Jun 14, 2016

Families of victims express frustration over third continuance for Kade Chandler preliminary hearing

The defense asked for yet another continuance for the preliminary hearing for Kade Chandler.

Chandler is being represented by Mr. Manny Daskal and Mr. Benjamin Okin. Chandler had pteviously signed a 977 waiver form and was not present for this hearing.

Deputy District Attorney Roger Rees told Judge Hinrichs, "The People are not opposing the motion" and that "a meeting date had been set to go over discovery issues."

Eight people representing the various victims were present. Mr. David Nims spoke on behalf of the victims, saying that while the families realize the need for the continuance, " the frustration is that some of these discovery issues were apparent iin April." Mr. Nims said that the families were hoping these would have been resolved in May. He said this was the third time the preliminary hearing had been continued.

A disposition and reset hearing was set for June 27 at 2 p.m. At that time, if there are any "issues to litigate", a hearing date will be set.

Feb 22, 2016


Kade Chandler arraigned for last year's Hwy 36 accident which resulted in the death of two women and injury to a third male

This afternoon Kade Chandler was finally arraigned this afternoon in Courtroom 5.

The original incident occurred in February 2015.  Chandler was 20 years old at that time.

Chandler is charged with Count 1 gross vehicular manslaughter, Count 2 gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and special allegation of great bodily injury.

Deputy District Attorney Roger Rees is prosecuting the case.

Courtroom 5 was packed with family and friends of the three victims and their lawyers.

Ms. Elan Firpo represents the third victim in the accident, Bradley Thuemler. Mr. Patrik Griego represents the families of the two women, Savannah Kiana Kindred and Kendra Paige Leialoha Lewis. who died in the crash. His colleague David Nims was in court today for the arraignment.
The two women were members of the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe.

Private attorneys Mr. Benjamin Okin represents Chandler. Mr. Manny Daskal was also in court on behalf of Chandler and requested discovery.

Pleas of not guilty to all charges and special allegations were entered by Mr. Okin on Chandler's behalf. Chandler stood quietly next to Mr. Okin in court. He was dressed in jeans and a striped shirt.

There was discussion about his custody status because Chandler appeared out of custody and people wanted remand this afternoon. DDA Roger Rees also explained why it took so long to arraign Chandler.

"The People are asking the Court to remand Mr. Chandler and to set bail according to schedule," said Mr. Rees.  He said Chandler failed to negotiate a turn and was intoxicated with a combination of cocaine, opiates, marijana and alcohol. "As a result two people lost their lives." One of the women was 20 years old and the other barely over 20 years old, said Mr. Rees.

"Mr. Chandler's conduct puts entire community at risk," said Mr. Rees. " The reason Mr. Chandler is here today instead of an arrest warrant is because the People have kept in touch with Mr. Okin. As a courtesy to him and his attorney, we allowed him to appear out of custody."

Mr. Rees said that the reason arraignment took so long was that before charges could be filed, "significant investigation was done" which included investigation by the California Highway Patrol's Multi-Disciplinary team, DNA analysis and because the individuals were not wearing seatbelts, seating positions had to be determined. The report took a long time.

Judge Hinrichs acknowledged that while there were public safety issues, an arrest warrant contained declarations under penalty of jury and provided information to the Court which would be helpful to make a decision on custody status.

Mr. Okin asked for OR with terms and conditions and said this was a year later and his client was not a flight risk.

"The People were put in a position to charge prematurely than dismiss; the People took the time to gather evidence," said Mr. Rees. "The community should not be punished."

Chandler remains out of custody for now. Judge Hinrichs allowed him to leave "on OR today" with terms and conditions of no alcohol, that he could be subject to chemical testing and search and seizure without an arrest warrant and if he was insured with a valid license, he could only drive to work between the hours of 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. She referred Chandler for a supervised release report from probation.

His custody status will be addressed on February 24 at 2 p.m. Intervention is currently set for February 29 at 3 p.m. and Preliminary hearing is set for March 3 at 8:30 p.m.

Press Release:

On June 9, 2015 the law offices of Zwerdling, Bragg, Mainzer & Firpo filed a personal injury lawsuit in Humboldt County Superior Court on behalf of Bradley Thuemler. 
The suit alleges that on February 21, 2015, Kade Chandler lost control of his vehicle and crashed on State Route 36 while driving under the influence of alcohol. Zwerdling, Bragg, Mainzer & Firpo represent Bradley Thuemler, a passenger who was seriously injured in the incident. The incident also resulted in the death of two female passengers, Savannah Kiana Kindred and Kendra Paige Leialoha Lewis.
Bradley Thuemler seeks compensatory and punitive damages from Kade Chandler.

CHP press release:
On February 21, 2015, at approximately 10:45 p.m., Kade Chandler, was driving his 2005 Toyota Tundra eastbound on SR-36, east of Swimmers Delight.  Due to Chandler’s level of drug/alcohol impairment and traveling at an unsafe speed, Chandler failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway and allowed his vehicle to run off the north road edge and where it collided with a large redwood tree before overturning down an embankment. 
As a result of the collision, Chandler and passenger Savannah Kindred were ejected from the vehicle and sustained major injuries.  An additional unrestrained female passenger (name withheld pending notification) succumbed to her injuries at the scene. Passenger Bradly Thuemler, who was restrained at the time of the collision, suffered moderate injuries.    Chandler and Kindred were transported to Redwood Memorial Hospital.  Kindred was transferred via air ambulance to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.  Thuemler was transported to St Joseph Hospital.
Chandler was subsequently arrested for felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter.  He was released to Redwood Memorial Hospital for treatment of his injuries. 
Emergency personnel from the Carlotta Volunteer Fire Department, Bridgeville Volunteer Fire Department, City Ambulance, Humboldt County Coroner’s Office, and the California Highway Patrol responded to the scene. 


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