for protection and to "protect others"  but a month prior to the shooting incident he took it away and did not tell Brown why.

On the night of the incident. Brown said that Johnson's girlfriend "Hana" and Decker's girlfriend "Melissa" came to his girlfriend Sarrie Stillwell's house and said "Scott wanted to talk to me." This was around 9 p.m. He went up around 10 p.m. Brown said it was not normal for him to go up to Johnson's this late and when he drove up, he parked in a way where he would have a safe route to leave and that his headlights were bright and Decker who was outside said he was irritated because the light was shining in his eyes.  Brown said he could not remember the exact words but that Decker was "very agressive but made no direct threats." He mentioned "Melissa, Lion and Bob" were in the house.

In previous testimony, other witnesses have testified that Brown did meth earlier that day and so did Decker. Another red flag that Brown had was that John son wanted to talk in his bedroom, usually he met with people in the living room. He said he had a shotgun and a toy gun that "looked real." He said he cannot remember who but that someone asked him why he "brought two guns to talk to his dad."

Kreiss asked him about Decker's demeanor that evening. Brown said, "He was pretty much angry whenever I was around. He never gave me the respect I gave him."

Then Brown said that he was talking to Johnson, he was talking about the welder that Decker stole from Johnson. Anther witness, "Hana" said that Decker (who was upstairs in the office area across the bedroom with "Hana") went in twice in the room and told Brown to mind his own business but Brown said that Decker came in twice and glared at him but he came in a third time and said, "I need to keep his name out of my mouth. and that he was sick of me and that it's over."

Then Brown said Decker reached behind his back (like he had many times before; those time Decker acted like he was reaching for a gun).  Given what he had just heard from Decker, Brown was afraid that that was the moment he had been afraid of and that he was going to get killed or shot. "I thought that was the moment."

That is when he shot Decker.

"Did you feel forced to shoot Neil at that moment," asked Mr. Elvine-Kreiss.

"I felt cornered" said Brown. "I had nothing to gain from it."

EPD arrest today includes Jason Losey, former cell mate of Quentin Williams who testified Bodhi Tree confessed to shooting Rhett August

johnchiv.blogspot.com/2014/07/because-that-is-your-opinion-not-mine.html

johnchiv.blogspot.com/2014/07/another-jail-inmate-confirms-tree.html

Last time I saw Jason Losey, he was on the stand testifying in the Bodhi Tree case. I hope he is able to successfully maintain his sobriety, if he gets another chance. Reading about Losey or someone like Sean Butler-Smith violating probation is not something black and white.

Until the drug culture and suppliers are targeted, nothing will change for some in Eureka.


EPD arrests 9, some suspected gang associates, has and cash involved

On Wednesday, February 11, 2015, multiple Humboldt County law enforcement
agencies, led by the Eureka Police Department, conducted an anti-crime/antigang
sweep targeting nearly two dozen identified gang members and gang
associates. The sweep was in response to a perceived increase in gang-related
crime in the greater Eureka area. Over the past several months, EPD has seized
several firearms from known or suspected criminal street gang members
encountered by our officers.
Approximately 22 investigators from multiple agencies including the Eureka
Police Department, Fortuna Police Department, Humboldt County Sheriff’s
Office, Humboldt County Probation Department, Humboldt County District
Attorney’s Office, and U.S. Marshals Office participated in the operation. The
gang task force conducted arrest warrant services and probation and parole
searches at approximately 19 locations in the Eureka, Cutten, and McKinleyville
areas. The majority of these locations were located within the City limits of
Eureka.
During the approximately 7-hour operation, the task force arrested a total of 9
suspects on a multitude of fresh charges and outstanding warrants. Not all of
those arrested were gang members or associates. Narcotics were also seized
and a hash lab and suspected counterfeit bill operation were dismantled.
The following subjects were arrested during the gang sweep:
 Shannon Edward Campbell (age 39) was contacted at a residence on
the 600 block of Summer Street, Eureka. During a search of his residence,
officers located a butane hash oil lab and evidence Campbell may be
counterfeiting money. Officers seized the hash and cash manufacturing
equipment along with $740.00 in counterfeit bills. Additionally, Campbell
was found to be in possession of a small quantity of methamphetamine
and heroin. Campbell was arrested and transported to the Humboldt
County Correctional Facility where he was booked for possession of a
controlled substance and parole violation. Additional charges for
manufacturing a controlled substance (hash) and possession of fraudulent
currency are expected to follow.
 Racheal Michelle Naze (age 29) was arrested for possession of heroin at
the same residence on the 600 block of Summer Street. Naze was also
transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.
 Kou Her (age 29) was contacted at a residence on the 1800 block of A
Street, Eureka. Her was taken into custody for two felony probation
violation warrants and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional
Facility.
 Jason Mickel Losey (age 31) was contacted at a residence on the 200
block of West Del Norte Street, Eureka. Losey was arrested on a felony
warrant alleging violation of his Post Release Community Supervision and
transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.
 Three subjects were taken into custody at an apartment building on the
800 block of H Street, Eureka. Lori Lynn Beaty (age 20) was arrested on
a warrant for possession of a controlled substance. Lane Korry Jacaway
(age 30) was arrested on a felony parole violation warrant. Tracy Lee
Adams, Jr. (age 25) was arrested on warrants for probation violation and
assault with a deadly weapon (felony). All three suspects were
transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.
 Kevin Lee Haberman (age 36) was arrested at a residence on the 2100
block of Home Drive, Eureka. During a search of the residence, officers
located approximately 4.5 pounds of processed marijuana and
ammunition for a firearm. Haberman was transported to the Humboldt
County Correctional Facility where he was booked for possession of
marijuana for sale, felon in possession of ammunition, and parole
violation.
 Courtney Ann Garrett (age 25) was contacted by officers while walking in
the vicinity of 11th and M Streets, Eureka. Garrett was taken into custody
on a felony warrant for possession of a controlled substance and
transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.
“We want those who identify themselves as gang members in our community to
know we will not tolerate activity that endangers our citizens and officers,” said
EPD Captain Steve Watson. “I ask people to share what they know about gang
activity and other crimes occurring in Eureka. Community partnerships with the
police that focus on solving problems rather than merely reacting to them help
deter crime. I encourage you to get involved with a neighborhood watch group
and/or volunteer with EPD, and help build a productive partnership with your
police department.”

Who will the Matthew Brown jury believe? HCSO denies any connection between Sohum murders despite defense probing

Until last Friday, prosecution witnesses were helping the defense a bit more than the prosecution with their testimony. As the Matthew Brown case concluded Friday, prosecution played two interviews: one which was video-taped right after Matthew Brown was arrested and the second 24 hours later.

In those interviews, the only thing that hurt Matthew Brown was that he denied shooting Neil Decker. Monday through Wednesday morning, the prosecution and defense presented witnesses and Brown's attorney, Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreiss tried to elicit something definitive to build a connection between his client's case and the unsolved murders of Scott Johnson and Garrett Rodriguez. In this post, I am including testimony from when HCSO Sgt. Diana Freese, Investigator Todd Fulton and Detective Jennifer Turner.

The Sheriff's office denies any connection despite the defense probing. Will the interview and HCSO testimony hurt or help the defense?  Google Murder Mountain or the names of any of the three deceased on Lost Coast Outpost which details on the cases and will provide context for the HCSO testimony.

Thursday, Matthew Brown took the stand. Will that lean the case back in defense favor?

So far many of the prosecution and defense witnesses corroborate the defense's opening arguments. The only thing that Matthew Brown lied about was in his initial interview denying shooting Neil Decker. He explains why. Will it be enough to acquit him of murder? The defense called the shooting of Neil Decker "a justifiable homicide."

Sgt. Diana Freese was one of the lead detectives in the Brown case. The other detective was Sam Williams. When Mr. Elvine-Kreiss questioned Sgt. Freese on cross, he asked her "In the last two years does the Rancho Sequoia area have a reputation for guns and violence?"

"Many areas in Humboldt County have reputations for guns and violence," responded Sgt. Freese.

"Would you describe it as lawless?" asked Mr. Elvine Kreiss.

"Yes," said Sgt. Freese.

"Do you agree with Det. Williams characterization of wild west, guns and trees?"

"I don't agree. It is a rural area. It's wild and rural," said Sgt. Freese.

So far, no suspect has been identified in the murder of Scott Johnson, the only eye witness, all relevant witnesses agree on was present in the room when Brown shot Decker. When Mr. Elvine-Kreiss tried to question Sgt. Freese about the unsolved murder of Johnson, DDA Kelly Neel objected to this question and the Judge sustained the objection.

On re-direct, DDA Neel asked Sgt. Freese about there not being a large law enforcement presence in rural area. Sgt Freese responded that it was "because of resources and not because law enforcement avoids going to that area."

On re-cross, Mr. Elvine-Kreiss brought up that Matthew Brown had not slept much since he fled the Johnson property until his arrest. He brought up a comment Det. Williams said in the interview which Sgt. Freese described as a suggestion. Det. Williams said, "I think you are absolutely afraid of Neil Decker and you shot him and other things were going on."

When Detective Fulton was interviewed, he was asked about Scott Johnson's death which occurred 4 days after Neil Decker was found. Detective Fulton said that it was "up in the air whether this was homicide." He said they did not know where Johnson was killed but where his body was found and that "a gas can was found near Johnson's body."

Mr. Elvine-Kreiss asked Detective Fulton about several people: Johnny Riley Jr., Johnny Riley Sr., Ray Ray, Old Spice" Detective Fulton said he knew some people and that the Johnson and Decker investigation were separate but involved the same individuals.

Detective Turner said that "she was not actively investigating" the Rodriguez murder because "the FBI is investigating and HCSO is waiting until their investigation is complete." A person identified as "Quinton" was brought up  and Detective Turner said that she met with him about another case and that the "Garrett Rodriguez case came up." Mr. Elvine-Kreiss questioned Detective Turner about some of the same people he asked Detective Fulton about and she had only heard of 1 name during her investigation of the Rodriguez case.

When questioned about the Alderpoint 8, she said, "I've heard the name thrown around ; I don't know who is involved."
 

DDA Luke Brownfield will be going from prosecution to being a public defender

In about six weeks, DDA Luke Brownfield will be joining the Humboldt County Public Defender's office. Wishing Luke the very best at his new digs.

Chief Probation Officer Bill Damiano responds to questions about in-home detention, electronic monitoring and repeat offenders

When I posted about the meeting Operation Safe Streets held at the Vets Hall, Mitch Trachtenberg raised the issue of in-home detention and electronic monitoring. Since Probation operates that program, both District Attorney Maggie Fleming and Eureka Police Chief referred me to Chief Probation Officer Bill Damiano.


Chief Probation Officer Bill Damiano's response:

Probation operates both adult and juvenile alternative to detention programs - home detention, pretrial supervision and electronic monitoring.

Participation in the juvenile program is typically determined by a Probation Officer early in the adjudication process (like immediately upon booking at juvenile hall), but also sometimes by the juvenile court judge (if retained in custody until a detention hearing, or as a juvenile hall commitment once adjudicated).  Juvenile offenders with minimal delinquency histories and who are assessed as low risk to fail to appear or commit a new crime pending court proceedings typically do not have an electronic monitor (EM) placed on them and remain on home supervision until their case is adjudicated or dismissed.  Those serving a juvenile hall commitment will  have an EM.

Participation in the adult program has different avenues for determining placement:
Pretrial (supervised) release – typically determined by the Court at OR/Bail hearing after assessment by our Probation/Sheriff Office staffs assigned to the program and a report is provided the judge.  This is a court-ordered release pending court proceedings through sentencing.  A person on the pretrial program may or may not be placed on EM based on staff’s determination of level of risk to FTA or commit a new offense pending adjudication, as assessed with our pretrial risk assessment instrument (an actuarial tool specific to pretrial release decisions).  No jail credits are earned for this as the offenders are not considered detained.
Home Detention – a case that has been sentenced to jail time where the Court specifically stipulates that the sentence be is to be served on EM.  This is a court-ordered release to Probation for supervision post-sentence.  Jail credit is earned.
As a condition of formal felony probation – a case placed on felony probation typically has a standard condition giving the probation officer discretion to place an offender on electronic monitor in response to a (typically technical) violation of probation where a revocation proceeding is not being sought.  This option has no court process involved.  This is usually only considered if the person is determined to be a minimal risk to public safety.  In other words, the addition of structure and controls is likely to address the violation behavior and get the person back on track with their conditions of probation.  No jail credit is offered/earned as, again, the person is not detained in the legal sense of the term, but is having their freedoms constrained/controlled.

Any of these programs could apply to a “repeat offender”, whether they are an adult or juvenile.   Of course, every adult person booked into the jail has the legal option of bail release, which carries no EM option through Probation.  

Feb 10, 2015

Is "Creeper" a part of the Eastside local gang known as "LOCO" and is he associated with a gang affiliated with the Surenos?

EPD officers Josh Siipola and Stephen Linfoot testified about two different incidents involving"Creeper " aka Anthony Manuel Christopher Burgess this morning. Judge Christopher Wilson presided over the hearing.

The day of the alleged incident, Officer Siipola testified that "I saw Anthony Burgess in the carport of an alley to the rear of 1440  California Street." Officer Siipola said that he is familiar with Burgess and often does a drive by of that area which is known for a high crime rate and activity. From his car window, Officer Siipola said, 'What's up Creeper? Are you going to run?"

Burgess said to Officer Siipola,"What am I doing wrong?"

Officer Siipola decribed "Creeper" as Burgess' "gang moniker."

Officer Siipola said that as soon as Burgess saw him, his tried to "conceal himself" from the officer's view, crouching where his hands were out of Officer Siipola's sight and that his body language made Officer Siipola suspicious. He was reaching down, testified Officer Siipola. The officer then heard "a thud, like a heavy object falling on the ground." Officer Siipla said that Burgess "took off running" and that he did not follow him. He did a broadcast that he was going to inspect the area. What he found was "a black semi-automatic handgun in a holster." Officer Siipola took a photograph and then requested back-up. He then followed protocol and "rendered the weapon safe." This meant taking out "7 Winchester full metal jacket rounds from the magazine chamber." Burgess was arrested later that evening.

Officer Linfoot testified about another incident where he was on patrol and was called to address a situation at 935 G street because there had been a report of "suspicious people loitering around the address". He was by the Bayshore Mall area so another officer responded and a suspect matching Burgess' description was "fleeing from the officer." Officer Linfoot arrived at the location and saw Officer Janson and the suspect coming towards him. He recognized Burgess. The pursuit earlier had resulted  in Burgess' bicycle "colliding" with Officer Janson's car. The bicycle was on the ground, a tan bag "tangled in the handles" and a black backpack on the ground. The officers manage to subdue and arrest Burgess. When Officer Linfoot picked up the tan bag, he could see "an outline of a revolver." Officer Linfoot described the gun loaded with "hollow point Magnum".

The tan bag had the Aztec numeral 13 written on it with a black marker. Officer Linfoot said that he had training with gang symbols and other gan related information as a part of his law enforcement career from Los Angeles. He recognized this symbol as being associated with a specific gang, the Surenos.

In the black back pack, Officer Linfoot found a flashlight with a stun gun built into it, gloves, plastic bags. Other evidence collected from Burgess were two cell-phones, a wig, a hat and dark sunglasses, and a handmade drawing in Burgess' wallet. The drawing had eastside local gang and Aztec 13 written on it. Burgess had a tatoo near one of his eyebrows with "Loco" written on it which Linfoot said is known to be part of the name, associated with the Eureka gang, eastside locals.

Ms. Holmquist had been questioning Officer Linfoot on his expertise with gangs. She asked him, "How do you know East side locals are not a club like the Boy Scouts?"

Officer Linfoot responded, "because the Boy Scouts don't vandalize property in the name of their club, they don't tag graffiti. "

Officer Linfoot said that Burgess told him that he was running from Officer Janson because "he had heard a stupid rumor on the street that Eureka Police Department was looking for him and he was scared."

Officer Linfoot said that Burgess was surprised that the gun he had was loaded. He also told Officer Linfoot that earlier that day he had smoked marijuana and ecstasy laced with meth. Burgess also told the officer that he had got the handgun from a man named "Pops" at the apartments at 9th and H and that he was taking the gun to Angelo's Pizza's to deliver it to "Matt."



Before the case was called for hearing, DDA Rees told the People had made an offer of 8 years, the defense of 4 years and when Officer Linfoot recited the charges against Burgess, Ms. Holmquist in her trademark bravado fashion quipped instead of taking the People's offer, she would rather take the "case to trial!"

Previous posts:

http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/02/creeper-burgess-evades-gang-charge-but.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/01/100000-bail-set-for-creeper-aka-anthony.html?m=1

Hoopa domestic violence suspect served with protective order in court, arraigned on charges today, whistles outside court with a carefree attitude

While waiting for the Gary Lee Bullock case, Brandon Biondini, whistled outside the court, and was arraigned today in Courtroom 1. He has the funds to hire one of the top and most expensive defense attorneys in town, Neal Sanders.

DDA Brie Bennett was representing the People but the case will be prosecuted by DDA Kelly Neel.

Update:

On 02-05-2015 at about 2:20 p.m. a search warrant was signed by a Humboldt County Superior Court Judge for the residence in this incident. After the residence was searched, deputies seized the below listed firearms as evidence. Biondini is still in custody with a $500,000 dollar bail.
1. Windham Weaponry AR-15 type semi-automatic rifle - 223 - with 1 loaded high capacity magazine
 2. Ruger Mini-30 semi-automatic rifle - 7.63X39mm - with 2 loaded high capacity magazines
 3. Winchester bolt action rifle - 30-06
 4. Winchester lever action rifle – 30 caliber
 5. Ruger 77-22 semi-automatic rifle - 22 Hornet
 6. Winchester pump shotgun - 12 Gauge
 7. Winchester lever action rifle - 22 LR
 8. Ruger 10-22 semi-automatic rifle - 22 LR

 9. P-38 semi-automatic pistol - 9 MM Lugar


Original Press Release:

On 02-05-2015 at about 9:30 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a report, regarding shots being fired in the direction of the Hoopa High School off Highway 96 Hoopa. Hoopa High School decided to go into lock down, because of the shots being fired in the direction of the school. When deputies arrived on scene they were assisted by Humboldt County Juvenile Probation Officer, who happened to be in the area.

When deputies arrived on scene they learned the shots originated from a residence located at the intersection of Loop Road and Matilton Cutoff Road, Hoopa. This residence is located about 50 yards from the school. Deputies then contacted a female victim, who stated, she was in a verbal argument this morning with her husband, 33 year old, Brandon Joseph Biondini. The victim stated that during the argument with Biondini, she started to walk away from the residence.

As she was walking away, she heard the sounds of a round being racked into a rifle. The victim said she then started to run. She said she heard (3) three rounds being fired in her direction. The victim escaped without being injured.

Deputies located Biondini driving a truck on Pine Creek Road, Hoopa a short time later and took him into custody without incident. Biondini was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, and domestic violence and for discharging a firearm in a negligent manner. Biondini was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility in Eureka. Biondini bail was set at $500,000 dollars.

The weapon in this incident has not been recovered and deputies are currently on scene securing the residence for a search warrant.

Another criminal on felony probation with meth, a gun and running off from law enforcement after an incident

On 02-09-2015 at about 3:00 p.m. a Humboldt County Sheriff Office Deputy responded to a neighbor dispute at a residence located in the 19600 block of Highway 36, Swains Flat. The dispute was over one neighbor refusing to remove their trailer off the other neighbor’s property. When the deputy arrived on scene he witnessed one of the neighbors named, Andrew Boyce Campbell age 45, yelling at his neighbor over the trailer being parked on his property.

When the deputy was speaking to Campbell he recognized him from prior law enforcement contacts. The deputy knew  Campbell was on felony probation with and search and seizure clause. Campbell was on felony probation due to an arrest in 2013 for possession of methamphetamine and possession of a stolen handgun.

The deputy told Campbell he was going to search his residence and his person, because of his felony probation status. Campbell then took off running towards his residence. The deputy yelled at Campbell numerous times to stop. Campbell ignored the deputy’s commands and ran inside of his residence and shut the door. The deputy pursued Campbell into the residence by forcing the front door open.

Once inside of the residence the deputy ordered Campbell to the ground. Campbell refused the deputy’s commands. Campbell then attempted to strike the deputy with his fist. The deputy then attempted to force Campbell to the ground to make an arrest. Campbell was able to break free from the deputy’s control.  The deputy told Campbell numerous times to quit resisting arrest, but Campbell refused to comply with the deputy’s commands. The deputy then deployed his assigned Taser unit striking Campbell in the chest area with the Taser probes. The Taser with effective in making Campbell drop to the ground. The deputy was able to then place Campbell into custody without further incident.

The deputy then searched Campbell’s residence. The deputy located a loaded .357 caliber, Colt Python; loaded with hollow points and a small amount of methamphetamine. Campbell was  transported to a local hospital for medical clearance, prior to being booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility, since Campbell was struck by a Taser.

Campbell was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance, obstruct/resist an executive officer and for violation of probation. Campbell’s has no bail, due to his violation of probation charge. The deputy was not injured in this incident.

Bullock personally reads not guilty plea by reason of insanity

Judge: Hon. John Feeney
Courtroom 1
Prosecutors: Andrew Issac and Stacey Eads
Defense: Kaleb Cockrum

Mr. Cockrum from Conflict Counsel requested a hearing today to enter a change in plea for Gary Lee Bullock ,the suspect in the murder of Fr. Eric Freed on New Year's Day last year.

Fr. Eric's family was expected to be here for the trial. Today, in courthis twin sister was present. After the hearing, she left with Mr. Issac. She was seated in court with her lawyer, Kathleen Bryson.

Judge John Feeney is meeting with attorneys privately tomorrow at 4 in his chambers to discuss this matter further. The private meeting is on the request of Mr. Cockrum. Mr. Issac told Judge Feeney that Mr. Cockrum has now placed "a cascade of administrative responsibilities of your shoulders."  Mr. Issac added, "he did have things he wanted to say" he did not oppose the discussion be continued in private chambers. "This will impact jury selection and the trial."

The next step is for a psychologist or psychiatrist may be appointed. Judge Feeney has to grant this request because he would not want a verdict turned over on appeal. The evaluation could take months. The defense has requested three continuances for the same reasons, now with this change in plea, they know the trial date of March 2 will be vacated. Just a back-handed way of Mr. Cockrum getting another continuance.

Bullock in a monotone, emotionless voice read a short script that he was not guilty of the offenses charged. "I believe that I am not guilty of the offenses charged because I was insane at the time...I plead not guilty and deny all allegations."

His plea of not guilty by reason of insanity is added to his existing plea. Judge Feeney made sure that Bullock knew this. He also advised Bullock that even if he is found not guilty by reason of insanity that there can be "a possible liftetime commitment to a state mental institution."

Only Will Houston from the Times-Standard and I were at the hearing.

Previous post/opinion I did on California's insanity defense and the Bullock case:

http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2014/11/will-fr-erics-murderer-go-for.html

Is there a connection between other unsolved murders and the shooting Matthew Brown is charged with?

The defense got to start and present their case in the murder trial today. The gist is that is there a connection between the death of Scott Johnson whose murder is still being investigated and the death of Garrett Rodriguez, whose death attracted FBI presence.

Busy court week so I will update Monday and Tuesday  coverage as soon as I can.


Hearing for change of plea scheduled by defense for Fr. Eric's murder suspect Gary Lee Bullock

A hearing is scheduled to set a date for change of plea in the Gary Lee Bullock case this afternoon.

The District Attorney's office had subpoenaed several medical records from St. Joe's, Mad River Hospital, Jerod Phelps and Singing Tree. No idea why. Maybe today's hearing will shed light.

Update later.

"Creeper" Burgess evades gang charge but held to answer on other charges after preliminary

DDA Roger Rees is prosecuting the Anthony Manuel Burgess case. The defendant is represented by Ms. Heidi Holmquist from the Public Defender's office and Judge Christopher Wilson presided over the hearing.

He was held to answer for the charge of being convicted felon in possession of a firearm , he was not held to answer for street gang activity, he was held to answer for the charge of committing a felony while on bail, he was held to answer on the charge of possession of a firearm under the influence, he was not held to answer on the charge of possessing a firearm as part of probation term, he was held to answer for carrying a loaded firearm in public, he was held to answer for posssesion of a stun gun.

He will be arraigned for jury trial on February 23 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 1.

No other media was present for the preliminary hearing.


Previous post with background:

http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/01/100000-bail-set-for-creeper-aka-anthony.html?m=1

Feb 9, 2015

Fifth street fire originated near a living room couch, Humboldt bay Fire contains fire to apartment

Humboldt Bay Fire responded three engines, one ladder truck and two battalion
chiefs to a structure fire at 117 5th Street. Upon arrival the first battalion
observed and reported fire on the second floor of a two story mixed occupancy
building, with apartments being affected on the second floor. Due to the high life
hazard and the threat of fire extending to neighboring businesses a second alarm
was requested.

The second due battalion chief arrived and reported a burn victim had escaped
the building and was located in the alley. An ambulance was requested. Fire
and ambulance personnel treated the patient for serious burn injuries and he was
transported to the hospital.

As engine and ladder truck crews arrived an aggressive interior fire attack was
conducted while additional crews searched the entire building to check for
trapped occupants. The fire was quickly contained to the apartment of origin, but
all apartments on the second floor sustained minor smoke damage. No additional
victims were located.

HBF fire investigators worked in an effort to determine origin and cause. The
area of origin was determined to be in the vicinity of a living room couch, but the
exact cause remains undetermined, pending further interviews of the apartment’s
occupants or other witnesses.

Marijuana seized from storage units at Rainbow mini storage; West Coast value $535,000; East Coast value 1.8 million dollars

On 2/9/15 at about 10:30 a.m., Deputies from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Drug Enforcement Unit and Agents from the Humboldt County Drug Task Force served a search warrant at Rainbow Mini Storage Units, near the intersection of Hwy 101 and Indianola Road, Eureka. Upon searching the small 10’ x 15’ mini storage, Deputies found the storage unit filled from floor to ceiling with contractor size garbage bags and several orange plastic 55 gallon sealable barrels.  The bags and barrels contained 535 pounds of processed Marijuana buds. The processed bulk marijuana was packaged in both (1) one lbs plastic bags and bulk size plastic storage bags.

This case is under investigation and no arrests have been made at this time. The West Coast street value of the marijuana found is approximately $535,000 dollars. The East Coast value of the seized marijuana could have yielded approximately 1.8 millions dollars.

Fieldbrook double murder trial det for February 23

Jason Arreaga will be tried for the two murders he committed in Fieldbrook. His attorney, Ms. Heidi Holmquist conformed dates. She also requested that Judge John Feeney sign a stipulation that the DOJ turn over evidence to a  defense expert.

On January 26, at the  pre trial hearing for  Arreaga, Ms. Holmquist has also confirmed dates but she had said she may request a continuance after getting outstanding  discovery. DDA Zach Curtis said that the People were waiting to get discovery from DOJ.

Jury trial is scheduled for February 23 at 8:30 a.m.

Preliminary hearing for former Sheriff's Sgt accused or rape and sexual battery delayed

A preliminary hearing for Jason Scott Daniels was delayed basically due to courtroom unavailability. Other cases in which time has not been waived are a priority. With 9 cases on for preliminary hearings in which time has not been waived, other jury trials waiting to be scheduled and with three jury trials going on right, 4 courtrooms doesn't cut it. Even the back up civil courtroom is not enough.

The new date is March 24 at 8:30 a.m. in courtroom to be determined closer to that date.

This is the case not just for Daniels but a regular issue in Humboldt. Too many cases, not enough courtrooms, cases not being resolved.

Mr. Andrew Isaac is handling this case for the People. Out of area attorneys Julia Fox and Steven Betts are representing Daniels.

Daniels is charged with three felony counts: Count 1 penetration by a foreign object and Counts 2 and 3 sexual battery. The incidents allegedly occurred when he was on duty.

He is out of custody. Daniels' wife was with him in court today.

Feb 8, 2015