Jun 30, 2015

Baykeeper, EPIC, Richard Salzman et al silent on environmental concerns of mega grows, only Ehresman talks the talk and walks the walk

Dan Ehresman, the executive director of the Northcoast Environmental Center is the only one who has spoken out about the environmental concerns of mega grows and raised it in relation to the California Cannabis Voice Humboldt Ordinance.

Where are the rest of the local environmental groups like Baykeeper, EPIC or local champion of the working folk Richard Salzman?

This morning, I received the following email from Tuluwat Examiner : "FYI  Baykeeper is a project of the NEC and EPIC is a member group of the NEC. also EPIC has a my word ready to run on mega grows in the TS next Tuesday"

I appreciate the Tuluwat Examiner's information. However, it should not be TE's job to speak for any of the member groups that belong to the North Coast Environmental Center. These groups have protested other efforts to bring jobs in the area, sued other groups, yet now they are silent. Why not more of them speaking up? 

It is under the reign of elected officials such as Paul Gallegos supported by members of the groups I mention that mega growers got a pass. Now that support is backfiring. Could it be that the same people do not want to bite the hands that feeds them?

Other than Lost Coast Outpost articles and commenters as well as Redheaded Blackbelt commenters raising the issue that out of county interests and out of state interests are backing legislation, where is the investigative money trial by our local media?

Eureka Chase robber found guilty

On June 30, 2015, the jury found 28-year-old Tracey Dontaye Drew guilty of robbery, a felony, and resisting a peace officer, a misdemeanor.
On October 9, 2014 the defendant entered the Eureka Chase Bank while concealing his identity by covering himself with a trash bag and face mask.  Mr. Drew announced the robbery and threatened to kill anyone who called the police. He left the bank with over $10,000 but was apprehended by Eureka Police Officers after a short pursuit.
The case was tried by Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett, with assistance from District Attorney Investigator Jack Bernstein. The defendant was represented at trial by Deputy Public Defender Owen Tipps.  Judge Joyce Hinrichs presided over the nine-day trial.
In addition to bank employees present during the robbery, testimony was given by six members of the Eureka Police Department: Detectives John Gordon and Todd Wilcox, retired Captain Anthony Zanotti, Officers Tim Jones, Kyle Miyamura and Beau Southwell.
Judge Hinrichs will sentence the defendant on July 28, 2015. The maximum sentence for these crimes is five years in prison.

Bye Bye Redwood Capital Bank, Gregg Foster back to RREDC

This scoop is right from Gregg Foster himself. He is,relaxing and so am I socially, so stay tuned for details in the press release.

EPD records and two witnesses subpoenaed by attorney for former HCSO deputy who is alleged to have committed sexual assault while on duty

Jason Daniels' attorney subpoenaed EPD records and two witnesses, Natalie McCall and Cyrus Silva.

His jury trial is scheduled for September 21.

Last post:


Previous post (with other links):


The other links have graphic testimony by one of the victims, this is an excerpt from the March 24 post:

"Jane Doe gave graphic testimony of sexual assault and Daniels asking her "Do you like that?"
Jane Doe testified how a call to her boyfriend's trailer near Jacob's Avenue  resulted in her being detained by Jason Daniels, a former Sheriff's deputy. She was arguing with a friend Ruby, who she thought was sleeping with her boyfriend at that time.

Daniels responded to the ruckus and he did a pat down and put her friend in the backseat of the car and then put cuffs on Jane Doe. He told her she was not being arrested but being detained.

While Jane Doe was cuffed, with Ruby in the backseat of Daniel's patrol car and her boyfriend watching from his trailer a few feet away, Jane Doe said Daniels touched her breasts, pushed her against his patrol car, put his hands under her skirt, pushed her panties aside and "stuck his fingers inside her" and said, "Do you like that?" She said he had an erection and was grinding against her butt" while fingering her. He later asked her for a blowjob."

GO-Biz Launches New California Business Portal: A One-Stop-Shop Website for Business Owner

As part of an ongoing effort to provide more on-line tools to businesses, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) today announced the launch of the California Business Portal, a one-stop-shop website for business owners looking for information and assistance. (www.BusinessPortal.ca.gov)

“The California Business Portal is a response to the needs of the business community and their request for better on-line tools,” said GO-Biz Chief Deputy Director Panorea Avdis. “California business owners now have a resource to make it easier to do business in the state and GO-Biz will continually update the portal to ensure it keeps up with the demands of business owners and entrepreneurs.”

The California Business Portal provides information to business owners on starting a new business, permits and licenses, incentives, local resources and more. The portal is available on the business owner’s schedule and has a number of key features, including:

Quick Start Guides: Short guides that contain the essential information for starting, and growing specific types of businesses in the State of California.

California Business Navigator: Not sure where to start? The Business Navigator provides custom information for your business including permits, licenses and incentives.

Service Desk: Get answers to commonly asked questions with the California Business Portal Service Desk. If the information for your situation is not here yet, submit your question and GO-Biz will provide a customized answer.

“As the global hub of innovation, California is often the first to meet challenges with novel solutions," said Robert Callahan, California Executive Director for The Internet Association. "This portal is a great example of how government can harness the power of the Internet and empower citizens through the use of technology.”

In May 2015, GO-Biz debuted the California Business Portal at the Trends in Technology conference in Sacramento. Prior to the conference, GO-Biz convened a group of small business owners and entrepreneurs to test the website and provide feedback. (VIDEO: GO-Biz Debuts ‘California Business Portal’ for Small Business Owners)

GO-Biz began building the framework for the business portal in the fall of 2014. Using existing resources, including staff from the Department of Technology IT Leadership Academy, it took GO-Biz IT Chief Thomas Boon and his team six months to build the website infrastructure which is also mobile friendly and can be accessed on iOS and Android devices.

“It was a top priority of GO-Biz to get people from the business community involved in the development of the California Business Portal,” said GO-Biz IT Chief Thomas Boon “As a result, the ease of use and content are reflective of the type of information and assistance business owners need.”

In addition to the business portal, GO-Biz has delivered a number of web based tools for business owners including easy to use on-line applications for the California Competes tax credit and the California Film Commission film tax credit.

 About GO-Biz
The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) serves as California’s single point of contact for economic development and job creation efforts. GO-Biz offers a range of services to business owners including: attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection, permit streamlining, clearing of regulatory hurdles, small business assistance, international trade development, assistance with state government, and much more. For more information visit: www.business.ca.gov.

Luke Brunner of CCVH calls Sheriff Downey, Undersheriff Honsal and DA Fleming, "the 3 hardest working people in Humboldt County"

Luke Brunner of CCVH called Sheriff Mike Downey, Undersheriff William Honsal and DA Maggie Fleming, "the 3 hardest working people in Humboldt County"

California Cannabis Voice Humboldt's Luke Bruner also decried the lack clarity regarding cannabis laws in California that make the job of law enforcement hard. There are approximately 40 to 50 people outside the courthouse right now but that included about 10 media representatives.

Bruner urged cannabis farmers to register to vote.

CCVH consultant Richard Marks, Supervisors Ryan Sundberg and Estelle Fennell, local criminal defense attorney Kathleen Bryson were in attendance.

From a LOCO post on June 25: "CCVH co-founder and board member Luke Bruner tells the Outpost that county supervisors Ryan Sundberg and Estelle Fennell will be in attendance, and Bruner said he expects to generate a crowd of at least 100 supporters for a rally to coincide with the ordinance unveiling. "


LOCO, TS, Northcoast News are among the media covering the unveiling of the CCVH ordinance draft.

I was in Courtroom 4 for the Jason Warren case so I arrived a few minutes later and I did not stay to hear all the speakers.

Some people driving by heckled, others driving by and walking were curious as to what was going on.

DA motion to amend charges in Jason Warren homicide case , nothing to report yet

For details, read post below.

The type of hearing should have been an intervention. Judge Cissna closed the courtroom and I found out in court last minute. So, I called the rest of the media who were planning to attend, TS, MRU, and North Coast news.

With a gag order, we will just have to wait now to see if dates change or there is any other development at the next court date.

This is tge second time, media has shown up only to get nada.

Pounds, Coutts arrested in Fields Landing incident

On 06-30-2015 at about 11:00 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office along with personnel from Humboldt Bat Fire Department responded to the reports of a fire/explosion at a residence located in the 6500 block of Second Street, Fields Landings. Once the fire was extinguished officers saw evidence of a butane hash lab in the residence.
Deputies contacted two suspects, who lived at the residence. They were identified as 41 year old, William Joseph Pound and 22 year old, David Michael Green/Coutts. Both suspects were not injured in the explosion. Both Pound and Green/ Coutts were arrested for manufacturing of a chemical extraction hash/honey oil lab.  Both suspects were transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility in Eureka and their bail has been set at $500,000 dollars each.
The residence is currently being secured for a search warrant Officers are seeking a search warrant through Humboldt County Superior Court Judge for the residence.. The investigation is now being handled by the Humboldt County Drug Task Force.

DA files motion to amend charges against Jason Warren, will the Judge grant the motion?

Today at 3;30, there is a pre-trial hearing on the motion filed by District Attorney Maggie Fleming to amend the information, which could mean additional charges against Jason Warren, who is charged with the murder of Dorothy Ulrich. He is also charged with the death of Suzanne Seeman and attempted murder of severely injuring two other joggers who were with her. In one case he is represented by Mr. Kevin Robinson from the Public Defender's office. In another case by Mr. Glenn Brown from the Alternate Counsel's office. DA Maggie Fleming is prosecuting this case. No death penalty is sought in this case.

At the last court hearing, the defense lost their motion to sever the two cases against Warren. Before that, a pre-trial date was vacated. There is extensive coverage of the case on this blog.

I will update after the hearing this afternoon

Last post:

May 27, 2015

Defense motion to sever in Jason Warren case denied by Judge Cissna

Dates were not put on record. The basic gist of the defense argument was that trying the cases together would be highly prejudicial to Warren and that they did not believe the evidence was intertwined as DA suggested.

Mr. Kevin Robinson is representing Warren in the Eureka incident. On Myrtle Avenue, where Warren ran over three joggers, Mr. Robinson said different law enforcement investigated the two incidents.

Hoopa murder of Dorothy Ulrich was Sheriff assisted by Hoopa tribal police and Eureka was Highway patrol.

Mr. Robinson then alluded to former DA Paul Gallegos who prosecuted the preliminary hearing and said Mr. Gallegos suggested he would use charges in one case to build the other case and that this would be highly prejudicial to his client.

DA Maggie Fleming in her summary and argument proved otherwise. Judge Cissna agreed and denied defense motion.

DA Fleming cited PC 954 about "legislative preference for one trial". She also cited law where "joinder and consolidation is mandatory."

Then, giving times and facts of both incidents, she stated that Warren standing in a "pool of blood" after he killed Dorothy Aldrich fled in her car from Hoopa where he ran over three joggers on Myrtle Avenue and then fled the scene and hid the car. "The entire course of conduct was less than two hours."

Suzanne Seeman died at the scene. The two joggers that survived were Jessica Hunt and Terri Vroman-Little.

"I have reviewed materials and authorities and the cases are properly joined," said Judge Cissna. " To a significant degree, they are related in commission.I don't think one case is more inflammatory than the other."

DA Fleming spoke with the victims' families before and after the court hearing privately.

Judge Cissna asked attorneys to approach and did not state future dates on record. Pre trial was continued from today to June 30 at 3:30 p.m. That information was entered in system later.

Trial could be delayed due to a motion DA Fleming will be introducing.

Murder, assault, possession of firearm by felon alleged in Covelo shooting

On 06.29.15, at approximately 6:54 p.m., the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received a report that a person had been shot at a residence in the 22000 block of Refuse Road, Covelo. As Deputies responded, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received multiple reports identifying the suspect as John Ross (senior), who was seen entering the location, (a marijuana grow site consistent with medical marijuana requirements). Shots were heard coming from the location and Ross was seen fleeing.

It was further reported that a witness had pursued John Ross from the scene and Ross had shot at him. The shot missed the victim and dissuaded further pursuit.

Deputies located the victim, Alejandro Garcia, deceased at the scene suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. John Ross was located in the area and taken into custody without incident. Ross was lodged at the Mendocino County Jail for the listed charges and is being held without bail.

Any persons with information regarding this incident are encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office at the tip line, (707)234-2100 or via e-mail atcrimetip@mendocinosheriff.com.

Jun 29, 2015

Fort Bragg Officer injured while chasing suspect allegedly under the influence

Report Number: 2015-15383
Coroner Number: N/A
Incident: 2800.3CVC [Evading a Peace Officer Causing Injury], 2800.4CVC [Evading a Peace Officer - Wrong Way Driving], 14601.2CVC [Suspended Driver's License DUI] and 1203.2PC [Violation of Probation]
Location: North Highway 1 at Point Cabrillo Drive, Caspar, California, 95420
Date: 06-27-2015 Time: 12:28 AM


Suspect #1:
Name: Johny Delgado
Age: 19
City/State: Fort Bragg, Ca.

     On 06-27-2015 at approximately 12:28 a.m., Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were traveling south bound on Highway 1 in near the town of Caspar.  Sheriff's Deputies attention was drawn to a white Acura sedan, with equipment violations.  Sheriff’s Deputies began pacing the vehicle and observed it was traveling at approximately 65 MPH, in the posted 55 MPH zone.

The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Johny Delgado, 19 years of age out of Fort Bragg, turned on to Point Cabrillo Drive from Highway 1.  Delgado had difficulty maintaining the vehicle in his lane of traffic and deputies believed that Delgado was possibly driving under the influence.

     A traffic enforcement stop was attempted at Caspar Beach, but Delgado failed to yield and continued to drive south bound on Point Cabrillo Drive.  Sheriff’s Deputies activated their emergency lighting and siren but Delgado increased his speed to approximately 70 MPH in the residential area of South Caspar.

     Delgado sped to the south intersection of Point Cabrillo Drive at Highway 1, failing to stop for the posted stop sign and turned northbound onto Highway 1.  Delgado continued northbound on Highway 1 at speeds in excess of 120 MPH, until turning east onto Simpson Lane.  Delgado drove east on Simpson Lane at speeds in excess of 90 MPH, and then turned south onto Mitchell Creek Drive.

     Delgado turned onto Franklin Road and continued to Simpson Lane, where he turned west.  Delgado turned back onto Mitchell Creek Drive and then onto Franklin Road again.  Delgado turned west on Simpson Lane again and then turned onto Turner Road.

     Delgado continued on Turner Road until he reached the cul-de-sac at the end.  Sheriff’s Deputies attempted to position their vehicles to block Delgado’s path but Delgado drove around the front of the vehicles, narrowly avoiding a collision into the patrol vehicles.

     Delgado continued east on Turner Road and then across Mitchell Creek Drive onto Franklin Road.  Delgado turned west onto Simpson Lane and drove toward Highway 1.

     Sheriff’s Deputies requested assistance from the Fort Bragg Police Department to have a tire deflation device placed across the roadway.  Fort Bragg Police Officers positioned themselves at the traffic circle intersection of Simpson Lane and Highway 1 with a "stop stick" tire deflation device deployed in the westbound travel lane.  Delgado drove over the "stop stick", which resulted in immediate deflation of the vehicle’s tires.

     A Fort Bragg Police Officer was injured while deploying the tire deflation device and was subsequently treated at the Mendocino Coast District Hospital Emergency Room for his injuries.

     Delgado continued to drive on the flat tires southbound on Highway 1 and then turned onto Old Coast Highway.  From Old Coast Highway, Delgado drove across Highway 1 onto Ocean Drive.  Delgado was traveling at approximately 25 MPH to 30 MPH on flat tires to the dead end of Ocean Drive.  Delgado stopped his vehicle at the end of Ocean Drive and fled into the brush holding a can of beer.

     Mendocino County Sheriff’s K9 "CAM" was deployed and located Delgado a short time later hiding in a small creek.  Delgado was taken into custody without further incident.

     Delgado displayed signs of alcohol intoxication and it was determined that his driving privileges had been suspended and he had been placed on probation for a prior DUI conviction.

     The pursuit of Delgado covered 20.5 miles over a 17 minute period.  Delgado flailed to obey any posted speed limits or stop signs and drove his vehicle in the opposing travel lane at speeds in excess of 100 MPH numerous times.

     Delgado was booked into county jail for violations of 2800.3CVC [Evading a Peace Office with Injury], 2800.4CVC [Evading a Peace Officer – Wrong Way Driving], 14601.2CVC [Driving on a Suspended License for DUI] and 1203.2PC [Violation of Probation], where he was held in lieu of $105,000 bail.

Fieldbrook double homicide suspect racks up new felony while in custody

The case for Jason Arreaga, suspect in the Fieldbrook double homicide wss scheduled for a pre- trial conference this afternoon. Arreaga flipped through some paperwork provided to him by his attorney, Ms. heidi Holmquist, from the Public Defender's office. DDA Zach Curtis is prosecuting the case.

Dates confirmed for homicide trial. "We will confirm dates for now," said Ms. Holmquist. "I am still in discussions with Mr. Curtis about some discovery." That discovery includes fingerprints from the gun allegedly used in the crime.

While he was in custody, he was charged with a felony possession of illegal substance in jail in a complaint filed on June 16. He was arraigned and plead not guilty on June 18. That illegal substance is listed in the complaint as marijuana.

Arreaga is charged with the murder of two victims: Harley Wayne Hammers Jr. and Angel Robin Tully.

Tully's sister and father were present in court, her sister has been there for all court hearings except one.

Burglary and vandalism alleged at Mendo animal Shelter, suspects arrested

Report Number: 2015-15294
Coroner Number: N/A
Incident: 459 PC [Burglary] & 594(b)(1) PC [Felony Vandalism]
Location: 298 Plant Rd. Ukiah, Ca.
Date: 06-25-2015 Time: 8:06 PM

Victim #1:
Name: Mendocino Co. Animal Shelter
Address: 298 Plant Rd.
City/State: Ukiah, Ca.

Suspect #1:
Name: Joseph Valtrakis
Age: 20
City/State: Hydesville, Ca.

On 06-25-2015 at about 10:50 PM Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the Mendocino County Animal Shelter regarding several canines being loose in the area. Deputies responded to location and when they arrived they observed several dogs (10-15) running around in the parking lot of the animal shelter.  Also, in the parking lot was suspect Joseph Viltrakis with the canines.

Viltrakis told deputies he was at the animal shelter to retrieve his girlfriend’s "service dog". Viltrakis noted the dogs in the parking lot all escaped the animal shelter after he had been helped by an unknown employee who had left just prior to the deputies arriving on scene.

Upon further investigation deputies determined no shelter employees had assisted Viltrakis, that he had entered the animal shelters kennels by forcing open two locked gates.  He then forced open approximately 25-30 locked kennels causing damage to the kennel gates latches and then letting several dogs free from the kennels.  Several of the dogs managed to exit the facility altogether and were in the parking lot running around in a pack when deputies arrived on scene.  Viltrakis was arrested for burglary and felony vandalism and incarcerated at the Mendocino County jail, to be held in lieu of $ 15,000 bail.

Another victory in another Arcata stabbing for DDA Roger Rees

Read post below.

In the last two months, he has successfully prosecuted the cases for Mark Nero, Juan Ferrer and now, Phoenix Campbell-Loya.

Jury finds Phoenix Campbell guilty on both counts of assault with a, deadly weapon and carrying a concealed dirk/dagger

The verdict in the Phoenix Campbell case in which he was charged with assault and carrying a concealed dirk and dagger was as follows:

Guilty on both counts. Count 1 is a felony and most of the jurors did not stay after court to talk to anyone.

Only 2 jurors briefly spoke with DDA Roger Rees and Campbell's attorney Ms. Meagan O'Connell after the verdict.

The jury went into deliberations mid Thursday morning and did have a verdict decided just before noon on Friday but needed some clarification on verdict regarding Count 1 so they came back back Monday morning.

Sentencing is July 27 at 2 p.m in Courtroom 2. No other media covered the case in court. There is daily coverage of the jury trial on this blog.

DDA Roger Rees prosecuted the case, Ms. Meagan O' Connell from the Public Defender's office represented Campbell-Loya and Judge Marilyn Miles was the trial judge.

The charges for this jury trial were Count 1 assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm and Count 2 carrying a concealed dirk and dagger. The alleged victims are Elijah Hansen and William Hardwick.

Campbell's mother and father were in court for the sentencing. 

DA's Press Release :

On June 29, 2015, in the case of the People of the State of California v. Phoenix Campbell-Loya, the jury found the defendant guilty of felony assault with a deadly weapon and felony carrying a concealed dirk or dagger.

On December 3, 2014, the defendant approached two 17-year-old boys in Shay Park and, after a brief conversation, stole property from them and assaulted one of the boys with a knife while threatening to stab him. The victim, who was not injured in the assault, was not previously acquainted with the defendant. The defendant has been in custody since the incident.

Deputy District Attorney Roger C. Rees prosecuted the case with assistance from District Attorney Investigator Jack Bernstein. The defendant was represented at trial by Deputy Public Defender Meagan O’Connell. Judge Marilyn Miles presided over the week-long jury trial. In addition to the two teenagers, Arcata Police Officers Jeremiah Kasinger and Joshua Phinney testified at trial.
 The scheduled sentencing date is July 27, 2015. The maximum sentence for these crimes is four years, eight months, in state prison.

District Attorney Maggie Fleming added, "I appreciate the time and attention given to the case by the jury and the efforts of Roger, Jack and the Arcata Police Department."

Released less than two weeks ago after a plea to indecent exposure, he is back in custody

Yesterday, 4:14 p.m.

He sat a year in jail, served his maximum sentence, got 4 counts dismissed and plead guilty to indecent exposure and he is back. Cook represented himself.

Guess Kimberly Steele will show up in court now

Kimberly Steele's named under booked this morning on LOCO.

Saturday, June 27, 8:38 p.m.

Previous posts:
Kimberly Steele will be arraigned on June 3 at 1:30 in Courtroom 4.

Count 1 of the complaint alleges driving when privilege is suspended or revoked, Count 2 possession of a controlled substance, meth; Count 3 possession of a controlled substance, heroin and Count 4 possession of an injection/ingestion device.

Jun 28, 2015

EPD releases some details about Indian Island incident

On 6/28/15, at approximately 12:29 PM, officers with the Eureka Police Department responded to a reported shooting on Indian Island.  Officers were ferried to the island, which is accessible only by boat, by fishermen who offered their assistance.

Upon arrival, officers found a male adult with gunshot wounds to his torso.  The male was located not far from the shoreline. Based on preliminary information obtained during the ensuing investigation, it appears the shooting occurred after a resident arrived home and encountered the male trespassing on an adjacent property.  When the homeowner told the male to leave the island, the male reportedly refused and stood up with a machete in his hand.  The male raised the machete and advanced toward the homeowner while threatening him.  The homeowner, who was armed with a handgun, then fired at the suspect striking him twice.

The homeowner administered first aid to the male while waiting for the arrival of emergency personnel.  The male, who was conscious and alert at the time, was transported by a second boat to the mainland and then taken to a local hospital for treatment.

EPD has no updates to give on the male’s condition as of the time of this release and no arrests have been made.  As of about 5:00 PM, EPD detectives were still on scene wrapping up their investigation and processing of the scene.

EPD would also like to extend a thank you to Captain Leroy Zerlang and his crew for their invaluable assistance in transporting personnel to and from the island.

Jun 27, 2015

Headlines don't tell the whole story behind the man who committed suicide today at the jail

The last time he made headlines it was for the arrest for robbery in Mckinleyville at the Alliance gas station. He was also on the most wanted parolee list.

So what is the "back story" for a man who went in and out of jail that led to his making this unfortunate decision?

And by that, I don't mean the jail but what led him to this life of crime.

One word: meth

Prayers go out to his family.

From his facebook, there are photo of happier times with his mom and his last post is from April 2014.

On February 26, 2012 (a year after the Alliance Gas station bust), 3 posts on the same day:

"So my life is a little uncomfortable right now. Stuck in Lee brown. Program. Its not too bad its just hard doing five months in jail then having this black out."
"I just wish I could get a short pass so I could take care of a few things. Plus I would really like to spend some time with my girl without staff or residents all in our buisness. I can just take things one day at a time."
"I'm going to church with my dad in a few moments. Its good to spend time with him. He delivers a pretty good message. One I can understand an relate to anyway. Well I better get ready to go."

Here is an article by Kevin Hoover from the Arcata Eye talking about how his life.


This morning's HCSO press release:

On Friday, June 19th, 2015, Raymond Johnathan Eacret, 34 years old from Eureka, was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility (HCCF) for a misdemeanor probation violation. He was housed in the medical section of the facility.

On Friday, June 26th, 2015, at approximately 1717 hours, a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Correctional Deputy (CD) found Raymond hanging from a makeshift noose that was wrapped around his neck. Lifesaving efforts were immediately initiated along with the request for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) response.
EMS personnel from Humboldt Bay Fire (HBF) and City Ambulance arrived on scene, and lifesaving efforts continued. Raymond was transported to St. Joseph Hospital Emergency Room (ER) for treatment, but was pronounced deceased at 1742 hours.

This incident is currently under joint investigation by the HCSO and the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office (HCDAO).

Jun 26, 2015

Approximately 26.5 million dollars of cannabis seized in Island Mountain bust

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office served (7) seven search warrants on (7) seven separate parcels of property.  The search warrants were for commercial marijuana growing operations located in over 40 separate large green house type structures on the parcels of property. The search warrants were served on parcels of property located off Hogtrap Road and South Face Road, Island Mountain. The search warrants were served from Monday, June 22, 2015 through Thursday, June 25, 2015. No suspect(s) were located on the parcels.

The Sheriff’s Office seized or eradicated the following items from the search warrants:

1.                   23,211 marijuana plants.
2.                   4,394 pounds of processed marijuana.
3.                   15 pounds of marijuana hash in brick form.
4.                   16-firearms.
5.                   50,000 rounds of ammunition in the following calibers, .50 caliber, .308 caliber and .556 caliber.

Deputies documented illegal dumping of garbage, unpermitted grading of land, and water diversion on the (7) parcels of property. Deputies are working with the State of California Department of Fish and Wild Life Services in their investigations in identifying the property owners and suspect(s) involved in the environmental damage done on the parcels of property. The Sheriff’s Office will submit their reports to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office for review and possible criminal charges to be filed against the suspect(s) involved in this commercial marijuana growing operations.

A (8) eighth search warrant was served on a parcel of property in the Island Mountain area by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. A female subject was contacted and was growing approximately (50) marijuana plants on her property. After the investigation it was determined that she was incompliance was medical marijuana guide lines in the State of California. No marijuana was seized from her property and the female subject was not arrested.

The street value of the marijuana seized and eradicated is approximately 26.5 million dollars.

These cases are still under investigation by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.

Lambda Legal Defense, especially Evan Wolfson should be credited with the gay marriage decision by the Supreme Court, not recent activists

Almost 18 years ago, at the Atlanta Lambda Legal Defense office, Evan Wolfson predicted the U.S. Supreme Court decision and his strategy.

He said, at that time in 20 years, gay marriage will be legal.

This was a part of an off the record conversation of other individual cases and Lambda Legal Defense's strategy to build legal precedent. I covered some of those cases as a news reporter in both Philadelphia and Atlanta.

5-4 decision, Supreme Court rules in favor of gay marriage

Excerpts from The Washington Post:

The Supreme Court on Friday delivered an historic victory for gay rights, ruling 5-4 that the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live and that states may no longer reserve the right only for heterosexual couples.

The court now holds that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry. No longer may this liberty be denied to them,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion.

All four of the court’s most conservative
members—Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr.—dissented and each wrote separate opinions.
Reading a dissent from the bench for the first time in his tenure, Roberts said, “This is a court, not a legislature.”

Jun 25, 2015

Juan Ferrer transported to San Quentin to serve his term

Yesterday. Juan Ferrer was convicted on May 18 of voluntary manslaughter in the death of Abruzzi chef Douglas Anderson.

He was transporred yesterday to San Quentin to serve his sentence.

Arcata Alliance Market arson suspect Marsden hearing continued to this afternoon

Review of Dr. Ramirez's psychological evaluation and a Marsden hearing was scheduled this afternoon for JeremybKish, who is the suspect charged with arson of the former Alliance Market in Arcata and sodomy and forcible oral copulation of a male victim, among other charges.

The Marsden hearing will be held in a closed courtroom. Now, there has been another doctor ordered to evaluate him. That hearing will take place on July 9.

995 motion for former fugitive Silverio Sanchez to be heard by Visiting Judge

Jury trial date for tge felony case for Silverio Sanchez remains set but a 995 motion filed by Mr. Neal Sanders to dismiss certain charges against Silverio Sanchez will be heard on July 7 by a visiting judge in Courtroom 2 since Judge Marilyn Miles,will be on vacation.

Sanchez's family was in court today and spoke with Mr. Sanders after court. Mr. Sanders appeared for Mr. Ben McLaughlin on Sanchez's other cases.

Sanchez nodded to a brother when he came in. The bailiff adminished them later when they tried to communicate.

No media was present in court. Channel 3 came briefly but had to leave before case was called.

May 26, 2015

4 cases on calendar for Silverio Sanchez including arraignment on kidnap, forcible rape, criminal threats and unlawful sexual intercourse with victim 3 years younger

4 cases are on calendar this afternoon in Courtroom 2 for Silverio Sanchez.

Three cases are on for disposition and reset. One for a felony, drugs. Two misdemeanors for assault and battery. The fourth case is for a felony with 10 counts and two special allegations.

Mr. Neal Sanders was appointed on the felony case.  Today, Mr. Sanders appeared with Sanchez on behalf of Mr. McLaughlin for the three cases on for disposition and reset. Nothing happened with those three cases.

Neither Judge Marilyn Miles or DDA Andrew Isaac or Mr. Sanders had received the complete preliminary transcript for the felony case with 10 counts so Mr. Sanders said, "I reserve the issue for demurrer. The situation is similar to the previous case." This was referring to the demurrer in the Vincent Ortiz case.

Jury trial is set for July 28 and Trial confirmation is for June 25 at 2 p.m.

Counts 1 and 2 are unlawful kidnapping of Jane Doe to commit rape, Count 3 and Count 4 are criminal threats to Jane Doe and she feared for the safety of her family, Count 5 is stalking, Count 6 attempt to kidnap, Count 7 first residential burglary, Count 8 assault likely to cause great bodily injury, Count 9 forcible rape, Count 10 unlawful sex with a minor 3 years younger.

Defense withdraws motion to continue for Vincent Ortiz

The gist of the hearing is that Rodney Ortiz will be filing motion to continue because the defense said "they will not be prepared for trial by July 20."

A 995 motion to dismiss charges against Vincent Ortiz will be heard by a Visiting Judge in Courtroom 6 on June 30 and a discovery motion will be heard on July 14. The date for the jury trial remains July 20, for now.

Although the defense withdrew the motion to continue for Vincent Ortiz, they may refile again. "Change of circumstances" was given as a reason to withdrew the motion to continue for Vincent Ortiz. Conflict Counsel's Mr. David Lee subbed in for his colleague Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis today who is Vincent Ortiz's attorney.

Victim's family from Hoopa was not present in court today but they were in communication with Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo. Mr. Casey Russo from the Public Defender's office represents Rodney Ortiz.

Two family members were there to support Rodney and Vincent Ortiz.

Channel 3 reporter came briefly to court but was not present when case was called.

Previous posts:


Murphy's Market grand theft embezzlement suspect finally shows up for court, given one more chance,

A warrant surrender was scheduled this afternoon at 1:30 for Michael Noriega by his public defender.

Before court, Noriega's attorney Casey Russo asked him why he didn't show up for court, why he doesn't keep the paper with dates and advised him he may be remanded into custody.

He failed to show up for his preliminary hearing o June 17 and a bench warrant was issued with bail set at $30,000. He also failed to appear for his intervention but then showed up on June 8 for a warrant surrender. Judge Miles stated this in court this afternoon.

He did show up today. And both the DA and Judge Marilyn Miles gave him one more chance.

"Given that he signed up for warrant surrender  a day after he failed to show up for the preliminary hearing, we will give him one more chance," said Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo.

Judge Miles sternly admonished Noriega, "If it is not important enough for you to remember dates, next you fail to appear, you will be in jail."

Noriega waived time and Intervention was set for August 4 at 3 p.m.; Preliminary hearing for August 12 at 8:30 a.m.

Previous posts:

Jun 17, 2015

Suspect charged with embezzlement against Murphy's market fails to show up for court after warrant recalled the last time

Michael Noriega failed to show up for court a second time. Today, it was for his preliminary hearing scheduled at 8:30 a.m. Judge John Feeney called his case again at 9:20 and Noriega was still a no show, nor did he contact his attorney Mr. Casey Russo. DDA Jackie Pizzo asked for a bench wareant which was issued. Bail was set at $30,000.

Jun 8, 2015

Murphy's market grand theft embezzlement suspect not remanded on warrant surrender, preliminary date remains June 17

A disposition and reset hearing was scheduled today at 2 p.m. for Michael Noriega in Courtroom 2. There was a warrant held for Noriega because he failed to appear at the last court hearing. However, he was not remanded into custody. The preliminary hearing date "remained set." Mr. Casey Russo from the Public Defender's Office is representing Noriega. DDA Whitney Barnes was in court for the People. She told Judge Marilyn Miles the estimate is an "hour and half."

Previous post:

Jun 4, 2015

Man charged with grand theft embezzlement of Murphy's Market is also charged with possession of heroin

A disposition and rest hearing is scheduled for June 8 at 2 p.m. and a preliminary examination for June 17 for Michael Joseph Noriega, who is charged with allegedly embezzling money from Murphy's Market.

Count 1 is Grand theft embezzlement, a felony and Count 2 is possession of a controlled substance, heroin. Noriega is represented by the Public Defender's office.

This just in, defense stay for Benjamin Carter trial denied by appellate court

I just got this notification from the Appellate court regarding the Benjamin Carter case. There was a post yesterday about the Carter case with extensive links and exclusive coverage on this case for background.

From Mr. Acosta:

"We have already confirmed the jury trial date of July 6, 2015 and continue our trial preparations. Concurrenty. Mr. Carter and I will be weighing the benefits versus opportunity costs of a pre-trial petition for review by the California Supreme Court before.  Because trial is so close, it may be prudent in theory to reserve those issues for a direct appeal post-trial; however, Mr. Carter should be acquitted of the remaining felon in possession charge, as 1) the prosecution has already conceded that he acted in self-defense and/or defense of others, and, 2) per People v. King  22 Cal 3d. 12 (1978), if anything, including a felon momentarily possessing a firearm, is necessary to save one's life or the life of another human being, then the necessity doctrine says its not illegal. "

Disposition date (YYYY-MM-DD):          2015-06-25
Disposition description:                        Petition summarily denied by order
Disposition status as of 2015-06-25:    Final

The request for a stay of trial is denied.

        The petition for writ of mandate, prohibition, or other appropriate relief is denied.

(Justices Reardon, Rivera, and Streeter joined in the decision.)

For more information on this case, go to:

For opinions, go to the following web site:http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions-slip.htm
Court of Appeal opinions are generally available on the web site by 5 p.m. on the disposition date.

Phoenix Campbell jury sends Judge note for readback of testimony

Closing arguments concluded this morning at 10 and the Phoenix Campbell jury sent Judge Miles a note around 11:30 for readback of victim's testimony.

I have not posted closing arguments because the trial was short but I will, most likely the verdict.

Today, Campbell's attorney Ms.  Meagan O' Connell talked at length about reasonable doubt, lack of evidence and self defense and the alleged victims' testimony. The prosecution presented a rebuttal and equally convincing rebuttal.

Judge Miles opened the courtroom to read the note from the jury. Today, only myself, two Deputy District attorneys and Campbell's mom were in court. She is here to support him.

Have coffee with an Arcata cop at the Farmer's Market

Arcata Police Department to host Coffee with a Cop on
June 27th, 2015
Program offers opportunity to meet local officers and discuss community issues

Arcata-On June 27th, 2015 officers from Arcata Police Department and community members will come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships, and drink coffee.

All community members are invited to attend. The event is from11:00am to 2:00pm on June 27th at the Arcata Farmer's Market.

Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department's work in City of Arcata neighborhoods.

The majority of contacts law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies, or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community, and some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.

We hope that community members will feel comfortable to ask questions, bring concerns, or simply get to know our officers.  These interactions are the foundation of community partnerships.  Similar events are being held across the county, as local police departments strive to make lasting connections with the communities they serve.

Suspicious death investigaton for man who died at Devil's playground

On June 24, 2015 at 2053 hours, the Eureka Police Department received a cellular call from the marsh area, commonly referred to as the Devil’s Playground, that a man in his 40’s was unconscious needed medical attention. Officers were sent along with medical personnel. Officers located an unresponsive man and immediately began CPR.  The man was transported to Saint Joseph Hospital where he received medical treatment.  The man, who has yet to be identified, was pronounced deceased by hospital staff.

Due to the circumstance surrounding his death, investigators were called and began a suspicious death investigation.  Several people were interviewed in order to gain a full understanding of the events that took place leading to the man’s death.  An autopsy will be scheduled by the Coroner to determine the cause of death.

EPD Update:

The Humboldt County Coroner’s Office has released the identity of the man who was found
 un-responsive in the green belt area north of the Bay Shore Mall on the evening of 6/24/15.
The decedent’s name is Kenneth Lee Eldeen. His next of kin have been notified by the Coroner’s Office.
The circumstances surrounding this un-attended death are still under investigation.

Jun 24, 2015

"You don't want to get stabbed"; "You don't want to mess"

Officer Joshua Phinney, the third witness for the People this morning testified very briefly. Phoenix Campbell's attorney did not ask him any questions.  Officer Phinney identified Campbell, the defendant and Deputy District Attorney Rees had Officer Phinney describe what happened when he responded to a 911 call, which Officer Phinney said was "regarding people assaulting each other."

DDA Rees asked if he found anything on "his (Campbell's) person". Officer Phinney saida knife and that it was in his right front pocket with the blade, less than an inch sticking out of his pocket." It was with the tip of that blade that he pulled the knife out. There was no clicking sound and he placed it on the hood of his place car until he handed it to Officer Kasinger, who testified yesterday, he put it into an evidence bag.

The second victim, William Hardnick testified today. Unlike the first victim, he was detailed, consistent. He was credible but he had a bit of youthful attitude, asking both DDA Rees and Ms. O' Connell questions such as "is this relevant?" and giving opinions. At one point, he turned to the jury and said, "I know you guys think smoking marijuana is bad, it's not." After a few gentle warnings, Judge Marilyn Miles sternly reminded him about rules in court and then he, as he would probably say,  "chilled" and behaved.

Hansen yesterday did not refer to Campbell by name. Although Hardnick testified that he also met the defendant for the first time on the day of the incident, he referred to him as Phoenix. Mr. Rees asked if he recognized anyone in court.

"I know Phoenix," said Hardnick. "He tried to steal my friend's vaporizer and almost tried to stab him."

Hardnick said that at first, he was friendlt to Campbell. He also described the cement block he was sitting on and he said Campbell was walking in his direction from the train tracks with a "bottle of peppermint schnapps." He said hi to Campbell who then came over to where he was and "Eli showed up, he was supposed to meet up with me. Phoenix asked to use the vaporizer, puffed once or twice. Eli asked for it back. Eli put his hand out. Phoenix did not respond. He pulled the vaporizer back and eventually pulled a knife out." Hardnick did not see Campbell when Campbell pulled the knife out, he said.

"He was holding the vap in one hand and the knife in another. I believe his exact words were and he said several things, 'You don't want to get stabbed'; 'You don't want to mess'. Eli said, 'C'mon dude."

DDA Rees: "When you saw this happen, what did you do?

Hardnick: "Nothing at first, when Eli started chasing him, I grabbed my skateboard and chased him."

DDA Rees: "Were you afraid?"

Hardnick: "Not afraid; pissed he was stealing my friend's $200 vaporizer. I picked up my skateboard and told him he did not want to get smacked."

"We told bystanders to call the police and he said we were chasing him for no reason," said Hardnick. He said at some point Campbell threw the bottle of schnapps on the ground and when they got to Alliance Road, he started throwing up.

Hardnick then described how they both dove for the knife on the ground at the same time, adding a couple of details to Hansen's testimony. "He was not trying to hit me, he released the knife in my direction. I didn't want him to pick it up. Initially, I was going to hit him with my skateboard but I was afraid I would get charged with assault so I out it up to protect myself. I was very scared I would get stabbed." In the struggle for the knife, Hardnick said Campbell was on top of him until "Eli pulled him off" confirming what Hansen said. Less than a minute later, the police arrived.

Hardnick told DDA Rees in response to a question whether he had ever been in trouble. He has never been arrested and the only "trouble" he mentioned was : being suspended and then expelled from Arcata High School for smoking marijuana."

He added he was smoking marijuana before the incident occurred and so was Campbell. That is when he made the off the cuff remark about marijuana to the jury.