Jul 4, 2015

Beer, Ya-Habibi belly dancing at the Gazebo, Chinese food, Greek food, Scottish food, fireworks, and red, white and blue worn proudly! An Old Town Eureka/California kind of 4th of July

Beer, Ya-Habibi belly dancing at the Gazebo, Chinese food, Greek food, Scottish food, fireworks, and red, white and blue worn proudly! An Old Town Eureka/California kind of 4th of July.

Happy 4th of July!

Jul 3, 2015

Three suspects, three stolen vehicles, three locations

On the morning of 07/03/15, at approximately 0757 hours, a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Deputy was on patrol in the Loleta area, when he observed a stolen vehicle parked in front of a residence in the 100 block of Bayview Drive. HCSO Deputies responded to the residence, where 31 year old Loleta resident Jeremiah Johnson, was contacted and arrested for possession of the stolen vehicle. The vehicle was recovered and towed from the scene. Jeremiah Johnson was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility (HCCF) for booking.

At approximately 1356 hours, a suspicious vehicle in the 30000 block of Hwy 254 was phoned in to the HCSO dispatch center. Upon arrival, Deputies determined the vehicle was stolen and had been painted and “cold plated”, which means the wrong license plates had been affixed to it. The vehicle was recovered and towed from the scene. HCSO Deputies continued with follow up investigation throughout the day, and developed, 30 year old Eureka resident Kenneth Burns, as the suspect.

At approximately 1418 hours, HCSO Deputies noticed a suspicious vehicle in the 400 block of Maple Lane in Garberville, which was possibly related to a separate investigation. HCSO Deputies contacted the female occupant of the vehicle, and simultaneously determined the vehicle was reported stolen. HCSO Deputies arrested the sole female occupant, 42 year old Redway resident Aronis Waters, for possession of the stolen vehicle, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of controlled substance paraphernalia. The vehicle was recovered and towed from the scene. Aronis Waters was transported to the HCCF for booking.

At approximately 1745 hours, HCSO Deputies responded to the 3800 block of “F” Street in Eureka, and arrested Kenneth Burns for possession of the stolen vehicle. Kenneth Burns was transported to the HCCF for booking.

Jury selection starts for man charged with recurring sexual acts with minor female child with whom he shared a home

Jury selection just started late last week  in Courtroom 4 for a case against John Kufner who is charged with recurring sexual conduct, PC 288.5 (a). The complaint alleges that there was "continuous sexual abuse" and that Kufner "engaged in three or more lewd or lascivious acts with Jane Doe, a child under 14 years". According to the complaint, he resided with and recurring access to the child.

Deputy District Attorney Zach Curtis is prosecuting the case. Mr. Casey Russo from the Public Defender's office has been appointed to represent Kufner.

Man accused of "willfully and unlawfully inflicting cruel and inhuman corporal and injury resulting in a traumatic condition" to John Doe smiles in court like he was on a social outing

Michael Pratowski smiled as he sat in court and seemed rather nonchalant as Judge Marilyn Miles read the charge against him which is Penal Code 273 (d). The arraignment took place on July 2. Pratowski made bail. He sat in court talking with his attorney, Ms. Kathleen Bryson, before his case was called as if he was out on a social call.

An emergency protective order had already been served on Pratowski and a CLETS protective order will be served on him in court on July 6. Judge Miles informed Pratowski he had to be in court on July 6, even though his attorney had filed a 977 form.

Pratowski is charged with "willfully and unlawfully inflicting cruel and inhuman corporal and injury resulting in a traumatic condition" to John Doe.

Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo is prosecuting the case.

An intervention hearing is scheduled for September 10. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for September 16.

From leginfo.ca.gov:

273d.Any person who willfully inflicts upon a child any cruel
or inhuman corporal punishment or an injury resulting in a traumatic
condition is guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment
pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for two, four, or six
years, or in a county jail for not more than one year, by a fine of
up to six thousand dollars ($6,000), or by both that imprisonment and

Public hearing on GPU at the Mateel

From Humboldt County website:

On Monday, July 13, 2015, at 11:00 am or as soon thereafter as the matter can be heard, the Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the Humboldt County General Plan Update - Planning Commission reviewed Draft Plan (Draft Plan).  The purpose of this meeting is to discuss and deliberate on the above listed topic.  The hearing will be held at the Mateel Center, 59 Rusk Lane, Redway California (wheelchair access is available).  A sign-up list for speakers will be provided at the venue for those persons wishing to present public testimony on the Draft Plan. The sign-up list will be available prior to hearing at 10:45 a.m. on the day of the hearing.

The Draft Plan, supporting documents and a schedule of the proposed hearing dates for the Draft Plan are available at theHumboldt County Planning Division’s website, and at the Planning and Building Department located at 3015 H Street, Eureka, California. Copies of the staff report and other meeting materials will be available at the Board of Supervisors website.

"Things escalated at the spur of the moment when the decedent called my client a white boy"

"I don't find any evidence under any theory" or "I don't find any evidence under any theory I can see". First quote by Mr. Elvine-Kreis, second quote by  Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo.

It was a case of you say theory, I say evidence, theory, evidence, theory, evidence, let's call the whole thing off.

A 995 motion was heard yesterday morning by Visiting Judge Schaefer in Courtroom 6 on the defense motion filed by Vincent Ortiz's attorney, Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis. Judge Schaefer will have a written ruling by or before July 6.

Four members from the Colegrove family, one of the victim's family and one member from the Ortiz family attended this hearing.

Referring to the 995 motion filed by Mr. Elvine-Kreis, Judge Schaefer started the hearing by saying, "We are here because there are counts which the defendant was not held to answer to after the preliminary hearing."

Vincent Ortiz was not held to answer on the murder count of Daniel Colegrove. He was only held to answer for one of the attempted murder counts, that for Roger Surber. Mr. Elvine-Kreis' 995 motion seeks to dismiss charges against Vincent Ortiz for the jury trial.

"I have read the transcript of the preliminary hearing," said Judge Schaefer. "It was very confusing. I need to read it again." Judge Schaefer mentioned the use of pronouns referring to multiple people as one example. "Exhibits are not critic to the decision I have to make. I have read the pleadings each of you have submitted. I am not making a decision, I will make every effort to have the decision by next Wednesday. "

Initially, Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo said that she would be glad to answer any specific questions the Judge had but that she had handed in a 15 page motion. She did respond after Mr. Elvine-Kreis' remarks.

Mr. Elvine-Kreis referring to a quote by Judge Marilyn Miles who was the Judge for the preliminary hearing said, "Judge Miles did make findings of fact. There was no evidence that supported the theories presented. He quoted Judge Miles as saying, 'I don't find any evidence under any theory'. "

"We are not challenging the Magistrate's (Judge Miles) decision, that is usually the case, the People are" said Mr. Elvine-Kreis. 

"There is no evidence that my client knew his father had a gun," said Mr. Elvine-Kreis. "There is no evidence for any theory other than speculation that there is aiding and abetting."

Referring to Ms. Pizzo's closing in the preliminary hearing, " Seems like is not a legal standard.'

"Their own investigator said on the stand that he was going to right a wrong." Then he cited a case, Burke. "Things escalated at the spur of the moment when the decedent called my client "a white boy." At this point, the Judge indicated he did not recall reading this in the transcript and Mr. Elvine-Kreis asked him to look for it. 

"He was short (referring to the marijuana amount). The marijuana deal was in the past," said Mr. Elvine-Kreis. "I believe the shooting happened because Rodney was upset at what the decedent was telling his son."

Judge Schaefer said, "I believe it appears that there are two problems. Whether he has been selling and whether sufficient quantity  was delivered."

Ms. Pizzo cited Pizano "as far as the People's ability to file information" and said it was "appropriate standard." She also said that was Judge Miles' said was, ""I don't find any evidence under any theory I can see."

"At no point did the defendant say, Oh my God, Dad you have a gun? He was not surprised because he knew his father had the gun."

Mr. Elvine-Kreis' brief response after Ms. Pizzo's remark was, "Absence of evidence does not make evidence."

Defense motion to continue Rodney Ortiz homicide jury trial develops into a matter of laughter for defendants; 995 motion to dismiss certain charges against Vincent Ortiz will be decided by next week

A 995 motion was heard yesterday morning by Visiting Judge Schaefer in Courtroom 6 on the defense motion filed by Vincent Ortiz's attorney, Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis. Judge Schaefer will have a written ruling by or before July 6.

Trial confirmation for both Rodney and Vincent Ortiz was scheduled for 2 p.m. in Courtroom 2 yesterday. Judge Marilyn Miles has been the judge since arraignment to preliminary hearing and until the case goes to jury trial.

One Ortiz family member and four Colegrove family members were present yesterday morning in Courtroom 6. No family members were in court later this afternoon. The victims' families travel from Hoopa for court hearings .

Rodney Ortiz was held to answer on all charges, one attempted murder and two attempted murder counts after the preliminary hearing.

Vincent Ortiz was not held to answer on the murder count of Daniel Colegrove. He was only held to answer for one of the attempted murder counts, that for Roger Surber.

Currently, the trial assignment is scheduled for July 17 and Jury trial for July 20. Rodney Ortiz's attorney, Mr. Casey Russo filed a motion to continue.

Last court hearing, Mr. Elvine-Kreis was not there and Mr. David Lee from his office appeared for him. Vincent Ortiz withdrew his motion to continue, on July 2, he informed Mr. Elvine-Kreis he "had changed his mind" in court.

Mr. Russo said that his client's "right to prepare for trial trumps Vincent Ortiz's right for a speedy trial."

Mr. Elvine-Kreis said, "If I am successful in my 995 motion, then there will only be one count of murder, if I am unsuccessful, we will file a motion to continue because I will need time to prepare."

DDA Pizzo responded, "The cases are joined. There is no motion to sever. The 995 motion ruling will be in by next Wednesday. Even if the 995 motion was granted, and I am not conceding, cases would remian joined."

Judge Miles pointed out, "both attorneys are indicating they will file motions to sever. If charges are less in one then Court could grant the motion, it's not that simple. I don't want to set a trial date until the 995 motion ruling is in and we know what charges both are facing. I am prepared to continue the motion to continue"

A visiting Judge will now hear the trial confirmation and Rodney Ortiz's motion to continue on on July 9 at 2 p.m.

In court yesterday, to further add to the logistics when a date could be set, Rodney Ortiz now wanted a Marsden hearing. He seemed perfectly happy with his counsel's representation so far.

Vincent Ortiz often laughs in court and so does his father and it appears they think using the legal system to delay and complicate matters is a game.

From Wikipedia: A Marsden motion is the only means by which a criminal defendant can fire a court-appointed attorney or communicate directly with a judge in a California state court.[1] It is based on a defendant's claim that the attorney is providing ineffective assistance or has a conflict with the defendant. The name comes from the case People v. Marsden. A defendant is required to know to make a challenge of ineffective assistance of counsel, and make one, or the claim of ineffective assistance of counsel or the issue cannot be raised on appeal. There is no requirement to notify a defendant of such a requirement.
A criminal defendant cannot simply fire a court-appointed attorney. The trial judge has discretion whether or not to appoint new counsel on request of the defendant.

Please read the previous posts since May2015,especially
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/05/computer-error-demurrer-date-changes.html, to catch up.

Previous posts:

David Lockhart charged with gross vehicular manslaughter in 101 incident hires private attorney and wants a change in custodial status

David Lockhart is charged with a felony: homicide with the count of gross vehicular manslaughter and death of multiple victims.

When he was arraigned in May, he was led away in cuffs in front of the victim's family and friends. "What a difference this new DA has made," is what one of the victim's friends told me outside court that day. They are very pleased with DA Maggie Fleming and her office's handling  of the case. 

The Baker family, who lost their loved ones, have hired award winning and top criminal defense attorney Patrik Griego to represent them. Mr. Griego was also in court with the family.

A disposition and reset hearing was scheduled for July 2. Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo is prosecuting the case and Conflict Counsel's Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis had been appointed as Lockhart's attorney. Lockhart has retained a private attorney, Mr. Russ Clanton. In local cases that are recent, Mr. Clanton is represented Timothy Littlefield and Judson Stiglich.

Mr. Clanton tried to get another hearing on Lockhart's custodial status saying his "ciircumstances had changed." Judge Marilyn Miles informed him that OR/ Bail was denied on May 29 and that just because Lockhart gets a private attorney, he does not get another chance for OR/Bail and that he was charged with a serious crime of vehicular manslaughter but Mr. Clanton could file a motion for "change of circumstance." An intervention hearing is scheduled for July 30 at 3 p.m. and the Preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 30. 

Previous posts:


21 year old charged with oral copulation and statutory rape of minor victims hires private attorney, court hearing continued

Brendan Phillips is charged with oral copulation and stautory rape of two minor victims, one at least 10 years younger than him.

DDA Brie Bennett is prosecuting the case. Conflict Counsel's Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis had been appointed as Phillips' attorney but he has now been able to retain a private attorney, Mr.. Benjamin Okin. The disposition and reset hearing for July 2 is now going to happen on July 9.

Previous posts:


Jul 2, 2015

City of Eureka marsh clean up commences today

The City of Eureka has established a maintenance/clean-up schedule for City owned marsh areas
beginning Thursday, July 3. These areas will have routine maintenance including trash and invasive vegetation
removal on a rotating basis every Thursday.
EPD will provide not less than 72-hour notification to illegal encampments and be present to
ensure compliance during each clean-up. Illegal campers must remove any personal belongings
while the area is cleaned. No personal belongings will be discarded or impounded during this
clean-up. During the initial clean-ups, a front loader will be used to remove trash for efficiency.
Heavy equipment will not be used to remove any living vegetation. Living vegetation removal
will be limited to invasive species only (pampas grass, fennel, non-native berries, spartina,
hemlock, etc.) using a weed whacker.
This routine clean-up program is not for criminalizing houseless or solving our homeless issues.
This program is designed to address the City’s responsibility as a property owner. Those illegally
camping on City property will now be on notice that every Thursday is the day routine
maintenance will occur and to pack up all personal belongings during this clean-up period. Parks
and Recreation is responsible for maintaining the greenbelts and will be the lead on illegal
dumping abatement and encampment remnant clean up. EPD presence is just to insure
compliance with the notification process and make sure order is maintained.
The City has recently improved the PALCO Marsh interpretive walk and intends to extend public
access along the railroad corridor and adjacent properties with the extension of the Waterfront
Trail. The City intends to make the existing public access at PALCO Marsh and future Waterfront
Trail clean and safe for appropriate uses. This on-going program is important to address the
City’s responsibility as a property owner and to address the environmental damage resulting from
existing inappropriate activities.
The clean-up and maintenance will be done by SWAP with assistance from City staff. The clean-
up schedule for those impacted areas will be posted on the City’s web site and social media outlets.

Benjamin Carter jury trial date moved a week; People's offer clarified by DA Maggie Fleming in court

Benjamin Carter's jury trial could have been heard in Courtroom 5 by Presiding Judge Joyce Hinrichs but Carter's attorney, Mr. Michael Acosta said he wanted Judge Hinrichs disqualified, according to Penal Code 170.6

From a site on judicial disqulification in California:

"California has adopted a detailed statutory framework for determining whether a judge should be disqualified in a particular circumstance. Pursuant to this framework, two basic methods exist by which a party may seek to disqualify a California judge: he may either challenge the judge for cause-- pursuant to C.C.P. Secs. 170.1 through 170.5--or file a peremptory challenge--pursuant to Sec. 170.6."

"Section Sec. 170.6 may be invoked in either a civil or criminal action. "

"While Sec. 170.6 theoretically does not entitle a litigant to select the judge whom he wishes to appear before--but only to disqualify a judge whom he genuinely believes to be biased,--a party who moves for disqualification under Sec. 170.6 need not provide the court with a factual basis for its belief that the judge is biased."

In response to this post yesterday, http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/07/people-make-offer-of-four-years-to-be.html, District Attorney Maggie Fleming told me today today's trial assignment calendar was called, that misinformation had been provided regarding the People's offer and that she wanted to correct the information. 

On record in court, Ms. Fleming told the Judge that there has been "no other offer" made in the defense case. The People's offer "has always been that Mr. Carter plead to the remaining count and admit the prior strike and a six year term."

Carter is still determined to have his day in court. Due to courtroom availability, his jury trial is now scheduled for July 13. Trial Assignment is on July 10 at 8:30.

Jul 1, 2015

$100,000 available to County for Greater Eureka traffic impact study

From Humboldt County website:

Humboldt County is seeking professional consulting services to conduct a study to determine appropriate and comprehensive Traffic Impact Fees to be charged by the County that meet the requirements of the Mitigation Fee Act (Government Code Section 66000 et seq.). The County is experiencing impacts from growth and is finding it increasingly necessary to develop a mechanism to generate revenue over time to address what is anticipated to be substantial capital improvement needs. 
County of Humboldt and the City of Eureka have signed a memorandum of agreement to collaborate in the planning and establishment of the dual-agency impact fee program to fund transportation infrastructure improvements within the Greater Eureka Area (GEA). The GEA encompasses all of the City of Eureka, a large portion of Humboldt Community Services District and other unincorporated areas within the City’s sphere of influence.  
The County is interested in having Firms suggest cost-effective mechanisms for completing the study.  This could include alternative methodologies based on such factors as population growth. The County has an all-inclusive budget of $100,000 to establish the fee. The County and City intend to adopt a single traffic impact fee structures that complies with the Mitigation Fee Act and the California Constitution. The Firm shall independently assess and evaluate the facilities needed and develop a fair and reasonable fee structure in compliance with Assembly Bill 1600. The proposed fee structure shall adequately fund each identified component for new development’s share of the capital costs of necessary community assets.

City ambulance in discussion with City to expand services, help out with Station 4 closure?

An  anonymous source says that City Ambulance has made a request to the city to staff an additional ambulance at Station 4 to shorten the response time in Myrtletown and to Silvercrest.

I called Jaison Chand at City Ambulance for comment. He said "we have been looking for additional stations as we expand services, but cannot comment on any specific discussions at this point. We do want the locations to work logistically and where there is the greatest need."

This would be at no charge to taxpayers and would bring rent to the city.

Today's press release:

City Ambulance of Eureka, Inc. Announces Expansion of Services
An increased demand for patient transfers out of the area and a desire to shorten response times is prompting an expansion of services in the area’s largest ambulance company. City Ambulance of Eureka, Inc., which provides all of the paramedic 911 emergency ambulance service from Indianola Road south into Mendocino County, will be adding an additional 24-hour on-call paramedic-level crew in Eureka beginning September 1st.  This crew will be placed into service during unusual spikes in call volume, when a primary 911 unit leaves the area on a transfer, and during disasters or other major events.
City Ambulance has been steadily increasing staffing over the last several years to meet the community’s needs. Earlier in 2015, the company added an additional night shift in Eureka to meet an increasing call volume around the Bayshore Mall and Old Town area.
The company is currently looking for property in either Myrtletown or Cutten to staff a 24-hour paramedic-level ambulance station. They have also had discussions with the Rio Dell Fire Department regarding an ambulance station in Rio Dell, a move that would improve response times in Rio Dell, Scotia, Redcrest and the surrounding communities. 

Mark Nero gets thirteen years for stabbing Eureka woman who was stabbed near the Shanty

Mark Nero was sentenced this afternoon to thirteen years in prison by Judge John Feeney for stabbing a woman near the Shanty.

No media was in court. No one besides me in the audience. Nero stood with his head down throughout the sentencing.

Probation's recommendation was Judge Feeney's decision. Judge Feeney said "Mr. Nero presents a great danger to society."

This is Deputy DA Rees'third successful conviction for stabbing in two months. Usually, he does not comment but I pressed him for a quote. "I am happy with Judge Feeney's decision. It makes the community a safer place."

Judge Feeney cited the crime being of great violence, great cruelylty, callousness, prior convictions with offenses increasing in seriousness, prior performance on parole unsatisfactory.

Jun 3, 2015

Another victory for DDA Roger Rees in a stabbing case

On June 3, 2015, in the case of the People of the State of California v. Mark Nero, the jury found the defendant guilty of assault with a deadly weapon, second degree robbery, and mayhem, for the stabbing of a local Eureka woman. The jury also found that the defendant personally inflicted great bodily injury on the victim and that he personally used a deadly weapon, a knife, in the commission of that crime.

The assault happened on November 28, 2014, in the area of 3rd and C Street in the City of Eureka. The defendant and the victim did not know each other. During the crime, the defendant stabbed the young woman in the face with a knife; she required nearly a dozen stitches to treat her injury. The entire incident was recorded on a neighbor’s video surveillance system and the video was presented to the jury at trial. Within minutes of the attack, medical personnel from City Ambulance were on scene to provide medical aid to the victim and officers from the Eureka Police Department arrived to arrest the defendant. The defendant has been in custody since that time.

Deputy District Attorney Roger C. Rees prosecuted the case with assistance from District Attorney Investigator Marvin Kirkpatrick and Victim/Witness Advocate Marybeth Bian. The defendant was represented at trial by Deputy Public Defender Casey Russo. The Honorable John Feeney, presided over the two-day jury trial.

The scheduled sentencing date is July 1, 2015. The maximum sentence for these crimes and special allegations is thirteen years in state prison, of which he must serve 85% before being paroled.

People make offer of four years to be served at eighty percent in Carter case

On June 25, the Apellate Court denied the defense's stay for jury trial for Benjamin Carter.

The murder charge has already been dismissed.

Today, there was a trial readiness conference scheduled. Michael Acosta is representing Benjamin Carter. Deputy District Attorney Roger Rees is prosecuting the case. The People made an offer to the defense before the case was called and Carter's attorney, Mr. Acosta told me the offer after court.

In court, Mr. Acosta told Judge John Feeney that he is meeting with Deputy District Attorney Rees later today to discuss the offer.

Tomorrow is trial assignment and jury trial is scheduled for July 6.

June 24 post:

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):


It's official, Humboldt bay Fire Station #4 closed

Effective today, July 1st, 2015, Humboldt Bay Fire Station #4 at 1016 Myrtle Avenue (near Myrtle & West) is unstaffed and closed until further notice. This closure is the result of cuts made during the formation of the City of Eureka Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Budget.

The next closest Humboldt Bay Fire units will respond to HBF Station #4’s coverage area during this closure. Response times will be affected. Although no staffing is available at Station #4, the Emergency Telephone Line is available at the front door of the building and connects you directly to the Humboldt Bay Fire Communications Center.

Jun 30, 2015

Baykeeper, EPIC, Richard Salzman et al silent on environmental concerns of mega grows, only Ehresman talks the talk and walks the walk

Dan Ehresman, the executive director of the Northcoast Environmental Center is the only one who has spoken out about the environmental concerns of mega grows and raised it in relation to the California Cannabis Voice Humboldt Ordinance.

Where are the rest of the local environmental groups like Baykeeper, EPIC or local champion of the working folk Richard Salzman?

This morning, I received the following email from Tuluwat Examiner : "FYI  Baykeeper is a project of the NEC and EPIC is a member group of the NEC. also EPIC has a my word ready to run on mega grows in the TS next Tuesday"

I appreciate the Tuluwat Examiner's information. However, it should not be TE's job to speak for any of the member groups that belong to the North Coast Environmental Center. These groups have protested other efforts to bring jobs in the area, sued other groups, yet now they are silent. Why not more of them speaking up? 

It is under the reign of elected officials such as Paul Gallegos supported by members of the groups I mention that mega growers got a pass. Now that support is backfiring. Could it be that the same people do not want to bite the hands that feeds them?

Other than Lost Coast Outpost articles and commenters as well as Redheaded Blackbelt commenters raising the issue that out of county interests and out of state interests are backing legislation, where is the investigative money trial by our local media?

Eureka Chase robber found guilty

On June 30, 2015, the jury found 28-year-old Tracey Dontaye Drew guilty of robbery, a felony, and resisting a peace officer, a misdemeanor.
On October 9, 2014 the defendant entered the Eureka Chase Bank while concealing his identity by covering himself with a trash bag and face mask.  Mr. Drew announced the robbery and threatened to kill anyone who called the police. He left the bank with over $10,000 but was apprehended by Eureka Police Officers after a short pursuit.
The case was tried by Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett, with assistance from District Attorney Investigator Jack Bernstein. The defendant was represented at trial by Deputy Public Defender Owen Tipps.  Judge Joyce Hinrichs presided over the nine-day trial.
In addition to bank employees present during the robbery, testimony was given by six members of the Eureka Police Department: Detectives John Gordon and Todd Wilcox, retired Captain Anthony Zanotti, Officers Tim Jones, Kyle Miyamura and Beau Southwell.
Judge Hinrichs will sentence the defendant on July 28, 2015. The maximum sentence for these crimes is five years in prison.

Bye Bye Redwood Capital Bank, Gregg Foster back to RREDC

This scoop is right from Gregg Foster himself. He is,relaxing and so am I socially, so stay tuned for details in the press release.

EPD records and two witnesses subpoenaed by attorney for former HCSO deputy who is alleged to have committed sexual assault while on duty

Jason Daniels' attorney subpoenaed EPD records and two witnesses, Natalie McCall and Cyrus Silva.

His jury trial is scheduled for September 21.

Last post:


Previous post (with other links):


The other links have graphic testimony by one of the victims, this is an excerpt from the March 24 post:

"Jane Doe gave graphic testimony of sexual assault and Daniels asking her "Do you like that?"
Jane Doe testified how a call to her boyfriend's trailer near Jacob's Avenue  resulted in her being detained by Jason Daniels, a former Sheriff's deputy. She was arguing with a friend Ruby, who she thought was sleeping with her boyfriend at that time.

Daniels responded to the ruckus and he did a pat down and put her friend in the backseat of the car and then put cuffs on Jane Doe. He told her she was not being arrested but being detained.

While Jane Doe was cuffed, with Ruby in the backseat of Daniel's patrol car and her boyfriend watching from his trailer a few feet away, Jane Doe said Daniels touched her breasts, pushed her against his patrol car, put his hands under her skirt, pushed her panties aside and "stuck his fingers inside her" and said, "Do you like that?" She said he had an erection and was grinding against her butt" while fingering her. He later asked her for a blowjob."

GO-Biz Launches New California Business Portal: A One-Stop-Shop Website for Business Owner

As part of an ongoing effort to provide more on-line tools to businesses, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) today announced the launch of the California Business Portal, a one-stop-shop website for business owners looking for information and assistance. (www.BusinessPortal.ca.gov)

“The California Business Portal is a response to the needs of the business community and their request for better on-line tools,” said GO-Biz Chief Deputy Director Panorea Avdis. “California business owners now have a resource to make it easier to do business in the state and GO-Biz will continually update the portal to ensure it keeps up with the demands of business owners and entrepreneurs.”

The California Business Portal provides information to business owners on starting a new business, permits and licenses, incentives, local resources and more. The portal is available on the business owner’s schedule and has a number of key features, including:

Quick Start Guides: Short guides that contain the essential information for starting, and growing specific types of businesses in the State of California.

California Business Navigator: Not sure where to start? The Business Navigator provides custom information for your business including permits, licenses and incentives.

Service Desk: Get answers to commonly asked questions with the California Business Portal Service Desk. If the information for your situation is not here yet, submit your question and GO-Biz will provide a customized answer.

“As the global hub of innovation, California is often the first to meet challenges with novel solutions," said Robert Callahan, California Executive Director for The Internet Association. "This portal is a great example of how government can harness the power of the Internet and empower citizens through the use of technology.”

In May 2015, GO-Biz debuted the California Business Portal at the Trends in Technology conference in Sacramento. Prior to the conference, GO-Biz convened a group of small business owners and entrepreneurs to test the website and provide feedback. (VIDEO: GO-Biz Debuts ‘California Business Portal’ for Small Business Owners)

GO-Biz began building the framework for the business portal in the fall of 2014. Using existing resources, including staff from the Department of Technology IT Leadership Academy, it took GO-Biz IT Chief Thomas Boon and his team six months to build the website infrastructure which is also mobile friendly and can be accessed on iOS and Android devices.

“It was a top priority of GO-Biz to get people from the business community involved in the development of the California Business Portal,” said GO-Biz IT Chief Thomas Boon “As a result, the ease of use and content are reflective of the type of information and assistance business owners need.”

In addition to the business portal, GO-Biz has delivered a number of web based tools for business owners including easy to use on-line applications for the California Competes tax credit and the California Film Commission film tax credit.

 About GO-Biz
The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) serves as California’s single point of contact for economic development and job creation efforts. GO-Biz offers a range of services to business owners including: attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection, permit streamlining, clearing of regulatory hurdles, small business assistance, international trade development, assistance with state government, and much more. For more information visit: www.business.ca.gov.

Luke Brunner of CCVH calls Sheriff Downey, Undersheriff Honsal and DA Fleming, "the 3 hardest working people in Humboldt County"

Luke Brunner of CCVH called Sheriff Mike Downey, Undersheriff William Honsal and DA Maggie Fleming, "the 3 hardest working people in Humboldt County"

California Cannabis Voice Humboldt's Luke Bruner also decried the lack clarity regarding cannabis laws in California that make the job of law enforcement hard. There are approximately 40 to 50 people outside the courthouse right now but that included about 10 media representatives.

Bruner urged cannabis farmers to register to vote.

CCVH consultant Richard Marks, Supervisors Ryan Sundberg and Estelle Fennell, local criminal defense attorney Kathleen Bryson were in attendance.

From a LOCO post on June 25: "CCVH co-founder and board member Luke Bruner tells the Outpost that county supervisors Ryan Sundberg and Estelle Fennell will be in attendance, and Bruner said he expects to generate a crowd of at least 100 supporters for a rally to coincide with the ordinance unveiling. "


LOCO, TS, Northcoast News are among the media covering the unveiling of the CCVH ordinance draft.

I was in Courtroom 4 for the Jason Warren case so I arrived a few minutes later and I did not stay to hear all the speakers.

Some people driving by heckled, others driving by and walking were curious as to what was going on.

DA motion to amend charges in Jason Warren homicide case , nothing to report yet

For details, read post below.

The type of hearing should have been an intervention. Judge Cissna closed the courtroom and I found out in court last minute. So, I called the rest of the media who were planning to attend, TS, MRU, and North Coast news.

With a gag order, we will just have to wait now to see if dates change or there is any other development at the next court date.

This is tge second time, media has shown up only to get nada.

Pounds, Coutts arrested in Fields Landing incident

On 06-30-2015 at about 11:00 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office along with personnel from Humboldt Bat Fire Department responded to the reports of a fire/explosion at a residence located in the 6500 block of Second Street, Fields Landings. Once the fire was extinguished officers saw evidence of a butane hash lab in the residence.
Deputies contacted two suspects, who lived at the residence. They were identified as 41 year old, William Joseph Pound and 22 year old, David Michael Green/Coutts. Both suspects were not injured in the explosion. Both Pound and Green/ Coutts were arrested for manufacturing of a chemical extraction hash/honey oil lab.  Both suspects were transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility in Eureka and their bail has been set at $500,000 dollars each.
The residence is currently being secured for a search warrant Officers are seeking a search warrant through Humboldt County Superior Court Judge for the residence.. The investigation is now being handled by the Humboldt County Drug Task Force.

DA files motion to amend charges against Jason Warren, will the Judge grant the motion?

Today at 3;30, there is a pre-trial hearing on the motion filed by District Attorney Maggie Fleming to amend the information, which could mean additional charges against Jason Warren, who is charged with the murder of Dorothy Ulrich. He is also charged with the death of Suzanne Seeman and attempted murder of severely injuring two other joggers who were with her. In one case he is represented by Mr. Kevin Robinson from the Public Defender's office. In another case by Mr. Glenn Brown from the Alternate Counsel's office. DA Maggie Fleming is prosecuting this case. No death penalty is sought in this case.

At the last court hearing, the defense lost their motion to sever the two cases against Warren. Before that, a pre-trial date was vacated. There is extensive coverage of the case on this blog.

I will update after the hearing this afternoon

Last post:

May 27, 2015

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

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 Myrtle Avenue, where Warren ran over three joggers, Mr. Robinson said different law enforcement investigated the two incidents.

Hoopa murder of Dorothy Ulrich was Sheriff assisted 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 three joggers on Myrtle 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 properly 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.

Murder, assault, possession of firearm by felon alleged in Covelo shooting

On 06.29.15, at approximately 6:54 p.m., the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received a report that a person had been shot at a residence in the 22000 block of Refuse Road, Covelo. As Deputies responded, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received multiple reports identifying the suspect as John Ross (senior), who was seen entering the location, (a marijuana grow site consistent with medical marijuana requirements). Shots were heard coming from the location and Ross was seen fleeing.

It was further reported that a witness had pursued John Ross from the scene and Ross had shot at him. The shot missed the victim and dissuaded further pursuit.

Deputies located the victim, Alejandro Garcia, deceased at the scene suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. John Ross was located in the area and taken into custody without incident. Ross was lodged at the Mendocino County Jail for the listed charges and is being held without bail.

Any persons with information regarding this incident are encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office at the tip line, (707)234-2100 or via e-mail atcrimetip@mendocinosheriff.com.

Jun 29, 2015

Fort Bragg Officer injured while chasing suspect allegedly under the influence

Report Number: 2015-15383
Coroner Number: N/A
Incident: 2800.3CVC [Evading a Peace Officer Causing Injury], 2800.4CVC [Evading a Peace Officer - Wrong Way Driving], 14601.2CVC [Suspended Driver's License DUI] and 1203.2PC [Violation of Probation]
Location: North Highway 1 at Point Cabrillo Drive, Caspar, California, 95420
Date: 06-27-2015 Time: 12:28 AM


Suspect #1:
Name: Johny Delgado
Age: 19
City/State: Fort Bragg, Ca.

     On 06-27-2015 at approximately 12:28 a.m., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were traveling south bound on Highway 1 in near the town of Caspar.  Sheriff's Deputies attention was drawn to a white Acura sedan, with equipment violations.  Sheriff’s Deputies began pacing the vehicle and observed it was traveling at approximately 65 MPH, in the posted 55 MPH zone.

The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Johny Delgado, 19 years of age out of Fort Bragg, turned on to Point Cabrillo Drive from Highway 1.  Delgado had difficulty maintaining the vehicle in his lane of traffic and deputies believed that Delgado was possibly driving under the influence.

     A traffic enforcement stop was attempted at Caspar Beach, but Delgado failed to yield and continued to drive south bound on Point Cabrillo Drive.  Sheriff’s Deputies activated their emergency lighting and siren but Delgado increased his speed to approximately 70 MPH in the residential area of South Caspar.

     Delgado sped to the south intersection of Point Cabrillo Drive at Highway 1, failing to stop for the posted stop sign and turned northbound onto Highway 1.  Delgado continued northbound on Highway 1 at speeds in excess of 120 MPH, until turning east onto Simpson Lane.  Delgado drove east on Simpson Lane at speeds in excess of 90 MPH, and then turned south onto Mitchell Creek Drive.

     Delgado turned onto Franklin Road and continued to Simpson Lane, where he turned west.  Delgado turned back onto Mitchell Creek Drive and then onto Franklin Road again.  Delgado turned west on Simpson Lane again and then turned onto Turner Road.

     Delgado continued on Turner Road until he reached the cul-de-sac at the end.  Sheriff’s Deputies attempted to position their vehicles to block Delgado’s path but Delgado drove around the front of the vehicles, narrowly avoiding a collision into the patrol vehicles.

     Delgado continued east on Turner Road and then across Mitchell Creek Drive onto Franklin Road.  Delgado turned west onto Simpson Lane and drove toward Highway 1.

     Sheriff’s Deputies requested assistance from the Fort Bragg Police Department to have a tire deflation device placed across the roadway.  Fort Bragg Police Officers positioned themselves at the traffic circle intersection of Simpson Lane and Highway 1 with a "stop stick" tire deflation device deployed in the westbound travel lane.  Delgado drove over the "stop stick", which resulted in immediate deflation of the vehicle’s tires.

     A Fort Bragg Police Officer was injured while deploying the tire deflation device and was subsequently treated at the Mendocino Coast District Hospital Emergency Room for his injuries.

     Delgado continued to drive on the flat tires southbound on Highway 1 and then turned onto Old Coast Highway.  From Old Coast Highway, Delgado drove across Highway 1 onto Ocean Drive.  Delgado was traveling at approximately 25 MPH to 30 MPH on flat tires to the dead end of Ocean Drive.  Delgado stopped his vehicle at the end of Ocean Drive and fled into the brush holding a can of beer.

     Mendocino County Sheriff’s K9 "CAM" was deployed and located Delgado a short time later hiding in a small creek.  Delgado was taken into custody without further incident.

     Delgado displayed signs of alcohol intoxication and it was determined that his driving privileges had been suspended and he had been placed on probation for a prior DUI conviction.

     The pursuit of Delgado covered 20.5 miles over a 17 minute period.  Delgado flailed to obey any posted speed limits or stop signs and drove his vehicle in the opposing travel lane at speeds in excess of 100 MPH numerous times.

     Delgado was booked into county jail for violations of 2800.3CVC [Evading a Peace Office with Injury], 2800.4CVC [Evading a Peace Officer – Wrong Way Driving], 14601.2CVC [Driving on a Suspended License for DUI] and 1203.2PC [Violation of Probation], where he was held in lieu of $105,000 bail.

Fieldbrook double homicide suspect racks up new felony while in custody

The case for Jason Arreaga, suspect in the Fieldbrook double homicide wss scheduled for a pre- trial conference this afternoon. Arreaga flipped through some paperwork provided to him by his attorney, Ms. heidi Holmquist, from the Public Defender's office. DDA Zach Curtis is prosecuting the case.

Dates confirmed for homicide trial. "We will confirm dates for now," said Ms. Holmquist. "I am still in discussions with Mr. Curtis about some discovery." That discovery includes fingerprints from the gun allegedly used in the crime.

While he was in custody, he was charged with a felony possession of illegal substance in jail in a complaint filed on June 16. He was arraigned and plead not guilty on June 18. That illegal substance is listed in the complaint as marijuana.

Arreaga is charged with the murder of two victims: Harley Wayne Hammers Jr. and Angel Robin Tully.

Tully's sister and father were present in court, her sister has been there for all court hearings except one.

Burglary and vandalism alleged at Mendo animal Shelter, suspects arrested

Report Number: 2015-15294
Coroner Number: N/A
Incident: 459 PC [Burglary] & 594(b)(1) PC [Felony Vandalism]
Location: 298 Plant Rd. Ukiah, Ca.
Date: 06-25-2015 Time: 8:06 PM

Victim #1:
Name: Mendocino Co. Animal Shelter
Address: 298 Plant Rd.
City/State: Ukiah, Ca.

Suspect #1:
Name: Joseph Valtrakis
Age: 20
City/State: Hydesville, Ca.

On 06-25-2015 at about 10:50 PM Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the Mendocino County Animal Shelter regarding several canines being loose in the area. Deputies responded to location and when they arrived they observed several dogs (10-15) running around in the parking lot of the animal shelter.  Also, in the parking lot was suspect Joseph Viltrakis with the canines.

Viltrakis told deputies he was at the animal shelter to retrieve his girlfriend’s "service dog". Viltrakis noted the dogs in the parking lot all escaped the animal shelter after he had been helped by an unknown employee who had left just prior to the deputies arriving on scene.

Upon further investigation deputies determined no shelter employees had assisted Viltrakis, that he had entered the animal shelters kennels by forcing open two locked gates.  He then forced open approximately 25-30 locked kennels causing damage to the kennel gates latches and then letting several dogs free from the kennels.  Several of the dogs managed to exit the facility altogether and were in the parking lot running around in a pack when deputies arrived on scene.  Viltrakis was arrested for burglary and felony vandalism and incarcerated at the Mendocino County jail, to be held in lieu of $ 15,000 bail.

Another victory in another Arcata stabbing for DDA Roger Rees

Read post below.

In the last two months, he has successfully prosecuted the cases for Mark Nero, Juan Ferrer and now, Phoenix Campbell-Loya.

Jury finds Phoenix Campbell guilty on both counts of assault with a, deadly weapon and carrying a concealed dirk/dagger

The verdict in the Phoenix Campbell case in which he was charged with assault and carrying a concealed dirk and dagger was as follows:

Guilty on both counts. Count 1 is a felony and most of the jurors did not stay after court to talk to anyone.

Only 2 jurors briefly spoke with DDA Roger Rees and Campbell's attorney Ms. Meagan O'Connell after the verdict.

The jury went into deliberations mid Thursday morning and did have a verdict decided just before noon on Friday but needed some clarification on verdict regarding Count 1 so they came back back Monday morning.

Sentencing is July 27 at 2 p.m in Courtroom 2. No other media covered the case in court. There is daily coverage of the jury trial on this blog.

DDA Roger Rees prosecuted the case, Ms. Meagan O' Connell from the Public Defender's office represented Campbell-Loya and Judge Marilyn Miles was the trial judge.

The charges for this jury trial were 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 Hardwick.

Campbell's mother and father were in court for the sentencing. 

DA's Press Release :

On June 29, 2015, in the case of the People of the State of California v. Phoenix Campbell-Loya, the jury found the defendant guilty of felony assault with a deadly weapon and felony carrying a concealed dirk or dagger.

On December 3, 2014, the defendant approached two 17-year-old boys in Shay Park and, after a brief conversation, stole property from them and assaulted one of the boys with a knife while threatening to stab him. The victim, who was not injured in the assault, was not previously acquainted with the defendant. The defendant has been in custody since the incident.

Deputy District Attorney Roger C. Rees prosecuted the case with assistance from District Attorney Investigator Jack Bernstein. The defendant was represented at trial by Deputy Public Defender Meagan O’Connell. Judge Marilyn Miles presided over the week-long jury trial. In addition to the two teenagers, Arcata Police Officers Jeremiah Kasinger and Joshua Phinney testified at trial.
 The scheduled sentencing date is July 27, 2015. The maximum sentence for these crimes is four years, eight months, in state prison.

District Attorney Maggie Fleming added, "I appreciate the time and attention given to the case by the jury and the efforts of Roger, Jack and the Arcata Police Department."