Mar 13, 2015

No future date yet for Janelle Egger's lawsuit against Humboldt County Board of Supervisors; Janelle representing herself

Still no future date for the lawsuit filed by Janelle Egger against the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. Judge Dale Reinholtsen disqualified himself. Since the file is with Judge Joyce Hinrichs, not sure why. He is the only Civil Court Judge. Two Judges with a busy family law calendar and the rest with a packed criminal docket, that isn't surprising.

Janelle Egger is representing herself.

Pro Per
A term derived from the Latin "in propria persona," meaning "for one's self," used in some states to describe a person who handles his or her own case, without a lawyer. In other states, the term pro se is used. When a nonlawyer files his or her own legal papers, that party is expected to write "in pro per" under his or her name in the heading on the first page.

I showed up at 8:30 a.m. just in case there were any developments.

Mar 12, 2015

Sohum suspect booking photos including Dan Dobbs

In response to community complaints regarding narcotics activity in the Southern Humboldt area, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), with the assistance of the Humboldt County Drug Task Force (HCDTF), conducted a two day maximum enforcement operation in the Southern Humboldt area.

HCDTF members identified suspicious activity at the Lone Pine Motel, 912 Redwood Drive, Garberville.  During the investigation, Fredrick Hoss, along with John Matthews, Cari Barker, and Kelly Winters, were found to be in the middle of a suspected narcotics transaction.  All three subjects were subsequently arrested for various charges (see below).  HCDTF officers obtained a search warrant for vehicles and a motel room that were associated with these subjects.  During the course of the investigation, over two ounces of suspected methamphetamine, approximately one pound of marijuana, and $70,000 in cash was seized.  Due to a juvenile being present, Child Welfare Services responded to the scene and placed the juvenile into protective custody.

Fredrick Hoss was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for possession of marijuana, conspiracy to commit a crime, and child endangerment.  HCDTF will request the District Attorney’s Office file an additional charge of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of sales against Hoss.

John Armstrong, Cari Barker, and Kelly Winters were booked for possession of marijuana for sales and conspiracy to commit a crime.
During a separate investigation, HCDTF members identified suspected narcotic activities at the Johnston Motel, 839 Redwood Drive, Garberville.  Sheriff’s Deputies contacted Bruce Findlay who was exiting the motel.  Findlay was determined to be on county probation with a search and seizure clause.  Prior to searching Findlay, he indicated to the deputies that he had a loaded firearm in his waistband.  A subsequent search of Findlay revealed a loaded Glock .40 caliber handgun.  Deputies also located suspected heroin and drug paraphernalia on Findlay’s person.
Findlay was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for being in possession of a concealed firearm, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance, illegal possession of ammunition, and probation violation.    
Also arrested during the maximum enforcement operation for various warrants were Hannah Hayne, Daniel Dobbs, and Scott Fowler.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank community members who report criminal behavior.

Verizon customers having issues with text messages, you are not alone

I just called the local store, after not being able to get through to the 800# and having gone through all trouble shooting tips. The store confirmed others having that issue. On their outage /issues site, New Mexico and Arizona having similar issues.

Issue was resolved within an hour for me. Good job Verizon.

Home invasion suspect arrested after citizen tip

On 03/12/15 at about 11:49 a.m., an Officer with the Eureka Police Department observed Logan Bremer, 32 of Eureka, driving a vehicle near Wabash and Summer Streets.  The officer knew Bremer was a suspect in a home invasion robbery on 03/03/15 in the town of Harris and had felony warrants.

The officer attempted to get in the position to make a traffic stop but Bremer was able to elude the officer.  Several citizens noticed Bremer driving recklessly and pointed officers towards the vehicle.  Officers located the vehicle unoccupied near the 1100 block of E Street.

Officers set a perimeter and were again assisted by several citizens who pointed officers towards Bremer and a male passenger.  Bremer was taken into custody near the 1000 block of G Street.  The passenger, Daniel Fidler, 41 of Fortuna, was found nearby and also taken into custody.

Bremer and Fidler were transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.  Bremer was booked on his felony warrants for home invasion, burglary, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Fidler was booked on fresh charges of violation of probation and possession of methamphetamine.

The Eureka Police Department thanks the citizens who assisted in locating the vehicle and suspects.

Weott accident victim identified as Fred Lamberson

On March 11, 2015 there was a traffic accident on Highway 101 near mile post marker 35, Weott. One involved subject was injured and later declared deceased at the hospital.

The deceased subject has been positively identified as Fred Lamberson, age 55, of Trinidad. The California Highway Patrol is the lead agency in this investigation. All further information will be released through their office.

Dan Dobbs, booked again!

Yesterday, 2:30 p.m.

Between Dan and Shiloh Chase, don't know who should win the frequently booked king title. Pictured below is Dan Dobbs (top photo)and  Shiloh Chase.

Mar 11, 2015

Honda motorcycle stolen from Willow Creek

An acquaintance of mine sent me this via email:

I had a motorcycle stolen from my home today in Willow Creek. It is a 2012 Honda CBR250R, license plate 21C8139.

It has a red gas tank and front fairing. The trim around the seat is silver. The motorcycle is practically new and has only 3000 miles on it. The pictures are of my motorcycle. The bike was locked with separate locks on the wheels and the chain. It was not driven off. Someone had help hauling it off. Allegedly it might be around Hoopa.

One note, this particular bike has a black heat shield on the muffler and is the only one I know of that is, because I coated it with black ceramic manifold paint.

If you see my motorcycle don't go and try to stop them, instead PLEASE CALL THE HUMBOLDT COUNTY SHERIFF AT 707-445-7251 OR 911 IMMEDIATELY.

Medford city staff draft ordinance to fine marijuana growers $250 a day for "stinky" weed

From Yahoo news:

Oregon city considers penalizing pot growers for smelly marijuana

By Shelby Sebens 8 hours ago

The Oregon city of Medford, where officials say residents have long grumbled about the odor of marijuana growing operations, is considering a regulation that would fine pot growers if their marijuana is too smelly, city officials said on Wednesday.
The city's legal staff has drafted an ordinance that would fine both medical and recreational marijuana growers whose operations are too malodorous up to $250 a day and would give the city power to seize plants if growers don’t come into compliance.
In addition to containing odors, marijuana growers would be required to keep their plants locked up and out of sight in Medford, a city of nearly 80,000 people in southern Oregon whose economy is at least partly based on conventional agriculture.
Since Oregon legalized medical marijuana in the late 1990s, Medford citizens have consistently complained about the smell of weed, and council members decided to act on the issue after state voters opted in November to legalize recreational marijuana, Deputy City Attorney Kevin McConnell said.
Council members were expected to study the draft ordinance at a work session on Thursday and vote on the matter before recreational weed officially becomes legal statewide on July 1, McConnell said. 
"I think there was a feeling now (that) this is going to become more prevalent, and it’s something that needs to be dealt with,” McConnell said. 
Critics say this is just another Oregon town that doesn’t want legalized recreational marijuana.
“Is there a prohibition on all noxious odors or just marijuana, which some people wouldn’t think is a noxious odor? My suspicion is that they don’t and this is nothing more than a veiled attempt to undermine implementation of the ballot measure,” American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon Executive Director David Fidanque said. 
The law gives towns the authority to enact reasonable restrictions, and Fidanque said some towns are taking that too far, trying to regulate marijuana out of their backyards.
By contrast, McConnell said it’s simply a matter of what makes sense for Medford. 
“My argument would be that it’s more of a general question about what’s the societal norm here in Medford? Is the smell of marijuana a normal smell? That’s up to the council to decide.” 

Case management conference held today for civil harassment order against former Sheriff deputy Jason Daniels

Jason Daniels has retained Lawrence Killoran to represent him in a civil harassment order filed against him by K. Franks. I was not in that courtroom  today since I was in Courtroom 1 for Matthew Brown and Benjamin Carter.

This case is connected to his other criminal case and I will try and get some more information. No future date for this civil harassment date in computer yet.

Jason Daniels is the former HCSO deputy who is charged with allegedly committing rape while on duty.

Benjamin Carter new trial date of April 27; defense filed demurred to Count 2 and request of dismissal

Today was the trial Confirmation hearing for Benjamin Carter. Michael Acosta represents Carter. Mr. Andrew Isaac is prosecuting for the People.

Defense requested a continuance to have more time for the 995 motion and today a demurrer to dismiss Count 2.

Mr. Acosta said that Count 2 of Arson was dismissed at the preliminary hearing. At that time, DDA Luke Brownfield was prosecuting the case. For the jury trial, Count 2 is the possession of a firearm. Mr. Acosta said that the People had 10 guns in evidence, "which gun are they referring to?"

In court, Mr. Acosta gave Judge John Feeney the demurrer and request for dismissal for Count 2. He also asked for a continuance for the jury tr and said he needed more time to file his 995 motion. The jury trial date of April 6 was vacated and is now set for April 27.

Mr. Isaac said that lack of specificity about the firearm was not a valid defense and he would file a written objection. Both attorneys verbally presented a few points to support their argument. Judge Feeney "thanked them for a sneak preview" and on March 25, there will be a hearing on the defense demurrer and trial confirmation.

The defense offer was only reported on this blog. Here is the link:

Previous post:

Benjamin Carter, is charged with Count 1  murder. Count 2 is possession of a firearm. Two firearm enhancement allegations were added for both counts and a special allegation of prior and serious felony conviction. He is the suspect in the murder of Zachery Chapman.

Mr. Andrew Issac was in court today for the People; Mr. Michael Acosta is representing Carter. Both spoke before and after the court hearing. Mr. Issac told Judge John Feeney that "the case was on for a disposition and reset hearing today and that the parties had not reached a resolution." Last week, the defense made an offer for the People to review. Mr. Issac said that Mr. Acosta was going to file a 995 motion and Mr. Acosta said that it would be for two counts.

Jury trial has been set for April 6 at 8:30 a.m. and a Trial Confirmation hearing for March 11 at 2 p.m.

A California Penal Code 995 motion is  a request for the judge to dismiss one or more counts of the complaint.

Related posts to this Carter post:

Matthew Brown gets sentenced 40 years for killing Neil Decker today which was Decker's birthday

Today was the sentencing for Matthew Brown in Courtroom 1. DDA Kelly Neel prosecuted the case and Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis represented Matthew Brown. The defense had filed a motion to modify the verdict which was denied by Judge John Feeney. Judge Feeney said, "The jury's decision was not contrary to evidence." The defense was asking that the verdict be modified from second degree murder to voluntary manslaughter.

Friends of Neil Decker told me before court opened today was Neil Decker's birthday. Family and friends sobbed as they read victim statements before Judge Feeney sentenced Brown.

Michael Cuervo, Neil Decker's nephew said that Decker was a father figure to him because his "own biological father was not present." DDA Kelly Neel had to read a few letters because the family was distraught. Reading Neil Decker's mother's letter, Ms. Neel herself choked up when she read the following,"Part of me died with him that day. I wasn't there when he died so I didn't even get the chance to say goodbye." Decker's mother's letter ended with, "Matthew Brown gave me a life sentence" and asked the Judge to give him the same.

Matthew Brown flashed a peace sign and smiled at Decker's loved one as he was lead away by the bailiff.

However, Decker's family and friends were not exactly following the rules either. When Judge Feeney denied the defense motion they applauded. The Judge admonished them. Still Decker's mother addressed Brown after her letter. Decker's mother said after her statement in court,"You motherfucker I hope you rot in hell " and again was told by the Judge that she had to direct what she had to say to him.

Matthew Brown was sentenced to 15 years of life in State Prison for second degree murder. This is the penalty for second degree murder in California. He also received 25 years to life for a firearm enhancement. Another 20 years to life firearm enhancement was "stayed." He has to pay a restitution fine of $1,977.97 to Decker's mother and another restitution fine of $10,000.

Matthew Brown was found guilty by a jury in February of second degree murder. He was charged with the death of Neil Decker in Alderpoint. I was the only one to cover the preliminary hearing and there are several posts on this blog. There is a link below that describes the penalties and potential years in prison for murder and the different penalties for murder, second degree and voluntary manslaughter.

From the link below on penalties, here is what a person can get for second degree murder and what can add to the prison sentence:

3Second-degree murder

If convicted of California Penal Code 187 as second-degree murder, you face 15 years-to-life in the state prison.36 However, there are some circumstances that can increase your potential sentence.  These are as follows:

your second-degree murder sentence may increase to life without the possibility of parole if you have previously served a sentence for a murder conviction,37
your sentence increases to 20-years-to-life if you killed the victim by shooting a firearm out of a vehicle with the intent of causing serious injury,
your sentence increases to 25-years-to-life if the victim is a peace officer, and
your sentence increases to life without the possibility of parole if the victim is a peace officer AND
you specifically intended to kill the officer,
you specifically intended to inflict great bodily injury on the officer, or
you killed the officer using a deadly weapon or firearm.38
3.4. Additional penalties

In addition to the prison terms above, California murder law subjects you to

An additional 10, 20 or 25-years to life in prison if the defendant personally used a firearm during the commission of the murder39
a "strike" on your record pursuant to California's three strikes law,
additional sentencing enhancements if a gun is used or if the offense is gang-related
victim restitution,
a maximum $10,000 fine, and
the loss of the right to own or possess a firearm pursuant to Penal Code 29800 PC California's "felon with a firearm" law.40

Previous posts:

Mar 10, 2015

Three psychaitrists appointed to evaluate Bullock and possible trial date in mid September or late October

Judge John Feeney met privately with Andrew Issac who is prosecuting the Gary Lee Bullock case and Bullock's attorney Kaleb Cockrum this afternoon. At the last court hearing, Mr. Isaac said the People plan to add a car jacking charge.

Ms. Stacey Eads is co prosecuting the case for the People but was not present in court today.

Only LOCO, TS, KAEF, the attorney's; the family's attorney Kathleen Bryson, one community member and myself were in the courtroom when the court was reopened.

On March 4, I did this post:

That case People v Johnson was the case and the decision by the California Supreme Court the basis for Judge Feeney granting the People's decision request to add a special allegation to Count 1 of murder.

Judge Feeney said the car jacking special allegation "would be appropriate considering the Supreme Court decision in People v Johnson."

When given a chance to speak on behalf of Bullock, Mr. Cockrum said, "I've read Johnson. It completely rewrites carjacking and divorces it from normal definition of carjacking but I don't have cause to object."

Judge Feeney said he would not set a trial date today but another private conference and trial setting date has been scheduled for March 26 at 2 p.m.

Dr. Ana Glezer, Dr. John Chamberlain,  both from Univ of CA and Dr. John Greene from Los Gatos, California are the three expert witnesses who will evaluate Bullock and report to the court.

Based on court schedule and the time needed for the experts to evaluate, Judge Feeney said "We are looking at a trial date in mid-September or late October."

Bullock listened with no emotion as Judge Feeney read the charges against him with the additional allegation. Again, he read the same not guilty insanity plea that he read previously and just stared blankly at Judge Feeney.

Both attorneys have to prepare and submit paperwork for funding the experts by March 22 to Judge Feeney. Several resumes were submitted by both the People and the defense. Mr. Issac will prepare the materials the expert witnesses will consider which Mr. Cockrum will review before they are provided to experts.

To add the carjacking charge, the People filed their first amended information today.

Judge Feeney reiterated what he said to Bullock when he first read the not guilty by insanity plea. That even if he,was found not guilty by insanity, it could mean a possible sentence lifetime comittment to a mental institution.

Last post:

Mar 9, 2015

Seth Morton arrested for Garberville home invasion


On 03-09-2015 at about 3:00 p.m. a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant received anonymous information from a concerned citizen that Seth Morton may be inside of a residence located in the 900 block of Locust Street, Garberville. The Sheriff’s Office went to the residence and received consent to search from the owner of the house.
When deputies entered the residence they located Seth Morton in the residence. Morton was taken into custody. Morton was then transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility in Eureka where he was booked for, burglary, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, brandishing a firearm, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, being a convicted felon in possession of pepper spray, conspiracy to commit a crime and hit and run.
Deputies are currently still on scene processing the residence for any evidence associated with the incident on South Face Road, Island Mountain.

On 03-03-2015 at about 00:20 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call from a victim at a residence located in the 2700 block of South Face Road, Island Mountain. The female victim reported her 34 year old son; Seth Robert Morton Sr. came into her residence this morning wearing a ski mask and attempted to assault her husband, who is Morton’s step farther.

The female and male victim both stated they were pepper sprayed by one of the (3) male suspects, who came onto their property. The male victim told the deputies he was able to get a baseball bat from inside of his residence and hit one of the suspects several times with the bat to protect himself and his wife. The male victim was able to chase the suspects out of his residence.

The victims said as the (3) suspects fled the property one of the suspects fired a round from a firearm and the bullet struck the residence. The (3) suspects then fled the scene driving a white, late 80’s, SUV. A local citizen who was aware of the situation attempted to block the road by parking his vehicle in the middle of the road. The suspect vehicle stuck the unoccupied vehicle which resulted in the suspect vehicle crashing off the Island Mountain Road. The three suspects then took off on foot. The Sheriff’s office has seized the vehicle for evidence.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’ Deputies along with the California Highway Patrol Officers immediately started searching the area for the three suspects. At day break a CHP helicopter from Redding assisted in the search for the suspects. At about 9:00 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received several telephone calls from concerned citizens in the area of Island Mountain about a male subject, dressed in dark clothing, who was hiding off the road near the New Harris Store. Deputies responded to the area and located 34 year old Bret Lawrence Swortzel.  Deputies detained Swortzel and learned he had a no bail parole violation warrant issued for his arrest. Deputies were able to obtained evidence and were able to place Swortzel under arrest for the Home Invasion Robbery.

Deputies were able to identify a second subject in the Home Invasion Robbery as Seth Robert Morton Sr., age 31. Further described as a WMA, 5’-10”, blonde hair with hazel eyes. Deputies have requested a Be On the Lookout (BOL) for Morton with other law enforcement agencies for his arrest for the following charges: attempted homicide, burglary, brandishing a firearm, convicted felon in possession of a firearm, convicted felon in possession of pepper spray and hit and run.

Bret Swortzel was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility in Eureka on a no bail, parole violation warrant. Swortzel was also booked on fresh charges for home invasion robbery, conspiracy to commit a crime, convicted felon in possession of pepper spray and possession of a controlled substance.

Deputies are currently on scene looking for the other two suspects associated with this case. At this time there is no description for the third suspect associated with this case.

Chimney fire victim well known in business community and someone I knew

He worked in the mortgage lending industry and his offices were on 5th and J Streets in Eureka. I did have the opportunity to known him as an acquaintance. God bless him and give his family and friends strength and peace.

Very nice and kind man.


On March 6, 2015 an incident occurred at 230 Long Street where a subject fell from a ladder while attempting to extinguish a fire at his residence. The subject was later pronounced deceased at St. Joseph Hospital.

That subject has been identified as David Maxon, age 58, of Eureka. Exact cause of death is pending autopsy results.

Plea deal in Limmie Curry case; 12 years total in prison to lesser charge of manslaughter

No media was present this morning or this afternoon at the court hearing for Limmie Curry. Despite what was listed in the court computers, when Curry's case was called, Judge Timothy Cissna said "a resolution has been reached in this case."

I suspected that an offer had been reached since I heard that Curry wanted to talk to his father last week when the case was in Judge Feeney's court and was being set for jury trial. Before his case was called today, Curry nodded to his dad. After the change in plea, his dad silently left the courtroom.

If you followed the Eddie Lee case on this blog, the resolution should not be a surprise. Former DA Paul Gallegos prosecuted the first Limmie Curry trial which was declared a mistrial and he also prosecuted Eddie Lee's trial last year, in which the Judge granted the defense motion of dismissing the case right before jury deliberations. Eddie Lee's attorney, Mr. Daryll Stallworth cited Penal Code 1118 as the reason.

Eddie Lee is the only other witness and  previously, he was the co defendant charged with Curry for murder. He has no reason to testify. Lee's sister who was dating Curry has no reason to testify. Lee's ex-girlfriend, who was on EPD's most wanted list and arrested has no reason to testify.  The loss of the mistrial and Eddie Lee's trial did impact this case.

As part of this plea agreement, Curry plead to the highest term for the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter which is 11 years. He got an additional year for the special allegation of being armed with a firearm at the time of comitting the crime. He is ineligible for probation. Sentencing is in the Courtroom 1 at 2   p.m. on March 23. Judge John Feeney will sentence Curry. The case had been sent to Judge Cissna for jury trial. He will serve this term in state prison.

The charge of voluntary manslaughter has a lower term of three years, a mid term of six years and the highest is 11 years.

Judge Cissna denied the defense's request to have Curry serve the one year special allegation concurrently.

Judge Cissna also reminded Curry that this,was a serious violent felony and is a strike. He told Curry as part of his sentence, he could be required to pay fines and restitution to the victim's family.

The case was referred to probation for calculation of credits, only. Because this is a strike, Curry is only eligible for 15% of credits. He has been in jail since 2010.

Related and some revious posts:

From criminal defense blog:

Motion for Acquittal - Penal Code Section 1118.1

Posted on Oct 12, 2012 4:09pm PDT
Under Penal Code 1118.1 the defense counsel will make a motion for judgement of acquittal.The Court will consider the motion and will grant it if the prosecution has failed to substantiate any element of the charged crime.

Penal Code 1118.1

“In a case tried before a jury, the court on motion of the defendant or on its own motion, at the close of the evidence on either side and before the case is submitted to the jury for decision, shall order the entry of a judgment of acquittal of one or more of the offenses charged in the accusatory pleading if the evidence then before the court is insufficient to sustain a conviction of such offense or offenses on appeal. If such a motion for judgment of acquittal at the close of the evidence offered by the prosecution is not granted, the defendant may offer evidence without first having reserved that right.”

In order for a motion for a judgement of acquittal (Penal Code section 1118.1) to be granted, the court must be convinced that there is a lack of “substantial evidence” on one or more elements of the crime charged. However, this motion may only be made during trial at the end of either party’s case-in-chief. Therefore, in order to be eligible to make this motion, the defendant must have committed to a trial on the charges and accepted the associated risks.

Yet, there is a chance that something could happen during trial that would result in a lack of substantial evidence. Such events could be an individual who is not the defendant and claims responsibility for the crime, a witness refusing to testify, or a witness who changes his story or lies on the while giving testimony.

Therefore, this is a useful motion with the restriction that the case must be brought to trial before the motion may be filed. Additionally, if the motion has solid grounds and is denied, the denial shouldn’t have a significant impact on the overall outcome because the jury will be able to see that there is a lack of evidence to support a conviction during deliberation.

Press Release from DA's office (4:58 p.m):

District Attorney Maggie Fleming announced today that Limmie Greg Curry pled guilty this afternoon to voluntary manslaughter, and admitted the use of a firearm in the shooting death on February 3, 2010 of William Charles Reid.
The defendant agreed he would receive the maximum term of 12 years.  He will serve 85% of his sentence.  Formal sentencing will occur on March 23, 2015.
At a previous trial of the matter, the jury deadlocked and was unable to reach a verdict on the murder charge but found he was guilty of cultivation of marijuana.
The resolution of the case was reached following discussions with the victim’s family.
The case was investigated by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department and prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Kelly Neel.

Three new DDAs join the Humboldt County District Attorney Office

Last week, one new DDA, Mr. Trent Timm, was shadowing and being trained with DDA Roger Rees. This morning, DA Maggie Fleming was giving a tour to another new DDA and another new attorneyis expected to start next week.

From scheduled jury trial to disposition and reset in the Limmie Curry case

This morning motions in limine  were scheduled to be heard in the Limmie Curry trial. He is charged with the murder of William Reid. When the courtroom was opened, Judge Timothy Cissna asked DDA Kelly Neel and Curry's attorney to approach.

They talked privately. Mr. Russo left. When he came back, again Judge Cissna asked them to approach. Limmie Curry's father was not in the courtroom. They were trying to reach him.

With no other explaination, all Judge Cissna said was the case was rescheduled for 1:30 today. I happened to check the court computer and it is a disposition and reset hearing. Judge Cissna can run his courtroom, however he wishes but this is the second case without a gag order where he has conversations at the bench. Since he has taken over, it is very hard to get answers, even in open court.

I don't have a problem with Judge Cissna but it's one courtroom that does not have a comfortable atmosphere. I follow and am respectful of the rules of court but lately, there are too many private discussions at the whim of the Judge. Curry's co defendant is a free man and will never be tried again. The outcome of this trial is important. The public needs to feel trust in the justice system.

 This trial is of great interest and this "cloak and dagger" routine in more cases than usual should be balanced with the public's right to know basic information. It is my understanding that other countries do not have the closed interventions we have in Humboldt County at 3 p.m.

With a high homicide rate and several cases of interest, I would respectfully ask Judge Cissna that routine matters which used to be discussed in open court not become a pattern of private discussions.

Attempted homicide suspect from Hoopa taken into custody

On 03-07-2015 at 7:00 p.m. Hoopa Valley Tribal Police Department located Frances Billy walking on the side of the road in Hoopa. Billy was taken into custody without incident. Billy was transported and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for attempted homicide. Billy’s bail has been set at $750,000 dollars. Billy is also being held on a no bail violation of probation warrant out of the County of Humboldt.

On 01-28-2015 at about 5:15 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office along with the Hoopa Tribal Police Department, responded to a shooting that had just occurred on Alameda Drive, Hoopa off Highway 96.

When Officers arrived on scene they learned a male victim age 57 had been shot once with a .22 caliber rifle. The male victim was air lifted to a hospital in the Redding area. The victim is currently listed in stable condition.

During the investigation officers learned two females had got into a physical fight with each other prior to the shooting. Those two females then separated from each other. One of the females, who has been identified as Frances Ellen Billy age 40 armed herself with a .22 caliber rifle.

Billy for unknown reasons shot the male victim with the rifle and then fled the scene. Billy is described as a Native American female, 5’-3”, 120 pounds, brown hair with brown eyes. The Sheriff Office has issued a Be On the Lookout (BOL) to other law enforcement agencies to arrest Billy for attempted homicide.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s office is considering Billy armed and dangerous. This case is still under investigation.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.