Aug 2, 2016

Instead of resolution, second John Bullwinkel jury trial to proceed; he is charged with five counts of sexual offenses against a minor

A change of plea was scheduled for John Bullwinkel July 27 in Courtroom 1 at 4 p.m.

Mr. Russ Clanton, who represents Bullwinkel, told Judge John Feeney, "there were negotiations and we had anticipated a resolution. After speaking with his family, we are going to trial."

Defense requested that the jury trial of August 15 be continued to August 22, since Mr. Clanton had another matter in federal court.


Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett said that she needed to notify the victims in the case to confirm if the new date was okay with them.

Judge Feeney granted the defense motion.

Jul 19, 2016


After a few losses in a row of high profile cases with charges of sexual assault and abuse, a possible plea deal in yet another case by Russ Clanton does not surprise me




After a few losses in a row of high profile cases by Mr. Russ Clanton, particularly Timothy Littlefield and Kailan Meserve to Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett, a change of plea in the John Bullwinkel case does not surprise me.

The plea deal is not a done deal yet.

The twists and turns of this case and changes in dates. A trial confirmation hearing was held yesterday in Courtroom 5 at 2 p.m. for John Bullwinkel.

There is a change of plea now scheduled for July 27. There are also dates for a trial assignment  on August 12 and jury trial still scheduled for August 15.





May 7, 2016


Second jury trial for man charged with five counts of sexual offenses against a minor delayed; he posted bail which was for $400,000

John Bullwinkel's attorney, Mr. Russ Clanton is currently in jury trial for the Jonas Semore case. He has at least a couple other trials pending that had to be rescheduled. One of those was the John Bullwinkel trial.

There is a date for setting on June 13 at 2 p.m.

Feb 1, 2016


Second jury trial set for John Bullwinkel charged with 5 counts against minor victims, Judge Cissna denied defense motion to reduce the $400,000 bail

John Bullwinkel was out of custody before his first jury trial. He remains out of custody. His bail was set at $400,000.



Today, at 4 p.m. there was a hearing before Judge Timothy Cissna on a motion filed by Bullwinkel's attorney, Mr. Russ Clanton, to reduce bail. Today, was also a disposition and reset hearing for the second jury trial.

After hearing from Mr. Clanton and then Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett on the motion to reduce bail, Judge Cissna denied the defense motion to reduce bail. Bullwinkel waived time and due to Mr. Clanton being in several upcoming jury trials, the second jury trial is set for May 9 at 8:30 a.m., Trial Confirmation is April 25 at 2 p.m.

Judge Cissna asked Ms. Bennett if the victims had been notified regarding today's motion for bail reduction. She said they had been through victim witness advocates.

"People oppose the bail reduction," said Ms. Bennett. "The defendant still faces five counts. " Ms. Bennett then listed each count and the amount for that count according to the bail schedule. She also said that the special allegations for each count were "life counts."

Referring to the testimony of Jane Doe #1 that Mr. Clanton referred to in his argument, Ms. Bennett said, "this is an incident involving a young child. Few years have passed before the trial took place. Her memory was clearer when she did the CAST interview."

Before he ruled, Judge Cissna said that the amounts Ms. Bennett were correct. He said the bail schedule does address when the defendant is charged with two or more offenses, but since he was not the trial judge, "whether this occurred in a single incident or multiple incidents" he did not know. The 667.61 (j) (2) allegations are life sentences and each allegation would increase bail to 1 million for each count.

"When I look at the offenses charged, the bail schedule is in excess of $400,000 and this does not even include the million for life sentences," said Judge Cissna. The People did not ask for an increase in bail, there is only a defense motion to decrease bail." And then he denied the defense motion.


Jan 15, 2016


Jury "hoplessly deadlocked" in John Bullwinkel case on 5 counts; mistrial declared; not guilty decision on Count 7

Wednesday at 11:30, the jury started deliberating in the John Bullwinkel case. They just came back with a verdict.

The jury was "hopelessly deadlocked" on Counts 1 through 5. Judge Miles declared a mistrial on those 5 counts.

Count 7 they found Bullwinkel not guilty, including on all lesser charges.

Count 6 was dismissed on January 11, 2016.

Seven women, five men in the jury. The jury took at least three votes, said the jury foreperson.

On Counts 1, 2 and 3, eight guilty, four not guilty; Counts 4 and 5 five guilty and seven not guilty.

Prosecutor was Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett. Bullwinkle was represented by Mr. Russ Clanton. Defense investigator was Adam Laird.

Jan 11, 2016


54 year old man charged with 7 counts of sexual offenses against minor victims including aggravated sexual assault, if convicted faces 25 years to life

John Frederick Bullwinkel, 54 years old is charged with seven counts of sexual offenses against a minor. His jury trial is currently ongoing . Trial Judge is Judge Marilyn Miles; prosecutor is Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett; Bullwinkle is represented by private attorney Russ Clanton.

The special allegations in the complaint allege that there is more than one victim.

Mr. Clanton also represents Kailan Meserve and Timothy Littlefield, Jr., whose jury trials are upcoming.

Bullwinkel is charged with Count 1 aggravated sexual assault of a child, with special allegation of PC 667.61 (j) (2) and (e) and 667.61 (c); Count 2 Forcible Lewd Act on a Child, same special allegation; Count 3 Prevent/Dissuade/Witness/Victim/Force/Threat; Count 4 Lewd or Lascivious act with child under the age of 14, same special allegation; Count 5, 6 and 7 Forcible Lewd Act on a Child, same special allegation.


Details on special allegation for the counts above:

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (j), (l), or (m), any person who is convicted of an offense specified in subdivision (c) under one or more of the circumstances specified in subdivision (d) or under two or more of the circumstances specified in subdivision (e) shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 25 years to life.
(b) Except as provided in subdivision (a), (j), (l), or (m), any person who is convicted of an offense specified in subdivision (c) under one of the circumstances specified in subdivision (e) shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 15 years to life.
(c) This section shall apply to any of the following offenses:
(1) Rape, in violation of paragraph (2) or (6) of subdivision (a) of Section 261.
(2) Spousal rape, in violation of paragraph (1) or (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 262.
(3) Rape, spousal rape, or sexual penetration, in concert, in violation of Section 264.1.
(4) Lewd or lascivious act, in violation of subdivision (b) of Section 288.
(5) Sexual penetration, in violation of subdivision (a) of Section 289.
(6) Sodomy, in violation of paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (c), or subdivision (d), of Section 286.
(7) Oral copulation, in violation of paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (c), or subdivision (d), of Section 288a.
(8) Lewd or lascivious act, in violation of subdivision (a) of Section 288.
(9) Continuous sexual abuse of a child, in violation of Section 288.5.
(d) The following circumstances shall apply to the offenses specified in subdivision (c):
(1) The defendant has been previously convicted of an offense specified in subdivision (c), including an offense committed in another jurisdiction that includes all of the elements of an offense specified in subdivision (c).
(2) The defendant kidnapped the victim of the present offense and the movement of the victim substantially increased the risk of harm to the victim over and above that level of risk necessarily inherent in the underlying offense in subdivision (c).
(3) The defendant inflicted aggravated mayhem or torture on the victim or another person in the commission of the present offense in violation of Section 205 or 206.
(4) The defendant committed the present offense during the commission of a burglary of the first degree, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 460, with intent to commit an offense specified in subdivision (c).
(5) The defendant committed the present offense in violation of Section 264.1, subdivision (d) of Section 286, or subdivision (d) of Section 288a, and, in the commission of that offense, any person committed any act described in paragraph (2), (3), or (4) of this subdivision.
(6) The defendant personally inflicted great bodily injury on the victim or another person in the commission of the present offense in violation of Section 12022.53, 12022.7, or 12022.8.
(7) The defendant personally inflicted bodily harm on the victim who was under 14 years of age.
(e) The following circumstances shall apply to the offenses specified in subdivision (c):
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d), the defendant kidnapped the victim of the present offense in violation of Section 207, 209, or 209.5.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (4) of subdivision (d), the defendant committed the present offense during the commission of a burglary in violation of Section 459.
(3) The defendant personally used a dangerous or deadly weapon or a firearm in the commission of the present offense in violation of Section 12022, 12022.3, 12022.5, or 12022.53.
(4) The defendant has been convicted in the present case or cases of committing an offense specified in subdivision (c) against more than one victim.
(5) The defendant engaged in the tying or binding of the victim or another person in the commission of the present offense.
(6) The defendant administered a controlled substance to the victim in the commission of the present offense in violation of Section 12022.75.
(7) The defendant committed the present offense in violation of Section 264.1, subdivision (d) of Section 286, or subdivision (d) of Section 288a, and, in the commission of that offense, any person committed any act described in paragraph (1), (2), (3), (5), or (6) of this subdivision or paragraph (6) of subdivision (d).
(f) If only the minimum number of circumstances specified in subdivision (d) or (e) that are required for the punishment provided in subdivision (a), (b), (j), (l), or (m) to apply have been pled and proved, that circumstance or those circumstances shall be used as the basis for imposing the term provided in subdivision (a), (b), (j), (l), or (m) whichever is greater, rather than being used to impose the punishment authorized under any other provision of law, unless another provision of law provides for a greater penalty or the punishment under another provision of law can be imposed in addition to the punishment provided by this section.  However, if any additional circumstance or circumstances specified in subdivision (d) or (e) have been pled and proved, the minimum number of circumstances shall be used as the basis for imposing the term provided in subdivision (a), (j), or (l) and any other additional circumstance or circumstances shall be used to impose any punishment or enhancement authorized under any other provision of law.
(g) Notwithstanding Section 1385 or any other provision of law, the court shall not strike any allegation, admission, or finding of any of the circumstances specified in subdivision (d) or (e) for any person who is subject to punishment under this section.
(h) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, probation shall not be granted to, nor shall the execution or imposition of sentence be suspended for, any person who is subject to punishment under this section.
(i) For any offense specified in paragraphs (1) to (7), inclusive, of subdivision (c), or in paragraphs (1) to (6), inclusive, of subdivision (n), the court shall impose a consecutive sentence for each offense that results in a conviction under this section if the crimes involve separate victims or involve the same victim on separate occasions as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 667.6.
(j)(1) Any person who is convicted of an offense specified in subdivision (c), with the exception of a violation of subdivision (a) of Section 288, upon a victim who is a child under 14 years of age under one or more of the circumstances specified in subdivision (d) or under two or more of the circumstances specified in subdivision (e), shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life without the possibility of parole.  Where the person was under 18 years of age at the time of the offense, the person shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 25 years to life.
(2) Any person who is convicted of an offense specified in subdivision (c) under one of the circumstances specified in subdivision (e), upon a victim who is a child under 14 years of age, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 25 years to life.
(k) As used in this section, “bodily harm” means any substantial physical injury resulting from the use of force that is more than the force necessary to commit an offense specified in subdivision (c).
(l) Any person who is convicted of an offense specified in subdivision (n) under one or more of the circumstances specified in subdivision (d) or under two or more of the circumstances specified in subdivision (e), upon a victim who is a minor 14 years of age or older shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for life without the possibility of parole.  If the person who was convicted was under 18 years of age at the time of the offense, he or she shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 25 years to life.
(m) Any person who is convicted of an offense specified in subdivision (n) under one of the circumstances specified in subdivision (e) against a minor 14 years of age or older shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for 25 years to life.
(n) Subdivisions (l) and (m) shall apply to any of the following offenses:
(1) Rape, in violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 261.
(2) Spousal rape, in violation of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 262.
(3) Rape, spousal rape, or sexual penetration, in concert, in violation of Section 264.1.
(4) Sexual penetration, in violation of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 289.
(5) Sodomy, in violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 286, or in violation of subdivision (d) of Section 286.
(6) Oral copulation, in violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 288a, or in violation of subdivision (d) of Section 288a.
(o) The penalties provided in this section shall apply only if the existence of any circumstance specified in subdivision (d) or (e) is alleged in the accusatory pleading pursuant to this section, and is either admitted by the defendant in open court or found to be true by the trier of fact.

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