Aug 1, 2015

Attempted murder charge dropped, if defense 995 motion is granted, Silverio Sanchez case that made headlines may end up "resolving"?

On July 30, Judge Marilyn Miles, not  a Vsiting Judge was going to hear a 995 motion for former fugitive Silverio Sanchez . The 995 motion seeks to dismiss Counts 1,5, 6 and special allegations as well as Counts 7 and 9 is what Mr. Sanders said in court that day.

While this is not the case that Sanchez is being represented by Mr. Ben McLaughlin, he did attend the court hearing upon the request of Mr. Sanders. Mr. McLaughlin told Judge Miles, "The matters in which I represent continue to trail. If Mr. Sanders' matter is resolved, mine will resolve."

DDA Jackie Pizzo who was in court said she just saw Mr. Sanders' response to the opposition filed by the People to the 995. She said DDA Zach Curtis who is the prosecutor on this case is on vacation and she was quite certain he had not seen the response. Judge Miles had not been given the response by Mr. Sanders and she just saw the "pleadings" in the file in court so needed time to read them. 

Mr. Sanders agreed that the matter be continued to allow Judge Miles a chance to review the pleadings.

Next court date is August 18 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 2 for the 995 motion. The jury trial for the case in which Mr. Sanders is representing Sanchez is scheduled for Sept 21.


In October 2014, Silverio Sanchez waived his preliminary hearing and the attempted murder charge was dropped. This was on the case that private attorney Ben McLaughlin is representing him.

Oct 14, 2014

Silverio Sanchez preliminary waived; attempted murder charge dropped

Arraignment on information for Jury trial on November 3 at 2 p.m. DDA Zach Curtis stipulated with Silverio Sanchez's attorney, Mr. Ben McLaughlin, to drop Count 1 which is the attempted murder charge and the special allegation associated with it and Sanchez agreed to waive the preliminary hearing.

When Sanchez is arraigned on information for the jury trial, the other counts have been modified to add a special allegation of great bodily injury to Counts 2 and 3 and this was part of the stipulation to waive the preliminary hearing. Sanchez will be charged with Count 2 which is battery on law enforcement; Count 3 which is evading law enforcement with injury and two counts of intimidation of witness.

Then his other private attorney, Mr. Neal Sanders has filed a 995 motion. It was supposed to be heard by a visiting Judge.

Jun 25, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

May 26, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Previous posts:

"No one tells me anything"

First hearing, the Public Defender's office was appointed for him. Second hearing, it was Conflict Counsel. On July 30, Alternate Conflict Counsel was appointed and even they said they would have to check if there was a conflict. Mr. Glenn Brown accepted the appointment and asked dates remain as they are, "for now."

If the Alternate Conflict Counsel's office has a problem, the court will appoint a private attorney at no cost for Charles Kesserling.

So will the preliminary hearing scheduled for August 12 for  Kesserling be delayed further. On July 30? On July 30, Judge Miles asked why a case for Kesserling that deals with his probation being revoked scheduled for August 6 was on calendar that day. Then the court staff had not corrected certain charges in the system that were corrected at a previous court hearing.

While all this was going on, Charles Kesserling alternated between glaring at people in the courtroom, including me, at random and repeating the same thing he says at every hearing, "No one tells me anything." This despite his attorneys explaining what is going on before, during and after his court case, every time.

Previous posts:

Jul 9, 2015

Machete wielding suspect who allegedly robbed and took a pizza delivery van, previously busted for meth,

A disposition and reset hearing was scheduled in Courtroom 2 today for Charles Kesserling.

Intervention is August 6. Preliminary hearing is August 12.

Previous posts:

Jun 9, 2015

Machete wielding pizza delivery suspect gives attitude to Judge in court, bail set at $100,000

Judge Marilyn Miles said Charles Kesserling was not bailable but today Visiting Judge Dennis Buckley set his bail for $100,000. Kesserling was arraigned previously on a probation revocation case. Today's hearing dealt with charges from Kesserling allegedly robbing and taking a vehicle from a pizza delivery driver.

This link has the background to that court hearing:

When Judge Buckley asked him if he wanted an attorney, he snapped, "Yes." Instead of focusing on what was going on in court about his case, Kesserling stared coldly at me and others in the audience.

Mr. Marek Reavis, from Conflict Counsel was appointed to represent Kesserling. DDA Zach Curtis was present for the People. All Kesserling cared about the other day and today was, "What are my charges?" Intervention is set for June 18 at 3 p.m. in Courtroom 2 and Preliminary hearing is set for June 22 at 8:30.

Jun 8, 2015

Machete wielding thief who robbed pizza delivery driver not bailable, next court date June 29

Charles Kesserling looked shocked in Courtroom 2 today as he was arraigned on a petition to revoke probation this afternoon. He is in custody for the incident below. Judge Marilyn Miles said he is not bailable. Mr. Casey Russo from the Public Defender's office is appointed to defend Kesserling. DDA Whitney Barnes was in court for the People.

Next court date is June 29.

HCSO Press release:

On 05-26-2015 at 11:50 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputies were dispatched to the Manila Community Center in Manila, regarding a robbery that had just occurred. When deputies arrived on scene they contacted the 22 year old male victim. The victim told the deputies that he is a pizza delivery driver. The victim said he received an order to deliver pizza to the Manila Community Center. The victim said when he arrived in his vehicle he was met by two adult males.

The victim asked the males if they had ordered a pizza and they replied, “Yes”. One of the suspects approached him and asked if he had any change for a $50.00 dollar bill. The victim said he told him, yes he had change. The victim said the suspect then produced a machete and order him to exit his vehicle. The victim described the machete as about 18” to 24” in length. The suspect then took the victim’s wallet, cell phone and took his keys to his vehicle.

The victim said the suspect told him to lie on the ground and said, if you move, I will kill you. After a few moments the suspect told the victim, get up and run. The victim said he got up and ran towards the ocean into a wooded area. The victim said he then stopped and he could hear a male voice yell, keep running or else. The victim said he then took off running again. The victim said when he stopped running the second time he heard his vehicle drive away from the area.

As deputies were taking the report from the victim, California Highway Patrol received report of a possible traffic accident. The vehicle involved in the traffic accident belonged to the victim .The victim’s vehicle had crashed into a wire fence at the intersection of Jackson Ranch Road and SR255. When CHP arrived they did not locate anyone around the vehicle.

The deputies were able to identify one of the two suspects in this case. The suspect who threatened the victim with the machete has been identified as 29-year-old Charles Albert Kesselring from Eureka. The victim was unable to provide a description on the second suspect.

Another previous arrest:

 A press release from Ukiah police:

Kesselring, Charles Albert (male, 29, Eureka)
10851(a) CVC-Vehicle theft-felony
496(a) PC-Possession of stolen property-felony
2800.1(a) CVC-Evading-misdemeanor
11377(a) HS-Possession of a controlled substance-misdemeanor
148(a)(1) PC-Resist/delay officer-misdemeanor
12500(a) CVC-Unlicensed driver-misdemeanor
Wall, Jennifer Rebecca (female, 36, Eureka)
10851(a) CVC-Vehicle theft-felony
496(a) PC-Possession of stolen property-felony
11377(a) HS-Possession of a controlled substance-misdemeanor
484(a) PC-Theft-misdemeanor
490.5(a) PC-Shoplifting-misdemeanor
On 5-29-15 at approx. 7:15 PM, UPD officers were dispatched to the area of Wal-Mart regarding a shoplifting
that had just occurred. The female suspect had fled into the passenger seat of an awaiting vehicle and left the
area in a silver SUV with dealer paper plates. A UPD officer quickly located the vehicle behind a large dirt
mound at the South end of Airport Park Blvd. The officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle,
however the vehicle sped up and began driving erratically N/B in the dirt lot. The vehicle drove over a culvert
at a high rate of speed, which appeared to have damaged the vehicle. As the driver attempted to flee at a high
rate of speed, the driver attempted to drive through a wire fence (located on the South side of Les Schwab Tires)
and got stuck. The vehicle was “boxed in” by the patrol car. The driver, Charles Kesselring, attempted to flee
on foot, but was quickly apprehended. The passenger, Jennifer Wall was taken into custody at the scene. The
vehicle was previously reported stolen out of Humboldt County. Officers located suspected methamphetamine
in the vehicle. Kesselring was wanted out of Humboldt County for carjacking, robbery, and terrorist threats.
Kesselring was also on active PRCS probation (Post Release Community Supervision) for auto theft.
Kesselring and Wall were lodged at the county jail, where Kesselring was additionally held on the Humboldt
County charges.

Sherriff Downey issues precautionary evacuation for Blocksburg


A temporary evacuation center has been established at the Alderpoint Volunteer Fire Company’s fire hall for residents who choose to voluntarily evacuate from Blocksburg or surrounding areas.  The precautionary evacuation advisory remains in effect for Blocksburg only, and there are no mandatory evacuation orders at this time.  The Alderpoint VFC is located at 17440 Alderpoint Rd., Alderpoint 95511. This information and any additional updates will be available on a recorded message from CAL FIRE at (707) 418-0411.

CAL FIRE will host a community meeting and briefing at 6:00 p.m. at the Baptist Church in Bridgeville, at 48215 Alderpoint Rd.

On July 31, at approximately 10:30 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey issued a precautionary evacuation advisory for Blocksburg, due to the Humboldt Lightning complex fires.   As of 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 1, Blocksburg remains under an evacuation advisory only. Humboldt County is not under any mandatory evacuation orders at this time.  Any changes in evacuation status will be conveyed by emergency notification system or “reverse calling”, to the media  and via social media. The County Emergency Operations Center is currently activated at a Level 1, or monitor status, in order to coordinate any evacuations that may be ordered in the future and assist with resource needs.

Individuals registered to receive emergency notifications from the County should have received emergency messaging immediately following issuance of the advisory. Residents of Humboldt County may register at any time to receive emergency messages, but there may be a delay between registration and receipt of messaging.

Thomas Prince arrested today was sentenced to five years in state prison for domestic violence in 2012

This is from January 26, 2012  press release from the District Attorney's office:

Re: McKinleyville Man Sentenced to Five Years for Domestic Violence

On Wednesday, January 25, 2012, Thomas Manuel Prince, 27, of McKinleyville, was sentenced to five years in State Prison by the Honorable Judge W. Bruce Watson after pleading guilty to assault with a
deadly weapon, making criminal threats and corporal injury to a spouse, co-habitant or child’s parent.
On September 19, 2011, Prince physically assaulted the mother of his infant child as well as a female
friend that attempted to stop the attack. Prince also threatened to shoot both women.
“I am pleased that the court saw fit to sentence Mr. Prince to State Prison for the maximum term of five
years. This violent, traumatic incident left scars with its victims and will permanently affect any
relationship that he has with his minor child, a child his victim was holding when Prince carried out the
assault. The community and the victims of this case will be protected while he is serving his time in
prison,” said Deputy District Attorney Allan L. Dollison, the prosecutor who handled the sentencing of the case.

I have another tip from a caller about Prince and am looking into it.

HCSO Press Release, Sept. 21, 2011 (from an Arcata Eye article):

On 09-19-2011, approximately 0430 hours the Humboldt County Sheriffs Office was notified of an assault which just occurred in the 2900 block of Little Pond Drive, McKinleyville.

When the deputy arrived he met with the female victim and her infant son. The victim told the deputy her boyfriend, Thomas Manuel Prince, 27 years poured beer on her when she was sleeping and then punched her several times in the face, choked her to the point of nearly passing out, sprayed her face with paint and threatened to shoot her with a shotgun. The victim attempted to flee from the residence with their baby via a window, but was dragged back inside by the suspect who continued the assault.

When a 50 year old female friend attempted to assist the victim during the assault, the suspect assaulted her several times, striking her in the head and face, and threatening to shoot her.

Prince also smashed all the telephones in the residence so the victims could not call law enforcement for help.

The victim was transported to a local hospital to be treated for her injuries which included several lacerations and a black eye.

The Sheriffs office is attempting to locate Thomas Manual Prince, 27 years old of McKinleyville. He is described as a white male, 5-11, 210 lbs, brown hair and blue eyes. He is wanted for threatening a crime with intent to terrorize, domestic violence, damage to a telephone, battery causing serious bodily injury, false imprisonment and willful cruelty to a child. He was last seen fleeing the scene on a bicycle.

Neighbor prevents burglary

On 07/31/15 at about 11:49 p.m., the Eureka Police Department Communications Center received a call from a resident on the 2500 block of California Street.  The caller said their neighbor’s home was being burglarized.

Officers responded and observed a broken window to the rear of the residence and could see a person moving room to room inside.  Officers secured a perimeter around the house.  The suspect, later identified as Thomas Prince, 31 of Eureka, became aware of the officers and attempted to flee out of a window.  He was met by officers and retreated back inside.  He then tried to flee out the front door but was again met by officers.

Officers lit up the residence with patrol vehicle spotlights and communicated with Prince with a loudspeaker.  Prince was told to come out with his hands up.  Prince eventually complied and was taken into custody without further incident.  K9 Vex cleared the residence and no other suspects were located.

Prince was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and charged with Burglary, Ex-Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Parole Violation.

Thank you to the caller for watching out for their neighbors and calling in a residential burglary.

Jul 31, 2015

"We only have so much time, we need to deal with what is on calendar today"; Jeremy Kish pushes his luck with the Judge and gets called on his court shenanigans

Yesterday afternoon a CON-REP report was scheduled to be heard in Courtroom 2 for Jeremy Kish, suspect in the arson of the former Arcata Alliance market, among other charges he has racked up.

Conflict Counsel's Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis represents Kish, despite Kish's frequent efforts to fire his lawyer. At yesterday's hearing, Mr. David Lee subbed in for Mr. Elvine-Kreis.

Kish is in administrative segregation, keeps racking up charges in the jail, some of which he has yet to be arraigned on since criminal proceeding were suspended at the last court hearing.

This is from the last court hearing. "The defendant is not currently competent to stand trial," read Judge Bob McNatt from Dr. Wilson's report. "While he understands the nature of his proceedings, he is not cooperating or assisting his attorney in a,rational manner." 

Dressed in his red jumpsuit, Kish was escorted by two bailiffs. The red suit looked dirty like he had been wearing it for days. His mouth and head covered by netting and a face mask, he did his usual drama of summoning his attorney and talking about his dog and unrelated matters before his case could be called.

In consideration for all the other cases on calendar and people waiting, Judge Miles had no patience yesterday for Kish's shenanigans. He kept interrupting while his case was being called and dealt with, this is not new, it is typical. Judge Miles said, "I'm not dealing with any other issues other than the CON-REP report. Mr. Kish, I am going to ask you not to talk. We only have so much time, we need to deal with what is on calendar today. Your attorney can come and talk to you and put other matters on calendar."

Finally his case was called. "All nine of Mr. Kish's files are relevant to his competency determination and CON-REP report," said Judge Miles.

Then looking at the minutes of the July 14 hearing, Judge Miles had some concerns. I was at that hearing and it seems some information did not make it to the minutes. Visiting Judge Bob McNatt subbed for Judge Miles that day and his name was still listed in the court system as being the Judge for yesterday's hearing. "The minutes in 3 cases do not say he is incompetent, nothing was suspended. Arraignment did not proceed."

This was addressed by DDA Jackie Pizzo who asked Judge McNatt what should happen about the three new cases. At that hearing, due to Dr. Wilson's report, Kish was found not competent to stand trial and not arraigned on those cases because all crimonal proceedings were suspended in other cases.

Judge Miles said that "the three last cases should have CON-REP not mental health. There is no report appointing a psychiatrist to evaluate Mr. Kish for anti-psychotic medications; we need that for the commitment order."

Then, Mr. Lee spoke privately with Kish but Kish is si loud that even with the face mask, I could hear him go off tangent about other stuff and he said, "I don't take medications right now."

Mr. Lee then told Judge Miles that initially there was a finding of competence, until we had the new report. "Yes, we want criminal proceedings suspended in all cases." Then Ms. Pizzo and Mr. Lee asked that Kish was "declared incompetent." and asked this apply to three new cases.

Judge Miles orally modified that the referral was COn-REP and not from Mental Health and a psychiatrist was appointed to evaluate Kish regarding his ability to take anti-psychotic meds and whether he has the capacity to consent.

On August 11, there is a motion from County Counsel regarding animal control. From Kish's rantings in court, he was mumbling about that his dogs were "let go" and he kept referring to Judge Miles' "pet order." Have to wait until August 11 to see what are the facts. On August 13 at 2 p.m., Kish's placement status will be reviewed.

Previous posts:

Another suicide at the Humboldt County jail?

Just got a tip. Calling to get more information.

Just spoke with HCSO Lt. Wayne Hanson and he said there was another attempted suicide and that he will be sending out a press release this afternoon.

Press Release:

On 7/30/15 at 6:40 p.m. a 35 year old male inmate was returning to his housing unit from seeing a nurse. As the Correctional Deputy was returning the inmate to his cell the inmate ran from the Correctional Deputy and up a flight of stairs.

At the first landing between the top and bottom tiers the inmate climbed over the railing and jumped, landing on his right side The Correctional Deputy immediately called for an emergency response. Correctional Deputies and medical staff arrived on scene and rendered first aid treatment until EMS arrived on scene.

The inmate was alert and responsive, complaining of back pain. The inmate was transported to St Joseph’s Hospital via an ambulance. The inmate was treated at a local hospital for a broken outer ring of his pelvis, due to the fall.  The doctors at the hospital said the break would not require surgery and the inmate was later transported back to the Correctional Facility.

The inmate is currently housed in a cell in the medical area of the Humboldt County Correctional Facility . The inmate is being monitored by medical and mental health staff.  The inmate is on suicide watch with 15 minute cell checks.

The inmate was brought into custody on 07-28-2015 for two misdemeanor warrants for his arrest for theft related charges.

DA's motion for continuance in gross vehicular manslaughter case continued for input from victim's family; defense counsel tries to negotiate Lockhart's release to agree to DA's continuance

The District Attorney's office  filed a motion to continue in the David Lockhart case. That motion was to be heard yesterday afternoon at 2 p.m. There was also an intervention hearing scheduled for 3 p.m. today in Courtroom 2 that was vacated after the matter was continued to August 3rd at 2 p.m..

Mr. Russ Clanton, who represents Lockhart addressed the Court yesterday and told Judge Marilyn Miles, "We tend to accommodate continuances if there is no prejudice. In this case, we oppose because he is in custody and will remain there for 30 days while the officer is on vacation. We would reconsider, if People will reconsider custody status and release Mr. Lockhart."

Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo responded that, "While number of members of the victim's family were present, Mr. Patrik Griego who represents the family, was not informed of this motion until she contacted his office that day. I don't think the issue of Mr. Lockhart being in custody is prejudice, more inconvenience."

Judge Miles then said that current dates will remain and the matter is continued until the "People properly notify the victims' family." She said she would not make a decision without their input.

Judge Miles also handed some papers to Mr. Clanton that no one was aware had been subpoenaed but were in the file with a sticky note with this name. There was also clarification on the record that there had been no attempt to subpoena the officer, just that he is on vacation.

The current preliminary hearing date is August 6.

Last post:

Jul 3, 2015

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:

Local grants available to reduce crime, recidivism from Humboldt County Corrections Partnership

If you provide local services that reduce crime and recidivism, you may be eligible to receive up to $10,000 from a new grant being offered by the County of Humboldt. The Humboldt County Community Corrections Partnership (CCP) will begin accepting applications for this new grant on Saturday, Aug. 1. Read the proposal and submit your application here.
Last year, the Board of State and Community Corrections allocated $8 million state-wide for the Community Recidivism Reduction Grant. Under the guidelines, counties are eligible to receive funds if the Board of Supervisors, in collaboration with the county’s CCP, develops a competitive grant program intended to fund services that reduce crime and recidivism. Humboldt County received $50,000 for this purpose and will award up to $10,000 to five or more applicants.
The goal of this project is help individuals refrain from engaging in crime, reconnect with their family members, and contribute to their communities. Specifically, this project aims to serve those who have been released from the state prison, a county jail, a juvenile detention facility, and who are under the supervision of a probation department; or any other person at risk of becoming involved in criminal activities.
To be eligible, applicants must be a nongovernmental entity or group that serves the above-described population and provides services to reduce crime and recidivism. Recidivism refers to an individual's relapse into criminal behavior, especially after they have already served a sentence for a previous crime.
Examples of ways that entities provide these services include:
Self-help groups• Individual or group assistance with basic life skills
Mentoring programs• Academic and educational services
Job training skills and employment• Truancy prevention programs
Literacy programs• Homelessness prevention
Reentry services
Proposals for this grant must be received by the Humboldt County Probation Department by Aug. 21 at 5 p.m. Grants will be awarded by Sept. 9.

For more information, contact:
Bill Damiano, Chief Probation Officer

Jul 30, 2015

Humboldt Consequential's commenter ken d nails it!

Commenter ken d over at the Humboldt Consequential blog on the post on Jacqueline Debet's departure nails it!

Humboldt Consequential is the delish-ly diabolical new local blog whose latest post on Debets made me miss the Humboldt Mirror, even more so.

ken d's comment:

Nothing against Ms. Debets, I don’t know her and certainly wish her the best. However, perhaps this is a good time to re evaluate whether her position and others similar at both the City and County are cost effective and/or even needed. As we know most levels of government are top heavy with high paid management, while not enough people with common sense are actually getting the work done.
The City of Eureka, by wringing their hands with all these public meetings at the Warfinger on what to do with the 3+ acres of waterfront property that they own is laughable. First of all, a public entity like a City or County shouldn’t own any real estate except for perhaps the City Hall or the County Courthouse that they actually occupy. Most, if not all real property should always stay in the hands of private individuals or entities, if for no other reason that they are the only ones who pay the property taxes. This particular property has been vacant and a blight on the waterfront for 30 + years and by now the City has demonstrated that they do not have the expertise to develop it.
According to the Time Standard article the other day and during one of the aforementioned public meetings on what the City should do with this parcel, someone with a modicum of common sense mentioned selling the property. What a concept? First of all, the City could definitely use the money and secondly, they wouldn’t have to waste all this time having their employees and high paid consultants attend all these idiotic meetings on what should be built there. A private individual would and should take the risk on what would work at that location and the City should butt out except to approve the zoning and building plans.

I am posting a comment from Jeff Katz who used to live in Humboldt.

"John, go ahead and post this, I  don't have an open account to post it.

 A friend of mine who used to be in a very high position at the county once tried to inventory the number of properties the county of Humboldt owns; somewhere between 75-100 parcels! The county is broke, the city is broke, fire stations are closing, the real estate market is the best its been in years, why not sell?  The city of Eureka has had study after study of the waterfront property over the years.As I recall, Pierson looked at that parcel to build an Embassy Suites hotel years ago. Bottom line: Government should get out of the property business altogether, and get those parcels SOLD, tons of strong, talented, qualified local people up there in Humboldt (Pierson, Danco, Strombeck, Pacific Builders to name a few).   F St. Balloon Tract, C Street, the old co-op building on 1st St, prime real estate both privately and publicly owned. 10 years from now it will still be vacant I predict, sadly.  When I lived in Eureka, among the many committees and commissions I served on was 6 years spent on the Eureka Housing Advisory Board including 2 years as chair., Sincerely, Jeff Katz

A taste of BIM, Caribbean style food and bar to open at former Avalon Eureka location

The front part of the former Avalon restaurant location has been home to Praxis fitness for a while. Now the back room, famous for private parties and catering is getting a facelift and it will be a new bar and restaurant. The liquor license application says a taste of BIM. A few people have met the owners.

It is not Korean food as some have speculated, what I have heard is that it will be Caribbean style food.

Two defendants plead guilty, one proceeds to preliminary hearing in crow killing case

DDA Adrian Kamada responded via email and this is the outcome of the crow killing case.

Co-defendants Jeffrey Malast and Timothy Ross each plead guilty to two misdemeanor charges. One count of animal cruelty [PC-597(a)], and one count of unlawful taking of wildlife [F&G-2000]. On these convictions, the court granted Mr. Malast and Mr. Ross probation for three years, which includes the statutory required behavioral counseling, plus 25 hours community service work and fines.

As for co-defendant Scott Humphrey, the case will proceed to a preliminary hearing.

EPD gives some additional details on Old Town Coffee break-in

From EPD's Brittany Powell:

EPD was called at 7:24 a.m., for a burglary report.  It was to the storage shed in the common hallway to the rear of the business.  Beer, wine, a scale, grinder, and approx.. 200 pounds of coffee were stolen.  No suspects and no video surveillance.

Help EPD and Old Town Coffee and Chocolates catch these crooks; check LOCO link for details

Jul 29, 2015

Marissa Carlson arrested again is an understatement

Marissa Carlson was arrested in the hammer and bat incident. Click the link to Kym's blog for details,

She will be arraigned, Mr. Kaleb Cockrum will most likely be appointed to represent her, then what?

May 15, 2015

Marissa Carlson tells her attorney she wants to blow this joint but her criminal past foils her plans

This afternoon Marissa Carlson was in Courtroom 5. The District Attorney's office filed "a first amended petition to revoke her probation" from an older case in 2014 and she also had a OR/Bail hearing on the new charges from 2015.

Carlson animatedly spoke with her attorney Mr. Kaleb Cockrum privately and it was loud enough to gather she wanted out of the Humboldt County jail.

DDA Roger Rees told Judge Joyce Hinrichs to deny the request because "the charges are serious and she has a number of failures to appear in the past case."

Judge Hinrichs agreed and declined to release Carlson on OR due to the "potential danger to the community and concerns for public safety."

Previous post:

May 12, 2015

Just saw her be released in court and here she is back again,

I sat in court and watched Marissa Carlson be released and here she is back in court again.

12 criminal cases in various stages, some resolved, traffic cases, failures to appear and bench warrant.

Just another typical day for Humboldt law enforcement, courts dealing with the same frequent offenders.

Press Release:

On 05/12/15 at about 5:27 a.m., Officers were dispatched to the 1500 block of 15th Street for the report of two suspicious females.  The caller said the females knocked on the door and when confronted said they were looking for a friend’s house.  The females then walked across the street and were seen checking gates and windows. 

Officers located Marissa Carlson, 25, and Jeannine Griffith, 30, both of Eureka, near the location of the incident.  Carlson was positively identified and was arrested for attempted burglary and probation violation.  Griffith was arrested on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for possession of a switchblade knife.  Both were transported and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.

If you dont see Rex around much for the next two weeks, here is why

He is taking some personal time to volunteer for a church mission in Thailand.

I teased him and said, so you volunteer your time for several causes in the local community, in addition to your job, and this is your idea of a vacation.

Kidding aside, good cause, and wish you and your fellow missionaries well. This is a mission organized by the Faith Center in Eureka.

Church Mission on Human trafficking for more info

Jacqueline Debets resigns and moves to Auburn?

Two reliable sources indicate that Jacqueline Debets, County's Economic Development Director has resigned and is moving to Auburn.

Stay tuned for more. I will update this post. Awaiting a call back from Ms. Debets.

At 10:30 today, I spoke with Ms. Debets. She did confirm she has a new job with the Community Development agency for the County of Placer. She will be working on a property near the Sunset area intended to be an industrial park, she said. "I will be the lead working with developers" to obtain financing and develop infrastructure.

Her last day is August 14.

"Humboldt County is my home. I am a fifth generation native. I will always love it. Humboldt County has been very good to me. I have been able to do some wonderful work. There is a lot in the works right now. The staff here will pick it up. We need a team to go after grants again, as they are available. It takes a lot of energy and vision to go after grants; not just go after money, but grants that fit the need of our comunity."

"There needs to be colloboration with the Prosperity Center. The City of Eureka has stepped up to economic development in a meaningful way."

Photo from Eureka Rotary:

Jul 28, 2015

Crow killing case results in a settlement of a misdemeanor

An intervention hearing was held today for the  case below. The settlement for was a misdemeanor for Jeffrey Malast and he got counseling pursuant to Section 597 of the Penal code, according to his attorney Allan Dollison. Scott Humphrey who is Ken Bareilles's client's case did not resolve that day. Discussions are still going on and Humphrey is trying for an infraction. Timothy Ross's case settled and he was booked and released from jail on 7/29. Trying to confirm whether that is due to SWAP.

I am awaiting a response from Deputy District Attorney Adrian Kamada for further details and clarification.

May 5, 2015

Connection between Rodney Ortiz and a man currently alleged for shooting crows and disposing of them in a chipper

I was looking into a case in Humboldt Superior Court. I learned from an unnamed source that two of the defendants are former employees of California Redwoods Korbel Mill. The State of California may also be pursuing action in this case which involves shooting crows and disposing of them in a chipper.

The charges in Humboldt Superior Court are killing, maiming, torturing and mutilating an animal as well as unlawful hunting and maiming.

Jeffrey Mitchell Malast is represented by Allan Dollison, Scott William Humphrey by Ken Bareilles, both private attorneys. Timothy Evert Ross is being represented by the Public Defender's office.

Next court date for a motion hearing to file an amended complaint is on May 21 at 2 p.m in Courtroom 5. There is a disposition and reset hearing set at 2 p.m. on June 4.

This same unnamed source claims that after the Hoopa shooting, Rodney and Vincent Ortiz went to the house of Timothy Ross twice before being arrested. The same source said that Rodney Ortiz and Timothy Ross worked together at the Korbel Mill.

Preliminary hearing for William Jarnaghan, Hoopa softball coach charged with 6 counts of sexual acts against underage female victim set for September 29

A disposition and reset hearing for William Jarnaghan was scheduled this afternoon in Courtroom 5.

All alleged counts are against a female victim under 18 years old. Counts 1,2 and 3 are felonies. Sexual penetration/Foreign object PC 289 (h). Counts 4,5 and 6 are misdemeanors. Annoying/Molest a child under 18 years. PC 647.6 (a)(1).

He has been served with a criminal protective order, had to give up firearms, if convicted he will have to register as a sex offender.

Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett has been the prosecutor present in court for the case. Today, DDA Kelly Neel was present for the People. Mr. Neal Sanders is representing Jarnaghan, who did not have to be in court today because he signed a 977 waiver of personal appearance form.

Intervention is set for September 17 at 3 p.m. and Preliminary hearing is set for September 29 at 8:30 a.m.

Previous posts:

Motion to continue in Stiglich case granted, new jury trial date is August 31

Judge Marilyn Miles said that "good cause had been shown" and granted the DA's motion for continuance in the Judson Stiglich case. Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo was present for the People. Mr. David Celli appeared with Stiglich.

Jury trial is August 31, Trial Assignment is August 28 and Trial Readiness is August 26 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 2.

Few of Ryan Robinson's family were there. Stiglich was not aware of the court hearing until last night and his family did not know of the court hearing until today when they read my earlier blog post so his family and friends could not make it to court in time.

My post from earlier today:

The District Attorney's office filed a motion on July 21 to ask for a continuance in the Judson Stiglich case.

Motion will be heard this afternoon in Courtroom 2 by Judge Marilyn Miles.

Stiglich is charged with shooting Ryan Robinson.

Leah Jarnaghan fails to appear in court, bench warrant issued for $50,000

Today in Courtroom 5, Leah Jarnaghan was scheduled to be arraigned a felony, child abuse endangerment with possibility of great bodily injury and reckless driving.

She has been convicted of child endangerment before. See second link below.

Despite a signed promise to appear, she failed to show up for court. A bench warrant was issued by Judge Joyce Hinrichs in the amount of $50,000. Deputy District Attorney Kelly Neel was present for the People.

Private attorney Christina Allbright was out of the courtroom when the case was called and when she came back later, they had finished with the case. She informed Judge Hinrichs that was supposed to make a special appearance for Jarnaghan this afternoon.

Previous posts:

A message for Jane Doe #1 from John Kufner's grand-daughter who took the risk to share this on a public forum

John Kufner's grand-daughter contacted me after my previous post where others shared some information. We have been talking for a while, she has been following the trial. She has read the verdict.

I will not be using her real name.

Ed is my grandfather. When I was about 5 years old, Ed was moving me to my father's in Virginia from California because my mom didn't want me anymore. And he took me and my brother to Virginia. He used to drive a little pick up truck. He would want to me touch the gear shift to feel the vibrations. And when me and my brother would fall asleep in the truck, he would have me sit in the middle. My brother is 2 years younger than me. I could feel him putting his right hand inside my pants, and underwear. First rubbing. Then penetration with his fingers. I couldn't understand why or what he was doing, I just knew it was wrong. I didn't have the nerves to tell anyone till a couple years later after it happened. My grandma was the only one who believed me. I went through counseling and talked to a detective and everything. But for some reason the detective didn't want to push the case any further. I remember someone having to come talk to me while I was in school in the counselors office playing with dolls and they would ask me where he touched me, and I would point on the doll. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about what happened. Still have serious mental issues over it. And I know its been about 10-11 years since it happened to me, and I know if it happened to me it has happened to many many many other girls, and/or boys. I just pray that this case goes the way it needs to to protect everyone from him. And I know for me, it will help heal me cause I know that he will be punished for what he has done. And for the other girls, they will grow up and it will help them to know that they were listened to and was being protected by law enforcement like law enforcers are supposed to. Cause I know living all these years knowing he is running around free as a bird, I have feared that he may try to come after me for telling, and I feared for other girls as well. I pray for the girls involved in this case and all the other girls out there that has been hurt by this man. I just couldn't believe that he had done what he has done to other girls the same exact way he had done to me...

Thank you so much for your time.

Three jurors in Kufner case share why they arrived at not guilty verdict

The jury was comprised of seven women and five men. A handful of them stayed to talk with attorneys, staff and me.

I spoke with three jurors, two women and a man.

The first woman juror said, "It was 100 percent not guilty on all counts. From day one, the first three we agreed on, there was one lady who was leaning guilty on assault" but eventually they all agreed unanimously on the verdicts.

They arrived at their decision due to "lack of evidence and lack of testimony."

"There was no CAST interview shared with us, no results of SART exam, Jane Doe and the mother seemed to be on drugs."

"We believed something was there but there was reasonable doubt" due to the way the case was presented.

The second lady juror said, "The DA did a terrible job, he did not present a credible case. Mr. Kufner presented himself very well. The little girl and her mother were not credible. It's a shame because we will never know.

"Mr. Kufner made an effort to take care of the girls. From him to be waiting 10 months in jail, that's a shame."

The gentleman juror basically said the same things.

Jury in Kufner case returns not guilty verdict on all counts

The jury in the John Kufner case only started deliberating at 9:30. At 9:45, the attorneys went in. At 10:13, the courtroom opened.

Kufner was found not guilty on the count charged of continuous sexual abuse and not guilty on lesser counts of lewd and lascivious acts, battery and assault. He whispered thank you to Mr. Russo.

Preliminary hearing for Lindsay Kaminsky, woman charged with allegedly stabbing her husband continued upon defense request

An intervention hearing was scheduled last week in Courtroom 2 for Lindsay Kaminsky. She is being represented by private attorney Manny Daskal. DDA Kelly Neel is prosecuting the case.

At the last court hearing, Mr. Daskal who was substituted as Kaminsky's attorney instead of her court appointed attorney said "we hope to make substanstial progress in this case" by the next court date, and then referred to this intervention hearing.

Intervention did not result in a resolution last week. The preliminary hearing was scheduled for today, July 28.

No reason was stated on the record, defense requested a continuance this morning during assignment calendar. People did not object. DDA Kelly Neel is the prosecutor on this case.

Kaminsky had waived 10 days, today she waived 60 days. Intervention is on August 6 at 3 p.m. and the new preliminary hearing date is August 13.

Previous posts:

Motion to continue filed by DA in Judson Stiglich case

The District Attorney's office filed a motion on July 21 to ask for a continuance in the Judson Stiglich case.

Motion will be heard this afternoon in Courtroom 2 by Judge Marilyn Miles.

Stiglich is charged with shooting Ryan Robinson.

Benjamin Carter found guilty, sentencing on September 4, another win for DDA Roger Rees

Yesterday Benjamin Carter was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Sentencing is on September 4 at 1:30 in Courtroom 6.

There is a special allegation to the count charged P 667 b (i). This will add three years to Carter's sentence. That code applies when someone has been convicted previously of one or more serious/violent felonies.

Only two jurors stayed behind to talk to the attorneys.

DA's press release (sent right now):

On July 27, 2015, in the case of the People of the State of California v. Benjamin Carter, the jury found the defendant guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm. The defendant admitted a special allegation that he had previously been convicted of a strike under California's Three Strikes law. 

The charge arose from incidents that occurred on April 16, 2014.  On that day, the defendant obtained a shotgun from Zackery Chapman. Later, Mr. Chapman attempted to get the shotgun back from the defendant; Mr. Chapman was armed with a pistol when he arrived at the defendant Carter's location in Southern Humboldt. Mr. Chapman pointed the pistol at several people, including the defendant, who was holding the shotgun.  The defendant fired one shot at Mr. Chapman, killing him. Although the defendant was initially charged with murder, it was ultimately determined that the shooting was justified.

In addition to three civilian witnesses, Investigator Cheryl Franco of the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department testified at the trial.

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 Michael Acosta, a local defense attorney. The Honorable Christopher Wilson, Judge, presided over the six-day trial in Humboldt Superior Court.

The scheduled sentencing date is September 4, 2015. The maximum sentence for this crime and special allegation is six years in state prison. Because the defendant has a prior strike, he must serve 80% of his sentence before being paroled.

"Law enforcement is not on trial, what law enforcement did is not germane to whether Mr. Kufner touched Jane Doe #1 inappropriately."

Mr. Curtis gave his rebuttal argument right after Mr. Russo's closing. "Mr. Russo said that the defense does not have to prove anything, that's true. The prosecution has to prove, the prosecution brought evidence."

"Mr. Russo brought up a lot of stuff about the DA and law enforcement." Then Mr. Curtis said there was so much to address.

Law enforcement is not on trial, what law enforcement did is not germane to whether Mr. Kufner touched Jane Doe #1 inappropriately."

"You heard from Ms. Baxley (DA Investigator) about the CAST interview. She testified about her training. CAST is done so the minor victim does not have to state traumatic experiences over and over again."

"A surprise interrogation is done for a reason. You don't give a suspect time to think up a story."

"Did the removal of the snippets in context change their meaning in any way. You will have the entire interview, you can listen to it. Have I in any way changed the evidentiary meaning?"

"Mr. Russo talks about her troubled past. It is difficult for me to say. Her father died, her mother went crazy. Which brings me to bedwetting that Mr. Russo is so interested in, children sometimes bed-wet. In this case, there were plethora of reasons that she may have wet the bed. I don;t see how bedwetting is even an issue. Mother said she was able to change herself. It is a bit much to say that she lay in bed all night long."

"There are a number of people Jane Doe did not disclose to, CWS, CASA. You have to look at it from Jane Doe #1's perspective. This is the first time she has had stability. Her little sister is very happy. Mr. Kufner takes care of them. In all of this whirlwind, there has only been one person who has been consistently there, Jane Doe #2. She will go where Jane Doe # 2 goes. Children make a trade-off. I'm being molested versus stability. She disclosed when she felt safe to do that."

"Just because it has not been reported doesn't mean it did not happen."

"As you are deliberating, focus on the evidence you have."

"How is Jane Doe going to hold accusations for a year and a half just on a suggestion from her mom?"

Is the defense going after a 9 year old, now 11, who is the alleged victim of sexual abuse by a 62 year old man reasonable doubt?

Mr. Casey Russo, who represents Kufner started his closing on Wednesday, July 22 and it was for half an hour and continued the bulk of it for over an hour on Thursday, July 23.

On Wednesday, the gist of Mr. Russo's closing was that the investigation by the DA's office and law enforcement  was " seriously incomplete." He raised the question by asking why it took 6 months to arrest Kufner and that given Jane Doe's "troubled past", she was "acting out."  A lot of his closing was points raised in his opening. 

Three-fourths of Mr. Russo's closing was about Jane Doe. She was a very credible witness and by his focus on Jane Doe, the defense showed their hand. 

"What is the People's case? I already talked to you about Jane Doe #1 yesterday. It is important to go through what we learned about Jane Doe."

 "We learned that: Jane Doe's mother is a drug addict and mentally ill; we learned that she left Jane Doe with her father at a young age, we learned that she moved into a trailer park at age 7, then her father died". 

Mr. Russo brought up the motels and Jane Doe's mother having the girls living with other men. This was disputed by Jane Doe's and her mother's testimony and there was no independent evidence other than Kufner's allegations about these concerns in any other testimony.

Mr. Russo brought up the bedwetting and said that this "problem had been addressed by Kufner and and not the mother." Again, the pediatrician's testimony says otherwise, that both Kufner and mom brought her to the doctor. 

Mr. Russo said the "mother abandons them again" and then the girls came to live with Kufner. The girls were living with their dad, then with their mom and while Kufner helped them out, the mother did not leave them with Kufner and disappear until she had a complete breakdown after her ex husbands death. Even the mother testified how Kufner helped them out.

In contrast to Mr. Curtis' opening, where he played the exact testimony to back up his remarks, the defense closing could have used actual testimony, and not just opinion. In fact, at one point, Judge Timothy Cissna sustained an objection by DDA Zach Curtis that Mr. Russo's closing "was not evidence" and then Mr. Russo ceded this was his argument.

"Jane Doe now has food, shelter, toys, clothing, stability," said Mr. Russo. "There was no report of discomfort, no report of abuse, no report of fear." Mr. Russo said that CWS and CASA supervised the girls while they were living with Kufner.

Then he brought up that there was no investigation of who Jane Doe # 1 told the accusation about Kufner touching her. She testified to that on the stand.

"I want to talk about children as witnesses in general."

"It was heart breaking to see Jane Doe testify. I said that yesterday."

"Children have problem remembering. They are prone to suggestion, They have problems with authority. They do not understand the gravity of the situation."

"There is a big difference between 20 times and daily."

"The reason she is not a better historian because she is not telling the truth. Mr. Curtis will say that she was not looking at Mr. Kufner because she was scared; it is because she is not telling the truth. It is reasonable doubt."

"Then we have (name of Jane Doe's mother). From what we heard, she is an absolute mess."

Other than that, the defense did not go after Jane Doe's mother and used only select portions of her testimony that were favorable to Kufner. 

"She had nothing but kind words to say about Mr. Kufner"; "She had doubts about Jane Doe's # 1 accusations. This is not evidence, this is my argument based on how she testified."

Mr. Russo brought up that the mother said that Jane Doe #2 did not believe Jane Doe #1. "That is reasonable doubt." What the mother testified to was that initially Jane Doe #2 did not believe Jane Doe #1 and explained why.

"The prosecution wants to make the interrogation the focus of their case because they have a weak case." Then Mr. Russo said "law enforcement only spent a couple of hours, didn't investigate. This is not an open and shut case, it's complicated."

Mr, Russo brought up that Kufner was not read his Miranda rights but Sgt. Sam Williams explained that Kufner was not in custody or being arrested, which is the reason they did not read him his rights.

"You can take snippets of what he (Kufner) said and make it suspicious." but Mr. Russo did the very same with Jane Doe, her mother's and law enforcement's testimony.

Mr. Russo ended with saying there is reasonable doubt and "there are reasonable alternatives to Kufner's guilt"