Jul 16, 2016

HSU graduate student selected to travel to RNC will be sharing her experiences throughout the week

I was contacted by Berkeley Kijsriopas,  a graduate student at Humboldt State University who is doing research for her thesis on leadership.  She was selected by a professor and HSU to attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, OH this coming week. 

Ms. Kijsriopas will be talking to and surveying people who identify strongly with being Republican, and talking to protesters. 

"Throughout the week, I will be taking pictures and conducting live sessions on Facebook, to show people what it's actually like at the RNC. I will be surveying and talking to people who identify with several different groups including white supremacists, Black Lives Matter, Westboro Baptist Church and others," she said.

I commend HSU and Ms. Kijsriopas on their effort to give others in Humboldt an opportunity to share in our nation's history.

Matthew Owen vs Jon Yalcinkaya for Eureka City Council, anyone else want to join them

Monday, July 18 is the day, candidates can officially pick up papers to run for Linda Atkins seat and Melinda Ciarabellini's seat on Eureka City Council.

Jon Yalcinkaya is running. He has already picked up papers to fundraise a while back so I knew he would be running. I have also spoken to Jon myself a couple of times.

According to couple of sources, Jon will pick up papers Monday for Linda Atkins seat.

The breaking news though is his potential opponent.

Matthew Owen will also be picking up papers Monday for Linda Atkins seat.

John Fullerton has told me he will be running for Melinda Ciarabellini's seat. When I saw incumbent Melinda Ciarabellini on 4th of July, she was still undecided about running again for another term.

Jul 15, 2016

Man hotwiring vehicle caught in the act by APD thanks to citizen tip

On 7/15/2016 at about 8:50am, Officers from the Arcata Police Department responded to the 1000 block of K Street on the report of a possible vehicle theft in progress.

Upon arrival, officers were able to park within about ten of the suspect and observe him taking items from the vehicle and placing them into a bag at his feet.  The suspect was immediately detained for investigation.  During a search of the vehicle for damage, it was found that the ignition wires had been pulled from the housing in an attempt to "hot wire" the vehicle.

The vehicle owner was located and advised of the incident.

The suspect, LOREN ALFRED WATERMAN (age 22) from Arcata, was taken into custody for PC 664/10851 - Attempted Stolen Vehicle, PC 488 - Theft, PC 594(b)(2) - Vandalism and PC 1203.2 - Violation of Probation.

Waterman was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked and lodged.

The Arcata Police Department would like to thank the watchful citizen whose diligence in this incident allowed law enforcement to take a thief off the streets and protect the property of our neighbors.

Humboldt County pilot program to track medical cannabis to begin August 1

Track and trace stamp showing a cannabis leaf, county logo and a QR code
Beginning August 1 and concluding in November, the County of Humboldt will operate a pilot program designed to track the movement of medical cannabis through each step of the supply chain, as well as trace the product back to its origin, a technology known as “track and trace.” The pilot project is designed to ensure medical cannabis in Humboldt County complies with local and state regulations, and promotes public health and safety. The program will also help protect the Humboldt artisanal brand of medicinal cannabis, as required by the county’s Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance.

Why Track and Trace?
Last fall, the Medical Marijuana Safety and Regulations Act (MMRSA) was passed, providing regulations for the medical marijuana industry that has developed since the passage of Proposition 215 in 1996. A local track and trace program will ensure the county complies with key regulations of this new legislation, including identifying cannabis by its county of origin. The pilot program will facilitate this process by providing an infrastructure to track and reconcile the movement of cannabis within and between local licensees from harvest to consumer sale.

“While the state will be required to create its own track and trace program, that program will be designed to meet the needs of the state and not necessarily those of the county,” said Humboldt County Agricultural Commissioner Jeff Dolf. “A local track and trace program is critical to demonstrate that the county’s medical cannabis regulatory program incorporates enforcement principles important to local and federal law enforcement including preventing distribution of cannabis to minors, preventing the diversion of cannabis to other states, preventing cannabis revenue from supporting criminal enterprises and preventing the growing of cannabis on public lands.” 

It should be noted that the county’s pilot program will be fully compliant with the Adult Use Act, should it pass in November.

What does it cost?
The pilot project is being developed by an outside vendor, SICPA Product Security, LLC, at no cost to the county. As the first step in its 2017 Medical Cannabis Licensing and Certification Program, the Humboldt County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office is working with SICPA on the pilot project. 

How does it work?
The pilot program combines material- (i.e., counterfeit-resistant stamps) and information-based security to provide anti-counterfeiting and secure track and trace functionality. At its core, the program leverages SICPA’s track and trace solution with encrypted tax stamps, which have been successfully used by the California Board of Equalization for tobacco control since 2005. 

SICPA’s secure stamps fight counterfeiting and allow for data collection and business intelligence, enabling local agencies and licensed operators to communicate with dispensaries. 

After a cultivator harvests and packages their crop, they apply a traceable, counterfeit-resistant stamp to the packaging. The stamp includes a QR code and unique stamp number that is coded with information about the product, including size, strain, grower and more. As the package goes through the supply chain—from cultivator to manufacturer to distributor to dispensary—the stamps are scanned by each licensee so they can be tracked until the product is sold to a patient. 

Patients can use the stamps in conjunction with a free smartphone app, which will be available when the program launches, or via the website humboldtorigin.org to make sure a product is authentic, retrieve product and provenance information, see test results and more (for example, were any pesticides used, is the grower Clean Green or do they follow organic principles, and so on).

What’s next?
The county currently has several local businesses enrolled in the pilot program. Training for the program will take place at the end of July. You can find more information on the pilot program at humboldtgov.org/TrackAndTrace.

City of Arcata to kick off Business Watch Program on August 4

Lt. Ryan Peterson told me that the Sunny Brae Business Watch meeting is at 5:30 p.m.

Press Release:

The Arcata Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Program has been a huge success with 26 active Neighborhood Watch groups formed.  Along with keeping the Neighborhood Watch Program going, APD's next goal is to organize a Business Watch Program that will bring neighboring Arcata businesses together to learn, help each other, and work to prevent crime and being victimized.

APD will kick-off the program on August 4, 2016 with the Sunny Brae Business Watch meeting.  All businesses in the general Sunny Brae area will be invited.  At the meeting, a few of the topics that APD volunteers and police officers will discuss are:
  • Business property safety concepts
  • When to call the police-how to call the police
  • What is an emergency; what is a non-emergency
  • Employee safety
It is the hope of APD that numerous Business Watch groups form though out Arcata.  APD would like to foster and support Business Watch groups for areas such as the Downtown, Valley West, Northtown, Samoa Blvd, Alder Grove, etc.  

If you are interested in Neighborhood Watch or Business Watch, please contact Lieutenant Ryan Peterson at 825-2566 or rpeterson@arcatapd.org 

Ordinance regarding unauthorized use of public areas for storage of personal property

On Tuesday's City Council Meeting agenda:

Introduce, waive reading, and read by Title only Bill No. 891-C.S., an Ordinance of
the City of Eureka adding Section 130.14 to Title XIII Chapter 130 – Storage of
Personal Property in Public Areas.
☒No Fiscal Impact ☐Included in Budget ☐Additional Appropriation
The unauthorized use of public areas for the storage of personal property interferes with
the rights of other members of the public to use public areas for their intended purposes
and can create a public health or safety hazard that adversely affects residential and
commercial areas. The purpose of this ordinance is to maintain public areas and parks
in a clean, sanitary and accessible condition, prevent the misappropriation of public areas
and parks for personal use, and promote the public health and safety by ensuring the
public areas and parks remain readily accessible.
The attached ordinance articulates the process to remove unauthorized stored property,
including specifying the requirement for pre- and post-removal notice, the process for the
owner to claim property, and the amount of time removed property will be held by the
City, as well as the conditions upon which such property may be discarded by the City.
This ordinance will codify the process the City already follows with regard to personal
property stored on City property.

Jul 14, 2016

Jury trial for alleged suspect in Herrick Avenue pedestrian-vehicle collision happening now

Jury trial for Meredith Q. Bayer is currently going on in Courtroom 2. Trial Judge is Judge Marilyn Miles.

The case is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Schaffer. Bayer is being represented by Mr. Patrik Griego and Mr. David Nims of the Janssen and Malloy firm.

The pedestrian was Marcus Renteria from Hoopa.

Updated Release:

The vehicle and driver from this morning's vehicle versus pedestrian traffic collision have been located.  Today at approximately 1215 hours, the involved driver contacted the California Highway Patrol to report she believed she had been involved in an early morning traffic collision on US-101 south of the Herrick Avenue Overcrossing.  Subsequent investigation by the California Highway Patrol confirmed the involved driver was 27 year old, Meredith Q. Bayer of Rio Dell, CA, and the involved vehicle a 2000 Ford Crown Victoria.  This comprehensive investigation is ongoing and more information will be released when available. 

Original Press Release:

On May 24, 2015, between the hours of midnight and 0400, a male pedestrian was struck by an Ford passenger vehicle in the southbound lanes of US-101 south of Herrick Avenue Overcrossing.  After the collision, the involved vehicle fled the scene in an unknown direction.  At approximately 0600 hours and upon daylight a citizen passerby observed a pedestrian down in the center divide just south of the Elk River Bridge.  Personnel from the California Highway Patrol - Humboldt Area responded to the scene, along with fire and ambulance personnel.  The pedestrian, whose name is being withheld pending family notification sustained fatal injuries as a result of the collision. 
The involved vehicle has been identified as a Ford passenger vehicle, possibly dark in color.  The vehicle sustained damage to the front end, hood, and possibly windshield.  The vehicle damage included broken front lighting equipment and it is missing the left side view mirror.

Public invited to Adult Drug Court Graduation Ceremony at the Courthouse

The Adult Drug Court Program invites the public to celebrate the completion of its program by eight participants. The graduation will take place July 29 at 2:30pm at the Jury Selection room on the Ground floor of the Courthouse. Members of our community will share stories of our local heroes who were successful in changing their lives, fighting for sobriety through setbacks and personal challenges.
The Humboldt County Probation Department is proud to celebrate over 500 participants successfully completing the program since its inception in 1997. All graduates were addicted to methamphetamine, heroin, alcohol, or a combination thereof, and found themselves entangled in the criminal justice system. Drug Court offers all participants the opportunity to change their lives.
Drug Court is an 18-month program with intensive supervision, frequent drug and alcohol testing and supportive interventions and therapy. Many who enter the program do not succeed. Many reject the offer while in jail because they have heard how difficult it is.
All of the recent graduates completed a residential treatment program, transitioned into the community with job requirements, as well as personal goals of reunifying with family who, for the most part, believed their loved ones would end up dead. Six graduates are employed fulltime and all are making restitution payments to the county and their victims. Many have obtained their California driver’s license. All have goals and dreams for the future.
Statistics show that 75 percent of Drug Court graduates will never return to the criminal system. What statistics do not reflect is the effect their transformation has on their family, their children, friends and their community. They inspire all those around them to believe in the ability we have as human beings to overcome horrible abuse, pain and suffering and face our demons without the coping mechanism of intoxicating substances.

Kirby Bay held to answer on charges of stalking and threat of crime resulting in death

The preliminary hearing scheduled for Kirby Bay was continued from July 13 to today because the DA's office was still waiting on some reports.

This morning after an almost three hour preliminary hearing in which the alleged victim testified, Visiting Judge Robert Crone Jr. held Bay to answer on two felony counts.

Count 1 Stalking, Count 2 Threat to commit crine resulting in death. ThecDA can add Bay's record and additional charges of posession of a firearm for arraignment of information.

Defebse request to reduce both charges to misdemeanors was denied. Arraignment on information on July 27 at 2 p.m.

Jun 30, 2016

Kirby Bay denied release on OR after victim tells Judge that "he has violated the restraining order 15 times" and allegedly threatened to kill her

Kirby Bay was denied release on OR this afternoon by Judge Joyce Hinrichs after hearing from the People and the victim in this case, Megan Smith, who was present and made a statement in court, according to Marcy's law.

There was no bail reduction request discussed today.

Conflict Counsels' Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis appeared in court with Bay. He made an effort to get Bay released, stating he is a "100% disabled vet" and would abide by the protective order issued.

Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo told Judge Hinrichs, "We are opposed to Mr. Bay's release. There are number of grounds." Ms. Pizzo said that Bay had a prior offense of discharging a firearm from 1997; he absconded in this case and had to be arrested and was on probation; he shot at a woman with a child in the car who was attempting to serve him with a restraining order; he has a violent history; in a prior relationship in which he was charged with car theft was originally charged as kidnapping and that he told the victim (in the current case) he had shot an ex in the abdomen and "watched her bleed" and that he would do the same to her. Ms. Pizzo concluded by saying that the victim did not want him released and was willing to make a statement to the Judge.

Mr. Elvine-Kreis objected to any referenced to Bay's record from 1997, which he said had nothing to do with the current case. He added, the allegations occurred on June 4, and "the police did not arrest him until this Monday."

Ms.Pizzo added that there were other incidents from June 23rd and that the victim had relocated from her original residence and then said the victim believed that Bay knew where she had moved to based on a rock left at her new home. "The defendant collects rocks."

Ms. Smith spoke next, "Your honor, I am very frightened of Kirby. We share a 21 month old son. I have a restraining order against him. He has violated the restraining order 15 times."

"When he threatened to kill me, he referrred to the firearm he kept under our bed throughout our relationship. I am very afraid for my safety and the safety of my family. He was stalking my parents house in Ferndale. I believe he knows I have relocated. The gun does not belong to him."

Bay denied having any firearms.

Jun 29, 2016

Kirby Bay, in a wheel chair, served with restraining order, bail/OR hearing tomorrow

Kirby Bay, in custody, was arraigned this afternoon in Courtroom 4. Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo was present for the People.

He looks different than this photograph. He has no beard and today in court, he was in a wheel chair.

When asked about his income by Judge Timothy Cissna before appointing a public defender, Bay responded, "100% disabled vet on a fixed income."

He was polite to the Judge but before his case was called, he looked around the court staring dismissively at people in the audience, with a stare that seemed like he couldn't care less.

Bay was served with a CLETS protective order. Conflict Counsel's Mr. David Lee was appointed for Bay. Pleas of not guilty were entered, time not waived.

An OR/Bail hearing is scheduled for tomorrow at 2 p.m. Preliminary hearing is on July 13.

Jun 29, 2016

Alleged stalker, Kirby Bay, from Fortuna to be arraigned this afternoon

Kirby Bay is scheduled to be arraigned today at 1:29 in Courtroom 4.

Jun 27, 2016

$150,000 bail for Kirby Bay just arrested, being booked at jail right now

Kirby Bay being booked into Humboldt  County jail at 8:15.

Bail at $150,000.

In the complaint filed by the DA, he is charged with a felony in Count 1, stalking. The victim in the complaint is listed as Megan Smith, and that Bay put her "in reasonable fear of her safety and the safety of her immediate family."

Count 2 is also a felony, Bay is charged with "unlawfully threatening to commit a crime which would result in death and great bodily injury to Megan Smith."

Jun 27, 2016

FOPD arrests man with active felony warrant for alleged criminal threats and stalking

Fortuna Police Department has arrested
 Kirby Bay.

Operation Safe Streets confirmed the news and said, he was arrested at his house.

Jun 24, 2016

Help Fortuna Police Department locate this alleged stalker and suspect claimed to have made criminal threats

Wanted: BAY, Kirby Mark.

This is someone with a felony warrant Fortuna PD is looking for.  He is on both FOPD and the online HCSO warrant list. Because of the nature of the warrant,  this information was shared by Operation Safe Streets and I am also posting the information (criminal threats and stalking 646.9 PC) in the hopes this person is located.  If you see him, please let FOPD know, 725-7550 or call 911, do not approach or attempt to apprehend him.

To see a full list of active Humboldt County warrants, visit www.humboldtgov.org/2215/Warrants

CHP releases press release about last night's search warrant

CHP Press Release:

With the help from our local community and the tireless efforts of investigators the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Humboldt Area has recovered the grey 2015 Jeep Wrangler that was involved in this traffic collision. Through the investigation it was discovered that the vehicle was located at one of the victim’s residence. A search warrant was obtained for the property to seize any and all evidence that may be related to this collision.  We have identified a suspect but we will not be releasing the identity at this time. 

Fortuna hit n run suspect hiding, in contact with CHP only through her attorney

I have learned through more than one source that Marci Kitchen is the suspect CHP is looking for. She is hiding and only communicating to CHP through her attorney, who I am told is Mr. Benjamin Okin.

She has turned in keys to law enforcement, according to my information.

Statement by her attorney on Kym's site:


Hoopa mini mart attempted murder suspect Cody Lee Myers in custody

Cody Lee Myers arested last night by HCSO at 7:17 and booked for PC3000.08(f)
F PC664/187(a).

HCSO Press Release (7:44 a.m):

On 07-13-2016 at about 6:35 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office along with the California Highway Patrol Officers received information that Cody Meyers maybe behind the Hoopa Mini Mart in Hoopa hiding in the brush.

Officers immediately responded and began to check the area for Meyers by walking on trails through the thick brush. Officers located Meyers in the brush area, who then immediately took off running when he saw the officers. After a short foot pursuit, Meyers was taken into custody without further incident. Meyers was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility in Eureka. Meyers has booked in to custody with no bail.

On Monday, 07-11-2016 at 11:30 a.m. Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Deputies were dispatched to the Hoopa Mini Mart in Hoopa, regarding an assault with a deadly weapon that just occurred. When deputies arrived on scene they learned from witnesses that the suspect, 29 year old, Cody Lee Meyers had attacked a 50 year old male victim with a machete.

  Deputies immediately checked the area for Meyers, but they could not locate him. The victim, because of his injuries from the assault was immediately transported to a local hospital in the Eureka area. The victim is currently is stable condition. Through their investigation deputies learned that Meyers and the victim knew each other. It appears that Meyers attacked the victim over a personal matter between the two of them.

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office has issued a "Be on the Lookout" (BOL) to all local law enforcement for Meyers and if located to arrest him for attempted homicide. Meyers is to be considered armed and dangerous. Meyers also has a no bail California State Parole warrant for his arrest.

Meyers is described as an Indian male adult, 29 years old, 6 foot, 185 pounds, black hair, and brown eyes. Meyers was last seen wearing black shorts with a black sleeveless T-shirt. Meyers is from the Loleta area.

Jul 12, 2016

BOLO issued for Cody Lee Meyers for alleged attempted homicide, with an additional warrant

On Monday, 07-11-2016 at 11:30 a.m. Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Deputies were dispatched to the Hoopa Mini Mart in Hoopa, regarding an assault with a deadly weapon that just occurred. When deputies arrived on scene they learned from witnesses that the suspect, 29 year old, Cody Lee Meyers had attacked a 50 year old male victim with a machete.

Deputies immediately checked the area for Meyers, but they could not locate him. The victim, because of his injuries from the assault was immediately transported to a local hospital in the Eureka area. The victim is currently is stable condition. Through their investigation deputies learned that Meyers and the victim knew each other. It appears that Meyers attacked the victim over a personal matter between the two of them.

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office has issued a "Be on the Lookout" (BOL) to all local law enforcement for Meyers and if located to arrest him for attempted homicide. Meyers is to be considered armed and dangerous. Meyers also has a no bail California State Parole warrant for his arrest.

Meyers is described as an Indian male adult, 29 years old, 6 foot, 185 pounds, black hair, and brown eyes. Meyers was last seen wearing black shorts with a black sleeveless T-shirt. Meyers is from the Loleta area.

Jul 13, 2016

Law enforcement has identified the suspect in the hit and run of the two teens in Fortuna

A suspect has been identified in the hit and run of the two teens in Fortuna. CHP is serving a search warrant on the Becker Lane address in Fortuna right now.

I just learned the Fire Department  has been called for assistance.

People who know the teens said they were 14 years old and were going to start Fortuna High.

On facebook, Joe Kitchen and Marci Marz. are being offered condolences for the loss of their child, one of the deceased.

The owner of the address is listed online as as Marcia Kitchen.

The Times-Standard and Kym Kemp's site had reported earlier today that the Becker Lane address was of interest but that was unconfirmed at that time.

Later, around 11, both North Coast News and KIEM reported the jeep being towed for further investigation. According to KIEM, no one was at the residence when law enforcement entered.

"Whatever this courtroom decides does not matter to me because God is the Judge."

Derek Payton was sentenced this afternoon in Courtroom 2 at 4 p.m. He was sentenced to a total of 11 years for Count 2 Assault with a firearm and Count 5 Voluntary manslaughter.

"You killed my friend, my husband and the father of my children. I go to church. God forgives you for anything if you repent.
Whatever this courtroom decides does not matter to me because God is the Judge," is one of the statements made by Eliot Walin's wife, today in court, to Payton.

While she was speaking, Payton said to her he repented, "I do." and she said she did not believe him.

At this point, Payton's father who has been at every court hearing told Walin's wife, "He chose his own way" and left the courtroom.

Payton expressed remorse in a brief statement.

"I do want to say I am sincerely sorry. I know there is nothing I can say that will change how you feel about me."

He is the only defendant I have seen do so in the last two years.

"This is yet another case where you have drugs and firearms and people losing their lives due to marijuana," said Judge Miles.

"There is no question that 11 years for a life may not be appropriate but there is no sentence I can impose that can make up for the loss of a father and a child."

"I do believe Mr. Payton," said Judge Miles. She told Payton that while she believes he is sorry, he has to face the consequences of his actions.

Based on the family victim impact statements, Judge Marilyn Miles asked Deputy District Attorney David Christensen the reasons for the plea deal.

Mr. Christensen said that while it was  not legally self defense, "issues did arise about self defense".

"This is a very difficult case for the People, " said Mr. Christensen. "Due to the underlying facts of the case, it is a fair resolution but not one that would make everyone happy."

"We did not want a situation of a hung jury or mistrial," said Mr. Christiansen.

No other media was in court.

Here is the press release sent out at 5:44 from the DA's office:

Today, Derek Charles Payton was sentenced to eleven years in prison for voluntary manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon for crimes he committed on October 24, 2015 near the defendant’s residence in the 400 block of Watson Street in Eureka.   The victims, Elliott Walin and Nickolas Deremer, went to the defendant’s home with a third man to collect on a debt related to a previous drug deal.  An argument occurred inside the house and the visitors grabbed some marijuana before leaving.  At that point Payton pursued and shot at the three men.  Mr. Walin was struck once and collapsed at the scene. He was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph’s hospital where he was pronounced dead. Mr. Deremer left the immediate area and subsequently sought treatment at a local hospital for a gunshot wound to his shoulder. 
The surviving witnesses were uncooperative with investigators. Using other resources, the Eureka Police identified Mr. Payton as a suspect; he was arrested a few days later and admitted to the shootings.
The victim’s family, and the Eureka Police Department, were included in settlement discussions before the guilty pleas were entered.
Today at sentencing, several members of Elliot Walin’s family were present, including his mother, two sisters, his son, and wife.  Victim-impact statements in the form of letters, were submitted to Judge Miles before court and she considered those statements.  The wife of Elliot Walin also spoke during the sentencing and she pointed out that Mr. Payton will be able to speak with, and see, his family but that her son is “never going to see his Dad again.”  The defendant apologized for his crimes and said, “I wish every day that it had never happened.”  
The 11 year term is the maximum sentence for manslaughter and he will serve 85% of that term.

Jun 7, 2016

Instead of arraignment Derek Payton pleads guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the death of Eliot Walin

Derek Payton was supposed to be arraigned this afternoon, instead he ended up pleading guilty to two counts, Count 2 Assault with a firearm and Count 5, voluntary manslaughter of Eliot Walin, which was added in the information filed for jury trial. Public Defender Casey Russo is Payton's attorney.

Deputy District Attorney Roger Rees subbed in today for his colleague Mr. Christiansen, who prosecuted the case.

The maximum sentence would have been 12 years, Payton plead guilty in an agreement for 11 years.

Both families, Payton's and the deceased victim, Elliot Walin were in the courtroom. Walin's sister in law Andrea Dorfman gave a brief and emotional statement. Words were exchanged between both families inside and outside courtroom. Three bailiffs had to show up to have Payton's family leave before the victim's family exited the courtroom.

Previous posts:



May 11, 2016

Derek Payton held to answer on all charges for Elliot Walin homicide

Finally, the preliminary hearing for Derek Payton was held today in Courtroom 1 with Judge John Feeney. He was held to answer on all charges.

 He is charged with four felony counts. Count 1 Murder of Elliot Walin; special allegation that Payton personally and intentionally discharged a firearm, a Taurus revolver. Count 2 Assault with a firearm on Nickolas Edmund Deremer; special allegation, causing great bodily injury. Count 3 is discharge of a firearm with gross negligence. Count 4 Maintaining a place for selling or using a controlled substance; marijuana; special allegation that he was armed with a firearm during the "commission or attempted commission of the above offense."

Deputy District Attorney David Christensen is prosecuting the case. Payton is represented by Public Defender Casey Russo.

Before the preliminary hearing, Mr. Russo spoke for about five minutes with Payton, who kept shaking his head, "no". I assume that was no to a plea deal.

EPD Detective John Gordon was the only witness. He is the lead investigator on this case.

Arraignment on information is on June 7, 2016 at 2 p.m..

Jan 28, 2016

Preliminary hearing rescheduled for Derek Payton charged with the murder of Eliot Walin

Due to a change in a new attorney being appointed in January, Derek Payton's preliminary hearing that was scheduled for February 9 has been vacated. He has a new intervention hearing on February 23 and his new preliminary hearing date is March 7, 2016.

Jan 6, 2016

Attorney for Derek Payton suspect in Eli Walin homicide files motion to withdraw

A hearing for confirmation of counsel and new dates to be set is scheduled for this afternoon.

Public defender Casey Russo was confirmed as Payton's attorney today.

Preliminary hearing is February 9 at 8:30 a.m.; Intervention is on January 26 at 3 p.m.

Nov 3, 2015

Derek Payton arrested for Eliot Walin homicide

I had already done a post that this was pot related on October 27.

Oct 27, 2015

"Everyone on the streets knows who did it", Source close to man shot at Watson and F alludes to pot as motive

Eliot Michael Walin, was known as Eli to his friends.

Michael Acosta, who represented Eli in his 2013 cases and considered him a friend called his death tragic. He leaves behind his young daughter, Elliot, named after him and a mother and sister who are very close.

Eli did serve time in prison, he had a few cases in the Humboldt Superior Court system, the most recent being the 2013 charges against him for assault on Deputy Conan Moore. He plead to one charge but had another similar charge dismissed. He also had two misdemeanor assault and battery cases in 2013, one against an Andrew Lee Cross dismissed.

"He was trying to turn his life around," Mr. Acosta told me this morning.

A source close to Eli who wishes to remain unnamed, said as far as he knows Eli was unarmed, has heard different versions of whether he was shot in the back or the chest and alluded to "pot" as a motive. "Everyone on the streets knows who did it."

EPD Press Release:

Department were dispatched to the report of multiple shots heard in the vicinity of the 1500 block of F Street.  Responding officers located a victim, Elliot Michael Walin (age 31 of Fortuna), lying in the roadway near the intersection of Watson and F Streets. Walin had sustained a single gunshot wound to his upper torso and was being attended to by a couple of citizens.

Medical aid was summoned and Walin was transported by ambulance to St. Joseph Hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.  While this was occurring, hospital staff contacted the EPD Communications Center to report a second male gunshot victim had been brought to the emergency room by acquaintances who found him walking on Wabash Avenue.  The second victim was uncooperative but admitted to investigators he was with Walin at the time the shooting occurred.

EPD quickly developed a number of strong investigative leads and a suspect was soon identified.  On 11/02/15, at about 12:30 PM, EPD officers were dispatched to a motel on the 1200 block of Fourth Street regarding a suspicious person/circumstances call (involving a possible embezzled or stolen vehicle on scene).  Upon arrival, officers located Derek Charles Payton (age 22 of Eureka) whom EPD investigators had previously identified as the suspect in the homicide.  Payton was taken into custody on two misdemeanor domestic violence-related warrants and subsequently transported to EPD Headquarters where he was interviewed by the lead investigator on this case, Detective John Gordon.

During the interview, Payton confessed to having shot at both victims over a marijuana-related dispute.  Payton was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked on his warrants and for 187(a) PC (Murder) and 245(a)(2) PC (Assault with a Deadly Weapon (Firearm).  His bail was set at $1,050,000.00.

Meanwhile, EPD investigators obtained search warrants for a room and two vehicles associated with Payton at the motel.  While securing the motel room, investigators detained a female occupant, Lindzy Rose Yee (age 30 of Eureka). Yee was on probation for drug related offenses.

During a subsequent search of the motel room, investigators located methamphetamine and heroin.  Investigators also located and seized a handgun believed to have been used by Payton during the shooting.

Yee was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where she was booked for possession of controlled substance while armed, possession of drug paraphernalia, unlawful possession of a stun gun by a convicted felon, and probation violation.

Ex HSU football player Raul Sierra held to answer on forcible rape charge after preliminary hearing

Arraignment on information at 2 p.m. on July 27 in Courtroom 5.

Alleged victim in HSU football player's preliminary hearing for charge of forcible rape takes back power by revealing her name today

The preliminary hearing for Raul Sierra started this morning in Courtroom 4. Before the first witness took the stand, Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett informed Judge Timothy Cissna, "The complaining witness no longer wants to go by Jane Doe, so I will be using her name."

Sierra, who is now clean shaven and was dressed in a blue striped shirt and brown khakis sat with his two attorneys, Mr. Beorn Zepp and Mr. Manny Daskal. He was accompanied by five people, two seem to be his parents, and one possibly, his girlfriend, she has attended court with him before.

Advocates from the DA's Victim Witness and NorthCoast Rape Crisis Center were there to support the alleged victim as well as a friend.

The alleged victim in this case is Rigmor Angel Soerensen, a HSU student, who moved here from from Norway. Ms. Soerensen, is an articulate, attractive young woman who calmly answered most questions and very credibly. She did break down crying at several points in her testimony and asked for a brief break before cross examination started.

She did not look directly at Sierra except to identify him. Sierra, for the most part, looked down and scribbled on a paper and at other times whispered to Mr. Zepp.

The preliminary hearing was interrupted a few times by notes from a jury that is deliberating a case since yesterday and Judge Cissna apologized to all present. Sierra and his attorneys gave their consent, if the preliminary proceeded into the afternoon.

Direct examination is over, cross examination is still going on and will continue after lunch.

Ms. Bennett asked Ms. Soerensen how she felt about testifying and she said she was nervous.

When asked why she chose not to remain confidential, Ms. Soerenesen replied, "Because usually when I read about similar cases, they are anonymous. It's a cultutal thing. In America, they put the accused picture and photo. In Norway, they do not. It's not fair. I want my own name against the name."

One of the most poignant moments of Ms. Soerensen's testimony this morning was her talking about the only two still images she could recall of the night she was allegedly raped by Sierra.

One was her seeing the ceiling, desk and her bed from the front door of her room. She started crying when she mentioned the second still memory. "I am laying on my bed and he is on top of me. I cannot see his face but can see his beard and hairy chest. I am also holding both of my hands over my vagina."

I will have the complete testimony of Ms. Soerensen and the second witness, HSU Sgt. Janelle Jackson in a post later.

Two fatalities in alleged hit and run involving two teens on Eel River Drive

On the evening of Tuesday, July 12, two female teenage pedestrians sustained fatal injuries after being struck by a passing Light Gray colored Jeep vehicle.

At approximately 9:16 p.m., an unknown driver was driving a light gray colored, newer model Jeep type vehicle southbound on Eel River Drive, s/of Kenmar Road at an unknown speed.  Two young female teenagers were skateboarding northbound in the southbound lane of Eel River Drive, s/of Kenmar Road.  For unknown reasons the Jeep struck the teenagers.  The Jeep fled the scene and was last seen heading eastbound on Drake Hill Road.  One teenager was pronounced deceased at the scene and the other was transported by ambulance to Redwood Memorial Hospital for major injuries before being flown to the Oakland Children’s Hospital.  On July 13, 2016, at 0630 hours, the second girl succumbed to her injuries and passed away at Oakland Children’s Hospital. 

The California Highway Patrol-Humboldt Area responded to the scene and is conducting the investigation.  Several Fortuna Police Officers were first responder.  Personnel from Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department, City Ambulance of Eureka, and Humboldt County Coroner’s Office responded to the scene.

Sgt. Campbell is the scene manager and Officer Adams will be handling the investigation

The suspect vehicle should have moderate to major front end and driver side damage.

Jul 12, 2016

"I cannot imagine people in Petrolia are not aware of this case. What hasn't happened in three months is any declarations from these people?"

The defense in the Kailan Meserve case filed a motion for a new trial yesterday afternoon. The 4 p.m. hearing was already scheduled to either sentence Kailan Meserve or to have a decision to be made to continue sentencing. At 4 p.m. Judge Timothy Cissna heard mostly from Mr. Russ Clanton, Kailan Meserve's attorney. Mr. Clanton also said that he had filed a statement of mitigation, in case of sentencing.

Like the previous hearing, when asked for remarks, Mr. Clanton just recapped what the July 11 hearing was about, then gave another vague statement  about the motion for a new trial. "This is an informal draft to continue the sentencing. Reasons why we need more time. Reasons I argued prior."

This must have been the document he handed Deputy District Attorney, Ms. Brie Bennett, earlier in the morning.

"As the court is aware, the verdict was on April 19," said Ms. Bennett. "Today is 9 days prior to three months ago. Good cause has not been provided. There are three statements in that motion listed by Ashleigh Groeling. Despite having just received the motion for new trial this afternoon, we contacted Ashleigh Groeling. She said she never made these statements."

DDA Bennett also said that the People spoke to Ashleigh Groeling, Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2 about the defense claim that they met during the trial and discussed testimony. "All three said that did not happen."

"The victim's families sit here in limbo, waiting for closure," said Ms. Bennett.

"I need to address the motion for new trial," said Judge Cissna. "Obviously, it has been an extraordinary amount of time since the April 19 verdict."

"There are a lot of references in Mr. Clanton's motion about transcripts," said Judge Cissna. "I was the trial judge, I took volumnious notes. I don't want to hold these up for transcripts."

"I ask you to deny this motion outright," said Ms. Bennett.

"I know you want me to," said Judge Cissna, but bringing up the issue of not wanting an appeal, Judge Cissna asked Ms. Bennett, how long she would need to respond and file an opposition to Mr. Clanton's motion.

Ms. Bennett was willing to to do that by today, but by the end of the hearing, Judge Cissna said she could "on or before July 25."

Mr. Clanton went on about the same old reasons why he needs these transcripts and this time and added, " A number of witnesses have been energized after the trial."

"I cannot imagine people in Petrolia are not aware of this case," said Judge Cissna." What hasn't happened in three months is any declarations from these people?"

Again, Mr. Clanton mentioned that the initial investigator on this case had to bow out due to a conflict; then Cisco Lassister (the investigator for one of the Public Defender offices) "was not able to perform these duties." He mentioned Mr. Lassiter at the last hearing. Now, Mr. Clanton said he needs to find and bring another investigator up to speed.

"A number of people know Mr. Meserve, a number of them are on his side," said Judge Cissna. "Why can't you get them into your office."

It was deja vu of the last court hearing except with the 5 p.m. hour was approaching, and seeing that he once again, had pushed the limits, thankfully, Mr. Clanton's repeat performance concluded in a shorter time frame.

The end result was that Judge Cissna told Mr. Clanton that on July 25 is the deadline "for you to file whatever you want or to show good cause."

This was after Judge Cissna told Mr. Clanton, "I have repeated this three times and I will ask you again, when can you make this happen?"

Family members of the victims were present in court. Monica Meserve, Dave Meserve, Amy Meserve, and other supporters for Meserve were also in court, took up four rows. Very similar to his arraignment.

Jul 11, 2016

More evidence that Meserve family is trying to influence witnesses and the case: Asleigh Groeling offered $25,000 to recant testimony?

After my post yesterday, I was contacted by two people. Both these people know all parties involved in the Kailan Meserve case.

I have spoken with both people. They told me that Ashleigh Groeling, who testified on behalf of Jane Doe #1 in the Kailan Meserve case, told them she has been offered $25,000 by Amy Meserve to recant her testimony. She also told my sources she is being pressured by several people to write a letter to Judge Timothy Cissna in support of Kailan Meserve.

Jul 10, 2016

Petition being circulated in Petrolia on behalf of Kailan Meserve, his sister spotted yesterday with a clipboard, one day before hearing on motion for new trial and sentencing

Few people contacted me yesterday saying Amy Meserve was in front of the Petrolia store with a clipboard on Saturday and was circulating a petition from people to support her brother Kailan Meserve.

The petition asked for Kailan Meserve to get a lighter sentence.

Today, this was posted on a bulletin board by a Petrolia store.

Considering the fact that there is a hearing pending on the motion for a new trial for Kailan Meserve to be heard again on Monday, July 11 with the defense claiming some witnesses want to change part of their testimony; the People saying they were contacted by certain key witnesses being "encouraged" to change their story, and the Meserve family's influence in Petrolia, how accurate would the signatures on this petition be? Is this an attempt to sway Judge Timothy Cissna and future court proceedings?

Jul 2, 2016

Are witnesses for the People in the Kailan Meserve case being pressured to change testimony?

Another delay yet again, in the afternoon on July 1 for the motion to continue sentencing for a new trial and scheduled sentencing for Kailan Meserve. Now, that motion will be heard on July 11 at 4 p.m.

There was a lot of back and forth for Meserve's attorney, Mr. Russ Clanton, to provide good cause, and he reluctantly and finally gave some information, which Judge Timothy Cissna said was still not sufficient for him to make a decision and not specific enough. This information had to be painstakingly coaxed out of Mr. Clanton. Judge Cissna continued the hearing for the motion to continue sentencing, to make sure there were no appeal issues.

Some questions unanswered are: Why is an investigator for the Public Defender working on the Kailan Meserve case? Due process works both ways, what is this secret information that may or may get a new trial for Kailan Meserve? There was some information finally given but the DA's response raises the question, if the defense has anything or is anyone pressuring witnesses to change their testimony.

Ashleigh Groeling's brother is best friends with Kailan Meserve and he testified for Meserve. Groeling testified on behalf of Jane Doe #1.

The afternoon session started out with Judge Timothy Cissna asking Meserve's defense attorney, Mr. Russell Clanton, to address "good cause to continue." Judge Cissna reiterated that he was aware that Mr. Clanton needed transcripts from the jury trial of two witnesses. The transcripts issue has been addressed before.

"We were contacted by two number of potential witnesses and they have material and substantive material for a new trial;" responded Mr. Clanton. Transcripts are needed to show how this evidence would be relevant." Mr. Clanton said he had talked to the court reporter and this would take a month.

"The difficulty I have with this statement is that it is vague and what you said in your motion. I need specifics," said Judge Cissna.

"Number of statements were made by complaining witnesses, evidence refutes some of those statements," said Mr. Clanton. "I am comfortable saying what in chambers, not in open court."

"I don't understand your reluctance," said Judge Cissna. "You will be filing a motion that will lay everything out. I need something other than these vague, non-specific statements. Isn't the DA entitled to question the same witnesses."

"This is a small town," said Mr. Clanton.

"Ultimately, the pleadings are all open record," said Judge Cissna. "You can file a motion now, with a supplemental with transcripts later."

"We had an investigator in this case, that investigator came about a conflict and left the team," said Mr. Clanton. "We acquired a new investigator, Cisco Lassiter, who needs to go over Adam Laird's information."

"How soon can you file a motion without transcripts?" asked Judge Cissna. "Not that it will be decided without transcripts, so the DA can respond?"

Judge Cissna wanted the motion to be filed within a week, Mr. Clanton said 2-3 weeks.

Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett finally got a chance to weigh in. She told Judge Cissna that "the People are pulling their time waiver for sentencing."

"The defense has not provided good cause for sentencing" said Ms. Bennett. She referred to the same reasoning given by Judge Cissna.

Ms. Bennett added that "the defense has had two and half months to come forward, now they are asking for an additional two to three weeks. This will have a huge impact on the victims and the family."

"I am having serious difficulty because statements are non-specific," said Judge Cissna.

Finally, Mr. Clanton gave up a bit more. "We have been contacted by one of the so called victims that the statements they made under oath, that some of those statements were untrue." Mr. Clanton claimed that another witness said she had discussed testimony with another witness for the People.

Ms. Bennett responded that, "the People have also been contacted by Jane Doe #2 and Ashleigh Groeling that people are encouraging them to change their testimony."

Ms. Bennett also cited People v Alexander and a specific portion, which Judge Cissna took time to look over in court before continuing the hearing.
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Eureka Natural Foods Rick Littlefield owner pleads no contest to one count in a plea, sentencing is on July 26

At his disposition and reset hearing, Eureka Natural Foods owner Rick Littlefield, plead out in his 5th DUI case. Visiting Judge Dennis Buckley accepted the plea.

The sentencing is scheduled for July 26.

According to the court records, Littlefield plead no contest to Count 1, VC23152 (a), driving under the influence of alcohol within 10 years of a felony DUI and admitted three priors.

Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo prosecuted the case. Littlefield was represented by Mr. Patrik Griego.

Jun 15, 2016

Owner of Eureka Natural Foods is no longer an Eureka Rotary member

Rick Littlefield, owner of Eureka Natural Foods, who was recently arrested for his fifth DUI, is no longer an Eureka Rotary member.

May 9, 2016

ENF's Rick Littlefield ordered to stay in treatment as part of release; hires award winning lawyer Patrik Griego

Eureka Natural Foods owner was arraigned this afternoon in Courtroom 5. A very subdued Littlefield sat next to his lawyer in court.

His wife had accompanied him to the Courthouse but she remained outside the courtroom.

He was also scheduled today for warrant surrender and bond status. He failed to appear in court on April 25 and his bail bond had been forfeited.

Littlefield has hired California and National Trial lawyer winner, Mr. Patrick Griego, law firm of Janssen and Malloy. Mr. Griego was fulfilling his civic duty as a potential juror in another courtroom and his colleague Ms. Megan Yarnell appeared in court today for him.

On May 3, Mr. Griego filed a request to calendar. There have been discussions between the D.A.'s office and Mr. Griego.

Judge Joyce Hinrichs reinstated the bail bond. In addition to the felony DUI complaint, Littlefield was also arraigned on a petition to revoke his felony probation.

Ms. Yarnall said that Littlefield is "currently enrolled as a resident" in the Singing Trees program. She told the Judge that Mr. Griego and the DA's office had spoken. The defense was requesting that Littlefield remain out of custody and continue his treatment. "They will notify probation and us, if he leaves."

Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo said, "The People had intended to seek remand."  She confirmed that she had spoken with Mr. Griego. Ms. Pizzo told Judge Hinrichs that if Littlefield "were to leave the program, we would seek an immediate warrant." This was due to concerns of public safety.

An order to this effect was signed by Judge Hinrichs. A 977 waiver was also filed today in court for Littlefield.

A disposition and reset date has been set for June 23rd at 2 p.m.

Apr 29, 2016

Rick Littlefield scheduled to be arraigned for mosr recent and fifth DUI arrest on May 9

Rick Littlefield is set to be arraigned on either May 9 or May 10 for his most recent case. The May 10 is the date that the DA's letter states.

Courtroom 5, the court where felonies are being arraigned these days.

His bail was forfeited  because he failed to appear in court on April 25.

He is charged with Count 1 VC23152 (a), driving under the influence of alcohol within 10 years of a felony DUI and Count 2,VC23152, driving with a 0.0.8% or more blood alcohol content within 10 years of a felony DUI.

Both counts have the special allegation that his blood alcohol was 0.15% or more.

Mar 28, 2016

No charges filed yet for Rick Littlefield owner of Eureka Natural Food in most recent DUI,this makes fifth arrest, 4 previous guilty pleas

Richard William Littlefield was arrested by CHP for violation of VC23152(a)/23550 on Wednesday, March 23 at 9:31 p.m.

He is out on bond and no charges have been filed for this felony yet. I am following the case. A date for bond status/possible arraignment is set for April 25, 2016 at 1:30 p.m.

He has four previous cases in the system, three misdemeanors and one felony. All were guilty pleas. Three were DUIs; one in 2009 was for disturbing the peace and driving with a suspended/revoked license. This was the case in which headlines of the arrest alleged solicitation of an Old Town prostitute.

The DUIs included two from 2006, months apart and one from 2011.