Jun 27, 2015

Headlines don't tell the whole story behind the man who committed suicide today at the jail

The last time he made headlines it was for the arrest for robbery in Mckinleyville at the Alliance gas station. He was also on the most wanted parolee list.

So what is the "back story" for a man who went in and out of jail that led to his making this unfortunate decision?

And by that, I don't mean the jail but what led him to this life of crime.

One word: meth

Prayers go out to his family.

From his facebook, there are photo of happier times with his mom and his last post is from April 2014.

On February 26, 2012 (a year after the Alliance Gas station bust), 3 posts on the same day:

"So my life is a little uncomfortable right now. Stuck in Lee brown. Program. Its not too bad its just hard doing five months in jail then having this black out."
"I just wish I could get a short pass so I could take care of a few things. Plus I would really like to spend some time with my girl without staff or residents all in our buisness. I can just take things one day at a time."
"I'm going to church with my dad in a few moments. Its good to spend time with him. He delivers a pretty good message. One I can understand an relate to anyway. Well I better get ready to go."

Here is an article by Kevin Hoover from the Arcata Eye talking about how his life.


This morning's HCSO press release:

On Friday, June 19th, 2015, Raymond Johnathan Eacret, 34 years old from Eureka, was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility (HCCF) for a misdemeanor probation violation. He was housed in the medical section of the facility.

On Friday, June 26th, 2015, at approximately 1717 hours, a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Correctional Deputy (CD) found Raymond hanging from a makeshift noose that was wrapped around his neck. Lifesaving efforts were immediately initiated along with the request for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) response.
EMS personnel from Humboldt Bay Fire (HBF) and City Ambulance arrived on scene, and lifesaving efforts continued. Raymond was transported to St. Joseph Hospital Emergency Room (ER) for treatment, but was pronounced deceased at 1742 hours.

This incident is currently under joint investigation by the HCSO and the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office (HCDAO).

Jun 26, 2015

Approximately 26.5 million dollars of cannabis seized in Island Mountain bust

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office served (7) seven search warrants on (7) seven separate parcels of property.  The search warrants were for commercial marijuana growing operations located in over 40 separate large green house type structures on the parcels of property. The search warrants were served on parcels of property located off Hogtrap Road and South Face Road, Island Mountain. The search warrants were served from Monday, June 22, 2015 through Thursday, June 25, 2015. No suspect(s) were located on the parcels.

The Sheriff’s Office seized or eradicated the following items from the search warrants:

1.                   23,211 marijuana plants.
2.                   4,394 pounds of processed marijuana.
3.                   15 pounds of marijuana hash in brick form.
4.                   16-firearms.
5.                   50,000 rounds of ammunition in the following calibers, .50 caliber, .308 caliber and .556 caliber.

Deputies documented illegal dumping of garbage, unpermitted grading of land, and water diversion on the (7) parcels of property. Deputies are working with the State of California Department of Fish and Wild Life Services in their investigations in identifying the property owners and suspect(s) involved in the environmental damage done on the parcels of property. The Sheriff’s Office will submit their reports to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office for review and possible criminal charges to be filed against the suspect(s) involved in this commercial marijuana growing operations.

A (8) eighth search warrant was served on a parcel of property in the Island Mountain area by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. A female subject was contacted and was growing approximately (50) marijuana plants on her property. After the investigation it was determined that she was incompliance was medical marijuana guide lines in the State of California. No marijuana was seized from her property and the female subject was not arrested.

The street value of the marijuana seized and eradicated is approximately 26.5 million dollars.

These cases are still under investigation by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.

Lambda Legal Defense, especially Evan Wolfson should be credited with the gay marriage decision by the Supreme Court, not recent activists

Almost 18 years ago, at the Atlanta Lambda Legal Defense office, Evan Wolfson predicted the U.S. Supreme Court decision and his strategy.

He said, at that time in 20 years, gay marriage will be legal.

This was a part of an off the record conversation of other individual cases and Lambda Legal Defense's strategy to build legal precedent. I covered some of those cases as a news reporter in both Philadelphia and Atlanta.

5-4 decision, Supreme Court rules in favor of gay marriage

Excerpts from The Washington Post:

The Supreme Court on Friday delivered an historic victory for gay rights, ruling 5-4 that the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live and that states may no longer reserve the right only for heterosexual couples.

The court now holds that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry. No longer may this liberty be denied to them,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion.

All four of the court’s most conservative
members—Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr.—dissented and each wrote separate opinions.
Reading a dissent from the bench for the first time in his tenure, Roberts said, “This is a court, not a legislature.”

Jun 25, 2015

Juan Ferrer transported to San Quentin to serve his term

Yesterday. Juan Ferrer was convicted on May 18 of voluntary manslaughter in the death of Abruzzi chef Douglas Anderson.

He was transporred yesterday to San Quentin to serve his sentence.

Arcata Alliance Market arson suspect Marsden hearing continued to this afternoon

Review of Dr. Ramirez's psychological evaluation and a Marsden hearing was scheduled this afternoon for JeremybKish, who is the suspect charged with arson of the former Alliance Market in Arcata and sodomy and forcible oral copulation of a male victim, among other charges.

The Marsden hearing will be held in a closed courtroom. Now, there has been another doctor ordered to evaluate him. That hearing will take place on July 9.

995 motion for former fugitive Silverio Sanchez to be heard by Visiting Judge

Jury trial date for tge felony case for Silverio Sanchez remains set but a 995 motion filed by Mr. Neal Sanders to dismiss certain charges against Silverio Sanchez will be heard on July 7 by a visiting judge in Courtroom 2 since Judge Marilyn Miles,will be on vacation.

Sanchez's family was in court today and spoke with Mr. Sanders after court. Mr. Sanders appeared for Mr. Ben McLaughlin on Sanchez's other cases.

Sanchez nodded to a brother when he came in. The bailiff adminished them later when they tried to communicate.

No media was present in court. Channel 3 came briefly but had to leave before case was called.

May 26, 2015

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.

Defense withdraws motion to continue for Vincent Ortiz

The gist of the hearing is that Rodney Ortiz will be filing motion to continue because the defense said "they will not be prepared for trial by July 20."

A 995 motion to dismiss charges against Vincent Ortiz will be heard by a Visiting Judge in Courtroom 6 on June 30 and a discovery motion will be heard on July 14. The date for the jury trial remains July 20, for now.

Although the defense withdrew the motion to continue for Vincent Ortiz, they may refile again. "Change of circumstances" was given as a reason to withdrew the motion to continue for Vincent Ortiz. Conflict Counsel's Mr. David Lee subbed in for his colleague Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis today who is Vincent Ortiz's attorney.

Victim's family from Hoopa was not present in court today but they were in communication with Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo. Mr. Casey Russo from the Public Defender's office represents Rodney Ortiz.

Two family members were there to support Rodney and Vincent Ortiz.

Channel 3 reporter came briefly to court but was not present when case was called.

Previous posts:


Murphy's Market grand theft embezzlement suspect finally shows up for court, given one more chance,

A warrant surrender was scheduled this afternoon at 1:30 for Michael Noriega by his public defender.

Before court, Noriega's attorney Casey Russo asked him why he didn't show up for court, why he doesn't keep the paper with dates and advised him he may be remanded into custody.

He failed to show up for his preliminary hearing o June 17 and a bench warrant was issued with bail set at $30,000. He also failed to appear for his intervention but then showed up on June 8 for a warrant surrender. Judge Miles stated this in court this afternoon.

He did show up today. And both the DA and Judge Marilyn Miles gave him one more chance.

"Given that he signed up for warrant surrender  a day after he failed to show up for the preliminary hearing, we will give him one more chance," said Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo.

Judge Miles sternly admonished Noriega, "If it is not important enough for you to remember dates, next you fail to appear, you will be in jail."

Noriega waived time and Intervention was set for August 4 at 3 p.m.; Preliminary hearing for August 12 at 8:30 a.m.

Previous posts:

Jun 17, 2015

Suspect charged with embezzlement against Murphy's market fails to show up for court after warrant recalled the last time

Michael Noriega failed to show up for court a second time. Today, it was for his preliminary hearing scheduled at 8:30 a.m. Judge John Feeney called his case again at 9:20 and Noriega was still a no show, nor did he contact his attorney Mr. Casey Russo. DDA Jackie Pizzo asked for a bench wareant which was issued. Bail was set at $30,000.

Jun 8, 2015

Murphy's market grand theft embezzlement suspect not remanded on warrant surrender, preliminary date remains June 17

A disposition and reset hearing was scheduled today at 2 p.m. for Michael Noriega in Courtroom 2. There was a warrant held for Noriega because he failed to appear at the last court hearing. However, he was not remanded into custody. The preliminary hearing date "remained set." Mr. Casey Russo from the Public Defender's Office is representing Noriega. DDA Whitney Barnes was in court for the People. She told Judge Marilyn Miles the estimate is an "hour and half."

Previous post:

Jun 4, 2015

Man charged with grand theft embezzlement of Murphy's Market is also charged with possession of heroin

A disposition and rest hearing is scheduled for June 8 at 2 p.m. and a preliminary examination for June 17 for Michael Joseph Noriega, who is charged with allegedly embezzling money from Murphy's Market.

Count 1 is Grand theft embezzlement, a felony and Count 2 is possession of a controlled substance, heroin. Noriega is represented by the Public Defender's office.

This just in, defense stay for Benjamin Carter trial denied by appellate court

I just got this notification from the Appellate court regarding the Benjamin Carter case. There was a post yesterday about the Carter case with extensive links and exclusive coverage on this case for background.

From Mr. Acosta:

"We have already confirmed the jury trial date of July 6, 2015 and continue our trial preparations. Concurrenty. Mr. Carter and I will be weighing the benefits versus opportunity costs of a pre-trial petition for review by the California Supreme Court before.  Because trial is so close, it may be prudent in theory to reserve those issues for a direct appeal post-trial; however, Mr. Carter should be acquitted of the remaining felon in possession charge, as 1) the prosecution has already conceded that he acted in self-defense and/or defense of others, and, 2) per People v. King  22 Cal 3d. 12 (1978), if anything, including a felon momentarily possessing a firearm, is necessary to save one's life or the life of another human being, then the necessity doctrine says its not illegal. "

Disposition date (YYYY-MM-DD):          2015-06-25
Disposition description:                        Petition summarily denied by order
Disposition status as of 2015-06-25:    Final

The request for a stay of trial is denied.

        The petition for writ of mandate, prohibition, or other appropriate relief is denied.

(Justices Reardon, Rivera, and Streeter joined in the decision.)

For more information on this case, go to:

For opinions, go to the following web site:http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions-slip.htm
Court of Appeal opinions are generally available on the web site by 5 p.m. on the disposition date.

Phoenix Campbell jury sends Judge note for readback of testimony

Closing arguments concluded this morning at 10 and the Phoenix Campbell jury sent Judge Miles a note around 11:30 for readback of victim's testimony.

I have not posted closing arguments because the trial was short but I will, most likely the verdict.

Today, Campbell's attorney Ms.  Meagan O' Connell talked at length about reasonable doubt, lack of evidence and self defense and the alleged victims' testimony. The prosecution presented a rebuttal and equally convincing rebuttal.

Judge Miles opened the courtroom to read the note from the jury. Today, only myself, two Deputy District attorneys and Campbell's mom were in court. She is here to support him.

Have coffee with an Arcata cop at the Farmer's Market

Arcata Police Department to host Coffee with a Cop on
June 27th, 2015
Program offers opportunity to meet local officers and discuss community issues

Arcata-On June 27th, 2015 officers from Arcata Police Department and community members will come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships, and drink coffee.

All community members are invited to attend. The event is from11:00am to 2:00pm on June 27th at the Arcata Farmer's Market.

Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department's work in City of Arcata neighborhoods.

The majority of contacts law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies, or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community, and some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.

We hope that community members will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns, or simply get to know our officers.  These interactions are the foundation of community partnerships.  Similar events are being held across the county, as local police departments strive to make lasting connections with the communities they serve.

Suspicious death investigaton for man who died at Devil's playground

On June 24, 2015 at 2053 hours, the Eureka Police Department received a cellular call from the marsh area, commonly referred to as the Devil’s Playground, that a man in his 40’s was unconscious needed medical attention. Officers were sent along with medical personnel. Officers located an unresponsive man and immediately began CPR.  The man was transported to Saint Joseph Hospital where he received medical treatment.  The man, who has yet to be identified, was pronounced deceased by hospital staff.

Due to the circumstance surrounding his death, investigators were called and began a suspicious death investigation.  Several people were interviewed in order to gain a full understanding of the events that took place leading to the man’s death.  An autopsy will be scheduled by the Coroner to determine the cause of death.

EPD Update:

The Humboldt County Coroner’s Office has released the identity of the man who was found
 un-responsive in the green belt area north of the Bay Shore Mall on the evening of 6/24/15.
The decedent’s name is Kenneth Lee Eldeen. His next of kin have been notified by the Coroner’s Office.
The circumstances surrounding this un-attended death are still under investigation.

Jun 24, 2015

"You don't want to get stabbed"; "You don't want to mess"

Officer Joshua Phinney, the third witness for the People this morning testified very briefly. Phoenix Campbell's attorney did not ask him any questions.  Officer Phinney identified Campbell, the defendant and Deputy District Attorney Rees had Officer Phinney describe what happened when he responded to a 911 call, which Officer Phinney said was "regarding people assaulting each other."

DDA Rees asked if he found anything on "his (Campbell's) person". Officer Phinney saida knife and that it was in his right front pocket with the blade, less than an inch sticking out of his pocket." It was with the tip of that blade that he pulled the knife out. There was no clicking sound and he placed it on the hood of his place car until he handed it to Officer Kasinger, who testified yesterday, he put it into an evidence bag.

The second victim, William Hardnick testified today. Unlike the first victim, he was detailed, consistent. He was credible but he had a bit of youthful attitude, asking both DDA Rees and Ms. O' Connell questions such as "is this relevant?" and giving opinions. At one point, he turned to the jury and said, "I know you guys think smoking marijuana is bad, it's not." After a few gentle warnings, Judge Marilyn Miles sternly reminded him about rules in court and then he, as he would probably say,  "chilled" and behaved.

Hansen yesterday did not refer to Campbell by name. Although Hardnick testified that he also met the defendant for the first time on the day of the incident, he referred to him as Phoenix. Mr. Rees asked if he recognized anyone in court.

"I know Phoenix," said Hardnick. "He tried to steal my friend's vaporizer and almost tried to stab him."

Hardnick said that at first, he was friendlt to Campbell. He also described the cement block he was sitting on and he said Campbell was walking in his direction from the train tracks with a "bottle of peppermint schnapps." He said hi to Campbell who then came over to where he was and "Eli showed up, he was supposed to meet up with me. Phoenix asked to use the vaporizer, puffed once or twice. Eli asked for it back. Eli put his hand out. Phoenix did not respond. He pulled the vaporizer back and eventually pulled a knife out." Hardnick did not see Campbell when Campbell pulled the knife out, he said.

"He was holding the vap in one hand and the knife in another. I believe his exact words were and he said several things, 'You don't want to get stabbed'; 'You don't want to mess'. Eli said, 'C'mon dude."

DDA Rees: "When you saw this happen, what did you do?

Hardnick: "Nothing at first, when Eli started chasing him, I grabbed my skateboard and chased him."

DDA Rees: "Were you afraid?"

Hardnick: "Not afraid; pissed he was stealing my friend's $200 vaporizer. I picked up my skateboard and told him he did not want to get smacked."

"We told bystanders to call the police and he said we were chasing him for no reason," said Hardnick. He said at some point Campbell threw the bottle of schnapps on the ground and when they got to Alliance Road, he started throwing up.

Hardnick then described how they both dove for the knife on the ground at the same time, adding a couple of details to Hansen's testimony. "He was not trying to hit me, he released the knife in my direction. I didn't want him to pick it up. Initially, I was going to hit him with my skateboard but I was afraid I would get charged with assault so I out it up to protect myself. I was very scared I would get stabbed." In the struggle for the knife, Hardnick said Campbell was on top of him until "Eli pulled him off" confirming what Hansen said. Less than a minute later, the police arrived.

Hardnick told DDA Rees in response to a question whether he had ever been in trouble. He has never been arrested and the only "trouble" he mentioned was : being suspended and then expelled from Arcata High School for smoking marijuana."

He added he was smoking marijuana before the incident occurred and so was Campbell. That is when he made the off the cuff remark about marijuana to the jury.

Benjamin Carter dates,remain set, defense offer made for upper term

Trial confirmation was scheduled this afternoon in Courtroom 1 for Benjamin Carter.

Defense offer at time of trial confirmation was to stipulate to the upper term and to  "strike prior strike",and "to serve 3 years at fifty percent" Mr. Michael Acosta told me outside court. Mr. Acosta is representing Carter.

Both parties confirmed for trial. DDA Roger Rees said People's offer remains the same.

If you read the previous links, the People's offer is pleading to the gun charge and admitting to the strike.

Jury Trial on July 6 at 8:30 a.m., Trial Assignment is 8:30 a.m. on July 2 and Trial Readiness is July 1 at 2 p.m.

Ryan Burns from LOCO was in court.

Jun 1, 2015

Benjamin Carter dates remain set

Courtroom 1
Judge John Feeney
People: DDA Roger Rees
Defense: Mr. Michael Acosta
Pre-trial conference today

Dates remain set. The only change seems that DDA Roger Rees is prosecuting the case now instead of DDA Andrew Isaac.

Read this morning's post, with extensive background and context, for background. Click on the link or scroll down.


Previous posts (with links to other posts and coverage):


Miss Hoopa charged with alleged sexual abuse of female minor finally retains two private attorneys

Mr. Ben McLaughlin confirmed as counsel for Kayla Brown this afternoon. Rebecca Linkous, also appeared for Brown as co-counsel. Mr. McLaughlin not in court and Ms. Linkous appeared "generally" on his behalf.

Kayla Brown is the former Miss Hoopa charged with alleged sexual abuse of a female minor.

Her preliminary hearing has been on hold since Mr. Jeffrey Schwartz declared conflict. Then her family paid Mr. McLaughlin for two special appearances. 

Victim's family was in court. Brown's family was not in court this afternoon, most likely due to Ms. Linkous stating that  Kayla Brown was "under doctor's care of with a serious condition" and after Judge John Feeney denied the defense request for a 30 day trial setting, she said that they may need to continue preliminary because Brown may not be available for the preliminary hearing. Defense plans to hire an investigator and said they wanted 30 days for trial setting due to more discovery they anticipate from the People.

"Due to no fault of yours," Judge Feeney said to Ms. Linkous, "the case has been continued quite a few times."

Defense request for trial setting was denied after DDA Brie Bennett said that the victim's family was getting frustrated with case being continued. The People objected to the trial setting date in 30 days and instead asked that dates be set for a Preliminary hearing. 

Preliminary hearing on August 12.Intervention on July 22. 

Discovery issues were cited by defense. Ms. Bennett said the People plan to meet with the defense before intervention to make sure discovery is complete and to make sure they received all the discovery that the People had given Mr. Schwartz.

Ryan Burns from LOCO was in court.

May 29, 2015

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:


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. 

Previous posts:


Names of recent marijuana raids will not be released, yet

Investigation in the recent multi-site raid, conducted by members of the Humboldt, Trinity and Mendocino county sheriff’s offices, continues. Investigation is ongoing and no names will be released yet, according to HCSO Lt. Wayne Hanso, until investigation is complete.

"We are still executing search warrants," said Lt. Hanson.

The Mendocino Sherrif's office is handling press for the case. No comment from them, yet, today.

Arcata plaza stabbing suspect accepts plea, kisses her younger boo in celebration

Just spoke with Arcata Plaza stabbing suspect Vicoria Clark's lawyer, Mr. Kaleb Cockrum. She accepted a plea this morning in front of Judge John Feeney

She was kissing her younger boo in the hallway, frequently booked  David Dues.

details later..full court day today.

Read link below for background and details.


People rest, defense presents no witnesses, closing arguments today and Campbell case goes to jury

The two witnesses today, Officer Joshua Phinney and the second victim William Hardwick testified for the People. The defense did not ask Officer Phinney any questions, briefly questioned Hardwick and presented no witnesses.

Both the People's witnesses were credible with the exception of Hardwick's youthful bravado in court.

Jury instructions and closing argument by DDA Roger Rees took  place after break today. Defense closing argument tomorrow and the case will go to the jury tomorrow morning.

Rio dell police officer Harralson posted bail, hires private attorney, case moved Courtroom 5, jury trial anticipated

Rio Dell police officer posted bail, was out of custody and has retained private attorney Mr. Michael Robinson to represent him.

He was dressed in blue slacks and black pants for court. He had posted bail. People did not serve him with a protective order. His attorney asked the case be moved from Courtroom 3, early resolution to Courtroom 5, home court for a disposition and reset on August 26.

Mr. Robinson said they anticipate a jury trial. Only KAEF TV and I were in court. Channel 3 showed up later in Courtroom 2 looking for this case, where I was covering the Phoenix Campbell-Loya jury trial.

Mr. Robinson said his client waives time, because there is an extensive discovery, he requested the disposition and reset hearing in 60 days, said he anticipates motions and a jury trial.

Mr. Robinson requested the case be moved out of early resolution court and be moved to the home court. The defense also stipulated to a CAST agreement.

The victim was not present but victim witness representative was in court.

DDA Kelly Neel filed the complaint and is the prosecutor on the case.

Jun 23, 2015

Both defense and prosecution duel well in Campbell trial; defense makes dent in victim's credibility

If this was a duel, both DDA Roger Rees and Ms. O'Connell, who represents Phoenix Campbell did well.
The People's second witness, APD Officer Jeremiah Kasinger was solid.

However, Ms. O'Connell did make some dents Elijah Hansen's credibility. Depending on who the People call tomorrow, if Hansen is the only victim to testify, Count 1 is shaky based on today. On cross, Ms. O'Connell made her case that this could be Campbell acting in self-defense.

She started by asking Hansen if he gave a statement to anyone else besides the police officers. He responded, "No."

"You told officers Mr. Campbell approached you and Mr. Hardnick, not that he was already there." She also brought up that minutes ago he testified Campbell was sitting there.

Hansen clarified but his response and other responses did raise doubts about his testimony and credibility. 

"You told officers Mr. Campbell had a container of alcohol but you didn't testify to that today?" Ms. O'Connell asked Hansen.


She asked him how much he weighed on the day of the incident. Hansen said "190."

Ms. O' Conell asked Hansen if he met Campbell before and he said, "I don't think so."

On cross, Hansen verified Isiah had his skateboard while chasing Campbell. A point Ms. O'Connell made during opening.

Ms. O'Connell asked Hansen that after Campbell threw the knife on the ground, he did not dive for it until Isiah dove for it. Hansen responded "Correct." He gave the same response when she asked him that he did not see who picked up the knife.

"When you gave statement to the police, you did not tell them about the physical fight between Isiah and Mr. Campbell," said Ms. O'Connell.


"You didn't suffer any injuries?"


On redirect, Mr. Rees asked Hansen a question and he reiterated he was afraid for Isiah's safety. Hansen also told DDA Rees that Campbell "smelled of alcohol" and Campbell was drinking from a container. Hansen said events were "fresher" in his mind right after the incident compared to this morning.

DDA Rees showed the jury photos of the e ciggarette and wooden board.

Officer Jeremiah Kasinger said when he responded to a call and arrived on the scene, he saw "two males chasing another on Alliance" from "Foster Avenue". Traffic was pulling out of the way. They were running into the middle of the street.

Initially, he was alone. Then Officer Joshua Finney arrived. Officer Kasinger said he was standing with Officer Finney who asked Campbell if he had any weapons. "He pointed to his right front pocket and removed knife" which was put in an evidence bag. He described the knife as a "camouflaged knife with locking blade" and opened the bag containing the knife in court this morning.

Officer Kasinger searched Campbell and found the e-ciggarette. He advised Campbell of his Miranda Rights. Did not find any weapons on Hansen or Hardnick. Hansen showed him the wooden post. Officer Kasinger did not ticket for minors in possession of vaping device and took Hansen and Hardnick back to school.

"I was letting Isiah hit it" ; "I will shank you bro"

The first witness for the People today was Elijah Hansen, one of the alleged victims in the stabbing near the Arcata Community Center last year.

When he walked into the courtroom, you could see his youth, looked just like a kid in high school. He was 17 at the time of the incident.

The defendant, Phoenix Campbell glared as Hansen walked to the witness stand and stared at him while he testified.

DDA Roger Rees asked him, "Have you been attacked by a knife?"

"Yes," answered Hansen.

Most of his answers to DDA Rees were monosyllabic.

He identified Campbell, said he was attacked "somewhere in December" at Shay Park on December 3, 2014.

DDA Roger Rees, "Are you nervous?

Hansen: "Yes"

He mentioned Isiah and in response to a clarification by Mr. Rees, Hansen said Isiah also went by William. This is the second alleged victim William Hardnick.

"I was chillin with some people," said Hansen, at a spot by the creek, from where he usually takes the bus.

DDA Rees: "What were you doing?"

"I know I am underage but I was vaping," responded Hansen. He said a friend bought him a $200 e-ciggarette for his birthday.

Hansen said "Isiah was sitting" with Campbell. "I gave Isiah a hi-five" and he met Campbell for the first time. "Then
everything went downhill from there."

"I was letting Isiah hit it," said Hansen. "I believe I offered it to him (Campbell). He grabbed it and started walking off. He had a knife in his hand.

DDA Rees, " After the defendant took it, what did the defendant do?"

"Grabbed his stuff, walked away, pulled a knife." Hansen said he asked for his e-ciggarette and Campbell responded, "I will shank you bro."

"If he was threatening to shank you, why did you approach him?" asked Mr. Rees.

"I don't know," said Hansen. "I was scared at first. Then he threw stuff down and started to run."

"Isiah was chasing him with me," said Hansen. He said they chased Campbell for five minutes. Hansen said he stopped a couple of cars and asked them to call the police.

Hansen said he "broke off a piece of wood from the fence and then threw it to the side." He said he did this to protect himself.

Hansen said Campbell threw the knife down on Alliance street and "Isiah tried to dive for it, he (Campbell) also tried to dive for it." There was a struggle. Hansen said he pulled Campbell off "Isiah". He said he "did not remember exactly" who got the knife or whether Campbell slashed him.

Mr. Rees showed him a report "to refresh his memory." Hansen said Campbell swung at him after he "pulled him off Isiah."

"Are you tired right now?" asked DDA Rees.

"Yes," said Hansen.

"Is this a time you are not normally awake?"

"Yeah," said Hansen.

A month later in January 2015, Hansen said he got his vape-pen from APD.

Hansen told DDA Rees he did not get cut with the knife and that initially when Campbell had the knife out, he was afraid for his safety and "a little" while chasing Campbell but he was "more worried about Isiah then myself."

There was no one in the courtroom except for the jury, the court staff, the attorneys, the Judge,  three new DDAs and myself. From a few minutes, the a woman who attended the Ferrer trial was there. She had texted during that trial. I thought it was odd she was at this trial too. She arrived some time after my initial post this morning. I looked over a few,times because she had her cell phone out and eventually she left.

"As jurors your job is to see if the facts fit with the crime"; "The evidence in this case will not be enough to show Mr. Campbell committed this crime."

"This is my chance to tell you what the evidence will show," said Deputy District Attorney Roger Rees to the 12 member jury and 2 alternates this morning in Courtroom 2. "On a Wednesday afternoon last December, Eli and Bill are hanging out in Shay Park." They were smoking an electronic ciggarette.

"The defendant approaches them and asks them if he can take a hit. The defendant takes a puff, then puts it in his pocket and Eli says, 'Please give my pen back.' The defendant does not give the pen back, takes a knife out and stabs Eli and takes off running. Eli chases him and the defendant the takes a slash at him. Eli tries to defend himself with a fence board. Officer Kasinger shows up, finds pen, knife" on the defendant.

"That's it, that's the case." DDA Rees concluded his brief opening statement.

Phoenix Campbell-Loya's Public Defender, Ms. Meagan O' Connell started her remarks with, "You have already heard what Mr. Campbell has been charged with, assault with a deadly weapon and carrying a concealed dirk/dagger."

"As jurors your job is to see if the facts fit with the crime," said Ms. O'Connell. "As the Judge has told you, she will instruct you on the law. All elements of the crime need to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. "The evidence in this case will not be enough to show Mr. Campbell committed this crime."

"Elijah Hansen, William Hardnick and Phoenix Campbell are in Shay Park smoking an e-ciggarette. It is illegal for people under 18 to purchase an e-ciggarette. The victims were 17 at the time of the crime. According to the teens, Mr. Campbell approached them and allegedly brought alcohol. The teens gave the e-ciggarette to Mr. Campbell, he walked away and took the vape pen with him. I don't know what language was used. It has been said, "Please." Elijah confronted Mr. Campbell."

"Mr. Campbell was some distance away from the teens, saw them coming at him,pulled a knife out of his pocket to keep them away. Elijah charges against Mr. Campbell demanding pen back. Mr. Campbell ran away. What did William do? He told police officer he too confronted Mr. Campbell and hit him with his skateboard. The one he tried to "block" him with. They chase him. Elijah breaks a board from a fence and they chase him from Shay Park onto Alliance. Mr. Campbell while running drops knife, only to defend himself from someone who is approaching him with a large piece of wood. Police arrive. All three cooperate. Mr. Campbell tells them he has a knife. "

"At the end of this case, when you have heard all the evidence, I will ask you if the facts of the case fit the crime. The facts of the case don't fit the crime. I will ask you to return with a not guilty verdict.

I posted the charges and did a post earlier today with the press release. Scroll down or click on this link: http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/06/opening-arguments-start-in-alleged.html

It's time for the weekly, let me fire my lawyer again Jeremy Kish show; evaluation rules him competent to stand trial, for now

A report from Dr. Ramirez was due this afternoon at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 2 regarding Jeremy Kish, the arson suspect for the crime committed at the former Alliance Market location in Arcata.

Dr. Ramirez's report basically ruled him competent to stand trial. Still in administrative segregation, dressed in red, chained with face and mouth covered with masks, Kish has requested another Marsden hearing. Third time he has tried to fire his court appointed lawyer. That hearing will be held in a closed courtroom so I will update later today or tomorrow.

He has another case  in which a protective order in court was served on him for a confidential male victim. The charges are Sodomy by use of force and Forcible oral copulation in that case.

On June 9, he committed assault in custody just to get on the court calendar and tried to fire his court appointed lawyer, again.

Last post:

Jun 11, 2015

Arcata Alliance Market arson suspect fired by his attorney, just kidding! Competency to stand trial declared for Jeremy Kish

If you have been following the saga of Jeremy Kish on my blog, you will get the joke in the headline. Today, a preliminary hearing was scheduled for five recent cases, including the alleged arson committed by Kish at the former Alliance Market location in Arcata.

An additional bailiff stood by Kish who is still dressed in red which means "adminstrative segregation" and still has a face and mouth mask with his hands bound by chains. This morning, he was escorted by three correctional officers who stayed in court and took him back to custody.

Kish has tried to fire his court appointed lawyer, Conflict Counsel's Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis twice. This morning, Mr. Elvine-Kreis told Visiting Judge Dennis Buckley that he was "declaring doubt as to his client's present competency."

Judge Buckley suspended proceedings on all files and Dr. Ramirez has been appointed to submit a report on Kish's competence. That report is due on June 23 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 2.

Besides his dramatic entrance, Kish could not let the proceeding go by without blurting something and making yet another false accusation that is later disproved. "Can I say something?", he asked the Judge. Then he told Judge Buckley, "Can you order my lawyer to come see me and talk to me? Mr. Elvine-Kreis whispered, "I have come to see you" and privately spoke with Kish. Kish babbled on and on talking with his lawyer and was very polite, just minutes after he complained about his lawyer. Maybe he wanted an update on his dog, instead of his case. Again, a joke you will have to read the previous links to appreciate. As he was being led away, he turned to Ms. Lesa Christensen, one of the three officers escorting him and said, "Are you still mad at me?"

With Kish, I am sure we will see him back in court before June 23.

In California, Competency to Stand Trial is also known as California Penal Code 1368 PC. According to the Wallin and Klarich law firm's blog, "When doubt is declared concerning a defendant’s competence, all criminal proceedings are suspended until there has been a determination on the defendant’s competence. The court is bound under Penal Code §1368(c) to suspend criminal proceedings until the defendant is determined to be competent. When the criminal proceedings are stopped, all time limitations are suspended as well."

"Though the criminal proceedings have halted, there exist exceptions. In the pending determination of the defendant’s competence, the court is still able to rule on motions to dismiss (including motions made under Penal Code §1385), motions to suppress evidence and demurrers. Additionally, preliminary hearing can be conducted as allowed by Penal Code §1368.1."

DDA Zach Curtis was present for the People in Courtroom 5 today.

Previous post link (includes all past links):


Jun 9, 2015

Arcata Alliance Market arson suspect pulls another stunt and commits assault while in custody so he can get into court so he could fire his court appointed lawyer again!

First he is charged with arson of the former Alliance Market store in Arcata, resisting and delaying and obstructing an officer while the office is on duty, assault on a custodial officer, battery by gassing a peace officer in the detention facility and criminal threats.

Then he is charged in another case with sodomy by force and oral copulation of a male victim. My first post has other charges in his past.

He has claimed he was denied food and water, then in another hearing he wanted to fire his lawyer because Kish thought his lawyer wasn't doing enough about his dog. Today, he claimed that the jail denied him writing a letter to court and another Marsden hearing and he had to commit a felony just to get on calendar!

He spits on the correctional officers and has to wear a mask covering his face and mouth. He tries to fire his lawyer at the last hearing and today, he racks up another charge just to get into court and tries to fire his court appointed lawyer again!

Jeremy Kish was arraigned in Courtroom 5 today for 243.9. (a):

243.9.  (a) Every person confined in any local detention facility
who commits a battery by gassing upon the person of any peace
officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of
Title 3 of Part 2, or employee of the local detention facility is
guilty of aggravated battery and shall be punished by imprisonment in
a county jail or by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three,
or four years.
"Gassing" means intentionally
placing or throwing, or causing to be placed or thrown, upon the
person of another, any human excrement or other bodily fluids or
bodily substances or any mixture containing human excrement or other
bodily fluids or bodily substances that results in actual contact
with the person's skin or membranes.

Visiting Judge Dennis Buckley appointed Conflict Counsel. This is the office representing Kish on his other cases but being a different courtroom, Mr. Marek Reavis was handling those cases. As he tried to accept appointment and enter not guilty pleas on behalf of Kish, which is standard procedure; Kish yelled, "I would like to fire Conflict Counsel!" He told the Judge that he tried to fire his lawyer and that "if you appoint Conflict Counsel, I will plead guilty!"

As they tried to complete arraignment, Kish kept yelling, "No, I plead guilty! He is not my attorney!"
He kept interrupting the Judge and his own attorney who tried to explain to him that it was not in his best interests to keep yelling and he countered, "I have a right to fire my own counsel!" And kept saying he would keep committing acts that would bring him back to court and he wanted a Marsden hearing. He also wanted the Judge to appoint him a Public Defender. The Judge granted him a Marsden hearing on June 11 to review appointment of counsel.

Previous links:


Rio Dell police officer charged with battery on his child's mother and exhibiting a firearm, arraignment tomorrow

Kevin Harralson, the Rio Dell officer that was arrested will be arraigned tomorrow morning in Courtroom 3. He is charged with two counts of battery on the mother of his child PC 243 (e) (1) and one count of exhibiting a firearm, PC 447 (a) (2).

Harralson is charged in Counts 1 and 2 with PC 243 (e) (1), a misdemeanor. PC 273.5. corporal injury on a spouse, cohabitant or fellow parent is a felony.

DDA Kelly Neel filed the arraignment complaint.

From the Shouse Law firm site:

Under California's domestic battery law, Penal Code 243(e)(1) PC, the legal definition of domestic battery is any willful and unlawful touching that is harmful or offensive—and is committed against
  1. the defendant's spouse or former spouse,
  2. the defendant's cohabitant or former cohabitant,
  3. the defendant's fiancé(e) or former fiancé(e),
  4. a person with whom the defendant has or used to have a dating relationship, or
  5. the father or mother of the defendant's child.2
A defendant can be convicted of domestic battery (sometimes known as “spousal battery”) even if the “victim” is not injured in any way. All that's required is that the defendant use “force” or “violence” against him/her.
This distinguishes domestic battery from the related domestic violence offense of corporal injury on a spouse, cohabitant, or fellow parent—which requires that the victim suffer some form of physical injury.

Jun 5, 2015

Rio Dell police officer arrested for battery on cohabitant

On 06-05-15, Humboldt County District Attorney Investigators arrested Kevin Harralson for two counts of PC243(e)(1) – Battery upon a cohabitant, and one count of PC417(a)(2) – Exhibiting a firearm.  Harralson, a police officer for the City of Rio Dell, was taken into custody without incident and with the cooperation of the Rio Dell Police Department .  He was booked at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where bail was set at $100,000.00. The arrest was the result of an ongoing investigation by the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office regarding incidents in August 2014 and March 2015.  Inquiries should be directed to District Attorney Maggie Fleming at 707-445-7411.

California Cannabis Voice Humboldt Members to speak during public comment about marijuana raids yesterday

I had  to cover few court cases this afternoon so I was not be able to stay for entire public comment section regarding the .

California Cannabis Voice Humboldt members will be speaking about the Island Mountain marijuana raids yesterday as well as other cannabis related issues scheduled for this afternoon such as cannabis dispensing facilities.

Luke Bruner, a CCVH board member and also representing the California Cannabis Industry association was one of the speakers during public comment. Bruner is definitely a better spokesperson than someone like Thomas Edrington who has spoken for CCVH in the past at the Board of Supervisors and read LOCO's post by Ryan Burns on these recent raids for more of Edrington's comments.

"We are in a real sense in the driving seat regarding cannabis," said Bruner. He mentioned state legislation that cannabis activists are working on, including Ab 266, which he said would "authorize cities and countiues to levy taxes on cannabis".  Bruner mentioned State Senator Mike McGuire and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom's visit to Humboldt and California State Assembly member Fiona Ma among other politicians courting the cannabis community. Bruner said these prominent members "see opportunities for taxes and public safety."

Bruner said three hundred people gathered in Garberville, all raised their hands, when asked who wanted to pay taxes for cannabis.

Saroj Gilbert was another speaker. She was more vocal. Saying that she lives in an unincorporated area of Humboldt, "I am here to protest raids on California farmers."

"The raids always occur at this time of the year," said Gilbert. "Now there is the new excuse, environment and water issues." She said CCVH and others like them are willing to be regulated.
Gilbert asked the Board of Supervisors "to honor the cannabis culture."

Homeless woman in Arcata victim of domestc violence

On 06-22-2015 at 8:50 p.m. a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office contacted a 39 year old female victim of an assault in Arcata. The victim told the deputy she was assaulted by her boyfriend, 35 year old, Adam William Loomis. The victim said that she is homeless and was living on the river bar behind the Eureka Ready Mix off Boyd Road, Arcata with Loomis.
The victim said she was drinking whiskey at their camp site with Loomis on the river bar when for unknown reasons, Loomis became angry at her. The victim said Loomis picked up a large rock and struck her numerous times in the head with the rock. The victim said she was able to run away from Loomis and called for help. The victim was transported to a local hospital by ambulance where she is being treated for her injuries. The victim’s injuries are not believed to be life threating.
Deputies were able to locate Loomis a short time later in a camp site on the river bar. Loomis was taken into custody without incident. Loomis was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility in Eureka. Loomis was booked for attempted murder and domestic violence. Loomis’s bail was set at $500,000 dollars.

Opening arguments start in alleged fight and stabbing incident at the Arcata Community Center

Another case that made the headlines and will this be the final chapter?

No other media is here or aware that this case is starting today and I will have detailed daily coverage of this trial if this case is of interest to you.

Jury selection was completed yesterday and opening arguments are starting in minutes this morning for the jury trial for Phoenix Campbell-Loya in Courtroom 2. 

DDA Roger Rees is prosecuting the case, Ms. Meagan O' Connell from the Public Defender's office is representing Campbell-Loya and Judge Marilyn Miles will be the trial judge.

The charges for this jury trial are Count 1 assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm and Count 2 carrying a concealed dirk and dagger. The alleged victims are Elijah Hansen and William Hardnick.

There are only two witnesses for the People and depending on the defense's case, this will be a short trial. At the end of the today's court session, the People are calling another witness.

Between the preliminary hearing and jury trial, defense requested an evaluation to see if Campbell-Loya was competent to stand trial. That delays the process until the report is completed.

Campbell-Loya was held to answer after the preliminary hearing in 2014 for the charges in this incident. The preliminary hearing charges were Count 1 assault likely to produce great bodily injury, Count 2 False imprisonment and Count 3 battery.

He has two previous convictions, one for carrying a concealed dirk and dagger and one for assault and battery to which he plead guilty.

In court today, Campbell-Loya was dressed in a white shirt and black pants and now has longer sideburns and a goatee.

Arcata Police Department Press Release:
On 11/16/2013 at about 10:00 pm, the Arcata Police Department responded to the Arcata Community Center for a report of a fight and possible stabbing. 
Upon arrival, officers learned that two males and a female had been involved in a physical fight near the entrance to the Community Center where a Too Short concert was occurring.  Event security responded and separated the parties. One of the involved males reported he had been stabbed. The other involved male fled and was pursued by security. When one of the security officers attempted to detain the fleeing man, the man stabbed the security officer in the neck with a knife. Other security officers responded and were able to detain the man until the arrival of police. 
The suspect was taken into custody without further incident. The security officer was treated and released at a local hospital. The other involved male left the scene prior to officers arrival but later contacted police and declined any assistance from law enforcement. While he reported he had been injured during the altercation, he also declined medical assistance. 
Phoenix Campbell-Loya, 19 of Arcata, was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for a violation of 245(a)(1) PC, Assault with a Deadly Weapon.