Mar 26, 2016

New felony charge: Assault with a deadly weapon, not a firearm, a cell phone

Irony: Jason Singleton office in Eureka out of ADA compliance?

Is Jason Singleton's local Eureka Street office on Sixth & L Streets, both the building and parking are out of compliance with the ADA Act?

Has Jason Singelton moved from Humboldt and does he have a new shill? I have an unconfirmed tip, he may have moved to Redding.

A federal court records search shows that Singleton has filed 259 federal lawsuits relating to ADA violations since 2005, with 23 cases filed in 2013.
Many of these lawsuits have been directed at Humboldt County businesses, including Village Pantry, the Minor Theatre Corp., Cher-Ae Heights Casino, Cafe Waterfront, Barnes Arcata Family Drug, McKinleyville's Central Station bar, Six Rivers Brewery and Arctic Circle.

Hollynn D'Lil is a paraplegic who requires the use of a wheelchair for mobility.   On December 13, 2001, D'Lil traveled from her home in Sacramento to Santa Barbara, California in order to conduct a property inspection for attorney Jason Singleton.
1. Early that day, she called the Best Western Encina to reserve a wheelchair accessible room for the night.   She was informed that the hotel had an available room that lacked a roll-in shower, but was fully accessible in all other respects.   She reserved the room. - See more at:
And Singleton also uses Jerry Doran as another Plaintiff shill
First of three parts
Jerry Doran was more than 500 miles from his Tehama County home when he stopped at a Del Taco in Mission Viejo for some enchiladas -- or so he said. Doran, 52 and a paraplegic since a 1985 auto accident, said he encountered numerous problems at the restaurant: a wheelchair ramp that was too steep, a toilet that was too low, hand dryers that were too high. So, on Jan. 15, 2004, Doran did what he had done at least 223 times in California courts, suing the restaurant for violating the Americans With Disabilities Act.
When the restaurant company refused to settle, Doran's story literally became a federal case. How could he order enchiladas when the restaurant doesn't serve them, the defense wanted to know. Why did he complain about a hand dryer that doesn't exist? Did Jerry Doran even go to Del Taco that day?
The case, which Doran lost last summer, highlights one of the most emotional and contentious legal battles in California today: enforcement of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Across the nation, the federal law has been hailed by many as a civil rights triumph since its passage 16 years ago. But California laws allowing the nation's most generous payouts to disabled people who sue businesses have made this state a magnet for lawyers and plaintiffs and for aggressive, sometimes questionable practices.

Mar 25, 2016

"The defense is now trying to reduce the defendant's mental state and his accountability of his actions."People win motion to bar defense from using Bullock's statements to law enforcement

This afternoon at 1:30 p.m., "outside the presence of jurors" Judge John Feeney addressed motions in limine and admissibility of certain exhibits.

Besides Judge Feeney, Deputy District Attorney Andrew Isaac, DA Investigator John Burke, Gary Lee Bullock and his attorney, Mr. Kaleb Cockrum and court staff, I was the only one in the audience.

"What I would like to address is the People's motion in limine to bar the defense from using Mr. Bullock's statements to law enforcement," said Judge Feeney.

Judge Feeney said he had considered and read the People's motion as well as the defense's opposition.

"I understand that the defense position is that Mr. Bullock's statements to law enforcement are non-hearsay and being offered for the falsity of his staements," said Judge John Feeney.

Before he stated his tentative decision, Judge Feeney said he had looked at the California evidence manual. He cited Evidence Code 1251 and 1252.

"The defense seeks Mr. Bullock's statement as evidence of state of mind on the night in question," said Judge Feeney. "Evidence code 1251 appears to be on point."

Judge Feeney said that Bullock was not unavailable as a witness. He also cited a case People v Aguilar.

190. People v. Aguilar, S213571, SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA, 2015 Cal. LEXIS 2821 Shepardize , January 12, 2015, Opinion Filed - See more at:

Judge Feeney also referred to Page 1567 from the Court of Appeals

Judge Feeney said his tentative decision was to grant the People's motion.

Attorneys gave their oral arguments and input.

Mr. Cockrum said the defense wanted to use those statements to provide  "circumstantial evidence of the defendant's state of mind"

Mr. Isaac responded, "I don't think that is enough to refute case law" and mentioned Evidence Code 1251 and 1252. "The defense is now trying to reduce the defendant's mental state and his accountability of his actions."

Evidence Codes 1251-52:

1251.  Subject to Section 1252, evidence of a statement of the
declarant's state of mind, emotion, or physical sensation (including
a statement of intent, plan, motive, design, mental feeling, pain, or
bodily health) at a time prior to the statement is not made
inadmissible by the hearsay rule if:
   (a) The declarant is unavailable as a witness; and
   (b) The evidence is offered to prove such prior state of mind,
emotion, or physical sensation when it is itself an issue in the
action and the evidence is not offered to prove any fact other than
such state of mind, emotion, or physical sensation.

1252.  Evidence of a statement is inadmissible under this article if
the statement was made under circumstances such as to indicate its
lack of trustworthiness.

The People have two other motions in limine which will be decided between 8:30 to 9 a.m. on Monday. One is a motion to exclude an expert opinion on Bullock's mental health. The other is to exclude testimony from non-intimate witnesses. 

"I could not find  evidence that these people are intimate acquaintances and Mr. Bullock has not shown that," said Mr. Isaac.

Mr. Cockrum has yet to decide if he will present an opening statement at the start of the defense case and give his witness list to the prosecution and Court, by this Monday.

In response to a question by an alternate juror, there was a stipulation in Court today made on the record that "St. Bernard's Church as well as the Bruno residence are in Humboldt County, California." This will be presented in writing to the jurors.

Skylar Nemetz gets 13.5 years for the death of his own wife Danielle

"Please bathe", why Fr. Eric would tell us this at Easter, his most favorite time of the year

While Fr. Eric guided us throughout the year, including Christmas, he often told us that Easter was his favorite time of the year.

I miss him and preparing for Lent, I miss the Easter Vigil, I miss the RCIA candidates being welcomed into the church, I miss the music, the celebration, the anticipation building to Easter Sunday.

I miss his historical insights and information, particularly when he talked about repentance and how people in the ancient church wanting to be welcomed back into the church were covered in ashes for days.

"Please bathe," he would say. I share this  was not to diminish the meaning but to show the human side of Fr. Eric, the teacher and why he was such a good priest.

Fr. Eric was a faithful and proud Catholic but he never put any religion down, any other Christian denomination down, any non believer down and respected people.

God is love, unconditional love and with Fr. Eric , I always felt God's love in his words, when he celebrated mass and in his actions.

Family, friends and Supervisor Rex Bohn show up to recognize Fire Department members

Did you know Supervisor Rex Bohn is a former volunteer firefighter for Company 2? David Tyson is a former CDF firefighter.

Friends, family, the community showed up at the Eureka Fire Department to recognize several members for recent promotions.

At 3:30 today, three new firefighters will be recognized today as they begin their careers with HBF.

The ceremony will take place today at Fire Station 1 located at 533 C St., Eureka.

Those being recognized for
recent promotion are: Fire Chief Bill Gillespie, Deputy Fire Chief Bill Reynolds,
Fire Captain Chris Mitchell, Fire Captain Nathan Baxley, Fire Captain Michael
Landry, Fire Captain Tony Freeman, Fire Captain Russell Boham, Fire Engineer
Brett Christensen, and Fire Engineer Kris Kalman.

Firefighter Adam Bumgardner, Firefighter Michael Tyson, and Firefighter Kameron Waters will be sworn in today.

Three of HBF’s latest paramedics will also  recognized.

Being recognized for earing their Paramedic are Engineer/Paramedic
Colin Beddow, Firefighter/Paramedic Don Penn, and Firefighter Paramedic Chris

“Each person being recognized today has shown their willingness to go the extra
mile to better themselves and the department in the service they can provide,” said Fire Chief Bill Gillespie. “Ours is a culture of service and we take great pride in introducing our newest personnel and those advancing in rank to our

A glimpse of Fr. Eric and who he was for those who never met him

Photo credit Mark McKenna. This is us praying the rosary right after we learned at the press conference that Fr. Eric was deceased. Of all the church ministries, leading the rosary every Sunday before mass and many other occasions was the first church responsibility I volunteered for and it was with the permission and encouragement of Fr. Eric.

We had also prayed the rosary that morning when Deacon Frank Weber came into church to let us know, "something was terribly wrong with Fr. Eric." We could not complete it as we had to exit church since the police had arrived and were securing all of the church property.

This was Fr. Eric's obituary written by Monsignor Daniel Whelton. I hope it gives those of you who did not know Fr. Eric some idea of the man we loved and respected so much.

Requiescat in pacem, Fr. Eric, 1957-2014 

Fr. Eric Freed was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1957 to Eugene and Laura Freed. He was raised in Covina, Calif., and graduated from Northview High School in 1975. He attended Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles where he graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy. In 1979 he entered the Salesian Religious Congregation in Japan where he pursued his studies to the priesthood in the Salesian House of Formation, Jocti, Japan. He completed his studies in Theology at the Pontifical Salesian University, Turin, Italy from 1988-1990. On September 23, 1990, he was ordained to the Priesthood in Tokyo, Japan, by Archbishop PeiroShirayanagi Seiichi for ministry as a Salesian priest. He ministered in Salesian High Schools as a teacher and chaplain in Ikuei Kosen, Tokyo 1990-1995 and Seikosakiun, Osoka, 1995-1999. Fr. Freed came to the Diocese of Santa Rosa in 1999 and served as Parochial Vicar at St. Joseph, Cotati until mid-2001, with a two-month assignment at St. Francis Solano, Sonoma in the summer of 1999. In August 2001, he was appointed Administrator of St. Mary’s, Arcata where he ministered for one year. From 2002 until mid-2005 he was the Chaplain at St. Francis High School, Mountain View, Calif. Upon his return to the Diocese of Santa Rosa he was assigned as Chaplain at St. Vincent de Paul High School, Petaluma, and was in residence at St. James, Petaluma. In 2006 he was assigned as the Chaplain to the Newman Center for Humboldt State University, Arcata, and at the same time ministered as the Parochial Vicar at St. Bernard’s, Eureka. Fr Freed also taught Religious Studies at Humboldt State University, a course well received by the students. Fr. Freed ministered to the Japanese Catholic Community in San Francisco and Santa Clara County. He wrote and translated the story of a Hiroshima bombing survivor, Hiroko Takanash, who related her experience in the book titled “The Experience of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima in Poem.” In 2011, he was appointed Pastor of St. Bernard’s parish, Eureka and served in that office until his untimely death on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2014. Fr Eric is survived by his father Eugene Freed and his stepmother, Donna and by his brother Will, sisters, Kari, Lisa, Anita and Melissa who live in various parts of the United States. He was preceded in death by his mother, Laura and two brothers, Gene and Michael. He is mourned not only by his own family but his spiritual family as well, especially by those he served in Japan as a Salesian High School teacher, by the Japanese Community of the Bay Area and by the parishioners he served in the various parishes here in the Diocese of Santa Rosa particularly the parishioners of St. Bernard’s parish, Eureka. Father Freed was a compassionate, giving priest with a ready smile, a good sense of humor and he was a sports fanatic. Echoing the words of Jesus to the blind man Bartimeus – “What do you want me to do for you” was how Father Eric lived his priestly life and ministry. He will be greatly missed. May he rest in peace.

-- Msgr. Daniel P. Whelton

Top of the ear torn; " bleeding indicates that he was alive" testifies Dr. Super; Fr. Freed's face so bloodied and bruised that he was barely recognizable

The first photo that the jury saw was of Fr. Eric Freed's head in a "dirty state" before the body had been washed. His face was bruised, battered and bloodied. His head and scalp soaked in blood. There was so much blood that it was difficult to see the wounds clearly or to recognize him.

In a "clean state", there was a close up of his face, "primarily his nose," said Dr. Super. and a deep, bloodied gash on his nose.

Torn ear, bloodied and bruised back, left hand misshapen and contorted, bruisies, abrasions and lacerations from head to toe. Some injuries, Dr. Super said would have resulted in choking, not being able to breathe and blood flow stopped to the brain.

One of the most disturbing photos besides Fr. Freed's face was that of his lips and tongue, and the hole in his tongue. His frenulum was torn. Dr. Super said "by something impacting or being forced into his mouth."

It had been an hour and a half before break and most of the testimony focused on face and neck, some on the spine. After the mid morning break, abdomen, arms and legs were covered.

Several times after injuries were described and photos were shown, Deputy District Attorney Andrew Isaac asked Dr. Super, who responded, "If the decedent was alive, this would be a very painful injury."

While some injuries, Dr. Super was definitive about calling perimortem, for others he could not say for sure whether they were definitely perimortem, he had an opinion; same thing about consciousness or unconsciousness and how long it took for these injuries--he said from a few minutes to several hours.

Dr. Super also indicated if the pipe, the wooden stake or the glass vessel was a likely cause of a specific injury.

The detailed photos and a diagram of Fr. Freed's injuries from the autopsy is so extensive and so horrific; my post on the evidence hearings covers it well.

People rest their case in Bullock jury trial, according to schedule stated in Mr. Isaac's opening argument

After Dr. Super finished testifying today at noon, which included cross examination by Gary Lee Bullock's attorney, Mr. Kaleb Cockrum, the People have rested their case.

Jury was asked to return Monday at 9 a.m.

Graphic, bloodied photos and details by Coroner tell the disturbing details of Fr. Freed's torture and death

Court proceedings in the Gary Lee Bullock trial were delayed until 9:05 this morning after attorneys met with Judge Feeney at the bench. This after court was delayed opening at 8:30 a.m.

Dr. Mark Super, a forensic pathologist, who conducted the autopsy for Fr. Eric Freed, testified today.

The cause of death, according to Dr. Super, was blunt force head and thoracic injuries, asphyxia and neck compression. Dr. Super described the autopsy procedure in general before giving detailed testimony about Fr. Freed's autopsy. The autopsy was performed January 4, 2014.

Today, the jury saw more graphic close ups of  photos depicting the brutal injuries Fr. Freed suffered and his bloodied and bruised face, neck, abdomen, back, arms and legs. There was a diagram that Dr. Super prepared at the autopsy. A larger, blown up version of that was shown today on the projecteor screen with Fr. Freed's body in 5 different positions, including front and back and two side views. The diagram had notes scribbled all over, pointing to the injuries.

Dr. Super concluded his testimony today, at noon. He was the People's last witness.

Usually jury members , audience members and all media chat during breaks. Today, with a few brief pleasantries, it was a somber break, with most people just walking out of the courtroom quieter than usual.

To add insult to injury, Bullock's mother who attended court today with a family friend, both whispered loudly and talked while Dr. Super was testifying. Bullock's mother did the same thing last time, including her cell phone going off twice.

Map of Eureka showing Matthew Owen lives in Ward 2

The City of Eureka boundary map shown below of Matthew Owen's property  shows he lives in Ward 2.

If Owen decides to run for Eureka City Council this year, the map should alleviate any concerns regarding which ward he currently lives as the ward map from the city's website does not  reflect ward boundaries as clearly as this image.

This link is unclear on where the Ward 2 boundary is:

Linda Atkins, the current Ward 2 Eureka City Councilmember will be terming out after serving two terms in November making this seat a potential swing vote.

Terry Supahan arrested for a DUI?


Terry Supahan is a Karuk Tribe and executive director of True North Organizing Network.

Mar 24, 2016

U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear Oklahoma and Nebraska case against Colorado legalization of weed, now what?

Oklahoma and Nebraska asked the Supreme Court to hear a challenge to cannabis legalization in Colorado claiming that it was causing marijuana to flow across the borders into their own states, creating law enforcement issues.

On March 21, by a 6-2 majority, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case, without comment.

Will there be other lawsuits?

Brett Hansen swaggers into court for his sentencing, almost blows his plea deal

Brett Hansen was sentenced this afternoon by Visiting Judge Johnson. 

The Judge refused to release Hansen today and ordered that he serve jail time until he could be accepted into an in patient treatment program.

That is what probation had recommended. His credits for time served were applied to his misdemeanor case.

His mother and 8 year old daughter were in court. Hansen just sat there mouthing the answers required with no remorse or seriousness or gratitude for the plea and the nth chance he was given.

He almost blew his plea deal by not wanting treatment. Mr. David Celli, who represents him, talked with him and explained that the Judge would reject the plea deal without the treatment condition and Hansen, then making a face, answered he would agree.

Treatment was a request made by his family and his mother, the victim in this case, and a short statement expressing her agony at finally calling the police after years of being afraid and dealing with her son and his heroin addiction was read in court by Victim Witness Advocate Marybeth Bian.

Mar 1, 2016

Remember Brett Hansen, most recently arrested after an EPD standoff, he plead out

Remember Brett Hansen, most recently in the crime headlines for an EPD standoff?

He had an intervention scheduled, pleaded guilty in 2 cases, in one cases had certain counts dismissed with a Harvey waiver and had a two probation revocation cases resolved in a plea deal.

Details of plea and sentencing date for DDA David Christensen:

"He pled guilty to Evading the Police w/Reckless Driving and Possession of a Firearm (both felonies); a misdemeanor assault in the jail; and admitted his misdemeanor violations of probation.  We agreed to recommend felony supervised probation, drug treatment, and a protective order for the alleged victims.

The sentencing has been scheduled for March 24th @ 4:00."

Jan 14, 2016

$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.

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.

"Elder abuse is public safety" long term care ombudsman tells Measure Z committee

In between a full day of court, I stopped in for a bit at the Measure Z Committee meeting being held this afternoon.

Newly appointed Humboldt County CAO
Amy Nilsen, Fire Chief Bill Gillespie, Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills were among the 30 people attending the Measure Z meeting which was held in the Board of Supervisor Chambers.

Committee member Lora Canzoneri asked representatives from the Area Agency, after their presentation on funds request, what fundraising they did this past year because she was not aware of any fundraising events. "I am very much on the fence for funding this,request."

Area Agency on Aging Director Maggie Kraft said the agency did one fundraiser, and said they would see how they could publicize it to a larger crowd. She also mentioned the challenges of fundraising and providing services they do, and responded to Ms. Canzoneri, "We are only asking for $10,000", and went on to say that this was a lot less than other requests from those who were not being asked to fundraise or the same question and she didn't know what more she could add to their presentation..

Before questions, Ms. Kraft and Susie Fregeau, long term care ombudsman, gave a presentation on how many volunteer hours were put in, what kind of issues they were working on with the funds and handed a letter to the Committee about a man who locally owns several nursing homes and others nationwide. This owner has complaints filed regarding elder abuse and is now looking to expand into assisted living.

Ms. Kraft spoke with me after the meeting and she mentioned that locally, volunteers cover the nursing homes and they see the problems but the hours and need coverage is greater.

She also mentioned that this owner was now moving into a business that is non-medical and not as well monitored as other facilities.

Ms. Fregeau pointed out to the Committee that when intervention was made by the Area Agency on Aging, it saved them money for the Sheriff's Deputy salary who would answer a call which could initially be dealt with by the are a Agency on Aging and they could assist and report to law enforcement.

Humboldt Superior Court seeking applications for Grand jury members

The Superior Court of California, County of Humboldt is now accepting applications from individuals interested in serving on the Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury for fiscal year    2016-17.  The Civil Grand Jury consists of nineteen citizens who investigate citizen complaints relating to local government agencies and non-profit organizations that receive public funding.  It is an arm of the Superior Court but an entirely independent body.   

Qualifications to be a grand juror are: U.S. citizenship, 18 years of age or older, a Humboldt County resident for at least one year, not currently holding an elected public office position, and not currently serving on a commission or committee appointed by the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors.  Grand Jurors are paid $20.00 for every seven (7) hours of actual meeting time, and mileage is reimbursed at .54 cents per mile. Currently, meetings are held on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings each week. The time commitment is approximately 10-20 hours per week.  

If you are interested in being a member of the Civil Grand Jury, please call Administration at  (707) 269-1200 and ask to have an application mailed to you, or you can download it from  You can also learn more about the Civil Grand Jury by visiting the aforementioned link and clicking on Jury (under the General Information tab on the home page).  There is a recruitment video that was taped in Humboldt County and is being used statewide to recruit citizens to serve on grand juries.

Individuals interested in serving on the Humboldt County Civil Grand Jury for Fiscal Year  2016-17 are encouraged to submit an application by May 31, 2016 (deadline may be extended).

Jury trial confirmed for David Lockhart charged with the death of Hannah Baker

Trial confirmation was scheduled this afternoon for David Lockhart. Jury trial confirmed for April 25. Trial assignment April 22.

Mr. David Celli was present with Lockhart, who is out of custody. Mr.David Nims subbed in for Mr. Patrik Griego, who represents the Baker family. Deputy District Attorney David Christensen is prosecuting the case.

Nov 19, 2015

David Lockhart arraignment for vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence causing the death of Hannah Baker

David Lockhart was arraigned this afternoon in Courtroom 5 for Count 1, vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence in the death of Hannah Denise Baker. There is a special allegation that Lockhart caused great bodily injury or death to John Doe.

Through a family friend, I was told John Doe is out of the hospital.

Lockhart was held to answer to the same charges after his preliminary hearing.

Lockart  is out of custody. He was in court with two supporters/family members. The victim's family and friends were present with their attorney, Mr. Patrik Griego and some were wearing shirts with Baker's photo.

Lockhart entered not guilty pleas, denied all special allegations. Mr. David Celli appeared on behalf of his office, Mr. Russ Clanton is representing Lockhart.

Deputy District Attorney David Christensen is prosecuting the case.

The defense requested a jury trial based on the availability of Mr. Clanton's schedule and he has other trials in January. Through their attorney and reiterated by the People, the victim's family wanted the trial set within 60 days, which would have been on January 11.

However, Lockhart had waived time and since Mr. Clanton is not available, a jury trial date of February 18 was scheduled. Trial Confirmation is on February 4 at 2 p.m. and Pre-trial hearing is scheduled for January 21 at 2 p.m.

Nov 5, 2015

David Lockhart held to answer for charge of gross vehicular manslaughter and death of multiple victims

David Lockhart had a preliminary hearing scheduled this morning. He was held to answer on the charges and arraignment on information is on November 19.

There is only one victim in this case, Hannah Baker. John Doe, who was taken to the hospital, survived.

Sep 11, 2015

Preliminary hearing for David Lockhart charged with gross vehicular manslaughter is rescheduled for October 8

David Lockhart, is chared with a felony: homicide with the count of gross vehicular manslaughter and death of multiple victims. Yesterday, there was an intervention hearing in Courtroom 2 and the preliminary hearing for September 15 was vacated and a new date of October 8 was scheduled.

The Baker family, who lost their loved ones, have local  attorney Patrik Griego to represent them.

Deputy District Jackie Pizzo has been handling the case for the People. Mr. Russ Clanton represents Lockhart.

The District Attorney's office filed a stipulation and order on September 2 for independent analysis of a controlled substance.

Previous post (with other links and coverage):

California Highway Patrol press release:

On November 12, 2014, at approximately 1730 hours, a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado pickup, driven by 48 year old David Lockhart of Weott, CA, was traveling south on US-101, north of Garberville. A 2012 Chevrolet Suburban SUV, driven by a 24 year old resident of Rio Dell, CA, was traveling north on US-101, north of Garberville. For reasons still under investigation, the Chevrolet Silverado pickup made an unsafe turning movement and traveled across the center median, into the northbound traffic lanes of US-101, while still traveling south.  The Silverado pickup subsequently collided head-on with the Suburban SUV in the #2 lane of northbound US 101.

Drivers of the both vehicles as well as the passenger of the Suburban SUV suffered major injuries as a result of the collision.  The driver of the Suburban SUV later succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased at Jerold Phelps Community Hospital. The names of the Driver and Passenger of the Suburban SUV are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

California Highway Patrol, Humboldt County Sheriff, Cal-Fire, Garberville Volunteer Fire department, and Redway Volunteer Fire department all responded to the scene. This collision remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol - Garberville Area.

Drug impairment does appear to be a factor in this collision.  At the time of the collision, airbags in both vehicles deployed, and all occupants were properly safety-belted.

Law enforcement agencies work to find similarities in area robbery sprees

With evidence mounting against Bullock in Phase 1, will the defense go for the Judge or Jury, if Phase 2 proceeds

Gary Lee Bullock is the only one seen wandering around for hours on video on St. Bernard church grounds from approximately 2 a.m until 7 a.m on Jan 1, 2014. He is the only one on video seen entering the rectory and exiting the rectory and driving away in Fr. Eric Freed's car. The car is found on his mother and step father's property, concealed. Fingerprints, blood, DNA place him at the crime scene.

His attorney, Mr. Kaleb Cockrum has failed to impeach the credibility of any of the People's witnesses. Whether he was successful in raising some questions during his cross examination of EPD Detective Amber Cosetti remains to be seen. Deputy District Attorney Mr. Andrew Issac has been masterful in redirect , decimating any question raised by Mr. Cockrum with evidence.

So far, the evidence in Phase 1 of the trial does not look good for Bullock. He has a better chance, maybe, of trying his luck with Phase 2 of proving his plea of guilty by insanity. That remains to seen when the experts testify on their psychaitric evaluation of Bullock.

If Bullock is found guilty by the jury in Phase 1, will Mr. Cockrum waive his right for trial by jury for Phase 2?

From the link below:

However, you may not assert the legal defense of insanity just because you
  • Were addicted to drugs or alcohol when you committed the crime, or
  • Had recently used drugs or alcohol when you committed the crime.15

Alleged assault and battery suspect who allegedly pistol whipped victim arrested in greenbelt area

On Wednesday, March 23, 2016, at about 5 p.m., Humboldt County Deputy Sheriffs responded to the 4600 block of Union St, Eureka, for an assault and burglary report. Deputies arrived on scene and spoke with the 38 year old male victim who had visible injuries. The victim stated he arrived home and suspect, 40 year old Aaron Ray Waggoner, “pistol whipped” him. Waggoner then fled in a green Chevy pickup. The victim told deputies he saw some of his belongings in the bed of the truck. The victim declined medical attention for his injuries.
The Eureka Police Department later located the vehicle behind the Carter House Inn in Eureka. Deputies responded and the truck was unoccupied. Deputies searched the area. Waggoner was spotted by deputies and fled on foot into the nearby greenbelt. Deputies and EPD Officers surrounded the area. An EPD K-9 unit located the suspect in the brush. Waggoner struggled with deputies and was uncooperative. Deputies were eventually able to detained Waggoner in handcuffs.
Waggoner was taken to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for burglary, assault with a firearm, and resisting arrest. His bail has been set at $100,000. The stolen items were recovered.

Fr. Freed's blood found on Bullock shirt, DNA analysis further links Bullock to crime scene

DOJ analyst Ms. Kay Belschner, EPD Detectives Ron Harpham and John Gordon testified about collection of evidence  this morning in the Gary Lee Bullock trial. The entire morning session was less than an hour and a half, the major testimony came from Ms. Amy Rojas. DOJ Senior Criminalist who does DNA analysis at the Jan Bashinski lab in Richmond, California.

Ms. Belschner works for the DOJ office in Eureka. Ms. Rojas testified about DNA from crime scene which matched or "was consistent" with Fr. Eric Freed or Gary Lee Bullock and some items which includied a mixture of DNA, with Fr. Freed being the major contributor and Bullock, a minor contributor. Only in the watch, did Ms. Rojas say, "Gary Bullock cannot be excluded as a minor contibutor."

The DNA analysis was done on the glass vessel (Pilsner glass), clippings from the blue polo shirt Bullock was wearing that night, cigar on the burner, fingernail clippings from Fr. Freed and the watch found on the crime scene.

"Fr. Freed's blood on the shirt," was the most definitive statement Ms. Rojas made this morning linking Bullock to Fr. Freed's murder and the crime scene.

Bullock's DNA was on the cigar, which was left burning on the stove. Blood on other items was identified as Fr. Freed's and DNA on the same items implicated Bullock.

In previous testimony, Bullock's fingerprints were matched to an empty Scotch bottle and a glass placed on a desk in the room where Fr. Freed's body was found.

Testimony will resume tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. with Dr. Mark Super testifying about Fr. Freed's autopsies, injuries and cause of death,

Previous posts (regarding charges and evidence hearings):

Mar 23, 2016

Supreme court divided on contraception mandate? I'll have nun of it"


It can't be all my way. There has to be an accommodation, and that's what the government tried to do," said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She said creating an exception for the nuns would open the "floodgates" to make the law unworkable.
But Chief Justice John Roberts repeated the nuns' rhetoric when saying the plaintiff "has used the phrase 'hijacking,' and it seems to me that that's an accurate description of what the government wants to do." He said, "They want to use the mechanism that the Little Sisters and the other petitioners have set up to provide services because they want the coverage to be seamless." 
Members of the Little Sisters of the Poor rallied along with their supporters in front of the court Wednesday, many carrying signs and buttons with "I'll Have Nun of It." 

So it is bullying when Christians stand up for their rights but freedom of speech when Peter Martin or Janelle Egger sue the city and County?

I am glad Ryan Burns did this article. It was very informative

 Shows the hypocrisy and intolerance of the left.

Rash of residential burglaries in Eureka, blue van suspected to be involved

Over the last two days, the Eureka Police Department has responded to numerous daytime residential burglary reports with trends in the in the neighborhoods near Watson and D Streets and Henderson and K Streets.  

A witness reported seeing three white males, 20-30 years old, park a blue van near the 1600 block of D Street.  The males walked out of sight then returned to the vehicle with a guitar and other property.  A burglary report was taken soon after at a nearby residence describing the guitar and other similar property as being stolen.  A BOLO (be on the lookout) has been issued for this vehicle and occupants.     
Residents are encouraged to report any suspicious persons, vehicles, or activity occurring in their neighborhoods that may be related.  Anyone with information regarding the possible identity of the suspect(s) responsible for these burglaries is asked to call the Eureka Police Department at 441-4044.
The following are some precautions that homeowners can take to reduce their risk:  
· Keep all doors and windows closed and securely fastened when away.
· Invest in an alarm system/surveillance cameras.
· Secure sliding glass doors by placing a broomstick, metal rod or piece of plywood in the track and install vertical bolts. These will help prevent burglars from forcing the door open or lifting it off the track.
· Keep garage doors closed and locked.  Also keep doors that lead to interior of residence secured.  
· Create the illusion you are home by using timers on lights, radios, and televisions. Make your residence appear occupied even when no one is home.
· Keep the perimeter of your residence well-lit and trim any shrubs so they do not provide concealment for would-be-burglars.  
· Never leave a message on your answering machine telling people you are away from home.  Do not post on social media that you are out of town.  
· Do not leave clues that you are away on a trip. Have a trusted neighbor collect mail and newspapers while you are away so delivered items do not accumulate.
· Re-key the locks when you move into a new house or apartment.
· Do not hide keys where burglars can find them.  Consider leaving your spare key with a trusted neighbor instead.
· Report any suspicious activity/persons in your neighborhood to law enforcement immediately.      
· Join a neighborhood watch and/or use to communicate with your neighbors. 

Suggestions for changes by City Cab to Fortuna City Council ordinance

Chapter 5.36
*    For statutory provisions authorizing local authorities to license and regulate vehicles for hire, see Vehicle Code §§ 21100 and 21112; for provisions on financial responsibility of commercial passenger vehicles, see Vehicle Code § 16500 et seq.
5.36.010 Permit and business license required.
It is unlawful for any person to operate any taxicab or automobile carrying passengers for hire unless and until the owner shall apply for and obtain a permit to do so and shall have obtained a business license as required by Chapter 5.04 FMC. (Code 1961 § 24-1).
5.36.020 Operator’s permit – Application and issuance.
A. Every person or company desiring to operate a taxicab service or automobile carrying passengers for hire shall make application with the city clerk for a permit, on such form as may be provided by the clerk, and shall give all information required in such application or requested by the city clerk.
B. The city clerk may refuse to grant a permit to operate such vehicle for the reason that there is insufficient public need or demand for the operation of the vehicle, for which a permit has been applied, or for any reasonable cause which, within his sound discretion, renders the proposed operations undesirable or inadequate.
C. Upon the city clerk’s refusal to grant such permit, the applicant therefor shall have the right to appeal to the city council, present his case and the council shall then either grant or refuse such permit. The action of the council shall be final. (Code 1961 § 24-2).
5.36.030 Certificate of convenience – Required.
No person or company shall operate or permit a taxicab owned or controlled by him to be operated as a vehicle for hire to carry passengers upon the streets of the city, without first obtaining a certificate of public convenience a taxi driver’s permit, and a business license as required by Chapter 5.04 FMC and meet the requirements of this chapter. (Code 1961 § 24-3.1).
5.36.040 Certificate of convenience – Application contents.
A sworn application for a certificate shall be filed with the city clerk upon forms provided by the city clerk and shall furnish the following information:
A. Name and address of the applicant;
B. Financial status including the amounts of all unpaid judgments against the applicant;
C. The experience of the applicant in the transportation of passengers;
D. Any facts which tend to prove this public convenience is needed in the city;
E. The number of vehicles to be operated, the make and description and the license numbers of each;
F. The proposed rates to be charged;
G. The color scheme or insignia to be used to designate the vehicles;
H. If radios are to be used, the call letters frequencies of such radio units;
I. Such further information as the chief of police may require. (Code 1961 § 24-3.2).
5.36.050 Certificate of convenience – Application hearing.
Upon filing of an application, the city clerk shall fix a time and place for a public hearing thereon. Due notice shall also be given to the general public by posting a notice of such hearing in the City Hall. (Code 1961 § 24-3.3).
5.36.060 Certificate of convenience – Issuance.
If the city council finds that further taxi service is required and is necessary and the applicant is fit, willing, and able to perform such public service of transportation and to conform to the provisions of this chapter, a certificate of public convenience will be issued by the city clerk. (Code 1961 § 24-3.4).
5.36.070 Certificate of convenience – Nontransferable.
The certificate of public convenience is nontransferable. (Code 1961 § 24-3.5).
5.36.080 Certificate of convenience – Suspension.
The certificate may be suspended or revoked by the city council upon the following grounds:
A. The certificate holder knowingly fails to operate the vehicles under the permit in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and any state and federal laws applicable to the operation of such vehicles.
B. The taxicab or taxicabs are operated at a rate of fare other more than that approved by the council.
C. The company shall abandon its operation of all vehicles for a period of 30 days. Acts of God, labor disputes, and other acts beyond the control of the certificate holder which cause an abandonment or limitation of service shall not be an abandonment within the meaning of this section.
D. The certificate holder has committed acts or carried on a course of conduct which the council finds, after hearing, establishes a lack of good moral character in such certificate holder. (Code 1961 § 24-3.6).
5.36.090 Driver’s permit – Required – Application contents.
A. It is unlawful for any person to drive or operate any vehicle used for the transportation of passengers for hire without first obtaining a taxicab driver’s permit from the City of Fortuna or having a valid permit from another city within Humboldt County which requires a criminal background screening and fingerprinting.
B. Applications for such permits shall be filed with the chief of police giving the following information on a form furnished by the police department:
1. Name, address, telephone number, and last previous address;
2. Name and address of the owner or owners of the taxicab company;
3. A statement as to whether the applicant has ever been convicted of any crime, misdemeanor, felony or any violation of a municipal ordinance, the nature of the offense and the punishment assessed therefor.
C. The applicant shall have in his possession a valid California chauffeur’s license. (Code 1961 § 24-3.7).
5.36.100 Driver’s permit – Application investigation – Fee.
A. Upon receipt of the application for a taxicab driver’s permit, the chief of police shall cause such investigation of the applicant’s business and moral character to be made as he deems necessary for the protection of the public good.
B. A complete set of fingerprints will be taken and forwarded to the Bureau of CII in Sacramento, California, and to the FBI in Washington, D.C. Return of this record check must be received before a permit will be granted. If, as the result of such investigation, the applicant’s character or business responsibility is found satisfactory, a taxicab driver’s permit will be issued by the chief of police.
C. A fee of $10.00 will be paid by the applicant to the city clerk for the cost of investigation and administration. (Code 1961 § 24-3.8).
5.36.110 Driver’s permit – Renewal.
A taxicab driver’s permit must be renewed one year from the date of issuance. (Code 1961 § 24-3.9).
5.36.120 Driver’s permit – Issuance restrictions.
No permit shall be issued to a person who is under the age of 21 and is not a citizen of the United States or who has been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude. (Code 1961 § 24-3.10).
5.36.130 Driver’s permit – Revocation.
The chief of police may revoke a permit under the following conditions:
A. Conviction of any felony, any crime involving moral turpitude, or any crime involving the transportation or sale of a controlled substance narcotics;
B. Conviction while operating a taxicab, of driving while intoxicated or reckless driving or any combination of moving violations above four for one year;
C. If the holder’s has had his driver’s license suspended or revoked by the state;
D. Violation of any section of this chapter. (Code 1961 § 24-3.11).
5.36.140 Driver’s permit – Revocation – Appeals.
Any driver whose permit is refused or revoked may appeal to the city council in writing for a hearing. A date, time and place will be set by the city clerk with notice to the complainant. The decision by the city council will be final. (Code 1961 § 24-3.12).
5.36.150 Driver’s permit – Fingerprinting.
No permit to operate a vehicle used in taxicab service or carrying passengers for hire shall be granted to any person until such person shall have filed with the chief of police his fingerprints or having a valid permit from another city within Humboldt County which requires a criminal background screening and fingerprinting.
. (Code 1961 § 24-4).
5.36.160 Liability insurance – Amount required. These amounts should be adjusted.
It is unlawful to operate any vehicle carrying passengers for hire unless there is filed with the city attorney a liability insurance policy issued by a corporation authorized to do business in the state. The liability policy required under this section shall insure against loss from the liability imposed by law for injury or death of any person or damage to any property caused by the operation of any vehicle to the following amounts:
A. For death or injury to any one person in any one accident, $50,000;
B. For death or injury to two or more persons in any one accident, $100,000;
C. For damage to property of others in any one accident, $5,000. (Code 1961 § 24-5.1).
5.36.170 Liability insurance – Scope.
Any insurance policy filed as provided in FMC 5.36.160 shall be available to and shall indemnify the public or any passenger using any of the vehicles in such taxi service or who may be damaged by the careless or negligent operation or maintenance of any such vehicle. (Code 1961 § 24-6).
5.36.180 Taxicabs – Specifications.
The certificate holder shall abide by the following specifications and requirements:
A. The taxi driver’s permit will be displayed inside the cab in full view of passengers.
B. A schedule of rates will be displayed inside the cab in full view of passengers.
C. Every taxicab shall have printed or placed on each side and rear of such taxicab the name of the cab company together with the telephone number. The number of the cab will be placed on each side of the cab below the name of the company.
D. It is unlawful for any person, firm, or company to imitate the approved color, name, or insignia of a certified cab company.
E. The chief of police or any member of the police department under his direction shall have the right at any time to enter into or upon any taxicab to ascertain whether or not the provisions of this chapter have been violated and that the taxicab is mechanically safe to carry passengers.
F. Any taxicab which is found to be unsafe as a result of such inspection shall be immediately ordered out of service and remain so until it is again found to be in a safe condition. (Code 1961 § 24-9.1).
5.36.190 Taxi stands.
A. The chief of police may by order locate and grant a taxicab stand, which when so established shall be appropriately designated “Taxi Stand.”
B. It is unlawful for any vehicle to park in a taxi stand except a vehicle for hire.
C. Taxi stands shall remain in effect until revoked by the city council. (Ord. 2013-704 § 2 (Exh. A); Code 1961 § 24-9.2).
5.36.200 Operating regulations.
The following regulations shall be complied with:
A. Any driver employed to transport passengers to a definite point shall take the most direct route possible that will carry the passenger to his destination safely and expeditiously.
B. No driver of any licensed taxicab shall refuse any person prompt taxi service in the city at any time while such taxicab is on the public streets of Fortuna, ready for service unless such taxicab is already engaged in the carrying of one or more passengers or is en route to answer a call for taxicab service; provided, further, that nothing in this subsection shall require any owner or driver to furnish service to any person under the influence of intoxicating liquor or narcotics, or who is a criminal.
C. No driver of any taxicab shall accept or take into his vehicle any larger number of passengers than the rated seating capacity of his vehicle.
D. No driver shall carry any passenger other than paying passengers or persons authorized by or on behalf of the company.
E. Any violation of the provisions of this section shall be cause for the revocation of the permit of the driver guilty of such violation.

F. It is unlawful for any person to refuse to pay the lawful fare as posted. All disputes as to fare shall be forthwith determined by the officer in charge of the police station. Failure to comply with such determination shall be subject to a charge of misdemeanor. (Code 1961 § 24-9.3).