Jul 18, 2015

"I've done this a long time. U know you copped a feel?; "If it didn't happen, you would say she is a liar and Ed, I have not heard that once."

The People's third witness was Humboldt County Sheriff's Sgt. Sam Williams. At the time he was investigating the John Kufner case, he was a detective.

He observed Jane Doe's CAST interview, then met with DA Investigator Kyla Baxley and "another staff member" from the DA's office and described a pretext call would be best.

"It's on the fly," Sgt. Williams said, in response to a question by Deputy District Attorney Zach Curtis. "Sometimes we give guidance as to what questions would be appropriate. The phone call was placed by J (first name of Jane Doe's mother). DA Investigator Baxley provided some guidance and I may have."

A SART exam of Jane Doe # 1 and a CAST interview of Jane Doe # 2 was done. Kufner was then interviewed by Detective Cheryl Franco and Sgt. Williams, outside his residence in McKinleyville, in an unmarked vehicle.

A few seconds of the interview was played so Sgt. William could identify and verify the exhibit. The recorded interview was played for the jury. Graphic sexual allegations and descriptions were made during this call. The jurors reactions were worth noting during the almost two hour call, some more visible than others.

At the beginning of the recording, Sgt. Williams told Kufner he was not under arrest, he was free to leave anytime. He asked Kufner, if he knew why he was being interviewed.

Kufner answered, "I have a feeling it has to do with the phone call I got from J (Jane Doe's mother's first name). She mumbled and jumbled and then said something about inappropriate touching."

Kufner said that Jane Doe #1 was 9. Said the girl's dad had "problems with drinking and diabetes. The girls came over after school because dad was asleep."

Then Kufner started talking about taking pain meds due to a degenerative disk and issues with his spine. "My memory is fuzzy. I don't know how much I should say before talking to a lawyer."

He then described how he met the girls' dad, how he started to babysit after school, how the mother asked him to take care of the girls and admitted he had problems with "Kenny", the mother's boyfriend and that she would show up "intoxicated" late at night, that once she sent some guy to pick up the girls and he was "uncomfortable" with that and said that CWS got a call from the girls' grandfather after the mother "threatened the grandpa" and that is how he ended up as the foster father. His version of how he met was pretty much consistent with what Jane Doe # 1 and the mother have testified to except that Jane Doe's mother had a slightly different take on why Kufner did not want "Kenny" around and the guy she sent to pick up her daughters.

When he was asked about the pretext call,  Kufner said that the mother called with "crazy allegations. Basically, I don't know what to say, all she said was inappropriate touching."

"To be honest, I always thought someone would say something," said Kufner. "I was uncomfortable that a girl who is developing on top, I used to wrap my arms around her.

At this point. Det. Franco asked him if Jane Doe #1 could have miscontrued "touching". Kufner responded with that is what he was trying to figure out and "going crazy." He mentioned the bed-wetting and diapers. He said he was never around when the girls took baths or showers.. He washed their hair over the sink "with their clothes on". Said there was a time Jane Doe # 1 was not bed-wetting for a few days in a row but started again after visiting her mom.

Kufner confirmed what Jane Doe # 1 said, which was that the girls shared  a room and slept on bunk beds. The interesting remark he added was that at one point he tried to get them to have separate rooms.

Again, Det. Franco asked if Jane Doe could have misconstrued "inappropriate touching." She said "while helping with pull-ups, you could have accidentally touched her vagina."

In response to a comment about the level of his emotion during this interview, Kufner said, "My emotions are because I was their shining star."

Det. Franco asked Kufner about him getting an erection.

Usually, he paused before answering, but this time, he responded right away with "No."

He said Jane Doe # 1 had rabid fear of the bathroom, she had been teased about the movie Candyman and had to have someone stand outside. In her testimony in court, Jane Doe said, "I am not scared to go to the bathroom; I just didn't want to go near his room without someone there."

"In the last two years, I have made changes," said Kufner. "I took the girls to church. I have always been scared about this. I have mixed feelings." Part of that last sentence was hard to hear because of audio and I think he said, "because of what mom would say." A few minutes later he said the grandfather requested he take the girls to church.

Det. Franco asked him if this is something he thinks Jane Doe's mother made up. Kufner responds, "Jane Doe may have mixed memories. Maybe I did do something. I can't remember what I had for breakfast." The memory, again, he said due to his pain meds.

Det. Franco asked, "In your past have you been attracted to young girls?"

"My wives were younger than me," said Kufner. "I ogled at cheerleaders."

"You talk about Jane Doe #1, never Jane Doe #2," said Det. Franco.

"Because all J (mother) said was about Jane Doe #1."

Det. Franco specifically asked about "young girls and attraction."

"I did not touch. I did not do," responded Kufner. "I'm confused."

"Would you be shocked that Jane Doe #1 said you ran your hand on her vagina?" asked Det. Franco. Explain to me how that happened. Either explain or you touched her inappropriately."

There was a silence for a long time, about 5 minutes or more.

"I think something happened," said Det. Franco. "A momentary lapse of judgement. Then right that wrong today."

Some response from Kufner I could not hear clearly and Det. Franco said, "I did not say every night. Something weighing on you Ed?"

"Probably," responded Kufner. "I'm so confused. I have black outs." Kept on about pain meds again, taking Oxycontin, saying he had a glass of beer or wine and would fall asleep in one place like his couch, wake up in another place, in bed.

Again he said, "I always had fear something like this may happen. I don't remember. I will not call her a liar if she says I did, maybe I did."

Then brought up checking diapers, to check and see if she was wet and needed changing.

Detective Franco stepped up the questioning. "I've done this a long time. U know you copped a feel? " Det. Franco told Kufner he would remember something so traumatic. "I'm not telling you to confess to something you did not do. I can tell you are conflicted. If you did this, you are gonna remember."

Again, a very long period of silence. No response from Kufner.

Detectives gave him several opportunities during the interview to explain, to confess, he was silent for long periods.

Finally Kufner said, "Because I am not sure."

"I can tell you are not proud if something occurred," said Det. Franco. "We want to get statement so we can go get her help. You are not going to jail today."

Kufner laughed and then said, "Not today, but what about tomorrow? You want me to confess to something I am not sure of"

"I don't want you to confess to something you didn't do," said Detective Franco. "But you are saying you are not sure. If you touched her inappropriately, you would remember, even one incident."

Then Sgt. Williams said, "If it didn't happen, you would say she is a liar and Ed, I have not heard that once."

Again, Kufner said, "I will not call her a liar." Then went on to say, " She is telling the truth. She has had problems before."

"So what are you going to say that adds credibility to her story," asked Sgt. Williams.

Again, a long period of silence.

"Are you going to let her suffer because of your mistakes," said Det. Franco. "You are telling she is not a liar. You are saying it could have happened when you were balcked out."

Kufner got angry and talked about helping her.

"Did you touch her vagina with your hand," asked Det. Franco. "I'm talking about rubbing her vagina in a sexual way. Wiping/cleaning is a completely different feeling. You are telling me you would not remember that?"

"I would remember that," said Kufner. "You are saying my fingers went inside, No!"

Detective Franco asked Kufner if he ever got an erection "when you were laying with her?"

Again, long period of silence.

"Did you ever wake up with an erection?" asked Det. Franco.

"Yes," said Kufner.

"I am not talking about morning wood," said Det. Franco. "I'm talking about waking up with her with an erection. Do you remember rubbing your penis on her bottom?"

Again, silence.

"These are the kind of allegations made by a 9 year old," said Det. Franco. "9 year olds haven't had sex. They have no knowledge to make these things up."

Again, silence from Kufner.

"This will stick with her the rest of her life," said Det. Franco. "Are you going to take responsibility and give this 9 year old vindication? Or fuck up her life so she grows up to be a drug addict with a daddy lifestyle."

Again, silence from Kufner.

"Do you remember inappropriate touching?" asked Det. Franco.

"That was intentional?" was Kufner's response.

"I remember one incident, waking up with an erection," said Kufner. "I got up out of bed and left."

"in my opinion, silence indicates a yes," said Det. Franco. "These long silences, pondering and justifying" answers, she said to Kufner.

Kufner admits one time he "was holding her and woke up with an erection and had my arms around her. I got up and left." He objects to Det. Franco describing this as "spooning" Jane Doe.

"I wasn't rubbing her," said Kufner. "I fell asleep holding her. I woke up, very upset and embarassed I was holding her like that; I was in that state."

"She remembers you rubbing on her; dry humping her," said Det. Franco.

Kufner kept insisting they had clothes on but could not describe what they were wearing.

"This little girl is pretty articulate," said Sgt. Williams. "She is able to say you touched her inappropriately. Why would she say that. She isn't saying it happened everyday. She isn't saying he raped me."


"With your silence, are you saying she is correct?" asked Sgt. Williams.

"I don't have any memory of going in and rubbing between her legs," said Kufner. "I remember that one incident. That is my main fear."

"She describes you spooning her, rubbing on her," said Det. Franco. "She describes your erect penis rubbing on her bottom. You remember waking up behind her."

"And she can articulate when this happened," said Sgt. Williams. Then he asked Kufner about the camping trip. "Are you saying that didn;t happen."

"No," said Kufner.

"So you are saying you were asleep or heavily medicated, you won't call her a liar but you remember that one incident," said Det. Franco. "Maybe I misjudged you Ed; I thought you were a nice guy. Maybe your self preservation is more than her vindication. There are hardcore perps who tell me everything because they cared about the victim. We had to coax that one incident out of you."

Kufner said he felt pain, "because I betrayed the trust of someone I love, being in bed with a young girl, it doesn;t make a difference if it is a pee-hard on or a different kind of hard-on."

"It took us an hour for you to tell us you woke up with a boner," said Sgt. Williams. "Your silence is deafening."

Sgt. Williams said he was going to ask Kufner a "yes or no" question. "Is she making all this up about you?"

Kufner's response same as before, "I have no memory of that."

The detectives told him that he never said a clear cut no, there is only silence or "uh..um.' "and that is reactions were not of an innocent person. "How come you never said, hell no, to our questions."

"You are telling me you can rub your naked penis on a little girl's bottom and you cannot remmeber it?" said Det. Franco.

Kufner said he objected to Det. Franco's use of the word spooning because "it implies physical intent."

After the phone call, DDA Curtis asked Sgt. Williams about Kufner's demeanor during the interview.He said it varied from Kufner sitting upright ot tears to putting his head down slightly.

DDA Curtis also asked if deception is used as a tool  in a law enforcement interview and Sgt. Williams said it is, to elicit information.

People rest in Kufner case; Kufner takes the stand

Courtroom 4 will not be in session this Monday. Court will resume at 8:30 on Tuesday, July 21. On Thursday, the jury listened to the  interview that John Kufner had with law enforcement. The next day, Mr. Casey Russo, Kufner's  attorney, did a very effective cross examination of Sgt. Sam Williams.

The People then interviewed DA Investigator Kyla Baxley and rested their case. The defense called Dr. Nina Goodwin, who was the victim's doctor and did a SART exam, CWS Social Worker Varda Greenberg and towards the end of Friday's session Kufner took the stand.

I will be doing three posts some time today and tomorrow, one on Kufner's interview with law enforcement; one on Mr. Russo's cross examination of Sgt. Williams and Dr. Goodwin's testimony. Investigator Baxley mostly spoke about what CAST is and protocols. Same with Ms. Greenberg. There was no information in either Investigator Baxley's testimony or Ms. Greenberg's that really contributed to either prosecution or defense or gave insight to the allegations.

Derek Johnson arrested in Samoa this morning is the same inmate who walked away from work crew

Derek Johnson just cannot stay out of trouble.

From the Fortuna Police Department:

On Saturday, at approximately 3:57 a.m., officers of the Fortuna Police Department were dispatched to the Patriot Gas Station, located at 3663 Rohnerville Road, for a reported burglary in progress. The reporting party stated that they were a neighbor and had observed two male subjects break the front glass door of the business, enter, and steal items from the business.
The reporting party's husband pursued both suspects on foot for approximately 50 yards. The suspects were located by officers as they attempted to hide in the tree line near North Loop Road.
Derek Ray Johnson (age 20) of Fortuna and Mason Boyd (age 20) of Eureka were arrested and found to be in possession of property stolen from the Patriot. Both were charged with burglary and possession of stolen property and booked into the Humboldt County Jail

Previous HCSO Release:

On 01-27-2015 at about 3:00 pm an inmate assigned to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility Cal-Trans crew walked away from the job site in Fortuna. The inmate was being supervised by a Humboldt County Correctional Officer.
The inmate's name is: Derek Ray Johnson age 20. Johnson is described as a white, male, 5-10, 170 lbs., brown eyes and brown hair. Johnson was last seen wearing, blue jeans, blue denim shirt with a white under shirt.
Johnson was serving a sentence for petty theft and drunk in public. Johnson was due to be released from custody on 02-15-2015.

HCSO Press Release:

On 07-18-2015, at about 2:20 A.M., the Sheriff’s Office received multiple calls from citizens residing on Samoa Ct. in Samoa, Ca.  They reported that a male subject wearing a sweatshirt and shorts, had been caught trying to break into residences in the area.  The subject had since jumped a fence and was thought to still be in the area.  Deputies responded to investigate.

When Deputies arrived they began searching the area, and one of the Deputies located a subject matching the description.  The subject was riding away from an address on North Bayview Ave., on a Razor Scooter.  When the Deputy attempted to contact the subject, he fled on the scooter.  The Deputy pursued the subject on foot.  The subject dropped the scooter and began running from the Deputy.  The Deputy was able to apprehend the subject a short distance away.

The subject was identified as Derek Johnson, 20, of Fortuna, Ca.  Deputies were able to confirm Derek was the same person who was seen trying to break into residences in the area.  They were also able to confirm the Razor scooter Derek had was stolen from a residence on North Bayview Ave.  Deputies learned Derek had multiple current probation records, including a Formal Felony Probation for burglary, as well as a Summary Probation for theft.

Derek was booked into the Humboldt County Jail for possession of stolen property, resisting or delaying an officer, and violating the terms of his probation.

Jul 17, 2015

City of Eureka wants your ideas for the boardwalk between C and F Streets

The City of Eureka is embarking on a process to gather public feedback regarding concepts for
development for the area behind the boardwalk, between C Street and F Street. The project
area is encompassed by the boardwalk on the north, the C Street Market Plaza on the west,
Waterfront Drive (1st Street) on the South, and F Street Plaza on the east.
During the last week of July, the City will be hosting a series of events and workshops to gather
public feedback. On Monday (7/27), the City will host a workshop at the Wharfinger building at
5:00pm. The workshop will include presentations of the site’s history, analysis of the site’s
constraints, explorations of the site’s opportunities, and discussion. On Tuesday, the City will
host public site tours. During the site tours, members of the public will have the opportunity to
walk the site with professional architects and City officials to learn about the site and to provide
feedback. Anyone interested in attending a site tour should meet at the foot of C Street at
either 9:30am or 5:00pm on Tuesday (7/28). On Wednesday and Thursday, the public is invited
to attend one of four design workshops during which everyone will have the opportunity to
work with professional architects to draw their visions of the site. The design workshops are at
the Wharfinger Building on Wednesday at 3:00pm and 5:00pm and on Thursday at 9:30am and
11:30am. Finally, on Friday (7/31), the City will host a Presentation of the Final Concepts, which
will include several professional drawings reflecting the public’s visions.
This is a phenomenal opportunity for Eureka. The area adjacent to the boardwalk is among the
most valuable properties the region. We should all be grateful to those who developed the
boardwalk the C Street and F Street plazas, and the surrounding blocks of Old Town. We owe it
to those previous generations to develop something great on this site. We want help from the
community to determine what this site could become. This is the community’s opportunity to
establish a vision for the Eureka Boardwalk properties.
Contact: Rob Holmlund

What does the Bible really teach you?

I was walking into the Courthouse around 1:15 and saw these two young ladies. I saw their sign and told them I appreciated their presence.

Usually, they are here Wednesday afternoons for a couple of hours and today, they are here on a different day. These ladies and others are often around Eureka, near the library, at the Old Town Gazebo.

They do not approach people, if someone comes over to them, they talk to them and offer free literature.

For more information on their mission, go to jw.org.

While I was talking to them, a guy sitting outside on the park bench asked them to watch his backpack while he went inside the Courthouse to use the bathroom.

Michael Beth charged with corporal injury on spouse/cohabitant, threats to commit crime resulting in death and cause and permit cruelty to child

Michael McBeth who is out on bail, was supposed to be arraigned today, July 17 at 1:30 for three misdemeanors. Count 1 is PC 273.5 (a) inflicting corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant; Count 2 is threats to commit crime resulting in death; and Count 3 is PC 273 (a) (b) cause or permit cruelty to a child.

The alleged victim in the complaint is Maria Gutierez. Mcbeth has hired private attorney Ben McLaughlin.

This kind of misdemeanor case is usually calendared in early resolution court so Mr. McLaughlin had him sign a 977 waiver of personal appearance and was going to request it be moved to early resolution court.

Judge Miles explained that because Mcbeth had to be served with a CLETS protective order, he had to be personally present and he was relwased on a bail bond, so the case was set in Courtroom 2.

She told Mr. McLaughlin that she would continue the arraignment to July 22 at 1:30 and that after the CLETS order was served,  the case could go to early resolution court.

Deputy District Attorney Whitney Barnes represented the People in Courtroom 2 today.

Previous post (from July 6) includes information on 273.5 (a) and penalties:


Plays in the Park back for third season

Plays in the Park is back for its third season, and bigger and better than ever!  This year features one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies, cracked fairy tales for the whole family, European opera, and more!  All performances are located in beautiful Redwood Park in Arcata, CA.  Tickets are on sale now and can be bought at the Arcata Parks and Recreation Office or by calling (707) 826-7091.

Twelfth Night (or what you will)
 By William Shakespeare     Directed by David Hamilton
Shows on August 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 28th, 29th, September 4th, 5th at 7 pm
Admission: $12/$10 for students and seniors ($2 off for pre-sale)
Mistaken identity, love and mischief abound in one of the bard's most popular comedies. Viola and her twin brother Sebastian are shipwrecked and separated on the shores of Illyria. Viola disguises herself as a boy and finds employment with a lovelorn duke. Featuring uptight servants, jolly tricksters, sword fighting, music, and comical seduction attempts, whether you are a longtime Shakespeare fan or are just being introduced, this is an excellent play for you.

The Unprincess
By Edith Weiss     Directed by Megan Johnson
Matinees on August 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th, September 6th at 2 pm
FREE for the whole family!
When the immature and power hungry Princess Cecily drops a dirty shoe into Maggie’s water bucket, our heroine sees the stark contrast between the pampered lives of the royals and the powerless and poor lives of the villagers.  Loaded with delightful physical humor and populated with colorful characters, this charming story is full of twists and turns and a wonderful ending!
Il Matrimonio and Others: An Evening of Opera
Directed by Jo Kuzelka and Elisabeth Harrington
Shows on July 17th, 18th, 24th, and 25th at 7 pm.
Admission: $12/$10 for students and seniors ($2 off for pre-sale)
Come experience a wonderful evening of music from the best European opera has to offer, all performed by some of the best singers and musicians on the North Coast.  Watch selections from classics such as La Boheme, The Marriage of Figaro, and La Traviata, all interspersed with scenes from ‘Il Matrimonio Segreto’, Cimarosa’s famous comic opera of scheming and amorous intrigue.  Come hear the voices soar among the redwood trees!

The 24 Hour 10 Minute Play Festival
July 11
What happens when you gather 5 writers, 5 directors, and 15 actors and give them exactly 24 hours to write and rehearse 5 original plays?  You'll have to show up to find out!  It's going to be a whole lot of creativity and craziness, 10 minutes at a time.

Instead of preliminary hearing yesterday, Kimberly Steele plead out on both cases

Yesterday a preliminary hearing was scheduled, in one the cases where she was charged with possession of a narcotic controlled substance and taking vehicle without owner's consent. In the other case, the charges were driving with a suspended/revoked license. possession of controlled substance and possession of narcotic controlled substance.

Steel admitted to a deferred entry of judgement in Courtroom 1. Judge John Feeney accepted her plea.

The PC 1000 is listed in the court system as a program that Steele has been referred to as part of her plea deal. Next court date is a judgement of review on November 10 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 4. And a future date of January 1, 2017 has been scheduled.

Penal Code 1000 PC -- California's deferred entry of judgment ("DEJ") program -- allows just such an alternative.  It's a drug diversion that allows eligible defendants to be "diverted" out of the criminal court system and into a drug rehabilitation program.

From DA Maggie Fleming: 

"n July 16 in a matter not related to the homicide case Ms Steele pled to possession of a controlled substance, heroin, which is classified as a misdemeanor.  She has been referred as part of Penal Code section 1000 to a treatment program and is to return to court on November 10, 2015 for review."

"I came back to hit recovery. Recovery is not what I hit"

Jane Doe # 1's mother, whose initials are J. M. testified on during the latter half of the court hearing on Wednesday and for a short time on Thursday. Jane Doe's mother described how her girls came to live with alleged abuser Kufner and the aftermath when she found out about the alleged abuse.

Deputy District Attorney Zach Curtis started his questioning of J.M. by asking her  how many chiildren she had. Her response, "Yeah, five living." The two girls referred to this in case, Jane Doe #1 was born in 2003 and Jane Doe #2, her younger sister in 2005.

Like Jane Doe #1, J.M. remembered the exact date her husband died, March 11, 2011. She was managing a clean and sober house before her husband died. She had the child on weekends for visits since she and her husband were separated. Other places they lived were the Serenity Inn and her cousin's and Oklahoma.

The alleged incidents are to have occurred between a period starting in 2012 and 2013. By April 2012, J.M. said, "I had not dealt with the deaths of 5 people including David (her husband). I came back to hit recover. Recovery is not what I hit."

Kufner lived "down from David's trailer." When they came back from Oklahoma, they lived for a while at Kufner's trailer. J.M. said Kufner did not want her partner around. "He did not want to help a guy."

J.M. said she "had a breakdown around April 30. "I lived in the gutter. I walked for about five months."

"I left them (the girls) with Ed," she said. "He was the maintenance guy, he was their dad's friend. Ed took them skating." She said that Kufner tried to reunite her and the girls "for a couple of months." That was around June 2012. In September 2012, "I got put in Semper Virens and I got my head back." Then she went to a clean and sober house.

"Ed had to reach out for help to CWS," said J.M. She said the court ordered her to take medication. "We still love Ed," she said when asked if this situation was difficult for her. "He saw himself as their dad."

J.M. said that they moved into the MAC Center in July 2013 and that she had lived there "364 days before reunification."

Deputy District Attorney Zach Curtis asked her, "At the MAC, did Jane Doe come to you with allegations about Ed?"

"I have only heard two things, he was touching her when she was asleep and the camping trip," said J.M.

At this point she started crying, she said they did not discuss the case and that she asked Jane Doe, "Why didn't you tell me?"

"I went to my CWS worker, then to law enforcement," said J.M. "I made my snitch phone call. I called Ed. I just remember asking if this was true." She also mentioned SART, the Sexual Abuse Response team.

Mr. Curtis asked her if she would recognize the phone call if she heard it. He also asked her if she was emotional at that time. "I was angry as hell, emotional, no."

Then a few seconds of the phone call was played and it was identified. The jury was given a transcript and they heard the phone call. While listening to this phone call, J.M. started crying on the stand, at some point that morning, she put her head down on the stand.

"I have got a hard question for you," J.M. asked Kufner after exchanging brief pleasantries on this phone call. "Basically, Jane Doe (she said the actual name on the call) said you touched her."

"I, what?" responded Kufner.

"No, I haven't done anything down there, I never touched her."

J.M. then told him all this would come out into counseling. Kufner then admitted that he touched both girls while checking for diaper rash.

J.M. reacted and said, "Both of them? I only heard about Jane Doe. This is the first I heard about Jane Doe #2."

The audio quality was poor at times but Kufner said something about a reaction to bubble bath.

J.M. then said, "As far as Jane Doe #1 goes, it is not about the cream. The way she is talking, it sounds inappropriate."

Kufner was silent, then he said, "I don't know."

J.M. then brought up the camping trip. "She is adamant it was wrong."

Kufner silent again. J.M. asked him, "Are you there?"

Then J.M. asked Kufner, "Why are you sleeping with them"

Kufner's response was because they were camping or they were upset in the middle of the night.

J.M. brought up inappropriate touching the third time and asked Kufner, "What happened to make her think that?"

Again, Kufner is silent, then, he says "Uh...I really don't know."

J.M. said, "Jane Doe # 1 said that you took her clothes off and touched her front. Why would she say that?"

He responded with the same excuse as before and she confronted him, "That is not what I am talking about. I don't think it was putting medication on Jane Doe #1. You can either tell me the fuck what happened" or that she will take it where she needs to and she tells him the answer "you are giving is not meshing with (what was said by) Jane Doe #1."

Kufier denied anything inappropriate happened, he used, "I don't think..."

J.M. responded, "Jane Doe said that you touched her pee pee while she was asleep. Why would she say that?"

"No, No, honest J (used her first name), I don't know," said Kufner.

At this point Kufner was crying, "I did not touch her that way."

J.M. said, "Why would she lie? Why would she have details?" Again, she asked Kufner about the camping trip.

"I will be happy to sit down with you and her and talk about this," said Kufner. He still kept saying he was applying medication.

"Why would you approach her while she was asleep?" asked J.M. "She thought you were lonely."

"It is not about us, " said J.M. "It is about what happened to Jane Doe #1."

"I never slipped my hand inside her," said Kufner.

"She said you rubbed her," said J.M. "Did you do this or not. She said you stayed up until 4 a.m. together."

"No," said Kufner.

"I believe Jane Doe #1," said J.M. "I believe something bad happened."

"She started (wetting the bed) after her dad died, " said J.M. "She wasn't peeing in her pansts when her dad was alive." J.M. said that Jane Doe #1 told her that "she wets the bed because Ed touched her."

Kufner said that he touched them like a father would, "Touching them inappropriately, my God."

After the phone call, J.M. said "some of that was coached, they were handing me slips of paper. The things Jane Doe said I heard from the horse's mouth. The only thing that I heard from Jane Doe #1 was that she was asleep when it happened." This was referring to what she knew at the time of the pretext phone call.

She said that the team in the room with her was slipping pieces of paper with questions to ask about the camping trip, "I was stuck on the diaper rash."

Mr. Casey Russo, who represents Kufner, cross examined J.M. on Thursday. He asked her how Jnae Doe's father died. "He went to sleep, didn't wake up. Apparently, alcohol, methadone, diabetes and sleep apnea don't mix."

Mr. Russo asked her some questions and J.M. responded with how are these questions  "relevant to the cause we talked about?"

Then Mr. Russo asked her bed-wetting and J.M. said Jane Doe wore her diaper throughout the night and added, "I have never had anyone come to this situation with bed wetting issue."

Mr. Russo questioned her about a time when she suspected abuse from a bully in OKlahoma but that did not bring any information about any abuse, just bullying.  J.M. said she didn't tell CASA advocate Laurel Gilkerson about the alleged abuse by Jane Doe's cousin. J.M. denied a statement Mr. Russo said she made to Ms. Gilkerson about Jane Doe acting out. "No, I told her, it caused me to act out."

Then Mr. Russo showed her a report and J.M. said that she did not remember saying it and that Jane Doe #1 some times "acts out" and "I may have made excuses for her. I took the lead from the authorities that were in charge of my life." J.M. denied that she had strange men around her girls, she mentioned one time with two friends. She said she was homeless at times and she did spend the night sometimes in motels when the girls visited her but denied that they were "living in motels" as Mr. Russo claimed in his opening statement. She said she and "weed don't get along" but she has done meth. She said when she spoke to Jane Doe #2, that Jane Doe #2 "doesn;t believe what happened."

This was on cross examination. On redirect, she elaborated on the Jane Doe #2's statement. She said  that she found out on this Wednesday that they were not allowed to talk about the case with each other. Mr. Curtis asked her, "Have you talked about the facts and allegations." J.M. responded, "I don't have facts and I am not going to tell them my imagination."

 "At first, Jane Doe # 2 (she used the real name) thought her sister was lying. She wanted the skating, the toys the dog back. I would not want to stop living at the party either, that is 90% of our problem." By party , She said she meant the skating, the sleepovers, x box, having their own cell phones when they lived with Kufner.

Kufner's phone interview with law enforcement is very revealing, graphic, detailed

The majority of Thursday's session focused on a recording which was over an hour long which John Kufner was interviewed by two HCSO detectives. The jury was affected emotionally and it definitely backs up what Mr. Curtis said in his opening statement. Many looked away, looked down and looked at Kufner.

With Jane Doe's #1's testimony and this recording, even if Kufner takes the stand as he is supposed to, it will be hard to undo the damage of his own words or lack of them.

The interview with law enforcement is very sexually graphic and detailed. Mr. Curtis briefly questioned Sgt. Sam Williams about law enforcement interview techniques, including using deception as a tool to elicit information. Few minutes before court ended on Thursday.

Kufner was silent for periods before responding when confronted by Jane Doe's mother in the pretext call and he does the same with law enforcement.

Mr. Casey Russo had just started his cross examination of Sgt. Williams.

Jul 16, 2015

Jane Doe's friend called Kufner "chomo"; details about abuse and Jane Doe telling police she was scared for her little sister's life

On Wednesday, July 15, Mr. Casey Russo, a Public Defender who represents John Kufner, continued his cross examination of Jane Doe #1. Interestingly enough, Mr. Russo's demeanor was slightly less aggressive than the day before.

Mr. Russo asked Jane Doe about the meeting at the DA's office. She said DDA Zach Curtis was present, DA Investigator Kyla Baxley, and someone from Rape Crisis. Her sister, Jane Doe #2 and her mother were at the DA's  office but not in the same room as her.

Then he asked her a whole bunch of irrelevant questions about her dog, Rosebud, sleepovers, field trips, none of which had anything to do with the alleged incident or added any information helpful to the alleged incident.

Jane Doe #1 was consistent in her answers. Same responses to Mr. Curtis and Mr. Russo.

During her cross examination, she testified that mentioned the abuse to a friend, who was also living at the MAC center. She described her as "my mom's friend's daughter" and said, "they were coloring."

Mr. Russo asked her why she did not tell Laurel Gilkerson, the CASA advocate or Kate Moser, her counselor about the inappropriate touching and the camping trip. There was some noise in the courtroom that distracted me from the back row(by the spectator who commented on my last post) and my notes are not clear on that response are not complete so I am not going to write what I think she said.

Mr. Russo asked her if she told law enforcement that a friend used to call Kufner "chomo." She said once. According to http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=chomo, that term means child molestor.

During his cross, Mr. Russo asked a bunch of questions to which Jane Doe responded and said an "older cousin touched her", "in her private area", in the "front." Jane Doe said she was laying on a "small bed with a tall dresser that had a big TV." She was watching Spongebob, her cousin turned the TV off and told Jane Doe that she wanted to touch her. She did this with "her hand." Jane Doe said that she thinks she told her mom about this incident.

In response to a question by Mr. Russo, no one from the DA's office and police asked her about this incident.

When Mr. Russo asked her how often Kufner touched her, Jane Doe said, "It happened every single night." She said she would get into bed at the same time as her sister, around 8 p.m., but she "didn't sleep until 2 a.m. because I was scared."

Mr. Russo asked her if Kufner touched her with one or two hands. Jane Doe said "one hand." He ten asked her what Kufner did. "He put his hand in my underwear," said Jane Doe. " Mr. Russo asked her  "What did he do?" and Jane Doe responded, "Something he shouldn't have."

Jane Doe said she doesn't wear pull ups anymore and that she did tell police officers that she wet her bed while living with Kufner "because she was scared for her little sister's life."

After she told her mom, her mom called her CWS worker, Donnie Sanchez.

On re-direct examination by Mr. Curtis, she told Elsie from Rape Crisis that "Ed did something but no details."

DDA Curtis: "Do you know what inappropriate means?"

Jane Doe: "Yes" Then she said it means something like if someone is wearing a short skirt, you don't look up their skirt, it is wrong.

DDA Curtis: "Do you know what rape means?"

Jane Doe: "Sexual assault."

DDA Curtis: "What does that mean to you?"

Jane Doe: "It means someone touches someone when you don't want them to."

Mr. Russo had insinuated that Jane Doe was coached and she had answered him and gave the same response to Mr. Curtis.

DDA Curtis: "Did someone tell you how to answer?"

Jane Doe: "Just that in court, you don't shake your head, you say No, Yes."

Jane Doe answered Mr. Curtis' question and said her cousin was 12, she was 4, at the time of the incident.

DDA Curtis: "Was that touch different from when Ed touched you?"

Jane Doe: "She did not put her hands inside any of my clothing."

DDA Curtis: "Was he moving his fingers or keeping it still?"

Jane Doe: "Moving his fingers."

She said he got up on the bed with her.

DDA Curtis: "Were you uncomfortable when he touched you?"

Jane Doe: "I was uncomfortable every time he touched me."

Mr. Russo briefly questioned her again on re-cross examination. She denied that she asked Kufner to stand outside the bathroom. "I am not scared to go to the bathroom; I just didn't want to go near his room without someone there."

Dates remain set for Judson Stiglich, suspect in Cutten shooting

No one from victim's family was present. Stiglich's family and friends were in the courtroom. Dates for jury trial remain.

Last post:

May 8, 2015

Judson Stiglich does not "resolve", jury trial set for August 10

A disposition and reser hearing was scheduled this afternoon today for Judson Stiglich charged with shooting Ryan Robinson.

The case is being prosecuted by DDA Stacey Eads. Mr. Russ Clanton is representing Stiglich.

"Ultimately, this case is not going to resolve," Mr. Clanton said to Judge Marilyn Miles. "We ask this case be set for trial."

Family and friends suppoeting Stiglich and Robinson attended the hearing.

Jury trial is set for August 10 at 8:30. Trial Assignment for August 7 at 8:30, Trial Readiness on August 5 at 1 p.m. and Trial Confirmation is on July 16 at 2 p.m.

Previous posts:


Jason Warren jury trial continued to September 14 due to investigation and discovery issues

DA  filed a first amendment information in one of  Jason Warren's cases. I already reported this, read links below. Mr. Glenn Brown, who represents Warren in one of two cases, "submitted" on the DA's motion. Mr. Kevin Robinson was not in court.

District Attorney Maggie Fleming is prosecuting the case. Warren was arraigned on the first amended information. What was amended was not read out in court. Ms. Fleming said that the victim's families, who were present in court, were notified of the trail date change.

Mr. Glenn Brown made an oral motion to continue the jury trial which was granted by Judge Timothy Cissna.

Jury trial is on September 14. Trial confirmation is August 10 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 4.

Last post:


Maybe the Tuluwat Examiner and their third rate legal poser, I mean poster need to look up a SLAPP motion

I loathe to give the Tuluwat Examiner any web traffic but they have crossed the line this time. Hardly anyone reads that crappy cut and paste blog but people do read this blog. I have avoided reacting to personal attacks in the courthouse by certain defense attorneys.

The Tuluwat and their guest leagle eagle might want to read my response. Do not try and intimidate me by putting incorrect or private personal information about me online which has nothing to do with my blog. What you have insinuated in your recent post about me is what a low- life coward does and it has certainly got me support and increased web views today, so your petty little attempt backfired.

I have also consulted attorneys and any further efforts to intimidate me further could result in a SLAAP motion or other legal action. I will not hesitate to go after the identity of the cowardly Tuluwat or the guest poster.

There were some very revealing details about comments made by the guest poster. When it comes to credibility, an anonymous blog and an anonymous poster can say anything.

No attorney pays for the coverage of their cases in any way shape or form. I have covered cases that interest me and the public. I have covered cases that are not featured attorneys on my blog and I have covered cases about my featured attorneys that are not favorable.

Looks like some people will sink to any depths when the truth is exposed.

As Winston Churchill said, "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."

What a regular commenter wrote:

I think this is unsupportable, my issues with things Chiv has said remain just that, stuff he says. He gets pretty maddening at times, but so what? There are far worse.
Your opinion about his commenting on ongoing cases before juries is worth talking about.
But where this is way past the line in talking about his history and personal life, that is none of my or your business.
If I were TE I’d take this down now, rewrite it leaving out the personal.

My comment on the Tuluwat Examiner which may or may not make it past moderation:

Thanks eyerollah, Tuluwat has sunk to the low that they really are and shown themselves to be a rag. This guest post is most likely from a disgruntled defense attorney (S) and I have a pretty good idea where they got my personal information from which is from more than one source.

Tuluwat rarely prints any opinion with a name, the only one I recall is Janelle Egger. There are defense attorneys who do not want scrutiny so they can make their plea deals and release "alleged" criminals and child molestors back into the community. Or third rate lawyers that cannot win in court.

There have been many rumblings from the defense into intimidataing me into silence because my opinion is  not financially beneficial to them. I also think that this post right after I went after Peter Martin and Richard Salzman is interesting timing. We know the Tuluwat loves Dickie. A back handed way to attack me. Very brave.

This happened during the Bodhi Tree trial as well. I was right.

 I provide a public service with my own earnings. These attorneys or whoever wrote this are not journalists. What they are afraid is that people trust me, believe me.

 Nor does this post which is clearly written by a defense attorney or a friend of a defense attorney know what I verified or what I did not. There is no jury tainting because juriies are clearly instructed not to read media accounts of cases.

 And a post about checking sources should check their own facts. Not that it is anyone's business but I do not collect SSI.

I think this post is written by someone losing a jury trial, upset that information that might be helpful to the DA cannot be used and a public threat.

If the Tuluwat does not immediately remove this post hinting at incorrect and otherwise personal information which a stranger would have no access to which means someone went to great lengths to silence me and make unveiled threats, I am currently contacting my attorney. Maybe a SLAPP lawsuit and any other legal action where I will go after the identity of who is behind Tuluwat and who this guest poster is will teach cowards about intimidation, personal attacks and freedom of the press.

Jul 15, 2015

Peter Martin and his Humboldt Civil Liberties Defense buddies Marc Delany and Richard Salzman got a beef with City of Arcata?

Peter Martin is an officer in the Humboldt Civil Liberties Fund. Marc Delany and Richard Salzman are also officers.


Marc Delaney and Richard Salzman also like to be involved in suing the City of Arcata.


A source close to John Kufner, the 62 year old charged with sexual abuse of a young girl, reveals details not known

After my initial post on John Kufner, I was contacted by someone who knows John Kufner well and knows his ex-wives. He has two ex-wives. After the claims made by Kufner’s attorney, Mr. Russo, in opening statements, I think it is important that some of this information come to light.

Kufner’s impact has been from coast to coast. Based on what has been shared with me, I believe this has gone on for at least 40 years.

I am keeping some of the details vague, because there is fear and concern on the part of my source (s) and for the confidentiality of other alleged victims and their locations I will not say who my source is. Those who knew him do not wish to be contacted by Kufner or have their families traumatized any further.

According to this source, Kufner married one ex-wife, a 16 year old girl when he was 22 and another 15-17 year old when he was closer to 40.  These facts, according to my source are documented in the courts-one in Illinois and the other girl possibly, Oregon.  That's where Kufner lived before moving to CA.
Kufner has been called Ed by family and friends, others call him John. He has a granddaughter who was 6 when she last saw him, she is over 18 now.

“My thoughts and prayers are for the girls who have been affected negatively by him.  I'm afraid there may be more than I even know of.  I am many many years away from him emotionally, but with his arrest & trial I find my thoughts taking me back to some very dark times in my life with him.  The effects of that relationship are much further reaching than I ever imagined.  I thought all that stuff was buried but the memories are resurfacing every day now and I look forward to putting them back to rest."
"Counseling wasn't too popular years ago, I hope the girl(s) in this case will have full access to counseling and that it will help pull them through this and that they will be able to move forward in life and leave this behind them.  It will be a long road for them.  I won't forget them ever, even though I don't know them.  My heart aches for them.”

U.S District Court Judge sees through Peter Martin's frivolous lawsuits

Gregory Allen's lawsuit against the City of Arcata was dismissed. Peter Martin isn't running to talk to the press for this one.

Will this mean the end of Peter Martin's ridiculous lawsuits? This one is a double reward. Shows the idiotic causes Martin sues for and Allen's connection with the ACLU, another organization that can make a civil liberty out of any ridiculous claim.

Martin is on the EPIC Board of Directors and in his bio he lists being on the board of directors for the Redwood chapter of the ACLU.

Mad River Union's Kevin Hoover broke the story today. In his,article, he mentions  that Allen is the  president of the Redwood Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and former director of Humboldt Medical Cannabis Center. 

Martin and Allen are also members of the Green Party among their other common interests.


Allen v. City of Arcata et al

Defendant:City of Arcata, Randal J. Mendosa and Thomas F. Chapman
Plaintiff:Gregory P. Allen
Case Number:3:2014cv04625
Filed:October 16, 2014
Court:California Northern District Court
Office:San Francisco Office
Presiding Judge:James Donato
Nature of Suit:Other Civil Rights
Cause of Action:28:1331
Jury Demanded By:Plaintiff

Date Filed#Document Text
July 13, 201519Opinion or Order of the Court Order by Hon. James Donato granting defendants' 9 Motion to Dismiss. (jdlc1S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/13/2015)

Little Eagle Moon and Gene Chester Nelson get busted together, get cuffed together and are arraigned together in court

This afternoon in Courtroom 4, Little Eagle Moon and Gene Chester Nelson, who were arrested in front of KAEF's studios were arraigned. They sat side by side, cuffed in the courtroom.

Both are Courtroom 2 cases but Judge Timothy Cissna called that court calendar, in addition to his own Courtroom 4 calendar, today.

Since the Public Defender is already representing Moon, Mr. Casey Russo is handling this case as well. Moon was arraigned for failure to appear after he was released on his own recognizance. Moon did not waive time.

An intervention is set for July 21 at 3 p.m. and Preliminary hearing is on July 28.

Gene Chester Nelson was arraigned for resisting/delaying/obstructing a police officer and for possession of meth. Conflict Counsel's Mr. David Lee subbed in for his colleague, Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis today. Nelson has another felony case, violation of probation. He also did not waive time. Trial confirmation is July 22 and Jury trial is August 3.

DDA Whitney Barnes represented the People in both cases.

Previous post:


Former HCOE teacher Ronald Young enters guilty plea to spousal abuse, false imprisonment and criminal threats

Instead of the contempt hearing scheduled a day before his jury trial, the victim, who was sitting next to me in court with a friend, watched as her ex-husband plead guilty to three counts.

Ronald Young, a former Humboldt County Office of Education teacher who was charged with four felonies and a misdemeanor, had his jury trial scheduled to start tomorrow.

He was charged with Count 1  Penal Code 220 (a) 1 Rape, Count 2  Penal Code 243.4 (a) Sexual battery, Count 3  Penal Code 236 False imprisonment, Count 4 273.5 (a) Inflict Corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant and Count 5  591.5 Damage/destroy Wireless Communication.

He plead guilty to three felonies this afternoon Count 4 Inflict Corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant  , Count 3 False imprisonment and a Count 6 of  Penal Code 422, criminal threats.

Counts 1, 2 and 5 were dismissed.

He is too register as a sex offender and while he could be sentenced to prison, the plea deal will most likely be for formal supervised probation. If he successfully completes probation, he will no longer be required to register as a sex offender.

He has to do a 52 week certified batterer's program and pay certain mandatory fines that are for crimes related to domestic violence, and he will be served with a mandatory criminal protective order. At the time of plea, "county jail time remained open" said Judge Cissna.

 He is to pay restitution to the victim and at sentencing, he will make a payment of $10,000. He could be required to pay $10,000 fine for each felony.

If the plea is accepted, he will serve a total of five years and 8 months. Judge Cissna  explained that the plea was the maximum of 4 years for the felony of spousal abuse and 8 months each consecutively for the other two counts.

This is a conditional plea that was entered today in front of Judge Timothy Cissna. After Probation weighs in on a pre-sentencing report, Judge Cissna can accept or reject the plea.

The plea deal was reached after DDA Kelly Neel consulted with the victim. I know this firsthand from the victim, whose story I have shared in my coverage.

Sentencing is August 19 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 4.

Previous posts (with other links):


Eureka Councilmember Marian Brady sets the record straight on the renovation of the former Downtowner location.

I called Eureka Councilmember Marian Brady regarding some of the comments made by the Save Our Seniors contingent yesterday.

I asked her to send me some information and clarify questions raised by the seniors' public comment.

This is her response via email.

"There are 49 Senior units being renovated, plus one which will be the Manager’s unit (that one won’t be restricted to low income). Regarding funding, The total project cost is $8,088,410 financed by private investors, money from the City of Eureka Home Program and grant funding. The HOME Grant Award is $3,700,000, a private bank loan of $710,000, City loan of $800,000, private investor of $2,802,617, and a note for $75,793. These apartments will be for low income seniors, with studio, one and two bedroom units. Rents will range from $349 to $769 including utilities. This is a wonderful reuse of a blighted property that hasn’t been utilized as the original motel/hotel for many years. Close to downtown, walkable and with plenty of parking, Eureka is welcoming this new affordable Senior housing.

There is also a CMFA Tax exempt bond for up to $5.5 million to be issued after construction is completed to refinance the whole project, paid back from the rents collected.

Hope this helps to clarify the Lodge project. Still awaiting the State to complete its paperwork which we hope will be by September before construction can begin."

Related post:

Jul 14, 2015

"He raped me" 11 year old testifies about how her 62 year old foster father allegedly abused her daily and how she thought of running away; he stares at her while she testifies

The first witness for the People was Jane Doe #1. Victim witness was allowed to sit with her while she testified due to her young age and nature of the case. In the courtroom was DA Investigator Kyla Baxley, who is assigned to CAST cases such as this one. Two other victim witness representatives sat with Jane Doe's aunt and I presume, her mother.

The three recently hired Deputy District Attorneys, a lady I think belongs to some organization, maybe CASA and I were the only other people in the courtroom.

Deputy District Attorney Zach Curtis was gentle and sensitive in his questioning of the young victim. Her answers to him were direct, credible, and when it came to a sexual nature, her voice would get soft and you could see her embarrassment. If she could not remember, she would say so without hesitation.

Jane Doe #1 has 4 sisters, one a couple of years younger than her, Jane Doe #2. At the time of the alleged incidents, Jane Doe # 1 was about 9 years old and her sister about 7 years old. She said she has lived with her mom for 3 years.

DDA Curtis: "Who did you live with before?"

Jane Doe: "Ed"

Ed is a name those who were close family and friends called John Kufner. I have that information from an independent source who contacted me after my initial post on this blog.

Jane Doe said before Ed, she lived with her dad. Said she got to know Ed through friends in the trailer park. She was very specific and gave the exact day her Dad died, May 11, 2011. Then she moved into foster care.

When DDA Curtis asked her about foster care, her voice got soft and she said, "I lived with Ed in the trailer."

DDA Curtis: "Are you a little nervoius?"

Jane Doe: "Sorta."

DDA Curtis: "You know why you are here this morning? Tell us in general terms."

Jane Doe: "Because Ed did something he shouldn't."

DDA Curtis: " Did that involve you?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

DDA Curtis: "Is that when you were living with him?"

Jane Doe: "yes."

DDA Curtis: "Was it more than once?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

She could not recall exactly when the first time was that Ed did what he did but she said it was not always the same.

Then she said, "He raped me."

DDA Curtis: "Did it happen more than once?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

DDA Curtis: "What did you mean by he raped you?"

Jane Doe: "I mean...uh...I don't know how to..."

DDA Curtis: "Did his act involve part of your body?"

Jane Doe: "My privates."

DDA Curtis: "Below the waist?"

Jane Doe: "Below"

DDA Curtis: "Did it involve part of Ed's body?"

Jane Doe: "Sometimes fingers."

Then DDA Curtis asked her a question and she responded, "He put them...in something I don't like to say."

DDA Curtis" "Below the waist?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

DDA Curtis: "Front or back?"

Jane Doe: "Front."

DDA Curtis: "Did he touch you with his fingers?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

DDA Curtis: "The part he touched you with, what do you normally do with it?"

Jane Doe: "Pee."

When asked if this only happened when she was living with Kufner, Jane Doe said, yes.

DDA Curtis: "Are you able to say how often?"

Jane Doe: "Daily."

She is 11 years old now. She said Kufner touched her under her clothes. She would be trying to sleep, and when he touched her, her little sister was sleeping in the lower bunk, it was always late at night.

DDA Curtis: "Did he touch you with something else?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

DDA Curtis: "Did his touching you happen on more than one occassion?"

Jane Doe: "yes."

She then testified about the camping trip in the woods with a river by the campsite. In a tent big enough for 8 to 10 people, there was one air mattress and Kufner slept in between the girls.

She was wearing a shirt and "princess pajamas. He was messing with them, my pants. He took them off" and her underwear at the same time. She said "Ed was not wearing anything at all and she felt that when she was trying to push him away. She was successful. "I got up and put on my pajama bottoms." She said she was thinking of waking her little sister and running away but she thought her sister would be too loud. "I was going to run to the nearest tent but they all had left." So she went to the other side of the tent and slept until morning.

When she was pushing Kufner away, she felt his shoulders and "another private part", when asked by DDA Curtis, she described the part as , "below that waist" and "that part was touching my private part." She described Kufner's part as the "part you do # 1 with."

Mr. Russo had a few minutes before noon to start his cross examination. He stood blocking her view from the right side of the courtroom, where the only person at that time was myself and maybe the lady I think was the CASA advocate. He interrogated her as if she was an adult and not a child trying to accuse her of being coached and breaking rules. He failed. She was very calm and answered questions. She also refuted his claims in opening statement that her mom made them call strange men dad.

Defense in Kufner case calls case "a living nightmare" and explains touching as Kufner requiring to change Jane Doe's pull ups and check on her

"Typically opening statements are brief," said Mr. Casey Russo, the Public Defender appointed to represent alleged child abuser John Kufner. "Mr. Curtis' statement was brief, mine will be longer." And it was, three times longer. "This is John Kufner. He is 62 years old."

"This case is about a false accusation made by John Doe that has resulted in his incarceration and heinous accusations. Mr. Kaufner is forced to defend himself in a living nightmare."

"You will hear from him. He will testify. He is a 62 year old man with no criminal record. A military veteran. " Mr. Russo said Kufner worked in the restaurant business, his health deteriorated. He did "small favors" for tenants in Mckinleyville Trailer Park.

"Jane Doe's dad died in 2010-2011. J.D., Jane Doe's mom was out doing meth and heroin. She had substance abuse and mental health issues. Father's health was deteriorating. He dies. Girls are left unattended in the the park, they spend time with friend' trailers, Mr. Kufner allows them to watch movies, eat popcorn, and other neighbor's children spend time in the trailer. It becomes a safe space for them. Father was trusting of Mr. Kufner. Mom ends up with the kids."

"Mom is taking kids to various motels with various men, making them call these men dad, exposing them to meth. Girls are taken from mom through CWS process due to severe neglect.CWS approached Mr. Kufner. Girls were living with him. He did not approach them. They did background checks. He has an adult son. Been a long time since he has kids."

"Despite having CASA advocates, social workers, Jane Doe never made allegations. Girls are getting better in school. Jane Doe suffered from bed wetting.  Something that happened before she moved in with Mr. Kufner. She wore pull ups to bed, didn't like to change in the middle of the night. It did require Mr. Kufner to check her and change her."

"Mom cleans herself up, gets involved in reunification. Girls are afraid to go back to mom. Mr. Kufner has concerns. J.D and Mr. Kufner's relationship becomes contentious. Children and mom go back to MAC Center. No allegations of sexual abuse. In February 2014, who made the allegations, when, no one knows, not in report. It was never investigated." The "never investigated" is  shades of the Bodhi Tree defense strategy creeping in, Mr. Russo represented Tree. "Law enforcement spent very little time." Shoddy police work mentioned.

Mr. Russo called "Jane Doe #1 a very troubled girl with a very troubled background."

Mr Russo went as far as to say, "The girls asked him to sleep with them." He added, "He will admit to 1 time he woke up with an erection."

"Despite two hours of intense interrogation, he denies any lewd and lasvicious touching."

"Ed's been touching me", emotional and graphic testimony in case of 62 year old man charged with continuous sexual abuse of former foster child who is now 11, but abuse allegedly started in 2012

I cannot take a photo in court but this is a photo of John Kufner from Facebook. This is how he looks now, with his grey hair pulled back in a pony tail and a grey suit instead of the jail orange jumpsuit, Kufner sat and with no emotion listened to Judge Timothy Cissna read the charge against him.

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.

A jury of 7 men and 5 women, with 3 alternates, all women evolved into a jury of 6 men and 6 women even before the trial started this morning. A juror was excused after he requested to meet with the Judge.

For privacy reasons and age of the minor children, they will be referred to Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2. The mother's name will be just initials and I will not mention the social worker's name for the same reasons.

After preliminary jury instructions, Deputy District Attorney Zach Curtis made his brief opening statement. Then Public Defender Mr. Casey Russo who is representing Kufner made a lengthier opening statement and Jane Doe # 1 testified. Her emotional and detailed testimony was so painful for me to watch, that at times, I put my pen down in court. I waited all day to write these posts.

The rest of this post will be DDA Curtis' opening. I will do two other posts, the defense opening, and Jane Doe's testimony from Tuesday.

"I am going to present to you my view of what the evidence will show. These are my words. I will give you a road map of the trial."

"In February 2014, Jane Doe spoke to her mom and said, "Ed's been touching me. " Jane Doe was born in October 2003. " When her dad died, "her mom became a wreck", Mr. Kufner baby sat for both Jane Doe and her younger sister and "at one point became her foster father."

"He touched her in an inappropriate manner, he touched her private parts, her vagina."

"In a camping trip, she was naked from the bottom, he was also naked, and he rubbed himself against her with an erection."

"Jane Doe's mom got her act together, she got custody back. Jane Doe spoke to law enforcement and investigation began. Law enforcement made a pretext call. Jane Doe's mom called Kufner. You will hear Mr. Kufner's explainations. You will hear that phone call. You will hear law enforcement interview. Mr. Kufner said, No regarding camping incident. That is the most firm no you will hear. After an hour, he admits, he woke up with an erection next to Jane Doe. This is inconsistent with his previous statement. His voice is emotional. He plays it off as innocouous."

County Supervisors respond to seniors public comment today

County Supervisors Virginia Bass and Mark Lovelace responded to the post below. I spoke with 4th District Supervisor Virginia Bass just moments ago and she wanted to clarify that the funding for the Danco project is from the City of Eureka and not the County of Humboldt. 
Supervisor Lovelace responded via email: "Hi, John.  I was very interested in the many comments we heard today regarding increasing rents in mobile home parks.  As noted by the speakers, there are over 6,000 mobile homes in Humboldt County which comprise a significant percentage of our affordable housing inventory, particularly for seniors and others on fixed incomes.  Mobile homes provide a low cost of entry into home ownership but there is a near-zero vacancy rate in mobile home parks, so when the park rent goes up, mobile home owners have few options of where to turn.  The speakers explained how recent purchases of some of our local mobile home parks by outside owners has led to significant rent increases, causing some residents to have to spend 75% or more of their monthly income on rent, which leaves little available for food and other basic needs.

This issue was not on our agenda, so we were not able to discuss it or take any action today.  I’m hopeful that we may have a discussion at a future date to determine what options are available to us to help with this situation."

County recently gave Danco $5 million dollars for the Downtowner yet we have been priced out

About 60 seniors showed up with balloons, "Save Our Seniors", in a protest organized by Hilary Moser. The photo above only captures a handful of seniors who will speak in a few minutes during public comment and tell the County exactly what they think.

So today's public comment will not be short. I spoke to two seniors before the Board of Supervisor's afternoon session. Corrine Soyster said, "The County recently gave Danco $5 million dollars to renovate the Downtowner. Yet, we have been priced out It is time the County stop subsidizing out of County interests."

The seniors are from the Lazy J Ranch and are seeking rent stabilization for mobile home parks, said Judy Mackee.

Judy Mackee said that seniors end up at mobile homes as a last resort, many are on SSI and disability. "There will come a point where we can't afford rent and there will be no where for us to go."

Photo of alleged suspect from alleged theft at Eye of the Phoenix Vision Center

I did this post on July 13:

Alleged break-in or possible theft at Eye of the Phoenix Vision Center in Old Town. Sgt. Brook confirmed that theft report was filed on the 8th. Tried to contact Eye of the Phoenix for comment.

EPD's Brittany Powell responded to me via email. We took a report on 07/08/15 at 9:34 a.m.  It was not a break in but it was reported a black male in his 20’s took at least 10 pairs of sunglasses. 

Today, I received a photo of the alleged "culprit" from Dr. Paul