Aug 31, 2014

"We need more funding in rural areas"

There is now a crosswalk in McKinleyville on Little Pond Street and Murray Road in McKinleyville.

 "I have been working on this project since I took office and it is nice to see it completed," said Supervisor Sundberg. "The Safe to School program is great but we need more funding in rural areas."

Another problem area being worked on is between Murray Road and Halfway Avenue on the North Side of McKinleyville Avenue.

This post is a result of a grateful citizen who wanted to thank Supervisor Sundberg. Ryan told me the Little Pond crosswalk was a result of requests from community members.

Aug 29, 2014

Arcata resident arrested for child pornography

 On 06-05-2014 the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office was contacted by the United States Department of Homeland Security ( D.H.S.) regarding Child Pornography being uploaded. A Sheriff's Office Detective was assigned to the case and worked with the D.H.S. Cybercrimes unit The D.H.S. Agents told the Detective they were contacted by a website company that saw images of Child Pornography being posted and viewed on a server the website hosted. They provided the name of the server to D.H.S. who reviewed it and the contents.  The server company provided I.P. addresses that were tracked down to individuals. One of those addresses belonged to a Christopher Steven Haynes, 64 years old, from Arcata. The Sheriff Detective wrote a search warrant for Haynes residence and computer, which the detective served July 10, 2014 with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Humboldt State University Police and Arcata Police. During the search of the residence, the detective located and seized Haynes computer, a thumb and hard drive which Haynes provided to the detective. A Humboldt County District Attorney Office investigator conducted a forensic examination on the computer, hard drive and thumb drive, which revealed thousands of Child Pornography pictures and videos.

 The detective wrote and obtained a Humboldt County Superior Court arrest warrant for Haynes for possession of matter depicting a minor engaging or simulating sexual conduct, sending or duplicating sexual content involving a minor, exchanging or distributing content involving a matter depicting sexual content involving a minor and sexual exploitation of a child.

 On 08-29-2104, at approximately 12:00 p.m. Sheriff's Detectives drove to Haynes home and arrested him on the felony arrest warrant. He was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.

Dino Cardelli hearing continued and public defender appointed as counsel

Review hearing scheduled for Sept 5 in Courtroom 8. Cardelli, a former pastor, was accused of molesting a victim who was his adopted daughter. He plead guilty the day his trial was to begin, was sentenced to 18 years in prison and recently appealed that sentence.

River bar suspect Douglas Flowers guilty of battery; not guilty on 1 count and mistrial on 1 count

Douglas Flowers, the suspect in the incident at the River Bar in Ferndale was found guilty in Count 2  by the jury of battery on Shiloh Kunkle, not guilty on Count 3 of public intoxication and a mistrial was declared in Count 1 which was battery causing great bodily injury.

The jury could not reach an unanimous verdict on Count 1. The jury was split 8 /4 and  Judge Reinholtsen did not ask which numbers were for guilty or non-guilty.

Only 1 juror stayed and spoke with both attorneys, DDA Roger Rees and defense counsel Glenn Brown. While the jurors mostly found Brian Merle a credible witness, another witness' testimony caused the split.

Mr. Brown said he was disappointed the jury did not come back with a not guilty on all counts. DDA Roger Rees said the "jury did an incredible job of considering all the evidence." Mr. Rees said the testimony of the witness that the jury could not agree on was from someone who was 16 years old when this incident occurred. Mr. Rees is going to speak to the victim in Count 1 and the family to see if he will refile charges.

Aug 28, 2014

Eureka Fifth Ward City Council member Chet Albin emphasized jobs at his election kick-off today

Council member  Chet Albin said he was very pleased with the turnout at his election kick-off today. Chet told me that he emphasized jobs today in his speeech. "The City of Eureka just cut four million from the city budget. We need a new revenue source to increase operating capital."

Chet's speech:

I have always looked for a fulfilling way to give back to my community, which has been so good to me throughout my life and career here.

I was honored when my good friend Lance Madsen asked me to fill his seat on the Eureka City Council last year. Since then, it has been my privilege to serve as the Councilmember for the 5th ward, which is why today, I ask for your support so I can continue serving for the next 4 years.

I want to continue working on projects like "Cruise the West," to bring cruise ships to our port, and hope to announce in the near future a new restaurant in the Fisherman's Terminal building behind me.

I want to see our city continue to prosper and grow, and to continue working with the Schneider Dock owners to find ways to provide more living wage jobs in our abundant natural resource industry.

I'm proud of the relationships I have forged with our Police and Fire Departments to provide more public safety, and the Harbor District which helped facilitate the purchase of a dredge for Humboldt Bay.

My background in the Navy, as a sports official, as a missionary, as a local business owner, and as a public official has helped cultivate a sense of duty and responsibility to help make our community the best it can be. I believe in doing my part to give back, and as your 5th Ward City Councilmember, I promise to continue to do just that.

In conclusion, please help me move this positive agenda for Eureka forward by voting for me on November 4th.

Thank you for coming today and I will appreciate your support.

Supervisor Ryan Sundberg comments on on Federal Judge's decision to deny restraining order to stop release of water into the Trinity River

"I was ecstatic that the Judge realized the dire state our local rivers are in," said Supervisor Ryan Sundberg. "I'm hopeful we will protect our limited natural resource for another year and I am committed to continuing our work on the long term solution."

Aug 27, 2014

Jury currently deliberating the fate of River bar "White Power" suspect Douglas Flowers

Remember the River Bar incident involving alleged beatings and racist remarks about "White Pride" and "White Power" by father-son duo Douglas and Curtis Flowers and Chris Hanley aka Combs.

The jury went into deliberations yesterday. The case was prosecuted by DDA Roger Rees and Douglas Flowers was represented by Mr. Glenn Brown.

The jury will decide Flower's fate and if he did indeed punch a young woman and yell racial insults. I sat in and listened to the testimony of one of the prosecution's witnesses and Mr. Rees' closing arguments.

EPA secret maps for water control?

Weigh in readers.

Humboldt lovey dovey duo get a friend arrested in court

Lance Borgner and Christina Higgins are set to have their cases go on trial. This is for the crime that they allegedly committed with William Hillegeist. Once again, they ignored rules and tried to make a love connection. The baliff admonished them today and this time loudly, "Kids, no talking!"

Higgins complied but Borgner was undeterred. What would a court appearance be for the lovey dovey duo if there was no drama involved each time they show up for court.

Another friend of theirs who showed up in court decided to chat with Borgner from the audience. This went on for a while despite silent admonishment. This has a few times happened before and there  are signs warning people not to chat with inmates. Finally another baliff walked up and arrested the friend and cuffed him in court and took him into custody.

No one has been arrested before, usually people step out or stop. Amidst the cuffing and the man being led away while attorneys were trying to conduct business for another case, I was talking with Benjamin Carter's attorney Michael Acosta. I learned that the man arrested was his client. The guy returned to court later to briefly chat with Mr. Acosta.

Upon hearing that the case was going to jury trial, Higgins burst into tears as she was led back to custody. Borgner was nonchalant.

Benjamin Carter jury trial set for October 20

Today Benjamin Carter was arraigned in Courtroom 1 for a jury trial which will take place on October 20 at 8:30 a.m.

Judge John Feeney read the charges against Carter. Count 1 is murder. Count 2 is possession of a firearm. Two firearm enhancement allegations were added for both counts and a special allegation of prior and serious felony conviction.

DDA Roger Rees was present for the People. Michael Acosta represents Carter.

According to Acosta, the second count of possession of firearm was added for the jury trial. Mr. Acosta reserved the  right to demurrer for the second count "because the gun is not in possession." Mr. Acosta asked the jury trial be set "on a no time waived basis."

In August 2014, Carter was held to answer to all charges in a preliminary hearing before Judge Dale Reinholtsen.

Pre-Trial Conference is on September 24 at 2 p.m. and Trial Confirmation is on October 20 at 2 p.m.

Suspect in Shamus T Bones embezzlement pleads no contest

Malcolm Carpenter agreed to pay full restitution to Shamus T-Bones in monthly payments of $2,000. The The total amount owed is $44, 000.

 This offer and resolution was being debated for three weeks, according to Shamus'  Chris Barry. DDA Roger Rees consulted with Malcom Carpenter's attorney Michael Robinson and Barry during court this afternoon until they arrived at the resolution. Barry said he was happy with the result as long as he is paid in full.

The plea had conditions of probation and if restitution is made in full, the felony charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor. The sentencing will take place on Oct 22 at 2 p.m. after probation has a chance to weigh-in.

Mr. Robinson requested that his client not be incarcerated but allowed community service so he could work and pay restitution and also because he is a single parent.

Double murder suspect Vincent Sanchez jury trial set for October 20

Sanchez was coherent and well mannered and listened politely as his attorney explained the procedure. He was arraigned today in Courtroom 4 for the jury trial which is scheduled for Oct 20 at 8:30.

DDA Zach Curtis represented the People, Mr. Owen Tipps from the Public Defender was present today for Sanchez's attorney Ms. Jennifer Dixon.

Aug 26, 2014

Woman climbs on roof of car to prevent dad from driving away with the car

 On 8-26-2014, at approximately 10:30 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office received a call of a domestic disturbance over a vehicle occurring in the 1700 block of Edeline Avenue, McKinleyville. When the deputy responding to the call arrived in the area, he saw a blue 1982 Honda sedan turn onto Washington Avenue from Worth Avenue, in front of his patrol car. The deputy saw a woman was hanging onto the roof of the Honda and was signaling the deputy for help. The deputy attempted a traffic stop on the Honda, however it failed to yield. The deputy followed the Honda for several blocks with his emergency lights and siren activated, until it yielded in a driveway on Hayes Street, McKinleyville.

 After the driver yielded, the woman removed herself from the roof of the Honda. The deputy detained the driver in handcuffs, while he spoke with the 24 year old female. She told the deputy her 63 year old father was the man driving the car. She said the car belonged to her 18 year old sister, who was supposed to leave for college the next day. Her father did not want her sister to drive to college in the car, so he decided to take it away from her. Her father grabbed the car keys and started to drive off with the car, so she got onto the roof to try to prevent him from leaving.  She did not believe he would drive away with her on the roof. She told the deputy she received a minor injury from a brief confrontation with her father over the car keys, prior to her father driving off with the car. She did not want prosecution, only the car returned to the legal owner, her sister.

 The deputy interviewed the father who acknowledged driving the car away with his daughter on the roof. He told the deputy he did not want his daughter to take the car to college. He said he kept his speed down to around 20 miles per hour, since she was on the roof.  He told the deputy he knew the patrol car was behind him, but he did not want to stop on a busy street. After interviewing the father, the deputy determined he needed a mental health evaluation and he was transported to a local mental health facility.

City flags half staff in honor of Sgt. Mulalley

All flags at City facilities will fly at half-staff until August 29 in honor of Sgt. Christopher Mulalley who died last week in Afghanistan. Mayor Jager, Eureka City Council members and City staff extend condolences to Sgt. Mulalley's family.

Aug 25, 2014

If getting arrested frequently is making a statement, Ferndale burglar Dan Dobbs gets an A+

Dan Dobbs is one of those familiar names in the District Attorney's office. He has worn orange in the past but usually manages to stay out of jail. He isn't one of the less fortunate and most recently is being represented by Neal Sanders.

Getting arrested for a bottle of wine and trespassing into a bed and breakfast? Saw him last week in Courtroom 5. Clearly being a frequent flier in the courts is not serious matter to Dan.

Last week, he said, "he likes to make a statement." Well, you sure did that Dan. You made the media headlines this time as a common burglar. Times must be rough for you, if you cannot buy a $50 of wine.

When you can buy your way to stay out of custody, silly things like law and rules are just such an inconvenience.

Humboldt County should have a list "Frequently Booked". Each new violation, slap on a hefty fine. Schools and parks could use the money.

Come on board with Chet Albin to kick off his re-election bid for Ward 5

Ward 5 incumbent Council member Chet Albin is "on board" and will kick-off his re-election bid on August 28 at 12:15 at the C Street Plaza. Come hear Chet talk about his involvement in current and future opportunities for Eureka. Visit or Chet Albin for Council for more information.

Virginia Bass holds first constituent meeting at Silvercrest today

Supervisor Virginia Bass will be holding constituent meetings throughout the 4th District to meet with the community. The first one is one with the senior community at Silvercrest today at 11 a.m.

The general public is not usually allowed entry to Silvercrest unless they are guests, so for future meetings at the Silvercrest location, Virginia will look into the possibility if others can attend. "There will be other opportunities for people to meet with me at several locations."

Eureka City Council and Planning Commission Special Joint Meeting to discuss Eureka GPU and Homelessness Policy

Eureka City Council and Planning Commission will have a special joint meeting on August 28 at 4 p.m. in the Eureka City Council Chambers. Discussion will include the Eureka 2040 General Plan Update and
recommendations on Homelessness Policy and a report  on Issues and Opportunities.

Aug 24, 2014

Prayers for Napa

For all those who lost their lives or loved ones, May God give you peace and comfort. For those displaced from their homes or hurt, may you have the resources you need and the healing. For law enforcement, firefighters and emergency personnel, May God protect you and keep you safe.

Money and resources do help but good thoughts and prayers can be given by anyone. At this time of need, may the People of Napa feel that they are not alone.

Aug 22, 2014

Illegal timber harvesting, environmental damage, alteration of a streambed due to marijuana

On 08-21-2014, at approximately 9:00 a.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of the Humboldt County Drug Task Force, Cal-Fire Law Enforcement and a California Fish and Wildlife Biologist and Game Warden served Humboldt County Superior Court search warrants in the 40000 block of Mattole Road, Honeydew, California.

 When the deputies arrived at the first search warrant location they located 24 greenhouses on an approximate one acre flat area containing 4,935 growing marijuana plants that ranged in size from 6” to 4’ tall, along with a barn and a residence. In the barn deputies located a dormant indoor marijuana growing operation and approximately one pound of marijuana bud. In the residence the deputies located a cash counter and packaging materials for marijuana.
 They located five men on the property when they arrived to serve the search warrant. Four were determined to have arrived in the last five days and the fifth was identified as Jason Dewayne Fleming, 42 years old, from Sebastopol, California. The deputies learned from the four men they had been hired by Fleming to work on the marijuana grow for $20.00 per hour.

Deputies searched a truck on the property that belonged to Fleming and located approximately $23,000.00 in cash.

 Deputies, Cal-Fire Law Enforcement and California Fish and Wildlife Biologist and Game Warden also witness significant environmental damage to the property, including Douglas Fir Trees and Tan Oak up to two feet in diameter being harvested. Fleming was interviewed and told the Cal-Fire Officer he did not possess any permits for timberland conversion or water drafting from the nearby creek. The Cal-Fire Officer, Deputies and Fish and Wildlife Biologist saw where Fleming had illegally constructed roads that were in poor condition and had placed a pump in a stream to draft water for the marijuana plants. The water pump was in Sanders Creek, which is known to harbor state and federally listed Salmon and Steelhead. The four workers told the deputies the pump runs twenty four hours a day to water the marijuana plants and the stream was dry below the pump. There was a fine dust powder of over 6” deep on the road led to the pump, which will wash into the fish bearing creeks and water courses that Salmon and Steelhead utilize when winter rains arrive. 

 Deputies arrested Fleming for cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana, California Fish and Wildlife Code Violations for altering a streambed, public resource code violations of illegal timber harvesting, misuse of timberlands and conducting a timber operation without a permit. He was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and booked; his bail was set at $25,000.00.  The other four men were identified and released at the scene. Charges could be filed against them at a later date.

  The deputies, Humboldt County Drug Task Force Agents and California Fish and Wildlife Game Warden and Biologist then drove to a second search warrant location in the 42000 block of Mattole Road, Honeydew. At that location two suspects fled the scene on foot into the woods when officers approached; two adults remained at the scene and were detained.

 Deputies searched the property and residence. They located an outdoor marijuana grow with 556 growing marijuana plants. The plants were 3’ to 9’ tall and weighed from 25 to 35 pounds. Deputies estimated the plants could easily yield one pound to three pounds of marijuana bud each. Deputies located a AK-47 assault weapon, two semi-automatic handguns and a pistol in the residence. The two suspects who were detained told the deputies they owned a hotel in Hawaii, and property in San Diego where they also live. They told the deputies they thought it was legal to grow 99 marijuana plants each.

When deputies, the California Fish and Wildlife Biologist and Game Warden located the water source for the marijuana, they saw it was two water pumps in Wood Creek. The pumps were drafting water into one inch water lines. Wood Creek is known as an important Salmon and Steelhead stream and critical cold water source for the Mattole River. The biologist told deputies this was adversely affecting the Mattole and the creek, which are currently at a low flow due to severe drought conditions.

 The biologist, deputies and game Warden also located a large trash pile. The trash pile was right next to wood creek and contained discarded hazardous materials, including discarded oil containers, batteries, chemicals and household garbage.
The two detained suspects were identified and released. The two suspects that fled the scene were also identified. Deputies and California Fish and Wildlife will be seeking criminal charges of cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana, armed in the commission of a felony, possession of an assault weapon, California Fish and Wildlife Code Violations for water diversion and alteration, (6 counts), water pollution, (8 counts), trash near a waterway( 2 counts). 

Besides criminal penalties, each count of water diversion and alteration carries civil penalty of $10,000.00 per violation, each count of water pollution carries a civil penalty $40,000.00 per violation, and each count of trash near a waterway carries a civil penalty of $40,000.00 per violation.

 The case is also being forwarded to Humboldt County Environmental Health for possible additional criminal and civil charges.

Defense requests 2 week continuance in Bodhi Tree case

Today dates were to be set for sentencing for Bodhi Tree. The date is New date is September 5 at 2 p.m. One of the jurors attended the hearing. The request was made by Tree's defense attorney Heidi Holmquist to "look into issues." She requested to "approach" before she made the request.

Tree dressed in his orange jumpsuit chatted with Ms. Holmquist before and after the decision.

Aug 21, 2014

"We turned the ship, it is time to put the pedal to the metal" Mike Newman kick's off Eureka City Council re-election

About 40 people showed up around lunch time for Council member Mike Newman's kick-off today at the C Street Plaza.

Reached for comment later, Mike said, "We turned the ship, it is time to put the pedal to the metal". He wants to emphasize that the four years since he was elected, the City has started to move in a direction and he wants to keep moving forward.

Here is a copy of his speech:

"I am a 30 + years Businessman & Citizen that has worked hard to earn a living while proudly serving my community as a member of our Eureka City Council for the past 4 years.  In that time, I have worked to get more “bang for our buck” in the way City Hall does business.

My opponent has said that this is a do nothing council…that we are not getting things done…Well, I disagree.

In my 4 years I have helped accomplish such tasks as:

Facilitating the opening of the Extreme Weather Winter Shelter, to care for the homeless when temperatures reach 32 degrees or less.
Taken steps to combine our Fire Department with Humboldt Fire District #1 to form Humboldt Bay Fire, saving the City approximately $180K per year for the last 3 years.
Consolidated several departments in City Hall to help save money and make local government more efficient.
Prioritized the need to attract and retain Business using the assets that our City has, such as a deep water port, a beautiful waterfront and a downtown rich in historic architecture.

Our Council also helped finish the funding of the Fisherman’s Terminal Building behind me for our Fishing Industry’s use. We hired an innovative police chief with a broad array of experience to begin solving our city’s problems.

We are getting the job done ! But there's always more to do!

In the next 4 years, I will continue to work toward:
-easier and better Transportation access to our remote region to help alleviate the extra costs for locating, and conducting business here.
- addressing and solving the needs of our healthcare system. We have a problem attracting and keeping health care providers to our area and one of the reasons cited is the difficulty to easily travel in and out of our Region.
-Beautifying the Broadway corridor
-Development of the Waterfront instead of vacant land
-Industrial Park-pre permitted
-Completing our General Plan
-Continuing the success 0f the just launched Project, “Restore Hope”, by a coalition of the City and County to restore hope to the Citizens of Eureka and bring respite to those struggling to find housing.

I sincerely believe that the future of our families, businesses and community are in the balance.  That’s why I am running again for this office.

I am ready to roll my sleeves up and get back to work for you, and in turn ask for your support in my re-election campaign.   I need You, Your endorsement, Your donations, and your HELP.

If you share my vision of a new Eureka where families can flourish and City Hall works for the people, join the campaign, go to my website, Newman4CityCouncil.

I ask for your vote for Eureka City Council this November.     Thanks for coming today!"

Sound off on the Eureka General Plan Update or just listen, your choice

The community is invited to attend an informational joint study session with the City Council
and Planning Commission on the General Plan Update on Thursday, August 28, 2014, at 4:00
pm in the Council Chamber located at City Hall, 531 K Street in Eureka.

Join the City to learn about two documents that will inform the General Plan Update, the Draft Planning Issues and Opportunities Report and the Homelessness Policy Paper. The Draft Planning Issues and
Opportunities Report identifies key physical, environmental, economic, cultural, and social
assets, issues, opportunities and objectives that may be considered as part of the update. The
Homelessness Policy Paper presents short-term, medium-term and longer-term strategies the
community can take to begin to reduce homelessness.

This study session will present an overview of both documents and the process by which they were developed. For more  information, visit the General Plan Update website at or call Lisa Shikany at (707) 268-5265.

Tree not being sentenced tomorrow, just setting for sentencing date

This has been previously reported but a good reminder for those who may not know.

Screaming victim leads to burglar being arrested

On 08/20/14 at about 11:40 p.m., officers responded to the 3300 block of Gross Street for a report of a subject trying to force entry into a residence.  Officers checked the area, but were unable to locate the suspect.
Officers found a wallet outside the residence with an identification card belonging to David Mako.

On 08/21/14 at about 12:14 a.m., officers responded to the 1200 block of Gross Street for a report of a woman heard screaming.  Upon arrival, the victim told officers that she had interrupted a male burglarizing her attached garage.  The victim said the male ran out of the garage after a brief verbal confrontation.

Officers checked the area and located David Mako (59) of Eureka, in the alley behind the victim’s residence.  The victim positively identified Mako as being the male in her garage.

Mako was arrested for burglary and taken to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.  Mako is on probation for previous theft related offenses.

Aug 20, 2014

Your honor, the defendant allegedly bit the victim! Assault by teeth

 On 08-20-2014, at approximately 2:15 a.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office received a call from an assault victim who was at the Miranda Market, Miranda. The victim reported that he was attacked by Jeffrey Marvin Delore, 39 years old from Miranda. The victim told the Sheriff's Office dispatcher he received injuries to his face and head after being struck in the head by Delore with a wooden object. The victim also reported being bitten at least three times by Delore during the assault, and said Delore was armed with a knife. The victim requested medical assistance and a deputy.

 Deputies and medical responded to Miranda Market. When deputies arrived they met with the victim who repeated the story to the deputies. The deputies saw the victim had visible cuts, bruises and bite marks.

 Deputies searched the area for Delore, who also had arrest warrants for vandalism, domestic violence and traffic violations.

 On 08-20-2014, at approximately 12:30 p.m. deputies located and arrested Delore without incident in Miranda. He was taken to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for assault with a deadly weapon and on his outstanding arrest warrants. He is being held without

Motion to sever Humboldt's lovey dovey trio granted in another flubbed redacted statement saga

Motion to sever the cases involving Hillegeist, Borgner and Higgins was granted by Judge John Feeney today. Paul was not in court but DDA Roger Rees tried the same argument last week and this week but once again could not assure the Judge certain statements would not be used.

Paul, if you are going to insist on this brilliant redacted statement strategy, at least get your DDAs help with discovery and provide redacted statements on time. You have a few investigators with a lot of time on their hands, maybe they could be useful instead of idling around the Courthouse or around town.

The DDAs do a great job despite your mismanagement. Do them a favor, leave them alone for four months.

Worse than getting dumped is being replaced while you are in jail

William Duane Hillegeist who was arrested with Sara Balke for allegedly firing shots in Freshwater Park and possession of marijuana was having a bad day in Court. Not only is he in the Humboldt Hilton while Balke gets to remain out of custody, he is involved in a handful of cases with another incident involving marijuana and guns.

Balke had to cool her heels today while the case involving Hillegeist and Humboldt's lovey dovey duo Lance Borgner and Christina Higgins who are co-defendants with Hillegeist was being addressed.

Borgner walked into court from jail and blew kisses at Higgins who is also in custody. The usual "I love you" back and forth was missing. Hillegeist who has a pair of lips tatooed on his neck was staring at Balke in the audience. She has a matching tatoo on her neck. Hillegeist was communicating silently then kicked it up a notch. Courtroom 1 Baliff Conklin who is very mellow had to go admonish him twice not to communicate with Balke.

Even after two baliffs stood by blocking eye contact, Hillegeist defied them then started tearing up. One baliff then walked to the back of the room. I turned expecting to see a lovelorn Balke. Instead, I saw another Humboldt "winner" with his arm around Balke taunting Hillegeist like "she is with me now." He was  asked to step out.

Fidelity does not seem to be high on Balke's list. What ever happened to "For cuffs or for worse!"

EPD's Most Wanted latest addition Beatrice Runner sound familiar?

In November 2012, Beatrice Runner and her boyfriend Steve Upton were arrested while on probation for dope and guns, according to a POP release. Runner was mentioned briefly in relation to an incident between Upton and Matthews in the Bodhi Tree case.

Now she is on EPD's Most Wanted again! At some point, do we get to say do not pass 6th and C, do not collect $200 in weed (Tree testimony joke) and your get out of jail card has permanently expired.

Ride the rails on the Timber Heritage crew car Speeder this Saturday

The Timber Heritage Association's "Salmon, Oysters, Ales and Rail" takes place August 23rd at the Samoa Roundhouse. $20 gets you a barbequed salmon meal; $10 a children's hot dog meal. Oysters, ales and wine available for additional purchase. Ride the rails on the Timber Heritage crew car Speeder or relax with music by the Redwood Dixie-Gators. For more information and to get ticket locations, call (707) 443-2957 or visit www.

Mahan Road Garberville marijuana bust with no arrests

On 08-19-2014, at approximately 11:00 a.m., Humboldt County Sheriff's Office deputies drove to Mahan Road, Garberville and served a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant. When deputies arrived, they searched the property and located 1077 growing marijuana plants ranging from 8 feet to 15 feet tall. They also located five adults who were all detained and identified.

 No arrests were made; however deputies will be submitting the case to the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office and requesting arrest warrants for cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana.

Humboldt Bay Harbor Working Group Luncheon Focuses on Master Permitting Possibilities

Humboldt Bay Harbor Working Group is hosting an informative and practical luncheon designed to delve into the possibilities of master permitting.  The Harbor District began this process of master permitting their oyster leases.  Prosperity 2012 identified master permitting as a key economic development strategy.  This luncheon is designed to learn from the work being done at the state level and how it can apply to the needs of our region.  Can we as a community move forward on this new and much needed process to revitalize our Port and create good-paying jobs?

The luncheon is scheduled for Wednesday, August 27 from Noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Samoa Cookhouse in Samoa.  All guests must RSVP for this no-host luncheon of pot roast or soup and salad by calling 441-1974 or email to The guest speaker is Andrew Sturmfels from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz).  He has visited Eureka earlier to talk about a new economic development program.  On the 27th Andrew will talk about his progress statewide in master permitting processes.

Andrew Sturmfels was appointed by Governor Brown to serve as Senior Permit Assistance Specialist within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) in January of 2013. His job is to assist businesses in California with understanding and navigating permitting, licensing, and regulatory processes. When not working directly with businesses, Andrew works on statewide policy efforts that make it easier to do business in California. Over the last 18 months Andrew led the implementation of the statewide Lean-6 Sigma program that resulted in substantial process improvements across 11 state departments.

HBHWG is a citizen’s group advocating for good paying jobs through the revitalization of Humboldt Harbor. In the fall of 2011, community members interested in creating jobs with living wages met to discuss the Harbor’s immense untapped potential.  This citizen’s action group became the Humboldt Bay Harbor Working Group (HBHWG) with one of its goals to host a monthly educational lunch forum on the last Wednesday at Noon at the Samoa Cookhouse.  More information about HBHWG is available  at

Aug 19, 2014

Lot of talk in LOCO comment section but no follow through

At the City Council meeting tonight, only 1 person, Lorene Dunaway, referred to several articles on the internet and "words spoken at an event that were unprofessional."

Fact: there was only one post and it was on LOCO. Dunaway referred to her training when she was a teacher and recommended professional development training for the City regarding situations of conflict.

"Eureka does not need any more negative publicity on the internet." All that posturing in the LOCO comment section but when it comes to real life, many do not have the guts to use their real names.

LOCO commenters are not the community at large. Nor is  most "media" locally which is largely left leaning unbiased reporting.

Whether the attacks are anonymous or from the few that use their name, taking accountability for your words and actions is something many people could use "training" in Humboldt County.

Frequent flier Heather Haselip arrested again!

According to a HCSO press release, this time for a stolen vehicle.

Haselip like Shiloh Case, David Dues are just some of the frequent fliers at the Humboldt County Jail.

Even a cat with nine lives myth has a limit. These frequent fliers being booked and getting released and rearrested is like Groundhog day over and over again for court staff and public defenders.

Yes, realignment has been so successful.

"It's not just homeless, not all homeless are criminals"

This was a comment made by Eureka Chief of Police Andy Mills during a CHIP presentation this morning during the Humboldt County Board of Supervisor's meeting.

CHIP, Community Homeless Improvement Project is a group that was spearheaded by Supervisors Virginia Bass and Rex Bohn and this group consists of County and City of Eureka officials, County and City of Eureka staff and organizations working with the homeless. The group has been meeting since October 2013, almost every week at the Courthouse.

Chief Mills was the first to speak. "Homelessness is not going to go away, CHIP would like to improve" the plight of homeless individuals. Chief Mills said according to surveys and data, "a minority of homeless are responsible for the majority of  problems and crimes" that CHIP wants to address. "It's not just the homeless," he said. "Not all homeless are criminals. There are others that engage in "criminal behavior that degrades the community."

Many of the individuals who are currently homeless are longtime resisdents of Humboldty County, said Chief Mills.

Several other speakers with a power point presentation spoke about advocacy and efforts to help the homeless and others about legislation that will address certain crimes which are of concern to citizens and businesses.

"In 30 years, I see a light for the first time," said Betty Chinn. Her sentiment was echoed by representatives from the Eureka Rescue Misdion and St. Vincent DePaul.

Chief Mills referred to a quote by Rev. Dan Price at the opening of the Betty Kwann Chin Day Center, "But by the grace of God, there goes each of us." CHIP he said is about "compassion yet controlling destructive behavior."

Eureka Main Street Director Charlotte McDonald and City Attorney Cyndi Day Wilson spoke about the education and proposed legislation plans. Several group members were wearing yellow tshirts with a heart with the words, "Eureka, the heart of Humboldt." Beige tshirts and green polos are available for $20 at City Hall. They will also be sold at Arts Alive and donated kiosks at Bayshore Mall. The money from these will benefit resources helping the homeless.

The education campaign will include PSAs recorded by Supervisor Bohn, brochures explaining CHIP's mission. Efforts are to get people to take advantage of the resources and to avert legislative consequences.

"This is about giving people a helping hand, not a handout, " said McDonald. "A handout is not enough. This money goes towards resources." Eureka Chamber of Commerce Director Don Smullins, who previously headed St. Vincent DePaul, said in his experience, "  cash goes to panhandlers, giving to resources provides food and clothing."

Chief Mills applauded Supervisors Bass and Bohn on their leadership and he said while staff like himself and DHHS director get paid, "Charlotte does not get paid to do stuff like this."

The City Attorney gave statistics on how many misdemeanors are prosecuted by the City of Eureka with several defendants having more than one case." Three proposed ordinces by the City of Eureka are: abandoned shopping cart ordinance, bicycle ordinance and vehicle panhandling ordinance. All target behavior endangering public safety.

Eureka Councilmembers Mike Newman and Chet Albin, community activist Charlie Bean were some of the other group members in attendance.

Aug 18, 2014

Mike Newman to formally announce relection bid for City Council on August 21

Councilmember Mike Newman will officially announce his re-election bid for Ward 3 for Eureka City Council on August 21 at 12:15 p.m. at the C street Plaza in Eureka. For more information, call (707) 499-6440 or check out Newman for City Council on Facebook or

Public safety changes that can be enacted before November and won't cost us a dime; Paul step down, let Maggie take over

For $13,166 a month, plus benefits, the People of California deserve a DA who shows up in Court for cases he takes over, especially high profile cases. For that amount of money, the People deserve a DA who knows the law and does not need the Judges to help him out.

For that amount of money,  let us try Paul's brilliant past management decision of rotating DDAs to be ADA for a month. Maybe until January 2015, each DDA could be DA for a month.

Or better yet, step down and let Maggie take over early.

Public safety change that will not cost a dime.

People oppose motion to sever Ferrer but have yet to file; another date set

The People informed Judge Reinholtsen after he ruled on the motion to sever. Apparently, there was a motion to oppose but DDA Zach Curtis did not know.

 So, now there is yet another date set for the motion to consolidate the cases. September 10 at 2p.m. Judge Reinholtsen is not rescinding his ruling but the defense attorneys get to present their arguments again. Paul, if he shows up gets to argue and show that with the redacted statements he can try the three defendants together.

Paul did show up for Court today. He finally provided the redacted statements the People intend to introduce. Some redacted statements he handed to the defense attorneys in Court.

Discovery is finally complete although defense counsel had to get clarification in Court. First Paul took notes about what was outstanding, then he said he thought he had sent an email to defense counsel about what he had learned from Deputy Coroner Roy Horton. Apparently, he had not, he admitted. Is this the kind of legal experience $13,166 a month (plus benefits) the People of Humboldt are paying for?

Since June 18, this case keeps getting delayed. Maybe Paul, you should show up  for court? Maybe Paul, you should not leave DDAs to cover for your incompetence?

Previous posts:

Minimal fire damage this time but please dispose smoking materials appropriately says Fire Department

On August 17th at approximately 1530 hours, Humboldt Bay Fire was dispatched to a structure fire at 1928 Everding St.  HBF responded with three fire engines, one ladder truck, and two Chief Officers.

The first arriving unit reported light smoke showing from a single story, wood frame residence.  While setting up to make entry to the structure, fire personnel received information of a resident possibly still being inside.  Fire crews forced entry to the structure to perform a search and to attack the fire.  The crew was able to quickly search the small residence and confirm that no one was inside.  They were also able to locate the fire which was confined to a small couch in the living room.  Crews removed the burnt couch from the residence and utilized fans to ventilate smoke from the residence.

Investigation of the fire found multiple discarded cigarettes on, in, and around the couch.  The occupant was not home at the time of the fire.  The residence received minor smoke damage, but the remainder of the damage was confined to the couch.  There were no injuries.

Humboldt Bay Fire would like to remind residents that smoking materials should be disposed of in an appropriate container, such as an ash tray.  While the damage from this fire was minimal, should this have occurred with residents home or during the night time hours, the potential for greater damage or injury is greatly increased.

Aug 15, 2014

After brandishing a gun, change clothes and so law enforcement gets conflicting reports on gender of suspect

On 08-14-2014, at approximately 2:45p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received several 911 calls regarding a person running around the McKinleyville Trailer Park, 2331 Central Avenue, brandishing a black colored semi-automatic handgun. Deputies, California Highway Patrol Officers and a State Parks Ranger responded to the scene. Deputies received conflicting reports from witnesses that the suspect was a man or a woman.

After an extensive search and investigation, deputies located a female who matched the description hiding in a trailer in space 19. The female was identified as Reshawn Lindsey O’Kelly, 38 years old, from Crescent City. Several witnessed identified O’Kelly as the person they saw with the handgun. The witnesses however, told the deputies O’Kelly had changed her clothes since the incident.

Deputies learned O’Kelly had recently moved into the McKinleyville Trailer park and had an argument with a neighbor in the park, whom she believed assaulted her 13 year old son. During the argument, O’Kelly brandished a semi-auto black handgun. Deputies also learned O’Kelly was on probation with a search clause.

Deputies searched the trailer where O’Kelly was staying and did not find any weapons. Deputies searched the surrounding area for the handgun and could not find it.

O’Kelly was arrested for brandishing a handgun and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where she was booked on brandishing a weapon and violation of probation. She was booked and released on her own recognizance.

At approximately 5:30 p.m., a citizen living in the trailer park called the Sheriff’s Office and reported he located a black air soft gun hidden in his backyard amongst his children’s toys. The gun resembled a semi-automatic handgun. A deputy responded and took custody of the airsoft gun.

Assault in downtown Hoopa involves one brother beating another with a long stick

On 08-14-2014, at approximately 4:30 p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a man beating another man with a long stick in downtown Hoopa. When the investigating deputy arrived he spoke with a 53 year old male victim. The deputy saw the victim had visible cuts and bruises. The victim declined medical attention. The victim told the deputy his brother, Albert Vaughn Carpenter, 55 years old, from Hoopa had assaulted him with a large stick. The victim told the deputy Albert had left the area on foot.

The deputy located Albert behind the gas station in downtown Hoopa. Albert was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. He was transported and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. Carpenter is on active California State Parole and is being held on a parole violation, besides assault with a deadly weapon.

The deputy recovered the stick that was used which was approximately 4’ long and 3” in diameter.

Was the strong odor of marijuana in the Courthouse elevators related to this HCSO bust of a tresspass grow?

On 08-14-2014, at approximately 10:45 a.m. , Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies met with Green Diamond Security regarding a trespass marijuana growing operation. Deputies responded to 2111 Fieldbrook Road, Fieldbrook and met with Green Diamond Security. The security officers showed deputies a greenhouse with growing marijuana plants in it that was constructed on Green Diamond property. There was another greenhouse that was straddling the property line. Deputies saw the greenhouses were associated with an adjacent parcel which had a mobile home, travel trailer and shed..  Deputies contacted a man who was living on the parcel and he was identified as Kaleb Cory Severe, 28 years old. The deputies detained Severe while they obtained a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant for the property.

Once the search warrant was obtained, deputies searched the structures. Deputies located several stolen road signs, a stolen exempt license plate and two stolen Yamaha golf carts that were stolen from Humboldt State University, 110 growing marijuana plants ranging for 2’ to 5’ tall, and 6 lbs of processed marijuana bud. Severe was arrested for possession of stolen property, cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked. His bail was set at $25,000.00.

Deputies also saw evidence of air quality violations and are forwarding the case to air quality control for a follow up investigation and possible additional charges.

Cardelli hearing reset for August 29 at 2 p.m.

While we were waiting for court to open,  the baliff informed us the hearing been reset.

Don't like your sentence, use every loophole provided in the criminal justice system to delay taking responsibility

Dino Cardelli, who was convicted in 2011 on child molestation and sentenced to 18 years had a Marsden hearing on 8/1/14. Today at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 8, there is a hearing scheduled for status of appointed counsel. I will post in the afternoon if there are any developments.

Listed below in a separate post is the background in this case with two Times-Standard articles.

Besides the Cardelli case, there is the Littlefield case. Both involving child molestation, in both cases, no responsibility taken by the defendant. Instead both are using the criminal justice system and legitimate processes to ensure rights to see if they can get a get out of free jail card.

They were convicted by a jury of peers, if the Littlefield case goes to trial for the third time, besides the expense to the State, what about the victim's in these cases? Healing is not possible when the wound gets opened again and gain.

There are several posts on the Littlefield case on this blog which can be easily accessed by those not familiar with the cases. There are regular readers who follow these cases so I am not going to link the posts.

Backround articles on the Dino Cardelli case

Child molestation case sentencing challenged
Former pastor argues he was not adequately represented

By Will Houston

POSTED:   07/24/2014 09:57:20 PM

The former Arcata pastor currently serving an 18-year prison sentence for sexually abusing his two adopted daughters, one of whom he repeatedly molested, was transported back to the Humboldt County jail this week after the state Court of Appeal ruled that he was not given a chance to argue for a new defense attorney during his resentencing hearing, according to Assistant District Attorney Kelly Neel.

Dino Cardelli, formerly of Arcata's Calvary Chapel, was sentenced to 16 years in state prison in 2011 after pleading guilty to sexually abusing and molesting his two adopted daughters, one of whom was 13 years old when the acts occurred. He received an additional two years in prison after pleading guilty to 25 counts of violating a court order not to contact one of the girls, whom he had groomed into having a relationship by reading her Bible passages that he interpreted as condoning it.

In April 2013, Cardelli appealed the maximum 18-year sentence he was given, stating that he was not represented well enough by his attorney, M.C. Bruce.

"What was at issue, when it came back for resentencing, was whether the two-year sentence should run concurrently with the 16-year sentence or consecutively," Neel said.

Bruce asked the court to be removed from representation in the case, citing an ethical conflict.
"Without questioning either defendant or counsel about the basis for the claimed inadequacy, however, the court declined counsel's request to withdraw because of the limited scope of the remand to impose either a concurrent or consecutive sentence," the appellate court opinion states.

After being resentenced to the full 18 years, Cardelli questioned why the court was unable to give him a chance to argue for a new attorney, which Neel said would have occurred at a Marsden hearing.
"'Mr. Bruce's body language made known that he's not happy about being here, so the whole thing about not getting, you know, the opportunity to have another attorney to address those issues is something that I thought, you know, should have at least been looked at a little closer,'" Cardelli said at the resentencing hearing, according to the appellate court document.

The appellate court stated that because Bruce argued to be taken off the case and Cardelli's request to challenge Bruce's representation, the trial court failed to provide Cardelli the right to a Marsden hearing and remanded the decision.

"All of these factors together triggered the trial court's duty to hold a Marsden hearing to determine if current appointed counsel was providing adequate representation or the attorney-client relationship had become embroiled in such an irreconcilable conflict that ineffective representation was likely to result," the appellate court opinion stated.

Cardelli was booked into the Humboldt County jail on Wednesday. The appellate court ordered that the trial court hold a hearing to determine whether to grant Cardelli's motion for a Marsden hearing, and grant him a new counsel if he "has shown that a failure to replace his appointed attorney would substantially impair his right to assistance of counsel."

Cardelli gets 18 years in molestation case

Thadeus Greenson/The Times-Standard

POSTED:   08/23/2011 02:30:22 AM

Despite a former Arcata pastor's pleas for probation, a Humboldt County Superior Court judge sentenced Dino Cardelli to the maximum prison sentence allowable Monday, charging that he essentially seduced his adopted daughter with Bible passages in order to molest her.

Arrested last September, Cardelli, 50, pleaded guilty June 22 to charges of the continual sexual abuse of a minor, child molestation, attempting to dissuade a witness and 25 counts of violating a court order not to contact his victim.

During an emotional two-hour court hearing, the court heard from one of two victims in the case -- identified as Jane Doe 1 -- and from Cardelli, and attorneys debated an appropriate sentence for Cardelli, who -- until his arrest -- had served as the pastor of Arcata's Calvary Chapel. He and his late wife opened the church in January 1995.

Judge Bruce Watson sentenced Cardelli to serve 18 years in prison, the maximum allowable under a plea agreement Cardelli reached with prosecutors the day his trial was slated to begin. Watson said he weighed both mitigating and aggravating factors in reaching an appropriate sentence for Cardelli but said the scale tilted heavily toward handing down the maximum sentence.

Watson said Cardelli took advantage of a vulnerable victim, a girl he'd adopted at the age of 5 and who was 13 when the acts of molestation began. The judge said Cardelli then repeatedly attempted to dissuade Jane Doe 1 from cooperating in the case. Watson said the former pastor also betrayed the trust and confidence of his daughter, his community and his congregation.

”He violated the trust of countless people,” Watson said.

A probation report in the case, quoted by Watson, also indicates that the pastor used the Bible to convince Jane Doe 1 to acquiesce to his advances.

”He talked her into a sexual relationship by reading her passages from the Bible he interpreted as condoning it,” Watson read from the report before later opining about it. “It seems very disturbing, as a pastor, to be using the Bible to induce the victim to participate -- in essence seducing her with Bible passages.”
Under the terms of the sentence Watson handed down Monday, Cardelli will serve at least 85 percent of his 18-year prison sentence, will be put on supervised parole for 20 years after his release and will have to register as a sex offender for life.

Cardelli's attorney M.C. Bruce repeatedly asked for a sentencing postponement and said after the hearing that his client plans to appeal the sentence.

When Jane Doe 1 addressed the court, she said Cardelli's decisions led to her being separated from her brothers and sisters. She said she also carries the burden of Nancy Cardelli's suicide, which occurred after the mother told numerous people she suspected her husband was having an inappropriate relationship with Jane Doe 1, then 13.

”I have felt much of the blame for my mother's death, and I've carried it too long,” Jane Doe 1 said, adding that she's contemplated suicide and that her innocence is gone. “It was not fair for the man who was supposed to be my father to take that away from me.”

Jane Doe 1 went on to say she will always love both her parents, including her father, who she said taught her how to “be a loving, virtuous woman of God, but I will never respect the decisions he made.”
In addressing the court, Dino Cardelli -- who showed no emotion during Jane Doe 1's remarks -- apologized to his family and especially to his victim.

”My actions caused this travesty and these horrible events,” he said, adding that his wrongdoing had also hurt the community and his church body. “I know what I've done is a horrible thing that's happened, and I know it's something that my daughter will have to live with for the rest of her life.”

Dino Cardelli displayed little emotion throughout his remarks, but choked up when describing how Jane Doe 1 will have to tell her future husband of the secrets in her past.

The former pastor asked that he be released on probation, saying he wanted to seek treatment and rejoin his community and that he posed no risk of re-offending.

In addressing the court, Bruce argued that -- if not probation -- his client should be sentenced to the minimum term of incarceration allowable under the deal.

”A sentence of eight years gives Jane Doe plenty enough time to grow and forget,” Bruce said.
The defense attorney further argued that much of the pain and stress experienced by Jane Doe 1 was due to media reporting of the case, saying his client had no control over what was written about her or what “newspapers have done to ruin her life.”

Bruce further argued that it is there is no evidence to connect Nancy Cardelli's suicide with the sexual relationship between her husband and her daughter.

”To inject that into this proceeding is a disservice to everyone,” he said, adding that Dino Cardelli and his wife were also going through emotional difficulties and marriage problems at the time Cardelli began his relationship with Jane Doe 1.

Prosecuting Assistant District Attorney Kelly Neel argued that Dino Cardelli groomed a vulnerable little girl whom he'd adopted at the age of 5 to be the victim of his sexual advances. She said he's repeatedly failed to take responsibility for this, preferring to view his molestation simply as a romantic relationship. In the weeks before his arrest, Neel said, Dino Cardelli also molested another of his adopted daughters on three separate occasions.

Given the chance after posting bail in the case, Neel said, Dino Cardelli tried to talk Jane Doe 1 out of cooperating with authorities.

”What Mr. Cardelli can't deny is that he had ongoing sexual contact with a minor under the age of 14,” Neel said. “... The defendant, throughout these proceedings, has seemed to see this abuse -- what he was doing to this little girl -- as a romantic relationship.”
Ultimately, Neel said, Dino Cardelli left his daughters to carry this burden, for which there are no mitigating circumstances.

”What possible mitigating circumstances could there be for a 50-year-old man to molest his daughter? To molest two of his daughters?” she asked.

Mj's Courthouse Cafe, the only drama free zone in the Courthouse

Nestled on the third floor of the Humboldt County Courthouse is MJ’s Courthouse Café, which is co-owned by Jeanne Fleek and her partner Mike Scollard .

They purchased the café in October 2012, and in less than two years, with only word of mouth advertising and Facebook, this small business is expanding into doing outside catering and will soon be unveiling a new website.

Fleek previously worked for the Sheriff’s office and had also managed several restaurants locally such as Taco Time and original Cookie Company. “Ever since I was little, I wanted to own a deli,” she said. “I did not want to work nights, weekends and holidays. Mike and I saw this place for sale on craigslist.”
Fleek said that previously it was more of a snack bar, now it is a café. One of the first changes she made was paint the interior to more pleasing colors and decorate and add a lounge area, tablecloths and a coffee and salad bar.

The salad bar was a new addition to the previous menu and she added items to the menu that offered healthier options such as burritos, oatmeal, fruit and fresh vegetable snacks. In addition to a variety of beverages, the café makes fresh baked homemade cookies every day. They use local suppliers Redwood meat and Muddy Waters and Fleek describes her menu as “home comfort food.” There are daily specials such as meatloaf and mashed potatoes and tater tot casserole.

“I like being my own boss, I enjoy cooking and people watching,” said Fleek. “People are so busy that we try and make it personal and show people that they matter to us.”

Although majority of her customers are from the Courthouse, many of her regulars are area businesses and employees. The catering expansion came when a customer approached her to cater for her wedding.
Currently, Fleek emails and posts her weekly menu on Facebook. She is developing a website which will feature the entire menu and has spoken with Humboldt County CAO to see if that site can be linked to the County website. Fleek said that in addition to having customer appreciation days, and Business Card Mondays where people win a free lunch; she offers people the opportunity to pre-order specials they can pick-up.

She employs two-part-time workers,  Stacie Velasquez and Kristina Smith, both who say Jeanne is a great boss and they actually look forward to come to work. Stacie said one of the many reasons she enjoy working at the cafe is " our regulars whom we love and they are so friendly."

Fleek said encouraging others to “take a leap of faith and follow their dreams” like she did is what she tries to convey to everyone she encounters.

The café is open M-Th from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and until 2 p.m. on Fridays. Call (707) 444-8042 or email for more information.  If you mention that you saw this on my blog, starting today until next Friday, you get a free soda, coffee or tea with your purchase.

Aug 14, 2014

Heroin, meth, Narco and more in Garberville arrest

 On 08-12-2014, at approximately 10:30 a.m., Humboldt County Sheriff's Deputies saw a white Chevy pickup truck parked at Johnsons Quality Motel, Redwood Drive, Garberville. The truck matched a description of a truck possibly involved with burglaries and other theft related offenses in the Garberville-Redway area.  The deputies learned the driver of the truck was staying in room #15. The deputies knocked on the door to that room and it was answered by Natasha Aspinwell, 24 years old, from King Salmon. Aspinwall  was holding her 5 month old male infant when she was speaking with the deputies. Deputies learned Aspinwall was on formal felony probation with a search clause. While deputies were at the front door with Aspinwall, deputies at the back of the hotel room saw the window screen push out and an adult male attempt to flee the room. The male was detained and identified as Steven Buskirk, 36 years old from Eureka. Deputies learned Buskirk was also on felony probation.

 Deputies detained another male located in the hotel room, who verbally identified himself as Travis Quiett.

 Deputies searched the motel room and located a small amount of heroin, numerous syringes, methamphetamine pipes, Norco pills, scales, thirty five $100 bills, items indicating sale of marijuana, a black ski mask, wire cutters, 3 two way radios, a pry bar, headlamps, flashlights, electrical tape and binoculars.

 Deputies arrested Aspinwall for possession of a controlled substance, child endangerment, possession of burglary tools, allowing a place for drugs to be used/sold, and probation violation. Her child was taken into protective custody. Aspinwall was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional facility and booked. Her bail was set at $50,000.00.

 Buskirk was arrested for violation of probation, possession of a controlled substance, possession of burglary tools. He was transported and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. His bail was set at $25,000.00.

 Deputies learned Quiett was actually Beau McCabe, a 32 years old transient. McCabe was also on formal felony probation. He was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, possession of burglary tools, providing a false name to a police officer and violation of probation. He is being held without bail.

Someone needs motors but not boats, theft in Trinidad Harbor

On 08-13-2014, at approximately 7:30 a.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a citizen reporting motors being stolen from boats moored in Trinidad Harbor.

The deputy assigned to the City of Trinidad responded and met with the citizen, who is a Trinidad Harbor employee. The deputy learned two boats, named “ Red Fish Blue Fish” and “Dew Too” had been moored in Trinidad Harbor.    Between 07-12-2014, around dusk, and 7-13-2014, at approximately
 7:30 a.m., the suspect(s) removed a trolling motor from one of the boats, and a trolling motor and fishing supplies (poles, etc) from another boat. The deputy followed the citizen to a location on the beach below the Trinidad Lighthouse.  The citizen showed the deputy a raft that the suspect (s) appeared to have used to access the boats. They deputy also located a black rain jacket and three black shirts near the raft. The shirts were wet. The trolling motors weighed approximately 100 pounds each so it is believed more than one suspect was involved in the theft.

The stolen trolling motors are described as:
1. 2007 Honda 8 hp Trolling Motor, unknown year
2. 2011 Yamaha F-8 Trolling Motor

Total estimated loss of from the boats is approximately $7,000.00 total

HCSO searches a U -haul with strong odor of marijuana

On 08-13-2014, at approximately 2:40 p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a citizen reporting a suspicious U Haul truck that was parked in the Scotia shopping center near Palco Pharmacy. The citizen reported the truck had been parked in the parking lot for several hours, smelled like green marijuana and was unoccupied.

A deputy and California Highway Patrol (C.H.P.) Officers responded to the scene. They did not locate anyone in the area associated with the U Haul truck.  The C.H.P. Officers and deputy smelled the strong odor of green marijuana emanating from the truck. The deputy obtained a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant for the truck.  When the search warrant was served, the deputy located 171 growing marijuana plants in the truck, ranging from 6” to 4’ tall. In the cab of the truck the deputy located two hash extractor tubes.

There have been no arrests, however follow-up is currently being conducted and suspects have been identified.

Missing woman located, tells HCSO mother upset with her and she has no mental health issues

On 08-14-2014, at approximately 11:50 a.m., a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputy was able to make contact with Athena Doyle at the Vista Point at Humboldt Hill, Eureka. Athena called the Sheriff’s Office and arranged to meet with a deputy after learning law enforcement was trying to check her welfare. The deputy determined she was not having any mental health issues, and she and the children were in good health. She told the deputy she was in the process of moving out the area with her children and her mother was upset about that.

Details and update on suspect that robbed Pat's market

On 8-6-14, at about 8:00 AM, a male suspect entered Pat’s Market with the intent to steal from the cash register. The suspect wore a unique blue hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, sunglasses, black shoes with a white stripe at the sole and a white face covering. The suspect kept his right hand in his sweatshirt pocket leading the clerk to believe he was armed. The suspect said in a deep male voice, “Cash”.  The clerk said, “How is it going?” The suspect said, “Hand it over.”  The suspect leaned over the register counter and reached with his left hand to the side of the register drawer and opened the register.  The suspect took money from the register, grabbed several bags of Cheetos and fled.

On 8-7-14, at about 6:34 PM, a male suspect entered Pat’s Market again with the intent to steal from the register.  This time there were four customers inside the store. The method of operation was the same. The clothing was slightly different. The suspect appeared to wear the same pants and shoes but wore a plain black hooded sweatshirt and a grayish ski mask.  The black hooded sweatshirt appeared to have a front zipper but did not show any unique markings. The suspect weaved between the customers, leaned over the counter and again reached with his left hand to open the register. His right hand remained in his sweatshirt pocket. The clerk pushed the suspect away. He yielded and fled empty handed.

In both cases the suspect is described as a white male, approximately 5’6” and medium build. In both cases the suspect approached the store from the north and fled back the same way. In the first incident, he turned east into the alley and ran towards N Street. Investigators have recovered the blue sweatshirt from within the area of the escape route.  EPD believes the suspect lived near the store to the east. We have attached video and photographs of the sweatshirt to this news release.

The sweatshirt is a St Bernards sweatshirt that was used by someone who either painted  or dry walled while wearing it. Specifically there is a unique white stain on the back of the right shoulder.  Investigators are requesting anyone who recognizes this unique blue sweatshirt and has knowledge of the wearer to contact Detective Ron Harpham at 441-4305 or      

Lookout for for missing mother and children due to grandmother's concerns about daughter's mental health

On 08-13-2014, at approximately 8:00 p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the mother of Athena Doyle, 34 years old. The mother told the investigating deputy her daughter, left her apartment in the 6300 block of Humboldt Hill Road, Eureka with her two male children, Nicodemus Doyle, 2 years old and Isaiah Hacket-Doyle, 5 years old.  The mother said they are headed north, possibly to Canada. The mother told the deputy Athena was having mental health issues and may harm herself and her children.

A be-on-the-lookout has been placed for Athena Doyle and her two boys to check their welfare.

Athena Doyle is described as follows:  white female, 5’6” tall, 135 lbs, brown hair, brown eyes.

She is driving a 1992 light blue Isuzu, California Plate 3BFH534. .

Anyone seeing Athena and her vehicle is requested to call 911.

Aug 13, 2014

Allison Jackson scores another win for victim; deal between Gallegos and Sanders busted

Judge Dale Reinholtsen rejected the same plea deal in the Elmy workman case that Judge John Feeney rejected. When Allison Jackson stepped in to help the victim in this case, justice took a different turn.

This link explains the background leading up to Judge Reinholtsen's decision. It also has all the links to coverage of this case.

With Judge John Feeney, it was DDA Luke Brownfield; in this recent plea it is DDA Zach Curtis. Workman is being represented by Neal Sanders. Without notifying the victim or Ms. Jackson, the exact same plea deal was presented before Judge Reinholtsen.

Neal Sanders in his oral argument said that all parties stipulated to the plea deal. This was in response to Ms. Jackson's letter to Judge Reinholtsen. Mr. Sanders stressed that discussions took place between him and District Attorney's office; DDA Curtis went a bit further and finally admitted that Mr. Gallegos made the agreement but also stating that he entered the plea so "justice may be done." Mr. Sanders claimed that the DA's office told him that they had issues with proof and they rather not risk losing this case at trial.

Judge Reinholtsen explained that because of the great bodily injury special allegation, Workman is not eligible for probation which was a part of the plea deal. When he stated his tentative ruling and final ruling, Judge Reinholtsen was firm that based on what information he had before him, he could not allow the plea and that the Court cannot find "unusual circumstances" which would be the exception to granting the plea deal.

Judge Reinholtsen said that when the case went to trial, it is possible that Workman could be found not guilty, or that she acted in self-defense, or unusual circumstances could be proved but he could not rule on that with information available to him in the present.

Mr. Curtis admitted this is "highly emotional charged case" and that "there is great deal of anger on both sides." He also said there is no rationale for self-defense.

The case is scheduled to go to trial on November 3 at 8:30 a.m.. Trial Confirmation is on Oct 20 at 3 p.m. and pre-trial conference on September 8 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 4.

Vincent Sanchez held to answer on all charges, before murder smoked bowls of marijuana

On April 24th, the night of the Harris Street double murder, in his confession, Vincent Sanchez told Detective Ron Harpham he smoked either 20 bowls of marijuana or "he hit the pipe five to seven times and was feeling different". He overheard a conversation between Rick Storre and his brother Lance Henry about "oral sex for a $100" and that bothered him.

Detective Harpham testified that Sanchez was aloof when he was asked to clarify some concerns about why he thought Lance Henry might attack Rick Storre. He would also not tell detectives why he had the shotgun, just that he was "protecting the house." Sanchez came back in the house with the shotgun. His brother was in the computer room and Storre in the living room.

Vincent pumped the shotgun, released safety, hearing this Henry came out of the computer room and said "Uh oh." Vincent said he knocked Henry who hit the coffee table and passed out. Vincent thought Lance was dead. He went into the living room, pointed the shotgun at Storre point blank and shot him. Sanchez described brain matter and skull fragments on the floor. Earlier Det Todd Wilcox testified when he arrived at the scene he saw a piece of skull and brain matter. Det. Wilcox was not aware of what Sanchez had confessed.

Lance had woken up and was trying to escape when Vincent shot him.

His brother preaching to him about Mormonism and gay sex between his brother and Rick Storre bothered Sanchez

Detective Ron Harpham described details of why they arrested Vincent Sanchez and the recent tension at the Harris Street house that led to Vincent Sanchez murdering his brother Lance Henry and Rick Storre.

Right before the murder, Sanchez told Detective Harpham he overheard a conversation between Storre and his brother about "oral sex for a $100." This bothered him.

Detective Harpham said that EPD Office Josh Siipola told him why he had detained  Vincent Sanchez.
Officer Siipola said that they were on the scene of a double homicide, they found Vincent on the property, "with all the commotion (of law enforcement being there) he did not come out of the camp, when he was taken to EPD in cuffs, in front of media, police and neighbors, he did not ask why and Vincent spoke of Storre and his brother in the past tense.

Detective Harpham testified that on the northwest corner of the property, there was a small camp built of green tarp supported by plastic totes, cinder blocks and it contained personal property and clothes belonging to Vincent Sanchez. They also found nine 12 gauge shotgun ammunition and seven large knives.

When Detective John Luken and Det. Harpham interviewed Sanchez at EPD, the interview took five hours and he was cuffed the whole time. He was read his Miranda rights and he agreed to speak with police.

The police knew Rick Storre was one of the victims and that he owned the house based on the original call from Storre's friend who discovered the body. It was Vincent who told them the identity of the second victim and that Lance Henry was his brother.

Storre was a man Vincent knew since he was three years old. Storre and Vincent's dad were very good friends. Vincent did not like Rick Storre.

Vincent was homeless at Thanksgiving. Sometime around December 2013, Storre allowed Vincent to stay at his house. The residence was a one bedroom, one bath with a kitchen and living room area. There was a tiny computer room where Vincent slept on a makeshift bed. Vincent would not reveal anything but from other sources, law enforcement learned he got to stay at the house in exchange for chores.

Henry moved in a month prior to the murders. Det. Harpham said that in the interview, Vincent gave conflicting information on his relationship with his brother. They used to be close, but over the last few weeks leading to the murder, there was tension building at the house. The primary source of conflict between Vincent and his brother was that Lance had recently converted to being Mormon and was constantly preaching to Vincent. Detective Harpham testified that Vincent told the detectives he did not believe in God.
Vincent had also "overheard some conversations about homosexual sex between Lance and Rick Storre."

A week after he moved in, Lance tried to get Vincent to move out but Storre let him stay. Vincent could not sleep because Lance was on the computer so he moved out into the backyard.

Vincent Sanchez confessed and provided description of gun he used to Det. Harpham

No media present for Vincent Sanchez's preliminary hearing this morning. Detective Todd Wilcox and Detective Ron Harpham testified for the People.

On March 26, a Ms. Donovan, friend of Rick Storre's went to visit him and found him deceased and called EPD. The front door was unlocked, according to law enforcement. Law enforcement found out the identity of the second victim from suspect Vincent Sanchez.

Richard Storre's body was discovered slumped in an armchair and Lance Henry's body was in the hallway. Sanchez told Det. Harpham after killing two people he left the sawed off 12 gauge shotgun at the National Guard Armory. That gun was recovered on the 25th at that location on March 25. The bodies were discovered on March 26. Law enforcement concluded from their investigation of the crime scene and confession from Sanchez that the murders occurred the night of March 24.

Det. Wilcox testified that when he first arrived at the crime scene, he saw the two bodies in the two different locations and observed blood spatter, blood stains and body fluids and it was apparent to him that they were at the scene where the homicide occurred and that this was not the case where bodies were dumped later at the scene.

Storre whose body was found in a seated position in an armchair, slumped with his hands stretched out, head resting on one shoulder. At the upper back of the chair, there was red spatter all the way "up the wall." Det. Wilcox said there was "profuse bleeding" and the blood was  "running down the chair" and had formed into a pool on the floor. Deputy Coroner Roy Horton found a piece of skull and a material that appeared to be brain matter by the chair.

Near the second body in the hallway were fragments of glass from a coffee table with "large droplets of blood" with "lividity on the right hand." The head had a large hole near the left ear with a large amount of blood.

In the living room on the floor, there were remnants of ammunition and an "expended 12 gauge shotgun shell." In the bathroom there was a claendar hanging with two check marks on each day. "it was marked up to the 24th," said Det. Wilcox. Looking at the medication bottles in Storre's bathroom, detectives inferred the murders took place on the 24th. They also found two newspapers dated March 25th and 26th still wrapped and outside between the sidewalk and the porch.

Ms. Jennifer Dixon who represents Sanchez is very compassionate and both Ms. Dixon and Visiting Judge Cerena Wong explained to Sanchez what was going on, Ms. Dixon even spoke with him after her cross of Detective Wilcox making sure before Det. Wilcox stepped down from the stand.

Silverio Sanchez preliminary hearing vacated based on new information

Just yesterday Silverio Sanchez's attorney Ben McLaughlin learned of a report he wants defense expwrt to examine so today he requestedca two week continuance in Court which was granred by Judge Dale Reinholtsen. People agreed to continuance.

Aug 12, 2014

Missing runaway returns home on his own

And he is in good health. He returned home at 4:30 p.m.

How to work for the defense as a prosecution witness; starring Benjamin Carter's sister-in-law

This morning Margaret Bitter testified at the preliminary hearing for Benjamin Carter. There are two other posts and this one is just an excerpt of her testimony this morning.

Fortunately for her, the Judge appointed her a lawyer.

Her testimony started with the basics. Benjamin Carter is her sister's husband. Sister Melinda is also in custody. All four of them were hanging out at Margaret's friend, Tommy's house, somewhere in Connick Creek. Bbqing hamburgers and "hanging out."This was on April 16, 2014.

The date becomes more relevant because law enforcement was not notified of this possible homicide until April 18, 2014, according to Carter's lawyer.

Testimony jumps to Margaret getting texts from Zach, the victim. He is texting her because he "wants his shotgun from Ben." Zach is someone Margaret used to date. He is also miffed because he does not want her hanging out with Tommy. Margaret tells Ben about Zach's texts. She says Ben is not too concerned and says, "let him come over."

Eventually, Zach texts her and shows up. We learn they are not at a house but a trailer. She tells everyone Zach is on his way. "Both Ben and Tommy disappear." She does not know where they are.

Enter Zach and he has a handgun. Margaret and Melinda are sitting on the bed. According to Margaret, at this point, "Ben came running in behind" Zach. Zach spins around and points his handgun at Ben and Ben has a sawed off shotgun he is pointing at Zach's chest.

"Ben said something to Zach,  I don't recall what," said Margaret. "I just heard him saying Oh yeah, Oh yeah." Then according to her Zach "made a nervous chuckle."

Then, Ben shot Zach, who fell on the floor. According to Margaret, he looked at Ben with a ?, "like what are you doing?" Zach grabs Margaret's leg as he is falling on the floor, but she said Melinda pushes Zach on the shoulder towards the floor.

Ben grabs Zach's jacket and drags him toward's the front door.

"Was Zach alive?" asked DDA Luke Brownfield.

"I don't believe so," responds Margaret.

"I was sitting there in disbelief. Thinking why it went that way," said Margaret. She does not recall what happened after that but at some point she walks out the front door. She claims she hears Ben ask Tommy to help him with Zach's legs and Tommy says no. Since Ben just shot Zach, who she says was like a brother to Ben, she is unsure of how he will react so she offers to help Ben. She helps Ben load Zach's body into the back of the truck. She thinks Melinda and Ben went somewhere in the truck, she has no idea, she thinks Ben may be driving the truck.

She tells Tommy to get her puppies and that she wants to leave.

At this point, Det. Franco, the lead investigator sitting next to Mr. Brownfield scribbles something and then Mr. Brownfield asks Margaret if there was a fire. She then remembers there was a campfire where they cooked the hamburgers. Margaret does not recall how but Zach's coat was thrown into the fire; she cannot recall who threw it in the fire.

Suddenly, she does recall that when Melinda and Ben left, one person drove the truck and one person drove Zach's car. She claims she overhead someone, she cannot recall who, say, "they were going to get rid of Zach."

And before they left, she took a shower and changed her clothes in the trailer. She did not say whether this was right after Zach was shot, when she helped Ben load Zach's body in the truck or at what point before they left.

Help HCSO locate a runaway with medical issues

On 08-12-2014, at approximately 1:30 p.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a runaway, mentally disabled, 13 year old juvenile male with medical issues. The juvenile male, identified by his guardian as John Frederick Brower, was last seen running into the woods behind Les Schwab Tires, Central Avenue, McKinleyville. The Sheriff’s Office is initiating a search of the area for Brower and requests the public’s assistance in locating him.

John Frederick Brower is described as  13 years old, white male , 5’5” tall approximately 120 lbs, blond hair, blue eyes, wearing a black beanie, red and grey tennis shoes. He resides on Blue Bird Lane, McKinleyville

Anyone who sees Brower is requested to call 911 or has information on his whereabouts is requested to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 445-7251.

Witness in Carter case appointed lawyer; defense has not had chance to question

Mr. Glenn Brown was appointed as attorney for Margaret Bitter. Will prosecution offer her immunity? These and more questions to be answered when they return from break.

According to Mr. Acosta, preliminary hearing expected to continue a couple of days.

Silverio Sanchez preliminary hearing continued until tomorrow

It is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. in Courtroom 4. Since Sanchez has waived time, it may be continued again depending on courtroom availability and schedules.

First witness testifies in preliminary hearing for Benjamin Carter who called LOCO instead of his defense attorney

Benjamin Carter's sister-in law, Margaret Bitter, was the first witness to testify for the People this morning in a preliminary hearing held in Courtroom 4. The preliminary that started mid-morning may continue tomorrow. DDA Luke Brownfield is prosecuting the case with Detective Franco assigned as lead investigator. Michael Acosta represents Carter who was in court this morning in an orange jumpsuit.

Carter is the fugitive who called LOCO to tell his story while on the run from law enforcement instead of his defense attorney. 

On 04/18/2014 the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received information regarding a possible homicide involving a firearm that occurred in the Southern Humboldt area. The Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating this allegation with the assistance from the District Attorney Investigator’s Office, Department of Justice (DOJ), Arson Task Force, and the California Highway Patrol (CHP). On 04-18-2014 Humboldt County Sheriff Office Detectives arrested Melinda Elaine Carter age 41 for conspiracy and accessory to a homicide, auto theft and arson. 

The male victim was identified by the Coroner’s Office as Zackery Jacob Chapman age 36 from Redway. Chapman appeared to have died from the result of a gunshot wound. 

On 04-19-2014 the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office along with Humboldt County Arson Task Force and the California Department of Justice processed the homicide scene, which was located on a piece of property off Conic Creek, Garberville. A trailer on the property had been burned down after the homicide in an attempt to conceal evidence where the homicide occurred. 

No media reporter was in the courtroom for this preliminary hearing. I stayed for part of Bitter's testimony in which she described the events leading to Chapman's death. A lot of "I don't recalls" and she said she took a shower and changed clothes before she left the trailer. All this while Ben and Melinda Carter were allegedly disposing the body and Chapman's coat. 

Mr. Brownfield was still questioning Bitter at 10:45. As she testified, Benjamin Carter smiled and whispered at times to his attorney who took notes.

Aug 11, 2014

Judge Feeney backs Firpo and Bryson

Judge John Feeney agreed with the resolution that DDA Elan Firpo and Virginia Doolittle's attorney Kathleen Bryson arrived to in her case. Today, in addition to the sentence outlined in the July 16 post, Doolittle will be on three years probation once she is released from prison.

Frank Doolittle's girlfriend,  Adlene Colegrove who was with him when he was he was stabbed and another girlfriend who is the mother of two of his daughters were in court today. Colegrove read her own statement. Victim witness representative Holly Hensher read a statement on behalf of Frank Doolittle's daughters, Tanesha and Lexie.

Niether girlfriend was happy with the resolution. The July 16 post explains the tense relationship between Adlene and Virginia. In the daughter's statement said that Ms. Firpo did not contact them about this resolution. The same statement was made to me outside Court by their mother.

Ms. Firpo had explained to me previously that she had spoken with the mother and she explained why the resolution was reached. In court, she briefly addressed the allegation that she did not speak with them. "This crime occurred three years ago. At that time, the children were minors. I have spoken to the mother several times. I don't think first degree murder is realistic given the evidence. This is a terrible tragedy. Based on what Ms. Bryson provided and the evidence in the case, the resolution reached was appropriate."

Judge Feeney addressed the victim's loved ones. "I wish there was something we could do to physically bring them back."

He agreed with Ms. Firpo and Ms. Bryson. Judge Feeney said he knew all the circumstances and given the evidence he had reviewed, "I know this is an appropriate resolution."

Victim restitution and amount to be determined.

Previous post:

Jul 16, 2014

How a defense attorney and prosecutor worked together to get justice with a human touch

 A woman who has been in custody for a case from 2011 was finally held accountable but it was one of those cases where the humanity behind the resolution often goes unreported.

Elan Firpo who prosecuted the case for the People and Virginia Doolittle's attorney, Kathleen Bryson, told Judge John Feeney that they had arrived at a resolution in the case. Initially, Kaleb Cockrum from Conflict Counsel represented Doolittle. Ms. Bryson took over her case on January 14, 2013 .

Ms. Firpo said that before resolution, she contacted the victim's girlfriend and family. She explained the evidence in the case supported the disposition of the case . The sentencing will occur on August 11 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 1. Ms. Firpo requested that sentencing be continued to that date so that representatives on behalf of the victim or the girlfriend can be present and if they wish, Ms. Firpo told them they could address the Court.

Doolittle was initially charged with murder.  On 7/14/14, she plead to a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter for 6 years with a 1 year added for the special allegation of the use of deadly weapon; in this case a knife.

Doolittle will not get probation. She will have to serve the jail time and Judge Feeney informed her that she has to serve at least 85% of that time, and the good time credits cannot be applied to reduce jail time. I asked Ms. Bryson about this and she clarified , "She will have to serve the remaining time in prison.  She has already served almost 3 years in jail.  She will get credit for that time and receive additional credits at 15% because voluntary manslaughter is a strike, and therefore, 85% of the sentence must be served.

Ms. Firpo told me factors that influenced her decision were that  Ms. Doolittle had been custody since 2011 without the case moving forward and that Ms. Bryson provided a lot of information to her and worked very hard on behalf of Ms. Doolittle to show mitigating circumstances.

Ms. Bryson also spoke with me. "I thanked Elan and told her that she did the right thing in Virginia Doolittle's case," said Ms. Bryson. "I appreciated that she kept an open mind and carefully considered the evidence. I especially brought her the psych evaluation by Dr Soper. I came on the case late, as it was previously Kaleb Cockrum's case, but I worked very hard to get Elan as much information as possible to help resolve the case.  The largest obstacle I faced was that Ms. Doolittle would not open up to either her counsel or to Dr. Soper.  Understandably, she has a huge distrust of men.  So, I went with Dr. Soper when he met with her. This proved to be invaluable as she finally began to open up."

"Ms. Doolittle had no real criminal record, served her country in the Army and was honorably discharged. She suffers from both PTSD and DisAssociative Disorder. She had been molested from the ages of 6 to 17 by her uncle and then was raped in the military."

"She loved her brother, Frank, very much.  On the night of the incident her brother was very drunk (BAC .24%) and his probation reports showed that when he drinks he tends to act very aggressively.  She was trying to leave the house that they shared.  In order to open the lock on her bedroom, she needed a knife. Virginia did not get along with Frank's girlfriend and they argued about it a lot.  Frank stepped in to stand up for his girlfriend and ended up with one stab wound that was unfortunately fatal. Virginia never meant to harm Frank. The case is a tragedy."