May 30, 2015

Attorney for 21 year old charged with sexual abuse of 2 female minors plans to obtain juvenile records

On May 26, Brendan Phillips was denied OR/Bail hearing. On May 28, he was served with two CLETS orders protecting  both his alleged minor victims in court.

DDA Zach Curtis, the other CAST prosecutor besides DDA Brie Bennett, appeared in court for the People on May 28.

Phillips preliminary hearing date of June 4 was vacated. A disposition and hearing date of July 27 was set for 2 p.m.

Phillips entered a general time waiver. His attorney said he would file a 827 petition.
That is a petition to obtain juvenile records.

Today there was a bail/OR hearing for Brendan Phillips, a 21 year old charged with sexual abuse of two minor female victims.

DDA Brie Bennett was in court for the People. Conflict Counsel's Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis is Phillip's attorney.

Mr. Elvine-Kreis said that Phillips was requesting to be released and one of the reasons he gave was the Phillips is the sole provider of his son.

"The People oppose the release due to the defendant's multiple felony charges involving two minor victims," said DDA Brie Bennett. "At least one victim is in fear of her safety."

Due to public safety concerns and based on opposition by the DA, Phillips was denied release. Probation does not do supervised release for such crimes, said Judge Marilyn Miles. Phillips remains in custody.

Due to courtroom acoustics, the clarification is that there are two victims, one 16 and one 14, and the acts that Phillips is charged with were committed with a victim he is at least 10 years older than, according to the complaint.

Details will not be available until the preliminary hearing.

Previous post:

Brendan Phillips stood with his head down in court. Judge Timothy Cissna asked if he wanted an attorney appointed to represent him against the alleged charges. He softly said, yes.

He is 21 years old and one victim is 16 years old. The other two victims, one  14 years old and the other 10 years old. AIDS testing is mentioned in the complaint.

The charges against Phillips are: Count 1 Oral copulation with a victim under 16 years, Count 2 and 3 are the same; Count 4 is unlawful sexual intercourse with an adult over 21 years or more commonly known as statutory rape, Count 5 and 6 are the same; and Count 7 is lewd and lasvicious act where the defendant is 10 years older than the child.

Phillips was appointed Conflict Counsel's David Lee as an attorney. DDA Zach Curtis was present for the People.

OR/Bail hearing is May 26 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 2, Intervention is May 28 at 3 p.m., and the preliminary hearing is June 4 at 8:30 a.m.

"Today, we have a person who manufactured concentrated cannabis, it is different from someone who manufactures meth."

A local man who turned his past around against all odds; a rigid criminal justice system that may condemn his future and a Public Defender whose advocacy should be lauded.

I would urge you to read the two previous links for Joe's story to understand the context of this post. We don't hear about the successes in the criminal justice system, the media does not cover cases that don't make headlines. Public defenders do not get to chose their clients. They fight for each client, regardless of who the person is, to get a second chance, a third chance and do not get any public glory.

I have written  the human story of certain cases; these are are your sons, your daughters, your friends, your neighbors and the challenge they face in Humboldt to turn their life around. It is a tragedy when someone does the right thing, turns his or her life around, only to be boxed in by cookie cutter laws.

Joseph Alvarez is someone who should be commended and who should be used as a role model. On June 29, a decision by Judge John Feeney, can make all the difference in Joe's future.

 Judge Feeney's tentative decision was to reject the conditional plea and not recommend probation for Joe.

Later, yesterday, Judge Feeney said, "he was torn and needed more information" after reading a letter of support, hearing from Joe and a passionate statement by Joe's Public Defender Heidi Holmquist.
"I am truly torn" and asked Ms. Holmquist to submit a statement of mitigation and continued sentencing.


The probation report states that Joe is ineligible for probation because of his past felonies. Black and white. DDA Roger Rees asked Judge Feeney to "reject the conditional plea" the defense is asking for and to "give Mr. Alvarez back his guilty plea" and that the probation report states that Alvarez is ineligible for probation "because there are no unusual circumstances."

After Joe spoke, this is what DDA Roger Rees said, " the People are simply asking to reject the conditional plea. It may very well be after the preliminary hearing, he may be eligible for probation." He said there were dozen houses around where Joe was growing concentrated cannabis,

Ms. Holmquist started her remarks by saying that the defense still requests probation but if Judge Feeney was leaning towards prison, she asked for 3 years and not 7 and asked that Joe serve it on SWAP.

She told Judge Feeney "that the People say there are no unusual circumstances", she disagreed, she cited legal code about unusual circumstances and highlighted that Joe's circumstances were where probation would be in the "interest of justice."

"In total circumstances, Mr. Alvarez does not have a bad record. " She told the Judge that Joe turned his life around. He graduated drug court successfully, his offenses were drug related and some today would be eligible for reduction under Prop 47.  "He graduated drug court successfully, these are non-violent offenses, he has not been in incarceration since 2013, he had a valid 215 card and the marijuana was for his personal use."

"I have had clients who blew places up and children were involved and they got probation. Today, we have a person who manufactured concentrated cannabis, it is different from someone who manufactures meth." She pointed out no one was hurt by Joe's growing cannabis.

"He is young, employed, he has two jobs, has housing, has dependents, pays child support to his ex-partner, he is remorseful and not a danger to anyone and has turned his life around since 2013."

"I believe our system can be fair; just and understanding," is how Joe started his remarks to the court. "My record since age 24 has been less than perfect. I did not take probation seriously until my arrest in 2012. I was scared, I was given a second chance."

"My life is good and I am thankful. I can't change my past, all I can do is my best now. That man no longer exists."

He also reiterated the steps he had taken to change his life that Ms. Holmquist had stated.



This is a picture I took of Joe outside court. The first time Joe and I spoke, he had no idea who I was , why I was waiting outside the courtroom. I heard Joe's story. Since then, circumstances led to where I ran into Joe, his co-workers and heard from others about the Joe I know. Joe had no idea that I had this independent information.

At no point has Joe hid his past or tried to make me feel sorry for him. He is honest and takes responsibility and wants to continue to contribute to his community in a positive way.

If anyone deserves a chance to build a future and move on from past mistakes, Joe does.

Previous posts:

http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/04/once-again-public-defender-heidi.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/03/two-men-shed-light-on-lost-humboldt.html


May 29, 2015

Home invasion suspect Logan Bremer may not go to trial due to "995 issues"? Blows a kiss to his "boo" as he exits court




Logan Bremer's arraignment was continued from this Wednesday and completed today in Courtroom 1. He is being represented by Michael Acosta, Benjamin Carter's attorney.

Bremer did not waive time. Mr. Acosta hinted at "mostly 995 issues" today.  Trial Confirmation is on July 8 at 2 p.m. and Jury trial is on July 20.


As he exited the courtroom, he blew a kiss at his "boo."


Mar 12, 2015


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.

"He took food items from Safeway because his food stamps ran out", Safeway taser suspect denied supervised release and OR based on public safety concerns




Yesterday, Safeway taser suspect expressed disbelief at his charges and kept interrupting and shooting his mouth off about his case in Courtroom 4. Judge Cissna very patiently had to tell him three times to not talk about his case as everything is on the record.

Robert Cordero clueless babbled on three times before a sterner warning from the Judge.
Today, Robert Cordero only tried to speak once. His attorney, Ms. Heidi Holmquist, from the Public Defender's office, motioned him to hush, thankfully, he did.

Today, his second degree robbery case was on for OR/Supervised release on his latest case in Courtroom 1, where he allegedly tasered a Safeway clerk at the Harrison Street location in Eureka and tried to leave with groceries he had taken. He was arraigned on three other cases today, two for petty theft from April and May 2015 and one from 2014 for possession of a controlled substance. 

Ms. Holmquist told Judge John Feeney that Cordero should be released because he is a long time resident and lives in Hoopa and that he had a job waiting for him at Sun Valley Farms. "He took food items from Safeway because his food stamps ran out."

DDA Roger Rees that "when the store clerk tried to stop" Cordero from leaving the store with the items he had stolen, "he tased the clerk." Mr. Rees said Cordero also had a dirk and dagger.

Mr. Rees said that the People opposed Cordero's release out of concern for the public because "in the future if he tries to take groceries", he could taser someone who tried to stop him.

Ms. Holmquist responded that in the discovery she had, there was no tasering. 

Judge John Feeney denied Cordero release on OR or supervised release citing public safety concerns.

Still no preliminary hearing for former Miss Hoopa charged with sexual abuse of female minor

Today, Kayla Brown's case was scheduled for confirmation of counsel in Courtroom 1. Mr. Ben McLaughlin "specially appeared" again for Brown, who will not be in court due to her personal appearance being waived. Her family has signed a legal agreement with Mr. McLaughlin but payment is still to be made so another confirmation of counsel hearing is set for June 11 at 2 p.m.

Both, the victim and the defendant's families were in court.

DDA Brie Bennett is prosecuting this case.

Last post:

http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/05/former-miss-hoopa-charged-with-alleged.html

May 18, 2015


Former Miss Hoopa charged with alleged sexual abuse of minor female victim plans to retain one of the area's most successful criminal defense attorney

At the last hearing for the former Miss Hoopa, Kayla Brown charged with alleged abuse of a minor female victim, her lawyer Jeffrey Schwartz declared a conflict of interest. An attorney made a special appearance that day.

Today, Brown's family contacted Mr. Ben McLaughlin, to make a general appearance on her behalf.

DDA Zach Curtis subbed in today for DDA Brie Bennett who is prosecuting the case.

Mr. McLaughlin high profile defendants, locall, most recently David Anderson and Silverio Sanchez.
David Anderson was charged with human trafficking. This was one of the many cases only covered on this blog and here is the last post on the plea deal Anderson accepted with other links to the coverage of this case.

Mr. McLaughlin is a former prosecutor with the Humboldt County District Attorney's office. He is currently a private criminal defense attorney with offices in Eureka and Crescent City and also has experience as a public defender.

When he was DDA, Mr. McLaughlin successfully prosecuted the case of a young Arcata woman and her rapist got 18 years for that rape. He also prosecuted Maggie Wortman and was the first person in the history of American jurisprudence to convict someone of homicde for killing her child with tainted breast milk. 

johnchiv.blogspot.com/2014/11/human-trafficking-case-plea-offer.html

Previous posts:

http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/05/humboldts-first-female-alleged-with.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/04/preliminary-hearing-scheduled-for-miss.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/04/taken-into-custody-yesterday-alleged.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/03/humboldts-first-alleged-female-abuser.html

Jonas Semore, co-defendant in David Ganfield homicide case hires former DA candidate Kathleen Bryson as his attorney, trial date yet to be determined

Smiling creepily today as he talked with his private criminal defense attorney, Ms. Kathleen Bryson, Jonas Semore was in Courtroom 1 today. He entered a general time waiver for trial. Ms. Bryson told Judge John Feeney that she had received a lot of discovery, just yesterday and made an oral motion to continue the preliminary hearing.

A disposition and reset hearing has been set for July 15 at 2 p.m.

May 18, 2015

Semore arraigned today for the murder of David Ganfield, co-defendant not yet arraigned but has a special allegation charge in addition to murder

Jonas Randall Semore, a co-defendant with Nickolas Ryan Joseph Johnson in the murder of David Dwayne Ganfield was arraigned late this afternoon in Courtroom 2. DDA Jackie Pizzo represented the People and Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreiss is Semore's attorney.

Semore is charged with PC 187 (a) murder. Johnson who is yet to be arraigned is charged with 187 (a) and a special allegation of using a bat while comitting the murder.



HCSO Press-Releases:

                        UPDATE

On 05-14-2015 at 1:50 p.m. the Eureka Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle that was being driven by Jonas Randall Semore age 42 at Harris and Summer Street, Eureka. Semore was detained by the Eureka Police Department. The Eureka Police Department was aware that the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office considered Semore a person of interest in the homicide investigation of Ganfield. The Eureka Police Department then contacted Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Detectives and advised them that Semore was detained. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Detective requested that Semore be placed under arrest for the murder of David Ganfield.

Semore was then placed under arrest by the Eureka Police Department for homicide. Semore was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for homicide and his bail was set at one million dollars.

This homicide investigation is still under investigation by Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Detectives.

___________________________________________________________________________________
On 04-28-2015 at about 11:45 p.m. a Humboldt County Sheriff Deputy responded to Mad River Hospital in Arcata, regarding a male assault victim who was dropped off at the emergency room by an acquaintance. The male victim appeared to have head trauma and was unconscious. The victim had no identification on his person and the acquaintance had left the emergency room prior to telling the medical staff the victim’s name.

The deputy at the hospital took a photograph of the victim and was able to identify him through a law enforcement database as David Dwayne Ganfield age 36 from McKinleyville. Due to Ganfield’s injuries he was transported to a trauma hospital in Redding. Ganfield is in the intensive care unit and is critical condition.

The Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help for any witnesses who may knowledge on what or who caused Ganfield’s injuries. Also where he was at when he received the injuries to his head.


The investigation has been turned over to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division. Anyone with information is encouraged to call Investigator Greg Musson at 268-3643.

Dressed in red, in chains, with mouth and head covered , Arcata arson suspect finally arraigned today

Yesterday, I posted that Arcata arson suspect Jeremy Kish was "allegedly" under suicide watch. Later yesterday afternoon, Kish was not arraigned because he was medically or physically unavailable to come to court.

Kish's arraignment was continued to today. DDA Moksha Chattopadhya was present for the People.

 Kish was dressed in red, not the usual orange jumpsuit. His face was covered with a stocking type material and his mouth and lips with a mask that food workers wear.

Charges have been split in 3 cases, one is a misdemeanor. Jeremy in his usual dramatic fashion went against his appointed attorney's advice to waive time in the one misdemeanor case but have the other cases set on a time waived office. Kish told Judge Marilyn Miles that he did not want to waive time and wanted a speedy trial because he claimed "he had been denied food and water for 3 days."

Conflict Counsel's Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis was appointed to represent Kish.

Even before Mr. Elvine-Kreis could accept the appointment, Jeremy was chattering away and whispering to him.

Bail is set for $150,000 in one case, the one where he is charged with arson, $50,000 in another case and the third one for $5,000.

Jury trial June 22 at 8:30 a.m.,  Preliminary hearing June 11 at 8:30 a.m. and Intervention June 4 at 3 p.m.

His charges are as follows:

Kish has been charged in Count 1 with arson of the former Alliance Market in Arcata this past weekend.

Count 2 is resisting and delaying and obstructing Officer Miller while he was on duty.

Count 3 is assault on a custodial officer David Jackson.

Count 4 is battery by gassing a peace officer in the detention facility.

Count 5 is criminal threats PC 422 towards Corporal N. Corral .


Previous posts:

http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/05/jeremy-kish-arraignment-continued-as-he.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/05/arcata-arson-suspect-charged-with-arson.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/05/arcata-arson-suspect-jeremy-kish_28.html



Former court manager charged with $100,000 embezzlement still awaits trial date

Former court manager Socorro Cervantes trial further delayed. Public Defender's office has been representing Ms. Cervantes. They declared a conflict of interest. Conflict Counsel was appointed for Ms. Cervantes.

June 22 is the date for confirmation of counsel, trial setting and the hearing on discovery status.



Mar 18, 2015


Standoff between the People and Defense regarding discovery in the alleged $100,000 embezzlement case

Today, DDA Roger Rees was in Courtroom 5 and he walked in with a cart on which had boxes and binders labeled Cervantes. The case is for Socorro Cervantes. He was responding to defense counsel's motion to compel discovery. Cervantes' appearance in court had been excused by Visiting Judge Dennis Buckley.

Mr. Rees said that he had reviewed Ms. O' Connell's motion and that he was trying to locate some items she requested which had been difficult, "given the volume of discovery" and because "the attorney, previously handling the case has left our office." The last coverage of this case was in the Times-Standard and DDA Christa McKimmey is listed in that article as the prosecutor. Mr. Rees said he went through all the discovery and some of the discovery like a receipt books were difficult to copy and he thought some of that discovery had been provided to defense. He said the retirement of a DOJ agent also made it hard to locate some of the discovery being requested.

He also referred to a couple of emails between (now retired) DOJ Agent Jeff Lierly and (then DDA) Wes Keat as "attorney-client" privilege. He said one of the items being requested was "a simple cover sheet, and while they do not have the original, they could recreate the cover sheet.

Cervantes was initially represented by private attorney Patrik Griego. Now she has representation from the Public Defender's office.

Ms. O'Connell said she had only received two items out of 30 items requested. Today, Ms. O'Connell said "that this has been going on since December 19, 2014." yesterday, she had referred to the motion to compel discovery filed by her office in February 2015. "This case is from 2013. The allegation is from 2008 and the People haven't been diligent."

According to the TS 2013 article, a criminal grand jury indicted Cervantes for the alleged embezzlement.

 Judge Buckley went through a few items. Another claim  by defense was that they could not play a disk due and Mr. Rees said, "that the Public Defender has access to the same IT department that the District Attorney has" so they could get assistance in viewing the disk. Judge Buckley also seemed sympathetic and believed Mr. Rees about the challenges in copying "fragile receipt books" which would have to have each page torn off to be scanned. Mr. Rees said that copies of the receipts book had been provided to defense and when he found out that not all receipts had been scanned when he went through each item, he offered for Ms.O'Connell to come and review them in his office.

"I invited Counsel to review the cart of evidence and Counsel declined." He repeated the offer, again in Court and Ms. O'Connell declined saying, "Not today"

Ms. O'Connell said that she had provided an excel sheet of missing discovery and "she should not have to go through the cart."

Then she requested Judge Buckley order sanctions if the District Attorney does not comply. Judge Buckley declined that request saying the law is not clear and "sanctions are limited. I don't think anyone has the authority to fine the District Attorney."

Ms. O'Connell said that she would request that certain evidence be "excluded" and Mr. Rees said, "we'd object."

Judge Buckley said that matter could be addressed by the Judge assigned to trial.

The next court date is May 28 at 2 p.m. People have until the end of the business day on April 17 to ressond to Ms. O'Connell's motion in writing and provide written answers to why they cannot provide certain discovery like the "fragile receipt books hard to copy" said Judge Buckley.

So next time you hear "issues with discovery", sometimes the details come out in court, sometimes they don't. There are two sides and two arguments.

Yesterday's coverage:

This afternoon, trial setting and a motion to compel discovery was scheduled in Courtroom 5 for the former assistant court manager, Socorro Cervantes, who is charged with allegedly embezzling $100,000 from the local Court's operation department.

Today, Visiting Judge Dennis Buckley subbed for Judge Hinrichs. DDA Meagan O'Connell is now representing Cervantes. And DDA Roger Rees is taking over prosecution of the case. Cervantes spent her time in court and outside court, before her case was called, socializing with friends, saying hi to attorneys and some court staff laughing as if she was out at a social gathering. The District Attorney staff was professional and did not engage in any interaction.

DDA Brie Bennett who was in Courtroom 5 requested that the court date be continued because Mr. Rees was "out unexpectedly" today. Ms. O'Connell mentioned that there were still "several items of discovery missing" and that the People had not responded to her motion to compel discovery which had been filed on February 20. She also requested that her client be excused from appearing tomorrow. Ms. O'Connell and Cervantes had an ex-parte conference with the Judge.

The saga continues tomorrow at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 5. At the same time, the Jason Warren case is scheduled in another courtroom.

There has been no follow-up on this case in the media since 2013. No follow-up after my last post and no other media present today.

Jan 27, 2015 post:

Trial setting for former assistant court manager charged with allegedly embezzling approximately $100,000 from local court's operation department

A trial setting was scheduled this afternoon at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 5 for Socorro Maria Cervantes, former assistant court manager, who is charged with allegedly embezzling almost $100,000 from the Humboldt County Superior Court's operations department.

The Public Defender's office is representing Cervantes. Today, the attorney representing her was not in court but Ms. Jennifer Dixon, on behalf of her colleague told Visiting Judge Arvid Johnson that they had a petition to compel discovery. DDA Zach Curtis said "my office received a motion today, we are requesting time to respond." Judge Johnson said that the People's response needed to be filed by March 20. The next court date is March 17 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 5.

Link to Times-Standard 2013 article:

http://www.times-standard.com/general-news/20131007/fortuna-woman-pleads-not-guilty-in-100k-court-embezzlement-case

CR football charged with assault of his own child makes bail and case moves to early resolution

Jury trial was vacated for Jon Charles McDonald. He was re-referred to supervised release. And his case was moved to Courtroom 3 which is early resolution court.

DDA Whitney Barnes is prosecuting the case. I asked her why this case was moved to early resolution.

"Mr. McDonald bailed out and waived time. Since this case is a misdemeanor and it is early in the process, Judge Miles asked to send it to early resolution and defense agreed."


Ms. Christina Allbright, a private attorney is representing McDonald.

Previous post:

Today, in Courtroom 4, Jon Charles McDonald, stood with his private attorney Christina Allbright, who called him a stellar and an asset to the community.

McDonald is allegedly charged with assault and battery. Count 1 is a non-cohabitating partner and Count 2 cause or permitting cruelty to a child. This is a Courtroom 2 case but Judge Cissna was handling that calendar as well this afternoon.

McDonald  is alleged to "have pushed the mother of his two year old child to the ground in front of multiple witnesses," said DDA Whitney Barnes, who is prosecuting the case.

Ms. Allbright said that she feels that they will be able to resolve the case before trial and that McDonald's mother hopes that after completing a 52 week anger management program in Humboldt County that he can move out of state and "move his life in a better direction."

 OR/Bail hearing and Trial Confirmation is on May 27 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 2 and jury trial is June 8.

David Lockhart charged with vehicular manslaughter led away in cuffs in front of victim's family and friends; "What a difference this new DA has made"

David Lockhart was supposed to be arraigned on May 14. That date was vacated. Yesterday, when he was finally arraigned, he would have liked to stay out of custody, however, he was led away in cuffs into custody in front of the victim's family and friends.

There is an OR/Bail hearing set for 2 p.m this afternoon in Courtroom 2. Intervention is on June 4 at 3 p.m. and Preliminary hearing is June 10.

"What a difference this new DA has made," is what one of the victim's friends told me outside court. They are very pleased with DA Maggie Fleming and her office's handling  of the case.

Previous post:

Apr 17, 2015


David Lockart whose unsafe turn on 101 caused multiple deaths charged with vehicular manslaughter

Arraignment is scheduled for 1:30p.m.  in Courtroom 2 on May 20 for David Lockhart who is charged with felony:homicide with the count of gross vehicular manslaughter and death of multiple victims.

The link below from Kym Kemp has the press release on the accident.

kymkemp.com/2014/11/13/woman-dead-man-and-child-major-injuries-following/

May 28, 2015

Safeway taser suspect shoots his mouth off about his case despite Judge's advice, Hippy Hill frying pan suspect arraigned today

Safeway taser suspect expressed disbelief at his charges and kept interrupting and shooting his mouth off about his case today in Courtroom 4. Judge Cissna very patiently had to tell him three times to not talk about his case as everything is on the record.

Robert Cordero clueless babbled on three times before a sterner warning from the Judge.

It is a good thing IQ is not the determining factor in whether bail or supervised release is granted. People get a clue, you are in cuffs and in jail. Maybe, silence should be golden unless your lawyer tells you to say something.

Hippy hill frying pan suspect, Joseph Dewitt, was in Courtroom 2. He just sat shell shocked.

Another Hoopa case involving alleged molestation of a minor child in two months?

On 05-28-2015 at 1:30 p.m. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Detectives arrested 37 year old, William Joseph Jarnaghan for (3) three felony sexual assault allegations against a minor child and (3) three misdemeanor allegations of annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18. Jarnaghan surrendered himself to Sheriff Detectives with his attorney. The Sheriff’s Office became aware these allegations on Wednesday, 05-27-2015.Jarnaghan is a resident of Hoopa. Jarnaghan’s bail was set at $375,000 dollars.

"For protection of the public, seriousness of offenses and prior record" Judge Miles rules no bail for Jason Ryan Omholt

Omholt who was released before sentencing and got re arrested on new charges had his custodial status put on calendar by the Judge, not defense.

For reasons stated above, Judge Marilyn Miles ruled that Omholt cannot post bail.

His sentencing for the plea deal he made remains on June 11.

Omholt in a wheelchair sat silently in court, sullen.


Vincent Ortiz demurrer withdrawn, defense will file 995

The demurrer in Vincent Ortiz's case was scheduled for this afternoon in Courtroom 2. Defense withdrew their oral demurrer and plans to file a 995 motion. Date to be determined as Judge Miles wants a visiting judge to hear that 995 motion.

Jeremy Kish arraignment continued as he was medically unavailable, bail set at $150,000

Arraignment tomorrow at 1:29 in Courtroom 2. The bailiff informed Judge Timothy Cissna that Jeremy Kish"was medically or physically unavailable to appear" today in Courtroom 4.

There are two posts from earlier, one about him allegedly being on suicide watch and the other are the charges against him.

Bail was set today at $150,000.

Arcata arson suspect charged with arson, battery on a peace officer, criminal threats on law enforcement

This just in...this is a late arraignment.

Arcata arson suspect Jeremy Kish will be arraigned this afternoon at 3 p.m. in Courtroom 4  Kish has been charged in Count 1 with arson of the former Alliance Market in Arcata this past weekend.

Count 2 is resisting and delaying and obstructing Officer Miller while he was on duty.

Count 3 is assault on a custodial officer David Jackson.

Count 4 is battery by gassing a peace officer in the detention facility.

Count 5 is criminal threats pc 422 towards Corporal N. Corral .



Previous posts:

http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/05/arcata-arson-suspect-jeremy-kish_28.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/05/arcata-arson-suspect-jeremy-kish.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/05/jeremy-kish-adds-yet-another-arrest-to.html



Teflon Dan Dobbs pleads out assault case, picks up new charges while this case was in jury trial

The news is not that Dan Dobbs picked up another charge. The news is that he plead out but already has new charges. He accepted the People's offer for the misdemeanor PC 422 that they had made at trial assignment.

Like Teflon, Dan has avoided anything sticking to him and resulting in prison, so far.

He has other cases pending resolution or conviction. Mr. Neal Sanders has been Dobbs' attorney of choice, lately.

Arcata arson suspect Jeremy Kish allegedly under "suicide watch"

HCSO Lt. Wayne Hanson could not confirm and the jail will generally not comment on such internal matters but an anonymous source had some information from another inmate that Jeremy is allegedly under "suicide watch."

Like I said, I cannot confirm but this anonymous source is someone who would have access to people who know Jeremy.





Deal? Trial? What will the next court date for twice tried alleged child molestor Timothy Littlefield be?

Timothy Littlefield has come close to prison twice. The decision in the last trial is under appeal and so Round 3 is in limbo. There is a court hearing on June 11 for disposition and reset. I bet it will be continued.

Listed below is the link to the apellate courts and the current status of the Timothy Littlefield case.

http://appellatecases.courtinfo.ca.gov/search/case/dockets.cfm?dist=1&doc_id=2078140&doc_no=A141929

The following explaination is based on a conversation, according to an attorney who has tried similar cases and appeals. The summary is what this attorney thinks will happen.

Status of case has been updated to Case Fully Briefed. In a few months the case will likely be set for Oral Arguments in San Francisco. Either side can waive. Usually, they don't in Criminal cases. Since Littlefield's exposure is 160+ years, it is a good guess there will be oral arguments. At the conclusion of oral arguments, the apellate court will issue an opinion within 90 days. Often it is before that deadline.  If the decision is bad for Littlefield, Littlefield can appeal until he runs out of options.

The first trial, the jurors were deadlocked 11 to 1. In the second trial, Littlefield was convicted of 11 molestation charges in 2013 with eight life sentences without possibility of parole. In 2014 Judge John Feeney declared a mistrial. The link from May 2014, the Timothy Littlefield story, I got the only interviewer from a juror who was on the same jury where another juror claimed he did not understand burden of proof.

Littlefield's attorney Mr. Russ Clanton has already said that there may be Round 3. When the previous DA administration was in charge, I had reported on a possible deal in the works.

According to a reliable source close to the case, oral arguments most likely will not happen. In such cases, this source said, the decision is usually favorable to the trial court.

Today, this is the latest development in the Littlefield case.
05/28/2015Oral argument waiver notice sent.    
05/28/2015Record to court for review.



The alleged victim was 8 years old, she has been through two trials.  Littlefield, a former manager of the Arcata Center medical marijuana dispensary, was arrested by Humboldt County sheriff's deputies in February 2009.

Previous two posts with other links:


May 12, 2015


Next court hearing for Timothy Littlefield set for June 11, guess round 3 is on, alleged charges include sodomy with child under 10

June 11 disposition and reset hearing in Courtroom 2.

Charges against Littlefield include sexual intercourse/sodomy with a child under 10, penetration by a foreign object, oral copulation and lewd and lasvicious act under 14 years.

Littlefield has been represented in the last two trials and in round 3 by private attorney Russ Clanton.

Previous post:

May 8, 2015


"Looks like we will be going round 3 in the Littlefied case", will the third time be justice for Timothy Littlefield

If you are not familiar with the Timothy Littlefield case, you may want to click on the links below. For those following the saga, the above quote is from Littlefield's attorney Russ Clanton.

He said he looked at the apellate brief. His remarks were directed to DDA Brie Bennett who is one of the DDAs now prosecuting CAST cases. This was openly said while we were in the hallway this morning waiting for the Kailan Meserve case.

http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-timothy-littlefield-story.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2014/05/timothy-littlefield-posted-bail-and-is.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2014/06/timothy-littlefield-deal-in-works.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2014/12/attorney-general-files-opening-brief-in.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2014/10/timothy-littlefield-case-keep-getting.html
johnchiv.blogspot.com/2014/05/unconfirmed-as-of-now-buttimothy.html?m=1
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2014/11/attorney-general-to-default-on.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2014/07/littlefield-retrial-set-for-oct-20.html

May 27, 2015

Stepping in Dorothy Ulrich's pool of blood after he killed her, Warren crime spree took more lives in less than 2 hours

See post below for defense motion being denied in Jason Warren case.

Defense motion to sever in Jason Warren case denied by Judge Cissna

Paul Mann from the Mad River Union and I were the only media at today's court hearing for Jason Warren.

Dates were not put on record. The basic gist of the defense argument was that trying the cases together would be highly prejudicial to Warren and that they did not believe the evidence was intertwined as DA suggested.

Mr. Kevin Robinson is representing Warren in the Eureka incident. On Myryle Avenue, where Warren ran over three joggers, Mr. Robinson said different law enforcement investigated the two incidents.

Hoopa murder of Dorothy Ulrich was Sheriff asisted by Hoopa tribal police and Eureka was Highway patrol.

Mr. Robinson then alluded to former DA Paul Gallegos who prosecuted the preliminary hearing and said Mr. Gallegos suggested he would use charges in one case to build the other case and that this would be highly prejudicial to his client.

DA Maggie Fleming in her summary and argument proved otherwise. Judge Cissna agreed and denied defense motion.

DA Fleming cited PC 954 about "legislative preference for one trial". She also cited law where "joinder and consolidation is mandatory."

Then, giving times and facts of both incidents, she stated that Warren standing in a "pool of blood" after he killed Dorothy Aldrich fled in her car from Hoopa where he ran over threee joggers on Mrytle Avenue and then fled the scene and hid the car. "The entire course of conduct was less than two hours."

Suzanne Seeman died at the scene. The two joggers that survived were Jessica Hunt and Terri Vroman-Little.


"I have reviewed materials and authorities and the cases are properky joined," said Judge Cissna. " To a significant degree, they are related in commission.I don't think one case is more inflammatory than the other."

DA Fleming spoke with the victims' families before and after the court hearing privately.

Judge Cissna asked attorneys to approach and did not state future dates on record. Pre trial was continued from today to June 30 at 3:30 p.m. That information was entered in system later.

Trial could be delayed due to a motion DA Fleming will be introducing.

As already reported by Kym Kemp, it is confirmed: Omholt arrested and booked

 05/26/15 at about 9:12 p.m., Officers with the Eureka Police Department were dispatched to the 3500 block of G Street after a caller reported seeing a suspicious male in his neighbor’s backyard.  The male jumped the fence and fled before officers arrived.

At about 9:31 p.m., an additional caller reported that a male jumped the fence into her backyard and her husband was chasing him.  The caller reported that the male was last seen near Madrone and H Streets and possibly went into another backyard.

While officers were on foot checking the area, an officer heard people yelling in the area of F and Willow Streets.  As the officer began to investigate the yelling, two males came crashing through a wooden gate.  One of the males was quickly identified by officers as Jason Omholt, 36 of Eureka.  The other male was the resident of the property.  Omholt attempted to flee on foot but was quickly detained.

It was determined that the resident had encountered Omholt in his yard and the two began to scuffle as the resident tried to get Omholt out of his yard.  During the scuffle the two males went through the fence.
 
Omholt matched the description provided by the callers and witnesses.  Omholt was not wearing any shoes and complained of ankle pain.  Omholt was transported to the hospital by ambulance for medical clearance prior to being transported and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.

Omholt was charged with violation of parole, violation of probation, committing a crime while out on bail, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance, prowling, resisting arrest, two counts of malicious mischief, and assault and battery.

The Eureka Police Department thanks the residents who looked out for their neighborhood by calling in the suspicious activity, however does not recommend engaging or chasing suspects.

A little humor for bloggers and commenters




May 26, 2015

Computer error, demurrer, date changes, procedure: a convoluted mess in the Vincent Ortiz case where he is charged with attempted murder and an accessory to murder

First Vincent Ortiz's arraignment was off the calendar. Then it is back on. Then his attorney Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis said that he enters a demurrer to all charges except Count 2 claiming People are filing charges in the arraignment on information against his client when he was not held to answer to those charges in the preliminary hearing.

Then there was the issue that he has two files that need to be consolidated and half the information was in one file and the other half in another file. DDA Jackie Pizzo said she would file the paperwork and had discussed this with the court computer staff. That was the easiest part of the case.

Then Mr. Elvine-Kreiss said he wanted the oral demurrer heard right there in court. Judge Miles declined. She was the judge in the preliminary hearing and so it should be another judge or judicial officer would have to hear  the demurrer. If the demurrer was denied, Mr. Elvine-Kreiss could file a 995 motion to dismsss charges. Vincent Ortiz would not waive time so the date set for his father Rodney Ortiz had to be switched to fit within a no time waived basis. This went back and forth.

The date for the demurrer to be heard was set, this Thursday in Courtroom 2. The jury trial date was set for July 20 and a trial confirmation for June 25.

If this was not complicated enough, DDA  Pizzo pointed out that while the charges that the DA filed were correct, Count 7 was incorrectly entered in the computer and needed to be fixed. It should have been PC 32. This led to Judge Miles checking and reading all the charges against Vincent Ortiz. Then DDA Pizzo asked if Mr. Elvine-Kreiss wanted to amend his demurrer. He then entered a not guilty plea to Count 3, not Count 2 and a demurrer to the rest.

When the court computer errors are fixed, I will list the charges in my next post.

I Broke that news last week.

Both Rodney and Vincent Ortiz were to be arraigned on August 26. Rodney Ortiz is still set to be arraigned in Courtroom 2 but Vincent Ortiz's arraignment is off calendar.

The court computer lists that Vincent Ortiz's medical records have been subpoenaed from Mercy Medical Center by attorney. Does not state whether it is his attorney Conflict Counsel.

Judge Miles grants motion and Rodney Ortiz is not allowed to practice as a state licensed contractor

Rodney Ortiz's case was relatively simple. Although he waived time and was arraigned today in Courtroom 2 for jury trial, now his jury trial is set on the same day as his son, who is charged a s a co-defendant, July 20.

The state contractor's licensing board filed a motion prohibiting Rodney Ortiz from being a state licensed contractor.

I broke that news this morning before the court hearing.

Rodney Ortiz's attorney, Public Defender Casey Russo objected saying that the allegations in the homicide case have nothing to do with his client's work.

Deputy General Doug Tuss, who appeared by phone, argued that there was a relation between Rodney Ortiz's actions and that he was charged with murder, violence against another individual and this was not consistent with Califirnia Code Section 868 (d) and (e) and "that the State Board did not want to grant Mr. Ortiz approval as a licensed contractor."

Judge Marilyn Miles granted the Attorney General's motion, "pending resolution of the criminal proceedings" against Rodney Ortiz and he has to submit all documents regarding his contractor license to the State Board.


Previous posts:

May 26, 2015

Attorney General files to prohibit homicide suspect Rodney Ortiz to practice as a state license contractor

On May 21, the Attorney General filed to prohibit Rodney Ortiz from practicing as a state licensed contractor.

Judge Marilyn Miles will rule this afternoon. Rodney Ortiz's medical records from Mercy have also been subpoenaed and a funding order has been submitted for an expert.

I reported last time Vincent Ortiz' arraignment is off. Due to the holiday weekend, I didn't hear from DDA Jackie Pizzo or Vincent Ortiz's attorney Mr. Greg Elvine Kreiss yet.

I am updating details of this hearing shortly...Judge Miles granted the Attorney General's motion.

Last post (with other links):

Both Rodney and Vincent Ortiz were to be arraigned on August 26. Rodney Ortiz is still set to be arraigned in Courtroom 2 but Vincent Ortiz's arraignment is off calendar.

The court computer lists that Vincent Ortiz's medical records have been subpoenaed from Mercy Medical Center by attorney. Does not state whether it is his attorney Conflict Counsel.

Last post:

http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/05/rodney-ortiz-held-to-answer-on-all.html?m=1

Unsual twist in Silverio Sanchez and Vincent Ortiz cases

Demurrer is the word of the day. Both cases have jury trial dates set. July 28 for Sanchez and July 20 for Rodney and Vincent Ortiz.

Both Silverio Sanchez and Vincent Ortiz may not make it that far though.

Nolo defines demurrer as:

In a criminal case, a demurrer is a defendant’s assertion that the document laying out the charges—the complaintinformation, orindictment—is legally insufficient. In demurring, the defendant claims that the charging document is so flawed that it can’t be used to convict him or her.


OR denied for 21 year old with two underage victims

Today there was a bail/OR hearing for Brendan Phillips, a 21 year old charged with sexual abuse of two minor female victims.


DDA Brie Bennett was in court for the People. Conflict Counsel's Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis is Phillip's attorney.

Mr. Elvine-Kreis said that Phillips was requesting to be released and one of the reasons he gave was the Phillips is the sole provider of his son.

"The People oppose the release due to the defendant's multiple felony charges involving two minor victims," said DDA Brie Bennett. "At least one victim is in fear of her safety."

Due to public safety concerns and based on opposition by the DA, Phillips was denied release. Probation does not do supervised release for such crimes, said Judge Marilyn Miles. Phillips remains in custody.

Due to courtroom acoustics, the clarification is that there are two victims, one 16 and one 14, and the acts that Phillips is charged with were committed with a victim he is at least 10 years older than, according to the complaint.

Details will not be available until the preliminary hearing.

Previous post:

Brendan Phillips stood with his head down in court. Judge Timothy Cissna asked if he wanted an attorney appointed to represent him against the alleged charges. He softly said, yes.

He is 21 years old and one victim is 16 years old. The other two victims, one  14 years old and the other 10 years old. AIDS testing is mentioned in the complaint.

The charges against Phillips are: Count 1 Oral copulation with a victim under 16 years, Count 2 and 3 are the same; Count 4 is unlawful sexual intercourse with an adult over 21 years or more commonly known as statutory rape, Count 5 and 6 are the same; and Count 7 is lewd and lasvicious act where the defendant is 10 years older than the child.

Phillips was appointed Conflict Counsel's David Lee as an attorney. DDA Zach Curtis was present for the People.

OR/Bail hearing is May 26 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 2, Intervention is May 28 at 3 p.m., and the preliminary hearing is June 4 at 8:30 a.m.

4 cases on calendar for Silverio Sanchez including arraignment on kidnap, forcible rape, criminal threats and unlawful sexual intercourse with victim 3 years younger

4 cases are on calendar this afternoon in Courtroom 2 for Silverio Sanchez.

Three cases are on for disposition and reset. One for a felony, drugs. Two misdemeanors for assault and battery. The fourth case is for a felony with 10 counts and two special allegations.

Mr. Neal Sanders was appointed on the felony case.  Today, Mr. Sanders appeared with Sanchez on behalf of Mr. McLaughlin for the three cases on for disposition and reset. Nothing happened with those three cases.

Neither Judge Marilyn Miles or DDA Andrew Isaac or Mr. Sanders had received the complete preliminary transcript for the felony case with 10 counts so Mr. Sanders said, "I reserve the issue for demurrer. The situation is similar to the previous case." This was referring to the demurrer in the Vincent Ortiz case.

Jury trial is set for July 28 and Trial confirmation is for June 25 at 2 p.m.

Counts 1 and 2 are unlawful kidnapping of Jane Doe to commit rape, Count 3 and Count 4 are criminal threats to Jane Doe and she feared for the safety of her family, Count 5 is stalking, Count 6 attempt to kidnap, Count 7 first residential burglary, Count 8 assault likely to cause great bodily injury, Count 9 forcible rape, Count 10 unlawful sex with a minor 3 years younger.


Attorney General files to prohibit homicide suspect Rodney Ortiz to practice as a state license contractor

On May 21, the Attorney General filed to prohibit Rodney Ortiz from practicing as a state licensed contractor.

Judge Marilyn Miles will rule this afternoon. Rodney Ortiz's medical records from Mercy have also been subpoenaed and a funding order has been submitted for an expert.

I reported last time Vincent Ortiz' arraignment is off. Due to the holiday weekend, I didn't hear from DDA Jackie Pizzo or Vincent Ortiz's attorney Mr. Greg Elvine Kreiss yet.

I am updating details of this hearing shortly...Judge Miles granted the Attorney General's motion.

Last post (with other links):

Both Rodney and Vincent Ortiz were to be arraigned on August 26. Rodney Ortiz is still set to be arraigned in Courtroom 2 but Vincent Ortiz's arraignment is off calendar.

The court computer lists that Vincent Ortiz's medical records have been subpoenaed from Mercy Medical Center by attorney. Does not state whether it is his attorney Conflict Counsel.

Last post:

http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/05/rodney-ortiz-held-to-answer-on-all.html?m=1

Jason Daniels, former HCSO deputy charged with off duty rape trial confirmation this afternoon

Today, trial conformation is scheduled in Courtroom 5 for Jason Daniels at 2 p.m. Just dates were confirmed.

May 12, 2015


Dates remain set for Jason Daniels, former HCSO Deputy charged with off duty sexual assault charges

A pre-trial conference was held today in Courtroom 5 for Jason Daniels, the former HCSO Deputy charged with off duty sexual assault.

Dates remained set. Nothing else occured today. DDA Andrew Isaac was there for the People. Julia Fox with Daniels who was accompanied by his wife.

Last post:
Apr 7, 2015

Jury trial for Jason Daniels charged with off duty sexual assault charges set for June 15
Jury trial is now scheduled for June 15 largely to accommodate Jason Daniel's attorneys' schedule. Instead of his Bay area attorneys, Julia Fox and Steven Betts appearing with him in court today, Mr. Lawrence Killoran who is representing Daniels in a civil suit filed against him,  was present in court today with Daniels. As she has for all court hearings, Daniel's wife was with him.  Instead of Mr. Andrew Isaac who is prosecuting the case, DDA Brie Bennett was there today for the People.

In response to Judge Joyce Hinrichs,  time was waived by both parties. Mr. Killoran waived full reading of the complaint. Trial Confirmation is May 26 at 2 p.m. and Pre-Trial is May 12 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 5.

Another post done April 7 (with links to previous coverage):

http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/04/sexual-penetration-by-foreign-object.html?m=1

Previous posts:

http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/03/jane-doe-1-gives-graphic-testimony-of.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/04/sexual-penetration-by-foreign-object.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/04/jury-trial-for-jason-daniels-charged.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/03/witness-shows-up-jason-daniels.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/03/material-witness-against-former.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/03/case-management-conference-held-today.html

Arcata arson suspect Jeremy Kish expected to be arraigned May 28

Arson suspect Jeremy Kish is expected to be arraigned on May 28. You heard it here first.

The police report is still being sent to DA. No information on what courtroom yet but I will update with details of charges when the complaint is filed.



http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/05/jeremy-kish-adds-yet-another-arrest-to.html?m=1

May 25, 2015

Hippy Hill transient on transient attack

On 05-25-2015, at approximately 10:55 a.m., Sherriff’s Deputies with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a transient camp near the southbound Highway 101 off-ramp in Garberville.  Local transients commonly refer to this camp as “Hippy Hill”.  The reporting party called 911 and stated that a male victim had been struck in the head with a frying pan.

Upon Deputies arrival, the victim (age 70) stated that he was approached by another transient, Joseph Dewitt (age 37), who was being hostile and aggressive.  The victim feared for his safety and armed himself with pepper spray.  Dewitt became increasingly violent and the victim thought a physical confrontation was forthcoming.  As a result, the victim sprayed Dewitt in the face with the pepper spray.  Dewitt allegedly grabbed a frying pan and struck the victim several times in the back of the head.

Dewitt fled the scene prior to law enforcement arrival.  The victim was transported via ambulance to a local hospital for medical treatment.

At approximately 11:05 a.m., Sheriff’s Deputies were able to locate Dewitt at the intersection of Locust Street and Conger Street, Garberville.  Dewitt was placed under arrest for battery causing serious bodily injury and was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for booking.  Dewitt’s bail was set at $50,000.