Apr 3, 2015

Jury trial for the stabbing of Arcata chef starts April 6

Trial assignment was held this morning for the Juan Ferrer case. Jury trial scheduled for April 6. DDA Roger Rees is prosecuting the case and Mr. Marek Reavis is Ferrer's defense attorney.

Ferrer is charged with stabbing Arcata chef Douglas Anderson-Jordet.

The jury trial will be held in Courtroom 1. This Monday, jury selection will start and any motions in limine so opening arguments will be after the jury is selected.

Apr 2, 2015

Hoopa victim nephew out on pass to attend burial does not return to custody as promised, bench warrant issued

Carlisle Colegrove swear he would return to court. Judge John Feeney was hesitant and today, those concerns had a factual basis. Colegrove was to return to the jail by 5 p.m. yesterday. 
He had another case on calendar today and he was not in court.

Mar 30, 2015

Hoopa victim Daniel Colegrove's nephew given a two day pass from Humboldt County jail to attend his burial despite objections from DA and County Counsel

Despite "being hesitant" and objections from the District Attorney's Office and County Counsel representing the Humboldt County Jail, Judge John Feeney granted a two  day pass to Daniel Colegrove's nephew to attend his burial. The nature of his conviction and that he recently was found in possession of contraband in the jail were two objections stated in court, in addition to the written objections.
Public Defender Heidi Holmquist who represents Carlisle Colegrove told Judge Feeney that while he was serving a sentence in jail, Daniel Colegrove was like a father to Carlisle Colegrove. 

Vincent and Rodney Ortiz cases to be joined?

People: DDA Jackie Pizzo
Defense: Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis (Vincent Ortiz)
Defense: Mr. Casey Russo (Rodney Ortiz)
Courtroom 2
Judge Marilyn Miles
Intervention hearing and motion for joinder

Judge Miles granted the People's motions to join both cases.  An intervention hearing is scheduled for April 30 at 3 p.m. in Courtroom 2. New preliminary hearing date is May 4. The preliminary hearing is expected to take two mornings.

Father and son both charged in the Hoopa shooting of Daniel Colegrove were in court for the first time today. They were separately arraigned. Rodney Ortiz had his classic stare with no emotion, Vincent Ortiz smiled at his father, which Rodney Ortiz acknowledged with a nod. Vincent Ortiz kept smiling and grinning, even when his attorney, Mr. Elvine-Kreis spoke with him before his case was called but eventually got serious and listened.

Before their cases were discussed, Judge Miles disclosed that both Ortiz's were related to a clerk of the court who mostly worked in family law and in the Hoopa courts. However, this clerk had not worked with Judge Miles and Judge Miles would only have reason to see her in the hallway on the second floor and therefore Judge Miles did not disqualify herself from the case.

An April 7 preliminary hearing was scheduled for Rodney Ortiz. An April 9 hearing was scheduled for Vincent Ortiz. The People filed a motion to join both cases. Mr. Russo, on behalf of Rodney Ortiz filed a motion to continue the preliminary hearing, and a motion to exclude cameras from the courtroom.

Mr. Elvine-Kreis objected to the motion for joinder by the People and said that the cases could be joined after the preliminary hearing.  He argued that cases are joined to avoid two jury trials.

DDA Jackie Pizzo said that if the cases are not joined, Vincent Ortiz would have his preliminary hearing and Rodney Ortiz would have a continuance and the cases would not be on the same track. The two cases  She said there are the "same charges, same witnesses". Agreeing with her, Judge Miles granted the People's motion "In interest of judicial economy." Judge Miles added same judicial time and resources and said the same reasons given for not having two jury trials applied to the preliminary hearings.

Mr. Elvine-Kreis said that "it is clear that there is not evidence against my client based on discovery and he is being held on bail on a murder charge." Judge Miles responded, "That is what a preliminary hearing is for; probable cause." DDA Pizzo said, "There is still investigation ongoing" she would be getting "more discovery to counsel."

The People did not object to the motion to continue and a time waiver was entered by Rodney Ortiz for the 10 day. Judge Miles then cited Penal Code 1050.1 and according to that, Vincent Ortiz's preliminary date also got continued.

Regarding excluding the cameras, Judge Miles said that she had not received any such request but that the objection by Mr. Russo was on a continuing basis and that it is her policy to get input and discuss with counsel before granting any request.

being updated...

Ferrer trial date confirmed for April 6

A trial readiness conference was scheduled today at 3 p.m. in the Juan Ferrer case in Courtroom 5. The jury trial for for Ferrer who is charged with stabbing Arcata chef Douglas Anderson-Jordet is scheduled for April 6.

Mr. Marek Reavis is representing Ferrer. DDA Roger Rees is prosecuting the case.

Bullock closed chambers conference

Nothing to report. Attorneys met with Judge.

Before his case was called, Bullock sat and stared blankly in court, ocasionally glancing over at his attorney and as he has, the last few hearings, he looked in my direction briefly and looked away. He was taken out of the courtroom before break.


Three homicides, three different courtrooms, all at 3 p.m.

Bullock special set, Ferrer and both Ortiz cases also at 3 p.m. Courtrooms may be closed for all or some since interventions are not in open courtrooms and Bullock may have some discussions in chambers.

Hopefully, the timing will be such that the reports in open courtrooms wont be at the same time.

Updates on all this afternoon.

Gary Lee Bullock trial setting date today on Holy Thursday is poignant yet an opportunity to show faith

A special time set of 3 p.m. for the Gary Lee Bullock case is scheduled this afternoon in Courtroom One. Bullock is charged with the torture and murder of Fr. Eric Freed, former pastor of St. Bernard's Church.

The case is being prosecuted by Mr. Andrew Isaac and DDA Stacey Eads. Bullock is represented by Conflict Counsel's Kaleb Cockrum.

Fr. Eric was murdered New Year's Day in 2014. There has been delay after delay by the defense, the last being Bullock adding a not guilty by insanity plea, in addition to his existing plea of guilty.
Three experts have been appointed by Judge John Feeney to evaluate Bullock. No trial date has been set. Hints have been made that mid-September, early October this year may be when the jury trial will be scheduled.

Sunday is Easter and today is Holy Thursday. The next four days, for Catholics, are a very special and holy time. As a parishioner and someone who worked very closely with Fr. Eric, this time will be poignant. However, I am genuinely joyful and Holy Week for me will focus on God and many positive moments, including memories of celebrating Easter with Fr. Eric.

As I have done the stations of the Cross this Lent, and I will, again on Good Friday, as I will remember the crucifixation of Jesus, it will be impossible not to remember how Fr. Eric was brutally murdered by Bullock.

But my focus will not be on pain, it will be on Jesus, it will be on my faith, it will be the hope and joy. As Christians, at Easter, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead giving us the hope of eternal life and hopefully being with Jesus after our death.

I am not comparing Fr. Eric to Jesus. However, every Christian martyr and Fr. Eric died for their faith, were innocents killed and they bled and were killed and tortured due to ignorance and hate just as Jesus.

For Gary Lee Bullock, this may just be another court date. For me, it is a reminder that Jesus forgave his persecutors, it is a reminder why I forgave Gary Lee Bullock very shortly after he killed Fr. Eric and more so, that as a testament to my faith and Fr. Eric's, the focus now and every day has been on Jesus.

Gary Lee Bullock has not taken away my faith nor my spirit.

I pray for Gary Lee Bullock and for his healing and genuine repentance and unlike him, I am not consumed with hate. It would be easy to feel that, and there is nothing wrong with anyone who does, but Gary Lee Bullock has not taken away Easter from me or my faith.



Apr 1, 2015

Taken into custody yesterday, alleged female abuser from Hoopa makes $150,000 bail in less than 24 hours and family member tries to intimidate me

Kayla Brown already made the $150,000 bail and was in court today with her family and her private attorney Jeffrey Schwartz. Judge John Feeney said that while he did not have a copy in the court file, he had been informed that one had been filed.

"The OR/Bail hearing is moot," said Judge Feeney.

Kayla Brown walked in court with family members and a lady, I presume is her mother. Yesterday, they glared at the victim's family. Today, the lady I think is her mother showed yet again that she does not understand court rules and thinks "special rules" apply to her and her family. As I walked out after the court hearing, this woman came up to me, tried to question me and intimidate me. I told her to "step away from me" and leave me alone and walked away.

Yesterday, this lady kept walking up to Mr. Schwartz while court business was going on, she did the same when he was up with Brown during the court hearing today, interuppting court proceedings.

Perhaps, the Brown family thinks that because Kayla Brown is the reigning Miss Natinixwe (which means Miss Hoopa) that we are at the annual pageant, not a court of law. Brown is charged with some pretty serious crimes.

Kayla Brown is charged with four counts. Count 1 Abnormal Sexual Interest in Children and arranging a meeting for that purpose PC 288.4 (b); Count 2 Sexual penetration with a foreign object; [289.(i)  any person over the age of 21 years who participates in an act of sexual penetration with another person who is under 16 years of age shall be guilty of a felony]; Count 3 288.3 (a) [288.3.  (a) Every person who contacts or communicates with a minor, or attempts to contact or communicate with a minor, who knows or reasonably should know that the person is a minor, with intent to commit an offense specified in Section 207, 209, 261, 264.1, 273a, 286, 288, 288a, 288.2, 289, 311.1, 311.2, 311.4 or 311.11 involving the minor shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for the term prescribed for an attempt to commit the intended offense] and Count 4 PC 647.6 (a) which is child molestation/annoying a child.

DDA Brie Bennett who is prosecuting the case talked with Mr. Schwartz briefly before the case was called. She gave him discovery, except copies of the CAST tapes which she said she would provide to him. Mr. Schwartz stepped out and spoke with the defendant's family for a few minutes. DDA Bennett took that opportunity to talk privately to the victim's family seated behind me. The only thing I heard of that conversation was that they were surprised and concerned that Brown was out of custody.

When the case was called, Mr. Schwartz told Judge Feeney that his client would enter a general time waiver. That he had talked to the prosecution and that he did not have CAST tapes and he needed to look at his client's medical schedule and was requesting another trial setting date. Dates for a preliminary hearing had already been set yesterday.

DDA Bennett said that the People also waived time but she asked for the trial setting date to be set within a "relatively short time." She said the victim's
family members were present and that this situation had a lot of impact on the victim and her family.

The April 8 intervention and April 13 preliminary dates were vacated and a disposition and reset hearing is scheduled for April 15 at 2 p.m.

Yesterday's post:

http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/03/humboldts-first-alleged-female-abuser.html




Heroin, controlled substances, and 160 EPD calls to 800 H Street property owned by Floyd Squires

On 04/01/15 at about 7:58 a.m., Detectives with the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP) served a search warrant at one of Floyd Squires apartments on the 800 block of H Street.  The warrant was obtained after an officer received information about drug sales occurring in a room on the premises.

During a search of the room, detectives located heroin packaged for sales, packaging materials, scales, and over $1,300 in cash.  One subject was detained and released and two were arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.

Paul Scott Yuron, 33, was arrested for possession of heroin and probation violation.  Rebecca Kathleen Chapa, 30, was arrested for maintaining a drug house, possession of heroin for sale, and probation violation.  While in the jail, Chapa was found to have 15 individual bags of heroin and Suboxone on her person.  Suboxone is a controlled substance usually used to treat Opiate addition.  An additional charge of bringing a controlled substance into the jail was added for Chapa.

From the City of Eureka Public Works Director, Brian Gerving: 833 H Street is one of the 26 properties owned by Floyd and Betty Squires in the City of Eureka that have been the subject of litigation for several years.  Neighboring property owners successfully sued the Squireses for allowing 833 H Street to negatively impact their property values and way of life.

In January 2011, the City filed a civil case against the Squireses, asking that all 26 properties be placed in the control of a receiver, who would be tasked with bringing the properties into full compliance with state and local regulations.  In 2013, after several phases of trial, Superior Court Judge Dale Reinholtsen appointed a receiver over the properties to review conditions and report back to the court.  A final decision is pending from the court.  It is the City’s firm belief that continued mismanagement of the properties not only places the occupants at significant risk but, as demonstrated with today’s arrests, contributes to neighborhood blight and crime in the surrounding area.

The Eureka Police Department has responded to the 833 H Street address nearly 160 times since January of 2014.  

April Fools! Courthouse Cafe not sold yet...

Jeanne and Stacey thought of a good April Fools joke. They were teasing me, "I guess we found out quite a few people read your blog."

So, you can stop calling. The pranks and the good food will be around for a while.

Cafe in Courthouse will have a new owner in 90 days

I did a business profile in the Times-Standard on the cafe in the Courthouse and the link below is a post I did on my blog.


http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2014/08/mjs-courthouse-cafe-only-drama-free.html?m=1

In 90 days, the cafe will have a new owner. Regulars know that the present owner Jeanne Fleek and her staff treat us like we are at home. There is fresh food prepared daily, healthy snacks and it is a respite when you spend most of your day in this building.

I wish Jeannie the very best in her new home at Oregon. Before she took over, this place was somewhere you went because you had to, now it is a place I choose to go to every day.

Mar 31, 2015

RMZ Fire Safety inspection a scam

In September of 2014, Humboldt Bay Fire released a warning of a fire safety billing scam, which at the time, had not been reported in Humboldt County.  Today
Humboldt Bay Fire alerted the Eureka Police Department that a local business had received a fraudulent invoice from the company claiming to be “RMZ Fire Safety.”

The invoice indicates “Annual State Required Fire Safety Equipment Inspection” and bills for the amount of $413.11.  The local business recalled seeing the news release in September and alerted Humboldt Bay Fire.  

Humboldt Bay Fire and the City of Eureka do not bill for inspections of commercial businesses.  The only billing associated with Humboldt Bay Fire is related to false alarms and mandated multi-unit apartment complex inspections.  Always look carefully over any invoices before paying them to ensure services have been received.

Here is the actual text of the Indiana Religious Freedom Bill; instead of hype, decide for yourself

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/03/30/religious-freedom-law-indiana/70659788/

www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/03/31/pence-religious-freedom-fox-news/70709838/

These are just two links to the Indiana religious freedom law. In the second link, Indiana Governor Pence said that the media is mischaracterizing the Indiana religious freedom bill.

Here is the text:

http://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2015/03/27/text-indianas-religious-freedom-law/70539772/

A key word in the text is "substantially burdened". That could mean different things to different people. Some media is just reprinting hype and emotions, what helps is the text , so decide for yourself.

Two men shed light on the lost Humboldt generation; the back story beyond crime headlines; they thank their Public Defender for a glimmer of hope

Live coverage of the courts involves a lot of waiting around, choosing to cover cases that are not just headlines and telling the human story, being there every day, the booking photos are people I see frequently in the courts, near the courthouse and often follow their cases from start to conclusion.

There is a trust because they know to me, they are not news. I will still be there for them long after they are no longer a headline. And I have been there. It is that trust that led to this post.

I talked with two young men in the criminal justice system, outside Courtroom 1 waiting for their cases to be heard in an intervention hearing.

Joseph Alvarez thought his past was behind him. "On paper, I don't look good," he said to me. "I have made mistakes and some bad choices in my past." He thought that past was behind him. He was going to school, works at a local restaurant and if you saw him on the street, all you would see is a clean cut pleasant young man. One day he is sitting outside WINCO with groceries waiting for a ride home and is questioned by the police. He tells them his name. There was a month left on an old warrant he was not aware of and he ended up in custody. "Why now?" he asked me, "I am trying to turn my life around. I am so close."

A couple of days later, I was eating at one of my favorite restaurants and he stopped by my table to say hi. He works there. He has not hid his past from his coworkers or bosses. On their own, they told me he is a hard worker and despite getting "a bad break" he is the first to show up to work, first one to help them out. Joseph told me he realizes he made bad choices but he wants to put all that behind him. He took responsibility for his past.

The other young man is Riley Clark. "They make me look so bad in LOCO always saying I've been busted for this and that."  Riley also said that the headlines don't tell the whole story. He said he didn't want to talk about others he grew up with that are now in the County jail and only wanted to share his circumstances but many share the same back story that leads them into being in the system again and again. "I made a few choices when I was young that made me end up in the juvenile system. I was just a kid smoking pot." Peer pressure led him to make some bad decisions. "Once you are in the system, no one helps you address why you are there. What led you to this place." As a first offender, Riley was around "hardened criminals" who brainwashed him and caused him to mistrust the system. He started doing hard drugs and "I became an addict." That led to the crimes that keep him in the adult criminal justice system. Riley is awaiting the outcome of his latest case and hopes to get into a treatment facility, do rehab, and get a job. Riley's family tired of his constant addiction and getting in trouble don't want anything to do with him.

Until these men met their Public Defender,  Ms. Heidi Holmquist, their trust of the system was non-existent. They thanked her for giving them a glimmer of hope.

Both men's interventions were postponed on a busy docket day for another month. In Humboldt, under trying circumstances, they need to stay clean and an extra month can make a difference between life and life in prison. I did a post on a program the jail is doing to help those who want to change their life around. It is now up to local businesses and politicians to help people like Riley and Joseph.

When someone takes responsibility, turning your life around has no time limit. You have to dig yourself out of  years of a "black hole." There are others who don't want to take responsibility. Riley and Joseph did not blame anyone else, they just shared their back story.

Crime headlines and booking photos are not the last word.

Humboldt's first alleged female abuser with first female underage victim? Charges include abnormal sexual interest in children

I don't know if both families are from Hoopa but the defendant, Kayla Brown and her family are from Hoopa. Yesterday, in Courtroom 1, Kayla Brown stood silently as her attorney, Jeffrey Schwartz addressed Judge John Feeney. DDA Brie Bennett represented the People. DA Investigator Kyla Baxley was in court, she is usually the investigator for  cases involving allegations of sexual abuse or sexual misconduct.

Kayla Brown is charged with four counts. Count 1 Abnormal Sexual Interest in Children and arranging a meeting for that purpose PC 288.4 (b); Count 2 Sexual penetration with a foreign object; [289.(i)  any person over the age of 21 years who participates in an act of sexual penetration with another person who is under 16 years of age shall be guilty of a felony]; Count 3 288.3 (a) [288.3.  (a) Every person who contacts or communicates with a minor, or attempts to contact or communicate with a minor, who knows or reasonably should know that the person is a minor, with intent to commit an offense specified in Section 207, 209, 261, 264.1, 273a, 286, 288, 288a, 288.2, 289, 311.1, 311.2, 311.4 or 311.11 involving the minor shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for the term prescribed for an attempt to commit the intended offense] and Count 4 PC 647.6 (a) which is child molestation/annoying a child.

The alleged victim is under 16 years of age. Kayla Brown was cuffed and taken into custody in court, she was on calendar for a warrant surrender. She was served with a criminal protective order in court.

Judge John Feeney denied Mr. Schwartz's request which was not to have Brown taken into custody. The reason she missed court last time, according to Mr. Schwartz was because she was in Sacramento for medical treatment. Mr. Schwartz said she has pulmonary and lung issues that require her to wear a medical device. He argued that she was not in Hoopa but staying in Redding and that the "jail could not handle her medical issues" A warrant had been issued by Visiting Judge Charles Irvin. I was in court that day when that warrant was issued.

DDA Brie Bennett argued for "remand due to public safety of the community" and for the protection of the victim.

Brown's bail had been set to $185,000 according to the bail schedule and crimes charged. Mr. Schwartz argued that it was not accurate based on Count 2. Judge Feeney reduced the bail to $150,000.

While the case was being heard, the families sat on opposite sides of the courtroom. Victim Witness escorted the victim's family, which outnumbered the defendant's family in court. They glared at  Brown and her mother in court.

While this is not the first Humboldt case with an alleged female abuser, it is the first case that I know of where the alleged abuse was by a female and the alleged victim is also female and underage.

There is an OR/Bail hearing in Courtroom 1 on April 1 at 2 p.m., an intervention hearing on April 8 at 3 p.m. and a preliminary hearing on April 13 at 8:30 a.m., courtroom to be determined.


Female criminalist who works for DOJ in Humboldt and Redding files a civil lawsuit against her supervisor and State of CA for alleged sex discrimination

The Okorocha Law Firm has filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of Deborah Stonebarger against the State of California in the Humboldt Superior Court. Ms. Stonebarger works for the Department of Justice in Redding and has testified for trials in Humboldt County, the most recent being the Bodhi Tree case.

The lawsuit alleges discrimination on the basis of sex in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act and discrimination on the basis of sex  in violation of the California Constitution.

The lawsuit states that Ms. Stonebarger has filed this complaint after exhausting all Department of Fair Employment Housing remedies available to her.

In the lawsuit, Toby Baxter, Ms. Stonebarger's supervisor is alleged to have lied to her stating that there was no criminalist supervisor position after Ms. Stonebarger was the only one who applied for this position. Then, that position was given to a less qualified male.

Among the damages sought are emotional distress damages, attorney's fees and injuctive relief to stop Mr. Baxter's conduct. The defendant's actions against Ms. Stonebarger are described as "malicious, fraudelent, and/or oppressive and with a willfull and conscious disregard for Pliantiff's rights." No specific monetary damages are requested in this lawsuit, For clarification, I asked Mr. Kevin Stonebarger, the plaintiff's husband, and he said "unlimited" means anything above $25,000 can be requested in the future.

A jury trial has been requested.

If you read the links to the posts below in the Bodhi Tree trial, the one that is on the new motion in the Bodhi Tree trial, includes information where Mr. Baxter did not provide certain information to the defense.

Mr. Kevin Stonebarger, who is a regional investigator and also works in Humboldt County, when contacted, said that "Toby's unlawful actions led to the unauthorized  release of her confidential personnel file" and that for now, Ms. Stonebarger had nothing to add other than what is stated in her lawsuit.

Ms. Stonebarger is afraid of of further retaliation by her employer. She said she has been retaliated against for speaking up against Mr.Baxter in the past.

I will have further updates on this case. Mr. Baxter could not be reached for comment.

Related posts to this lawsuit:

http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2014/09/das-office-files-response-to-defense.html
http:/johnchiv.blogspot.com/2014/09/tree-motion-for-new-trial-missing.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2014/06/criminalist-with-ca-doj-testifies-about.html

Mar 30, 2015

Hoopa victim Daniel Colegrove's nephew given a two day pass from Humboldt County jail to attend his burial despite objections from DA and County Counsel

Despite "being hesitant" and objections from the District Attorney's Office and County Counsel representing the Humboldt County Jail, Judge John Feeney granted a two  day pass to Daniel Colegrove's nephew to attend his burial. The nature of his conviction and that he recently was found in possession of contraband in the jail were two objections stated in court, in addition to the written objections.
Public Defender Heidi Holmquist who represents Carlisle Colegrove told Judge Feeney that while he was serving a sentence in jail, Daniel Colegrove was like a father to Carlisle Colegrove. 

Mar 24, 2015

Hoopa shooting victim identified as Daniel Peter Colegrove

On March 21, 2015 there was a reported shooting on Redwood Grove Road, Hoopa. Three victims were injured and all three were flown out of the area for treatment.

One of the victims eventually succumbed to his injuries and was declared deceased at a hospital in Redding. The deceased person has been identified as Daniel Peter Colegrove, age 73, of Hoopa. Cause of death will not be released until completion of an autopsy.

DDA Trent Timm wins his first jury trial, guilty on two counts; not guilty on two others

A six men and six women jury that looked very relaxed when they came in for the verdict to be read, found James Richard Bevens guilty of possessing a cane sword and posession of meth.

They did not find him guilty of concealing dirk/dagger and prividing false information to a peace officer. Jury found beven guilty on Count 1 and 3 and Not guilty on Counts 2 and 4.

The jury deliberated less than three hours today after they heard closing arguments today which concluded at 11 a.m. The jury deliberated for an hour, took lunch and then came back to reach a decision today.

Opening arguments were Friday. I may do a summary later of the opening arguments and the officer's testimony. The main testimony was from Officer Ryan McElroy. DOJ's Matthew Kirsten was the only other witness, who did "further testing" on the meth testified. Mr. Kaleb Cockrum who represented Beven told me this afternoon that Beven did not testify. The defense did not present anny witness.

 In the three hours they deliberated, the jury sent two notes to the Judge. They are still talking with defendant's attorney Mr. Cockrum.

Since Beven was found guilty, he was also found guilty of violating probation on two older cases. Judge Feeney said that Beven was "guilty of violating probation by a preponderance of evidence."

Six of Mr. Timm's colleagues were in court for the verdict that was read around 4:30 p.m. after Judge Feeney had finished dealing with two complex cases on his 2 p.m. calendar that were time consuming. The jury had sent a note that they had reached a verdict around 3 p.m.

Mr. Cockrum requested that sentencing be in 45 days and Beven waived time for his sentencing which is on May 13 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 1.

Previous Post:

Mar 27, 2015

Less than a month on the job, DDA Trent Timm does his first jury trial; charges included concealed dirk/dagger
This morning after Judge John Feeney read the complaint and gave the jury preliminary  instructions, DDA Trent Timm and Conflict Counsel's Kaleb Cockrum presented their opening arguments in the jury trial for James Richard Beven.

The charges are all misdemeanors. Count 1 is manufacturing a deadly weapon cane sword, Count 2 is carrying a concealed dirk dagger, Count 3 is possession of a controlled substance (meth), Count 4 is showing false ID to a peace officer.

If found guilty, Beven's probation will be revoked because that case is dependent on the outcome of this jury trial.

According to the court computers, Beven's program in a batterer's program has been terminated which was a condition of his probation from a previous case, in which he was found guilty of assault/ corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant.

Depending on motions in limine that were heard before jury selection, the jury may not hear about Beven's prior conviction of a felony:DUI. Beven also has two previous Civil Protection cases, one in which disposition is listed as undefined, in the other administrative disposition. He has another criminal case in which he was found guilty of a drug offense.

Mr.Kaleb Cockrum told me before court started today said if Bevens testifies, his priors could come in.

EPD Officer Ryan McElroy finished his direct testimony. After break, Mr. Cockrum will cross examine the Officer.

Judge Feeney gives extra jail time to HCSO Deputy Olivera's assailant

This is a case I have followed in court and although Abram Stark has taken some positive steps since he assaulted HCSO Deputy J. Olivera, Judge Feeney after hearing from her, sentenced Stark to 365 days. Stark's case was not just cut and dry. He had a previous felony conviction in Oregon for possession of marijuana.

The case was prosecuted by DDA Roger Rees. He made sure that Judge Feeney heard from the victim before making a final decision.

After hearing Deputy Olivera's impassioned victim statement, the case that never went to preliminary hearing or jury trial would have previously resulted in 270 days.With this sentence, Stark will get some jail time. He will do community service and whether or not, and how many days he is SWAP eligible, is upto the jail.

Extra time because the Judge makes a tentative decision which he can change when he makes a final decision after hearing from the victim. Prior to today's sentencing, a tentative decision of 270 days was reached. The 365 days was Judge Feeney's final decision after receiving a pre sentencing report from Probation, hearing from Mr. Rees and Deputy Olivera.

What had been a routine call about a disturbance turned into a broken nose and concussion for Deputy Olivera. She answered the call and when she arrived at Stark's residence, he was drunk, he let her cuff him but then he tried to hit her and jump a fence. He missed several times but finally struck her. Deputy Olivera's radio was not working. She managed to get him arrested, requested back up, transported him to the jail and then passed out. Her partner got a call late night that she was being transported via ambulance to the hospital. She missed work as a result of this injury. She testified, this was not the first time Stark had encounters with law enforcement.

This is not a case media followed and I have sat in the whole resolution which has been going on for a couple of months. Stark's attorney Kathleen Bryson presented information to the court trying to explain mitigating circumstances. I have seen a change in Stark's demeanor in the last few months. The man in court today is not the same as a few months ago. However, it seems that he does not understand that the last couple of months does not undo the damage caused by his actions.

He talked with me briefly while we waited outside the courtroom during an afternoon break.  He was expecting to get community service and probation but not to be taken into custody today in cuffs.

Deputy Olivera said today, that when they sign up for the job, they do not sign up for the kind of abuse and treatment she got from Stark. Previously, when she also addressed the court, she mentioned the financial, emotional and psychological impact on her life. She urged Judge Feeney that he send a message to Stark that "there are consequences."


Mar 29, 2015

Probation violation and resisting arrest in Garberville

On 03-29-2015, at approximately 2:00 p.m., a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office sergeant attempted to contact a bicyclist near the Johnston Motel, 839 Redwood Drive, Garberville.  The bicyclist, who was later identified as Michael Russell, fled from the sergeant southbound or Redwood Drive.
The sergeant lost sight of the bicyclist and called for assistance.  Two Sheriff’s deputies arrived to the vicinity shortly thereafter.  While on foot patrol, the deputies located Russell who was now at the back of the motel.  Russell attempted to flee from the deputies and a ground fight ensued.  Russell violently fought with the deputies while they attempted to place him into handcuffs.  At one point, Russell attempted to grab at one of the deputies side handle baton.  Both deputies sustained minor cuts and abrasions during the incident.
Russell was eventually taken into custody and searched.  Russell was found to be in possession of approximately 19.1 grams of suspected methamphetamine, 1.1 grams of suspect heroin, and a methamphetamine pipe.  Russell was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for felony resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance for sales, possession of drug paraphernalia, and felony warrants.  It was also determined that Russell’s acquaintance, Jacob Worrell, was in violation of his probation terms.  Worrell’s probation terms specifically state that he is not to associate with known drug users.