Jan 15, 2016

Donald Watts pleads guilty to causing death of Daniel Pudlicki, gets 7 years in prison



On December 17, 2015, Donald Watts pled guilty to a single count of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence (Penal Code section 191.5(b)), and also admitted an allegation of Vehicle Code section 20001(c), fleeing the scene after commission of Penal Code section 191.5(b).  Today Judge Miles sentenced Mr. Watts to 7 years in prison.

The crimes occurred in the evening of June 8, 2015 in Arcata, when Mr. Watts struck 23-year-old Daniel Pudlicki with his truck, as Mr. Pudlicki was crossing Samoa Boulevard at I Street in the crosswalk. After colliding with Daniel, Mr. Watts proceeded along Samoa Boulevard for two blocks, then made a right-hand turn onto K Street.  He circled back around the block and stopped at the intersection of J Street and Samoa Boulevard, where he had an unobstructed view of the crime scene.  Mr. Watts then turned onto Samoa Boulevard and drove off. Citizens at the scene provided a description of the truck and one citizen took video of the truck driving away.  Arcata Police Officers were able to relay the description including partial vehicle plate information from viewing the video.  After that information was rapidly shared, a California Highway Patrol Officer located Mr. Watts within 15 minutes of the collision as he drove across the Samoa Bridge into Eureka. Mr. Watts displayed symptoms of intoxication and admitted to having consumed alcohol prior to driving.  A preliminary alcohol screening test revealed his blood alcohol content to be 0.14%.   Mr. Watts was transported to St. Joseph Hospital for a blood draw that was obtained at midnight.  Mr. Watts’ blood alcohol content was 0.09% over four hours after he hit Mr. Pudlicki.  A person is deemed under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol content of 0.08%.

On July 2, 2015, Daniel Pudlicki died as a result of the traumatic brain injury he suffered from the collision.

Friends and family of Mr. Pudlicki addressed the Court today prior to the Judge sentencing the 55-year-old defendant to prison.

Review of Board salaries and draft of staff modifications to medical marijuana land use ordinance at morning BOS session

Human Resources
1. Revision of Ordinance Setting Compensation of the Board of Supervisors
That the Board of Supervisors initiate the review process of Board Salaries and
Benefits pursuant to County Code; and direct staff to bring back proposed
ordinance language consistent with your Board's direction relative to salary and
benefits.
Recommendation:
Attachments: Ordinance Setting Compensation of the Board.pdf


Planning and Building Department
Review of staff s modification of proposed Ordinance in response to Board direction, adding
section 313-55.4 et seq. to Title III, Division I, Chapter 3, Section B, Part 1 (Coastal Zoning
Regulations), and section 314-55.4 et seq. of Title III, Division 1, Chapter 4, Section B, Part
I (Inland Zoning Regulations) to the Humboldt County Code relating to Phase IV of the
Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance setting regulations for cultivation, processing,
manufacture and distribution operations and facilities
2.
That the Board of Supervisors receive draft ordinance reflecting changes as
directed by the Board on January 11th and 12th, 2016; consider questions and
points of clarifications described herein, deliberate, and provide further direction
to staff as necessary regarding possible modifications to draft ordinance; set
January 26, 2016 as the date for adoption of the ordinance and the Mitigated
Negative Declaration; and direct the Clerk of the Board to publish the
pre-adoption summary of the Ordinance and to post a certified copy of the full
text of the proposed Ordinance in the office of the Clerk of the Board, both
publication and posting to be done at least five (5) days prior to the Board
meeting at which the Ordinance will be adopted. [Government Code
Section25124(b)(1)].
Recommendation:
Modified MMLUO.pdf
MMLUO Public Comments.pdf

Status conference scheduled for Rodney and Vincent Ortiz in federal court

The next local court date for Rodney and Vincent Ortiz is still scheduled in Humboldt County Superior Court for January 19 at 2 p.m. DA Maggie Fleming has said that once all the paperwork has been completed, jurisdiction will be handed over to the federal courts.


Excerpt 1:
- Rodney Vincent Ortiz and Vincent Rudy Ortiz were arraigned in federal court today for their alleged involvement in the March 21, 2015, drug related shooting and murder on the Hoopa Indian Reservation in Humboldt County, California, announced Acting United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Federal Bureau of Investigation, Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson.
Rodney Ortiz, 53, and Vincent Ortiz, 26, of Willow Creek, Calif., were indicted by a federal grand jury on December 17, 2015.  In the indictment, the defendants are charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, use of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, use of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime causing murder, obstruction of justice, and use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. 
Rodney and Vincent Ortiz made their initial appearances before the Honorable Laurel Beeler, United States Magistrate Court Judge today.  The defendants are being held pending a bail hearing currently scheduled for January 14, 2016, before Chief United States Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero.  A status conference is scheduled for February 2, 2016, before U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg.
Excerpt 2:
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Hopkins is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Lance Libatique.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Humboldt County Sherriff’s Office, Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office, Eureka Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

For the entire article from Imperial Valley Press Online, click on link below:

http://www.imperialvalleynews.com/index.php/news/california-news/7263-father-and-son-charged-with-drug-related-murder-on-the-hoopa-indian-reservation.html

Allison Jackson wins civil lawsuit against John Stewart of Sohum

will update later..verdict came in this morning.

Allison Jackson, of the Harland Law Firm represented one of the parties in this lawsuit.

County Counsel was involved as well. The case is complicated involved property and a Marvin contract, I will have details sometime on Tuesday.

Banning commercial cannabis cultivation, shelter crisis resolution, designated homeless car parking area on next Eureka City Council agenda

At the January 19 meeting of the Eureka City Council, banning cannabis cultivation and two items dealing with the homeless are on the agenda.

ORDINANCES/RESOLUTIONS

10.Shelter Crisis Resolution
Recommendation: Adopt a Resolution of the City Council Declaring the Existence of a Shelter Crisis. (City Attorney)


11.Commercial Cultivation of Medical Cannabis
Recommendation: Waive reading, read by title only and adopt Bill No. 904-C.S. “An Ordinance of the City of Eureka Amending Eureka Municipal Code Title 15 Chapter 158 Medical Cannabis; Cultivation, Processing, and Distribution to ban commercial cultivation of medical cannabis; and Waive reading, read by title only and adopt Bill No. 905-C.S. “An Ordinance of the City of eureka adding Title 10, Chapter 5, Article 30 Medical Cannabis Cultivation to the eureka Municipal Code to ban commercial cultivation of medical cannabis”. (Development Services Director)


REPORTS/ACTION ITEMS

12.Designated Homeless Car Parking Area
Recommendation: Receive report; and Provide direction. (Development Services Director)

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.

Some Humboldt County Deputy District Attorneys get assigned to specific types of cases

Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett and DDA Stacey Eads are the two attorneys specializing in CAST cases. DDA Whitney Barnes is in training and will be handling misdemeanor CAST cases.

DDA Zachary Curtis is handling all "white" drug cases and DDA Adrian Kamada will be handling all the  "green" cases and environmental cases.

There are four attorneys who will be handling domestic violence cases: DDA Jackie Pizzo and DDA Christopher Yi, Nina Elisseou and Candace Myers, all new hires this year.


Jan 14, 2016

Charles Wesley Cole arrested in Arcata for animal cruelty

On January 14th 2016 at about 12:59 PM, Arcata Police Department received a report of a subject possibly performing CPR on a dog in the area of 10th St and H St. 
 
When Officers arrived, the dog and the subject had left the area.
 
Officers conducted an investigation including reviewing surveillance at a local business and saw a subject with a dog on leash.  The dog had a pack strapped to his back.  As the dog was walking, it collapsed in the street.  The subject was seen dragging the dog across the street by its leash.  The subject then picked the dog up and dropped it on the ground.  The video shows the subject blowing into the dog's face.  The subject then walked away with the dog, which was limping.
 
Officers checked the area and located the subject and the dog in the downtown area.  The subject, identified as Charles Wesley Cole 6/13/1959, was placed under arrest for 597(b) PC, felony animal cruelty.  The dog was taken to the Sunny Brea Animal Clinic where it was medically cared for.
 
Charles Cole was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked on animal cruelty charges.
 
Anybody who witnessed the animal cruelty is urged to contact Arcata Police to give a statement.

Humboldt Motorsports suspect Jerry Gill arraigned today, twice

The suspect arrested in Humboldt Motorsports incident, Jerry Gill, was arraigned twice today. At the regular time for violation of two misdeneanor probations and later on four counts for second degree robbery at Humboldt Motorsports.

Count 1 Robbery, Count 2 Assault likely to produce great bodily injury, Count 3 burglary and Count 4 Vandalism.


Update: On January 19, 2016, a new first amended petition was filed to revoke Gill's misdemeanor probation in two cases. On these cases, bail was set at $25,000 and $100,000.

Deputy District Attorney David Christensen was present for the People. Conflict Counsel's Mr. Marek Reavis is representing Gill.

Gary Lee Bullock trial confirmed for February 8, jury selection expected to last 2 weeks

Trial confirmation for the Gary Lee Bullock trial was continued to 4 p.m. today. The jury trial is currently scheduled for February 8, 2016.

The trial was confirmed for February 8, jury selection to last two weeks, since February 12 and 15 are court, People's witnesses will be subpoenaed for February 16. Trial Readiness is on February 1, 2016 at 4 p.m. in Courtroom 1.

Judge John Feeney met privately with Deputy District Attorney Andrew Isaac and Bullock's attorney, Mr. Kaleb Cockrum in chambers before court was open and they had "preliminary discussions regarding questions for potential jurors."

DDA Isaac told Judge Feeney, "I have a truncated witness list, mostly law enforcement and local."

Mr. Cockrum said that the County's Mental Health Department accidentally sent records subpoenaed by the People to him. They were sealed. He handed them to Judge Feeney, who will do an in camera review in the next couple of days to determine if they are relevant to this trial and if they are, both attorneys will get copies.

 Times-Standard and myself were the only media present. Others in the courtroom included attorneys, DA Investigator and Victim Witness were in court. Bullock stood silently for the brief court hearing.

Gary Lee Bullock is charged in Count 1 with the murder of Fr. Eric Freed on or about December 31, 2013. Bullock is charged in Count 2 with unlawful driving and taking of a vehicle and Count 3 attempted arson of an inhabited structure or property. There are two special allegations: carjacking and that the murder was intentional with infliction of torture.
These are the charges in the first amended information filed on March 10, 2015.

In the original information filed on January 31, 2014, instead of the carjacking special allegation, there was a charge of first degree residential burglary.

Bullock is accused of breaking into the St. Bernard Catholic Church rectory on New Year's Day and torturing Fr. Freed before beating him to death with a wooden stake and a metal rod. Bullock also allegedly attempted to burn Fr. Freed's body before leaving a lit cigar on the stove with the gas left on and departing the scene in Freed's vehicle. The cigar went out. Freed's body was found later on New Year's Day by Deacon Frank Weber after he did not show up for 9 a.m. Mass.

Details from the affadavit used for Bullock's arrest warrant that were also mentioned during testimony in the preliminary hearing.

Church surveillance video captured images of Bullock trying to open doors to the rectory, breaking a side window and crawling in.

Bullock was carrying the same wooden stake and rusty white-painted metal pipe found inside that police believe were used to beat Freed, the document states.

“There was a large amount of blood about his upper body, his legs were badly beaten and his nose appeared to be misshapen,” the affidavit said. “The suspect rolled the father into blankets, poured several bottles of 80 proof alcohol over the father and attempted to light the bedding on fire. A fire did light, but then extinguished itself.”

“The suspect also lit a cigar, placed it on the gas stove, and opened up the burners so natural gas flooded the building,” the affidavit added. “The cigar extinguished itself foiling the attempt to destroy the building by blast and fire.”



Jan 13, 2015

Gary Lee Bullock trial confirmation continued until tomorrow

Trial confirmation for the jury trial for Gary Lee Bullock was scheduled today for 4 p.m. Trial Judge is Judge John Feeney. Prosecutors are Deputy District Attorneys Andrew Isaac and Stacey Eads. Bullock is represented by Conflict Counsel's Mr. Kaleb Cockrum.

Due to Mr. Cockrum being tied up in another court, today's hearing is rescheduled for the same time tomorrow.

Bullock's mother and step father were outside court. They were also here at the last hearing.


Previous and most recent posts :



Sohum's Most Wanted Heidi Durtsche loses bail bond, arraigned today for most recent arrest

An OR Bail hearing and a Supervised Release report will be heard on January 19 for Heidi Durtsche who was arraigned this afternoon for violation of two misdemeanor probations and failure to appear for a preliminary hearing on July 21 in her felony case.

Her bail bond was forfeited.

Update: On January 19, 2016 Visiting Judge Stephen L. Mock denied release on OR and Supervised Release. Deputy District Attorney Zachary Curtis was present for the People. Conflict Counsel's Mr. Marek Reavis has been appointed to represent


Press Release:

On 01-12-2016, at approximately 11:45 a.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received an anonymous tip for one of the fugitives listed on the “Southern Humboldt’s Most Wanted Poster”.  The caller reported that Heidi Durtsche (age 47) was staying in a room at a motel located in the 4100 block of Redwood Drive, Redway.  Durtsche is currently wanted for several outstanding warrants.
 Personnel assigned to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Garberville Station responded to the motel.  Deputies located Durtsche inside one of the motel rooms and placed her under arrest without incident.  Deputies searched Durtsche’s motel room and located suspected methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Durtsche was transported to the HCCF where she was booked for possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and her warrants.   

Jonas Semore jury trial for alleged murder of David Ganfield dropped off at Mad River set for March 7

Mr. Russ Clanton was confirmed as Semore's counsel in December. Today, there was a trial confirmation hearing scheduled in Courtroom 5. Semore withdrew his time waiver today.

Jury trial is now set for March 7 at 8:30 a.m. and Trial Confirmation is February 24 at 2 p.m.


Dec 18, 2015


Jury trial for suspect in death of man dropped off at Mad River ER postponed since he is in between attorneys

The jury trial for Jonas Semore, one of  two men, charged in the homicide of David Ganfield was scheduled for December 21. That trial date has been rescheduled to February 8, 2016.

The reason being he is in between attorneys. He was represented by Ms. Kathleen Bryson, who withdrew from the case in December 17. Judge John Feeney granted that motion.

On December, Mr. David Celli was present with Semore in court. Whether his office will represent Semore will be confirmed on December 22.

There is pre-trial and confirmation of counsel scheduled for December 22 at 2 p.m. and Trial Confirmation on January 14, 2016.

Deputy District Attorney Roger Rees is prosecuting the case.

Oct 26, 2015


Jonas Semore charged with the death of David Ganfield who was dropped off at Mad River ER has jury trial postponed to December

Instead of his jury trial today, Jonas Semore had a disposition and reset hearing this afternoon in Courtroom 5.

Semore pulled his time waiver this afternoon. New jury trial date is December 21, Trial Confirmation is December 7 at 2 p.m. and Pre-Trial is on November 30 at 2 p.m.


Sep 9, 2015


Jonas Semore arraigned today for the murder of David Ganfield, jury trial set for October 26

Jonas Semore was scheduled for arraignment on information in Courtroom 1 this afternoon at 2 p.m. The compliant filed by the District Attorney's office charges Semore with Count 1 Murder and a special allegation of using a deadly and dangerous weapon during the alleged commission of the crime, a bat.

He is charged with the murder of David Ganfield. The co-defendant is still at large.

Jury trial set for October 26.

I was the only one to cover the two day preliminary hearing. Links below.

Deputy District Attorney Roger Rees is prosecuting the case. Ms. Kathleen Bryson is representing Semore.

Previous posts:

http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/05/jonas-semore-co-defendant-in-david.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/08/witness-claims-that-minutes-before.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/08/peoples-witnesses-in-semore-case-bring.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/08/a-man-dropped-off-in-front-of-mad-river.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/08/this-case-is-like-virulent-case-of.html
http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2015/08/nick-would-not-let-it-go-and-it-had-to.html

$10,000 bail set in new case against Brett Hansen for alleged assault and battery while in custody

Bret Hansen arraigned on new misdemeanor charges of assault and battery  this afternoon. Hansen is in custody and this allegedly happened in jail. Alleged victim is David Eric Hipes.

$10,000 bail set for this case. January 20 s Hansen has a preliminary hearing scheduled. Jury trial is February 8 at 8:30.

He was to be arraigned in Courtroom 5 but Judge Dale Reiholtsen who is filling in for Judge Hinrichs was disqualified so the case was sent over toJudge Miles in Courtroom 2 .

Conflict Counsel could not represent Hansen anymore because they are representing a co-defendant. Public Defender could not either. So, private attorney David Celli from Russ Clanton's law office was appointed for him and Alternate Conflict Counsel was appointed for his codefendant.


Jan 6, 2016


$60,000 bail set for Brett Hansen who was arrested New Year's day in EPD standoff

He was arraigned today for the October 20, 2015 incident and the New Year's incident and three petitions to revoke probation in previous cases.

In the October 20, 2015 incident, Hansen is charged with three counts: evading a police officer, obstructing/delaying a police officer and driving with a suspended license.

In the New Year's incident, there are 6 counts: second degree robbery, unlawfully taking/driving a vehicle, felon in possession of a firearm, manufacturing a short barreled gun, obstructing/delaying a police officer and driving with a suspended license.

There is an OR/Bail hearing scheduled for January 7; and preliminary hearing on January 20 at 8:30 a.m.

Jan 1, 2016

More photos from the scene of the Broadway standoff and arrest

These photos were taken at the EPD standoff and arrest by Steve Payton for this site.





Brett Hansen (below) and a female suspect yet to be identified. This just confirmed by a source who was at the scene.


On October 20, 2015 according to CHP watch and other media reports, Hansen allegedly led police on a high speed chase, then crashing his car on Kelly Avenue in McKinleyville and fleeing the scene.



Hansen has a lengthy rap sheet going back to 2000, been arrested at least 15 times.



According to EPD's Captain Steve Watson's twitter account, Hansen will face an additional charge of a felon in possession of a firearm. Under California law, this is a wobbler and can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Criminal history is one factor taken into consideration. The car Hansen allegedly stole was an Acura.

According to EPD's Captain Steve Watson's twitter account, Hansen will face an additional charge of a felon in possession of a firearm. Under California law, this is a wobbler and can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Criminal history is one factor taken into consideration. The car Hansen allegedly stole was an Acura.




North Coast News just reported the 23 year old as Halli Pole.

On facebook, there is a woman with that name and the same age, 23, as reported in several media accounts, according to her facebook page, she is from Hoopa. And according to facebook, in a relationship with Canyon Hodge.

EPD Press Release:

On 2/24/13, at about 4:19 PM, officers with the Eureka Police Department (EPD) were dispatched to the 2800 block of ‘F’ Street on the report of a suspicious male in a vehicle. A witness reported a male subject had been sitting inside a parked vehicle for the past half hour. The male was reported to be “making strange movements” and he appeared to be falling asleep or passing out. Per the witness, a roll of cash was also visible in his lap.

An officer arrived on scene a short time later and approached the male, who was seated in the driver’s seat of a 4-door Nissan Maxima parked on the street in front of a business. The officer observed that the male, later identified as Canyon Hodge (no middle name), was slumped over and appeared to be asleep. The officer also saw what appeared to be a large baggy of tar heroin in Hodge’s lap and a big roll of cash next to him on the passenger seat. The officer recognized Hodge and knew he had a felony warrant for his arrest.

The officer roused Hodge with some difficulty and took him into custody on his warrant. During a subsequent search of Hodge and his vehicle, the officer located approximately 43 grams of tar heroin (1 ½ ounces), 3 1/2 grams of crystal methamphetamine (1/8th ounce), a small quantity of processed marijuana, a digital gram scale, written records indicating recent heroin sales activity, $3,042.00 cash, and drug use paraphernalia (hence “Mr. Sleepy,” who appeared to be heavily under the influence of heroin and nodding off due to his partaking liberally of his own product).

The cash was seized as suspected illicit drug sales proceeds to be turned over to the Humboldt County Drug Task Force for future asset forfeiture proceedings.

In addition to his warrant (alleging possession of a controlled substance), Hodge was arrested for possession and transportation of a controlled substance for sale, possession of drug paraphernalia, and parole violation. He was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional facility for booking. Hodge’s vehicle was also towed from the scene.


$75,000 bail set for suspect arested for holding a loaded revolver on an innocent bystander at Covelo library

On 01-09-2016 at about 3:26 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a reported unknown adult male armed with a handgun, shooting into the air outside of several downtown businesses in the 76000 block of Highway 162 in Covelo, California.

While responding, Deputies were advised the unknown adult male was near the Covelo Public Library, where he had just placed a loaded revolver up to the head of an innocent bystander.  The unidentified adult male demanded the bystander’s cellular telephone and then left the area on foot.

Deputies arrived and located a person matching the adult male suspect’s description near the 20 block of Tabor Lane.

Deputies attempted to stop the person who began to run away while holding a revolver in his hand.

The person ran behind a large wooden fence and Deputies were able to have the subject exit from behind the fence by use of verbal commands.

The person, identified as Alva Reeves, was subsequently arrested in connection with reported incident.

Deputies searched the area of the fence and located a loaded .38 caliber revolver with the hammer drawn back.

Reeves was booked into the Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $75,000.00 bail.

Wife arrested in alleged domestic violence incident, victim claims she pulled his hair and scratched his face

On 01-05-2016 at approximately 10:14 AM, Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a reported incident of domestic violence at a residence located on Oak Lane in Covelo, California.

Upon arrival the Deputies learned a 45-year-old adult male and his wife, Alicia Elliott, had engaged in an argument.

During the argument Elliott became angry and eventually grabbed the adult male by his hair.  After pulling the adult male backwards by his hair, Elliott struck him with her fists and scratched his face with her fingernails.

Deputies noticed scratches on the adult male’s face consistent with the reported incident.

Elliott was arrested for felony domestic violence and booked into the Mendocino County Jail where she was to be held in lieu of $25,000.00 bail.

Jan 13, 2016

Janssen Malloy scores another win, class action settlement against Emeritus nursing home chain for $13.5 million

On January 11, the U.S. District Court granted final approval of a class action settlement against the Emeritus nursing home chain for $13.5 million and granted injunctive relief. The settlement includes former residents of the Sequoia Springs Emeritus facility in Fortuna.

Emeritus has recently been purchased by Brookdale Senior Living. Plaintiffs were represented by well-known local firm Janssen Malloy LLP and their co-counsel. Plaintiffs alleged that Emeritus misrepresented to its residents that it would staff according to their needs, when, in fact, its staffing was dictated by its budget.


W. Timothy Needham, of Janssen Malloy said, "We are pleased that the Court approved the settlement. We believe it provides significant benefit to the class members, and, because of the injunction, will help prevent damage to potential residents in the future. As local attorneys, we need to do everything possible to ensure our seniors receive appropriate care."




According to the Law360 article, "Under the terms of the settlement, an estimated 19,000 class members will receive an average of $450 each. Attorneys for the plaintiffs will receive fees of up to $4.2 million."

Another Janssen and Malloy case that made the headlines in 2010 was  the Lavender vs. Skilled Healthcare Nursing Home Understaffing Class Action trial, which resulted in a 677 million dollar jury verdict in July 2010.   This is the largest jury verdict in the United States in 2010, and the largest nursing home jury verdict ever.

Other links:

http://topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsuit-news/55926-emeritus-settles-class-action-over-assisted-living-staffing-levels/

http://www.law360.com/articles/654276/13m-settlement-ends-senior-housing-co-class-action

Gary Lee Bullock trial confirmation continued until tomorrow

Trial confirmation for the jury trial for Gary Lee Bullock was scheduled today for 4 p.m. Trial Judge is Judge John Feeney. Prosecutors are Deputy District Attorneys Andrew Isaac and Stacey Eads. Bullock is represented by Conflict Counsel's Mr. Kaleb Cockrum.

Due to Mr. Cockrum being tied up in another court, today's hearing is rescheduled for the same time tomorrow.

Bullock's mother and step father were outside court. They were also here at the last hearing.



Oct 30, 2015


Bullock jury trial dates confirmed for February 2016, his family attends

This morning a special set for a pre trial hearing was scheduled in Courtroom 1. There was no other media in court.

Just me, a victim witness representative, DA Investigator, the attorneys. Bullock was chatting with his attorney. An older man and woman named Carol walked in, she tried to talk to Bullock but was cautioned by bailiff. Bullock did not even look at her. He sat stone faced for the rest of the brief hearing. Carol Bruno is Bullock's mother.

Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo subbed in for her colleague, Ms. Stacey Eads who is prosecuting the case. Conflict Counsel's Kaleb Cockrum who is representing Bullock said he spoke wirh Eads and they are confirming dates.

Judge Feeney hinted at a possible delay by asking if any additional dates needed to be scheduled, both attorneys said no.

Judge Feeney said, "We will leave future dates for the time being."

Mr. Cockrum thanked the Court, "I appreciate the extra time that the Court gave me to speak to Mr. Bullock about the second doctor's report."

Other than once during the preliminary hearing, one of the pre trial hearings, this is the only time Bullock has had any family members or supporters in the courtroom. After court, Bullock's mother and step-father spoke privately with Mr. Cockrum in a conference room.


Trial confirmation for the jury trial for Gary Lee Bullock was scheduled today for 4 p.m. Trial Judge is Judge John Feeney. Prosecutors are Deputy District Attorneys Andrew Isaac and Stacey Eads. Bullock is represented by Conflict Counsel's Mr. Kaleb Cockrum.

Due to Mr. Cockrum being tied up in another court, today's hearing is rescheduled for the same time tomorrow.

Bullock's mother and step father were outside court. They were also here at the last hearing.



Oct 30, 2015


Bullock jury trial dates confirmed for February 2016, his family attends

This morning a special set for a pre trial hearing was scheduled in Courtroom 1. There was no other media in court.

Just me, a victim witness representative, DA Investigator, the attorneys. Bullock was chatting with his attorney. An older man and woman named Carol walked in, she tried to talk to Bullock but was cautioned by bailiff. Bullock did not even look at her. He sat stone faced for the rest of the brief hearing. Carol Bruno is Bullock's mother.

Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo subbed in for her colleague, Ms. Stacey Eads who is prosecuting the case. Conflict Counsel's Kaleb Cockrum who is representing Bullock said he spoke with Eads and they are confirming dates.

Judge Feeney hinted at a possible delay by asking if any additional dates needed to be scheduled, both attorneys said no.

Judge Feeney said, "We will leave future dates for the time being."

Mr. Cockrum thanked the Court, "I appreciate the extra time that the Court gave me to speak to Mr. Bullock about the second doctor's report."

Other than once during the preliminary hearing, one of the pre trial hearings, this is the only time Bullock has had any family members or supporters in the courtroom. After court, Bullock's mother and step-father spoke privately with Mr. Cockrum in a conference room.


Oct 14, 2015


No third psychiatrist will be appointed for Bullock, second doctor's report in

Today a pre-trial hearing was specially set at 4 p.m. in the Gary Lee Bullock case. The purpose of the hearing was to see the status of the report by the second psychiatrist, Dr. John Chamberlain, who was supposed to evaluate Bullock. By his attorney's request last time, Bullock's personal presence has been waived for today's hearing.

 Mr. Cockrum said he did not know before today's hearing that Dr. Chamberlain had met with Bullock.

Judge Feeney said he received Dr. Chamberlain's report on October 9. He made copies for both attorneys today.

Judge Feeney said he will not be appointing a third expert as he indicated last time. He cited Section 48.47 and said that in a not guilty by insanity plea, "the Court must appoint two, may appoint a third."

The appointment of the third expert is discretionary, said Judge Feeney.

He set another pre- trial hearing for October 30 at 9:30 a.m. to give "counsel time to review the report." He indicated Mr. Cockrum would probably want to meet with Bullock about Dr. Chamberlain's report.

Judge John Feeney is the assigned trial judge for this case. Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads was present for the People. Conflict Counsel's Kaleb Cockrum is representing Bullock.

Fr. Eric Freed's twin sister, Karin, was in court.

I did this post back in November 2014 on the McNaghten rule.



In wake of Umqua community college shooting, CR reaches out to HCSO for School Resource Officer


Undersheriff William Honsal just confirmed that College of the Redwoods reached out to the Sheriff's office about the possibility of a School Resource Officer.

Next Tuesday, January 19, at the Board of Supervisors meeting, there will be an agenda item asking for approval to recruit for this position.

CR is willing to fund the position for the first year. For the second and third year, they intend to seek Measure Z funding.

"In wake of the Umqua Community College shooting, CR wanted patrol presence during the week and for special events," said Undersheriff Honsal.

"I want my children and family to know we can move ahead with our lives and Jason Warren will never be among us again."

I have been a distance runner in Humboldt County for over 30 years. Beyond helping me stay fit, going for a run helps keep my life in balance. I love running alone and I love running with others, especially early in the morning.

I chose to go for a run on September 27, 2012.

In the midst of my friends and me innocently and responsibly doing what we loved, Jason Warren had the idea to drive us down with a car. Then he chose to act on that idea and chose to leave us for dead.  His cowardly set of decisions and actions on the road resulted in him killing my friend Suzie and Jessie’s sweet dog Maggie.

I lived but there are very few aspects of my life that are the same as when I began that run with my friends.  

Jessie and I have been colleagues and friends for seventeen years and part of a small group of serious distance runners for over twelve years. At times the group shifted but throughout those years Jessie and I ran together. By the time of the hit and run, we had logged countless hundreds of training and racing miles as running partners including running side by side to the finish line of the 2012 Boston Marathon.

Rain or shine, dark or light, tired, frustrated and more - we ran.

Jessie and I will be friends forever but our friendship changed because of our injuries and the devastation inflicted on us. We went from seeing each other many times a week to going weeks without visits. Even now, the way we are recovering is such that we are rarely able to run together. I miss our friendship the way it was before.

We can’t have that old friendship back.

Suzie was our running partner and dear friend too. Over the five years Suzie ran with us we put in more hundreds of miles together. I miss her and everything about the partnership we developed through our running adventures. We trained for many races including Suzie’s and my first marathon, which we ran side by side. There are no words to describe how it feels to know the void at my side will never again be filled with Suzie. I can’t have her back either.

I get to keep those Memories of running with Jessie and Suzie.

Working hard to keep my body fit made me happy. I liked reading. I had been learning to knit and play ukulele. I liked gardening and going backpacking with my family. My family and husband did not worry when I set out for morning runs with my friends or solo. They believed I was safe and would come back when expected.

The hit and run changed all of that too.

My injuries included a badly broken leg requiring metal hardware and several surgeries, a broken rib, bruised lung, lots permanent soft tissue damage to my foot and ankle, a serious traumatic brain injury, permanent damage to a nerve of my left eye, cuts to my face and body and more. Ongoing issues and setbacks from these injuries include regular challenges with walking and running, impaired function of my eye and most limiting of all - because it’s inescapable in my waking hours -changed cognitive functioning due to the traumatic brain injury.

Because of these injuries I have less to give to my family and friends. I have less tolerance for stress, for things being out of order, for sudden noises and for traffic, especially where children are concerned. I struggled with things that used to be easy.

Since deciding education was the path I would pursue I have worked with at risk adults, wilderness trail workers, typically functioning elementary children, preschoolers, and spent seven years teaching adult inmates in this County Jail. I taught special needs students at every level. I eventually decided the remainder of my career would be in Montessori education.
The school I taught at is the school I envisioned and then scraped and struggled and persisted in opening so local children could have the opportunity for free elementary Montessori education.

Four weeks before the hit and run, we opened our doors in a new location with a newly hired teacher. I was to mentor her through her Montessori training.
Just the Friday before the hit and run our students and staff celebrated the United Nations International Day of Peace.  We held a parade with a giant Peace Dove, the children sang and we welcomed Veterans for Peace to join for tea and conversations. These seasoned military veterans spoke with us about the importance of learning to resolve conflicts with ways other than violence.

This is the backdrop of what Jason Warren took from me as a teacher when he chose to drive us down.

That Thursday morning 40 young children and their families arrived to a chaotic scene I still can’t fully envision. They learned vague but devastating news.  Rather than the welcoming environment they trusted they would find, these small innocent citizens had to face the horrible fact that an adult not only thought of driving a car into runners on purpose, but actually did it and then drove away.
And I was gone.

The parents and community members who helped create our school were stunned and unsure how to proceed. Everyone wanted me back. For my sake, for the sake of my family, the school children and for the community it would have been a relief for me to be able to return to the teaching job I loved. It would have helped set things right again. But I can’t have that.
I had to be brave from the moment I understood what happened. Braver than I wanted because I believed my own children and my school’s children needed to see me be OK. I didn’t have the capacity to think it through but knew I needed to get back to teaching.

When I first visited school so the children could see me a little 1st grader said, "Oh! Your leg is still there. I thought it was broken off!"  It is funny in a way but it was also heart breaking to think these innocent children had to make the best sense they could of an event even normal adults could not make sense of.

Suzie's children attend a small school too. Those children had to work through a whole different aftermath, one where a sweet young classmate and his little sister had to learn how to live without their mom.

It is not in my nature to give up on things I want. I worked diligently over a long time and spent a lot of money to become a very good Montessori teacher.

I did not realize how competent I was until after the hit and run. My brain injuries and damaged vision permanently changed my teaching abilities. In a typical week I could manage a busy classroom filled with productive, happy children while providing a variety of lessons, redirecting conflicts, interacting with adult helpers, noticing who is heading off to the bathroom, revising schedules in the evening, planning field trips and special events, helping coordinate fundraisers, leading the school’s running club and more. It was not perfect every day but I was able to do all of this after logging serious running miles in the early morning.
Now, I am not teaching at all and in order to function well I must have a long segment of very quiet time each day.

My family has endured so much too.

My oldest daughter was twenty-two and freshly graduated from college, my son was seventeen and my younger daughter was just eight. We were awaiting final approval to adopt our youngest, who was still in a small orphanage in China. She was just 6 ½ years old.

My oldest left her job in the bay area to come home and help. My son stepped in to help while also trying to finish his senior year of high school. They and our 8 year old had to see me cut, bruised and broken with tubes and monitors strung around me. I was confused, one eye pointing the wrong way I went in and out of consciousness mid-conversation. They had to be patient. They had to set their lives on a different track with me and they each continue to negotiate a relationship with a mom who is not the same.

My husband is a dedicated father and endearing partner. He has had to do so much more at home, at our school and in our relationship. He was already a hard working and admired science teacher. His burden increased tenfold. He began helping at our school, arranged my medical care, did shopping, cooked meals, and drove me to and from school and more. I know it is challenging yet every day he remains steadfastly supportive of me and my ongoing recovery needs. He is my husband so of course he should do so but he should not have to. He was already working very hard.

While still in my wheelchair I began working in my classroom just 15 minutes a day with only one child before being overwhelmed and feeling desperate to flee what felt like noisy, confusing chaos due to my brain injury. My husband would drive me home so I could retreat to comforting silence.

I kept trying. After months and months I was able to work in my classroom longer but only with the help of a classroom aid and two other part time teachers. It felt very unfair for the children and was an ongoing logistical challenge for staff. After two years of trying my doctor finally wrote up the paperwork. He had already determined I am permanently disabled but was supportive of me trying as long as I wanted. In order for my school to thrive and for me to have any hope of further recovery I had to give it up.

For me to have tried so hard and still end up walking away from my own school feels like one more thing that was senselessly, violently taken. Packing up my classroom felt like cleaning out a deceased person's belongings.

Among the hardest things about this is that Warren already took so much.
I did not want my ability to teach to be another casualty.

I had to take disability early retirement because I couldn’t do my job. This is a retirement fund I worked for and paid into. With early retirement my family’s income is reduced and will remain so because I can’t teach. It also significantly reduces my future income as well.

I am glad I am not noticeably disfigured from my injuries but looking OK and being recovered are not the same.
Every time I look in the mirror I'm faced with my left eye that is not the same as when I started running that morning. I see double when tipping my head down or trying to look over my shoulders. It has made returning to cycling on my road bike hard. Even running or hiking in certain light conditions on rougher terrain is difficult. I have to limit myself and be more mindful of where I’m going when running the trails that I love.

I have scars on my face that are subtle now and mostly blend in. I notice the scars and don’t like them.

I also notice my foot and leg. The first few steps each morning tell me how the day is likely to be for that leg. It's seldom very painful now but the damage is permanent. Right now I can run and will continue trying. It's a thing I feel desperate to keep because I still love to run and it brings me closer to memories of how things were.
I don’t want my running to be another thing Warren took away.

It seems my ability to interact socially is not an area of my brain that was damaged. To casual friends and strangers I seem fine. I am glad about that too but not glad to explain, sometimes daily, that in order to make it through each day with much grace I need to get away somewhere quiet and sleep. Most people don’t understand.

I can tell when functioning is going badly. I notice things are going wrong, that I’m saying the wrong word, can't quiet hold a thought, express an idea clearly or remember something later. Nearby distractions compound that. I notice when it’s happening but I can't correct it. The normal exuberance of our younger children in our home is often too much. It’s hard to stay calm and let them be children.

Even though I know none of these limitations are within my control, I am frequently frustrated and disappointed at my diminished abilities. Some days it is hard work to remain positive and focus on what is going well. This is work I did not want. It is very different work than I was doing before Warren drove us down.

The morning we were hit my husband and Jessie's husband got calls to go to the hospital. They roused our children and drove, not sure what they would find. They found us badly broken but alive.

Hank never got a call.

I was not able to tell the first responders Suzie’s name. When she did not come home on time Hank went out looking for her. He drove up onto the hit and run scene and interacted with law enforcement to learn that his wife was killed.

My being able to utter Suzie’s name would not have saved her life but it would have allowed timely notification to Hank. It is not my fault, I know.
Yet I still feel responsible because it means Hank and their children suffered further trauma.

My injuries were such that I survived. The fact that I lived and Suzie did not is a thing I face each day too. This is not my fault either but it is another painful thing.

Many community and private resources were diverted our way to help in the aftermath of Warren’s actions. I am grateful but prefer to be among those who help others rather than to need help.

A final choice Warren made that has cost us all in many ways including monetarily is the cowardly act of pleading not guilty, forcing the extended jury trial.  Housing him will also cost taxpayers for years.

I understand that the guilty verdicts in our case, along with Warren’s previous violent felony convictions, mean he will be sentenced to serve a term more extensive than one life without the possibility of parole.

Warren committed these crimes while out on a Cruz waiver this court chose to allow. Warren chose to not return as agreed. That cannot be undone.

I want that Cruz waiver to be the final gesture of trust our courts ever extend to Jason Warren.
He was a convicted violent felon headed to serve significant prison time when he was let free and committed these crimes. Warren made those choices.

What can be done is to ensure Warren is not free to harm anyone else.

I want sentencing to require Warren to serve each term of his sentences for each conviction consecutively, not concurrently.

I want the young students at my school to know that the criminal justice system did its job with the trial and the outcome is fair and just.

Should Warren choose to reform his life he can do so secured within the confines of the California State Prison System.

I want my children and family to know we can move ahead with our lives and Jason Warren will never be among us again.

"You, Jason Anthony Warren, will be forgotten and left to rot away in a cell at a California state prison for the rest of your pitiful life. May the Devil have mercy on your soul!!!"

Victim impact statements were very emotional. I was asked by Dorothy Ulrich's mother, Shirley Ortega, to read her letter since she could not be there today for sentencing. Mrs. Ortega  went back to Washington, after the lengthy trial.

This is the letter from Mrs. Ortega:

Your honor: today is the day that we beg of the court to rectify the judicial errors and
Leniencies that have been given to this criminal in the past.  It is time for your honor to do
The right thing and sentence this violent criminal to live the rest of his natural life in
Prison, so that we, the victims, are able to recover and go on with our lives without
having to relive this horrible, senseless crime.  We the victims of this case, do not want
this violent criminal to ever set foot in society again.

As for you, Jason Anthony Warren, it is time for you to answer for what you have
Done.  You have taken two beautiful women from this world and caused permanent
Physical, mental and emotional damage to two others.  Your actions of selfishness, and
Total disregard for human life, put a permanent scar on the lives of so many.  You have
 left sons and a daughter without mothers.  You have left aging parents without daughters.
You have left grand children without a Grandmother.  You have left husbands without
Wives.  You have left hundreds of family members and friends without the beautiful
Smiles that brightened their days.  Your sentence should be the most severe ever because
You caused the most severe sentence, DEATH for your victims.  And the most severe ever
LIFETIME sentence of pain and suffering, WAY more unbearable suffering and pain
than your solitary confinement, for the families and loved ones of the victims whose lives
you extinguished.  You need to think while you are serving the rest of your natural life in
prison about, was I humane in the handling of my victims?  Was it humane to send my
victims to the ground?  Was it humane to sentence the victims’ family, friends and
generations to LIFETIMES of solitary pain for the loss of their loved ones?

 You may have had the power for a few hours but ultimately we the people will have the
Power over you for the rest of your life.  We hope you have many years to sit in prison
And think what you have done. Day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute.  Some
Say justice has been served, but for those of us left behind, justice would only be
Served if it was your life, not theirs, that was ended.  The one thing you cannot take away
are all of the wonderful memories we have of Suzanne and Dorothy.  They will live on in
all of our hearts forever.  You, Jason Anthony Warren, will be forgotten and left to rot
away in a cell at a California state prison for the rest of your pitiful life.  May the Devil
have mercy on your soul!!!
                               We pray that justice will be served for ALL of us today.
                                                                    Thank-you


Victim impact statements were made by Hank Seemann, husband of Suzanne Seemann; Terri Vroman-Little and Maria Ulrich, Dorothy Ulrich's sister-in-law. Victim Witness Advocate Holly Hensher read a letter from Suzanne Seemann's parents Bill and Wendy Wetzel. The three main themes in each victim impact statement were the devastating loss suffered by family, friends and community; their desire to see Warren in prison for lifetime so that he does not hurt anyone else and his lack of remorse.

"Suzie was my beloved," said Hank Seemann. "We had been together for 18 years, married for 12 years. The best way for me to convey the effects of this crime is to tell you of the splendor of Suzie's life." Suzanne and Hank's children were 8 years and 4 years old when they learned of their mother's tragic death. Hank's decision as well as Suzanne Seemann's parents' letter gave those of us in the audience who did not know Suzanne Seemann a glimpse into the amazing woman her family, friends and community lost.

Terri had to compose herself before she could read, she cried as she read her statement.  "I lived but very few aspects of my life are the same as when I began that run with my friends." Particularly poignant was the part where Terri spoke of the guilt survivors of a tragedy feel.There is no way I could do justice to the pages she read in court except to highlight some statements but it is printed in it's entirety. Terri was kind enough to share it with those of us covering court this morning.

"A parent's worst nightmare " is how the letter by Suzanne Seemann's parents started. "Aghast" was their reaction to getting a call from Hank about their daughter's death. "Senseless. An intentional act by a total stranger."

Maria Ulrich spoke of the moment her life and her family's lives changed forever. "The day I opened the door to find Dorothy slaughtered on the floor."

"As a young prosecutor, I have always felt sentencing was symbolic of the triumph of good over evil," said Mr. Sequeira. "I realized after decades, that nothing we do today, nothing that the Court can do will make this right. This story will be handed down to four family generations. They will ask the same question we asked at the beginning of this case, why? We will never know why."

"Today is a tough day for all of us as we are confronted with the visceral pain of all the victims of all the victims," said Mr. Sequeira. "It is not a good day. I obviously don't live and practice law in Humboldt. I was brought here. The first time I drove here was 40 years ago. I have never seen anything like this place, the natural rugged beauty. Crimes like this are not supposed to happen in places like this. Random brutality like this damages the psyche of an entire community. Today is judgement day. He has forfeited his right to be free."

Jason Warren's attorney, Mr. Glenn Brown said he agreed with Mr. Sequeira. "This proceeding is a poor substitute for the tragedy the people have suffered in this case."