Sep 30, 2015

"Other than the car, there was one time on the softball field that they had kissed and he had grabbed her in the breasts and butt area."

HCSO Deputy Mark Peterson was the People's second witness yesterday at the preliminary hearing for William Jarnaghan, the former Hoopa Valley High School softball coach, accused of 6 alleged sexual acts with an underage victim who he coached.

He was called on May 27, 2015 to the High School in Hoopa for a sexual assault case. He spoke to the superintendent, Jon Ray who had seen a video. Mr. Ray did not show the deputy the video. The video was of the softball fields on May 25, 2015. Mr. Ray told Deputy Peterson what was on the video. He said that a coach who he identified as Jarnaghan had a female team member sitting on his lap and they were kissing.

After viewing the video, Mr. Ray arranged a meeting with Jarnaghan, said Deputy Peterson. Mr. Ray asked Jarnaghan about the practice and if Jane Doe was there that day. "Initially, Mr. Jarnaghan said no. Then the Superintendent said he had video. Then Mr. Jarnaghan looked down on the ground and said, I'm sorry for putting you guys, the school in this situation; for putting my family in this situation; this is going to look really bad."

People's third witness was HCSO Detective Jennifer Turner. On May 27, 2015, there was a request for a CAST interview. She was told the suspect was Jarnaghan. Detective Turner watched the CAST interview while someone else questioned Jane Doe.

Detective Turner said that Jane Doe described Jarnaghan as her softball coach, friends' dad and that she became friends with him. "She said that she was going over to his house. He would drive her home. Eventually, one night, he pulled over and kissed her. She said she was scared at first."

Jane Doe said they talked about the kiss in text messages. "Initially, she was scared but after talking to him, he told everything would be okay, so she was okay. "

Detective Turner testified that listening to the CAST interview, December 2014 is when the kissing started and that over time it progressed to touching. "Initially he touched her outside clothing, then stomach and vagina area, then he put his hands under clothing and touched her in the vagina area. Same thing as outside clothing but under clothing, his fingers would penetrate her vagina."

Touching was estimated about once a week for about two months. "Other than the car, there was one time on the softball field that they had kissed and he had grabbed her in the breasts and butt area."

"They would tell each other they loved each other when they kissed and talked about a future together" testified Detective Turner.

"Did the defendant make any statements to her about what he wished regarding future plans?" asked Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett.

"Yes. He stated that he sometimes wanted to run away with her and leave his family behind," said Detective Turner.

Jane Doe used a specific app to send Jarnaghan photos of "her in a bra."

After the CAST interview, a warrant was obtained and items were taken from Jarnaghan that were of evidentiary value. Jane Doe's Hoopa ID was in Jarnaghan's wallet.

Mr. Neal Sanders, who represents Jarnaghan, then cross-examined Detective Turner.

Mr. Sanders: "(When Jarnaghan was touching her) Jane Doe said she wanted it to keep going and did not want it to stop."

Detective Turner: "Correct."

Mr. Sanders: "It is very clear that they did not have intercourse. She was very clear she wanted it to happen. Mr. Jarnaghan said no she should wait until she is 18."

Detective Turner: "Correct."

Jane Doe consented to let law enforcement  look at her cell phone after the CAST interview. DA Investigator Martin Perrone did a forensic download of her phone which Detective Turner had obtained from Lt. Miller who got it from Jane Doe the next day. The Suprintendent had the cell phone since May 26 or May 27, said Detective Turner.

Gary Lee Bullock trial reset for February 8 due to psychiatrist reports not being in on time

Trial confirmation and and a motion to continue the Gary Lee Bullock jury trial was scheduled for this afternoon at 4 p.m. The jury trial date for October 13, 2015 was vacated.

The People did not file an opposition but in court Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads said, "We are very much wanting this matter to proceed as soon as possible. Since we have only received one of three reports, there is good cause for continuance ."

Mr. Kaleb Cockrum represents Bullock. Only one of three court appointed psychiatrists has met with Bullock and submitted a report.

That is Dr. Ana Glezer. Dr. John Chamberlain has to yet meet with Bullock. The third expert John Greene excused himself from the case.

"As counsel well know, three court experts were appointed to evaluate Mr. Bullock," said Judge Feeney. "Only DR. Glaser has provided us with a written report. Dr. Chamberlain responded to correspondence from the Court. He anticipates the evaluation report by October 7 or 8, 2015. Dr. Greene has advised in written form and excused himself from the case. We are not in a position to proceed with the trial."

Mr. Cockrum said that Dr. Chamberlain had yet not met with Bullock. Judge Feeney said that he would "prefer to hear from Mr. Chamberlain before appointing another expert."

Ms. Eads told Judge Feeney that Fr. Eric's twin sister who was in court wished to address the court. She is "quite opposed" to the continuance.

 Mr. Cockrum objected to Ms. Karin Freed speaking at this hearing but Judge Feeney allowed her to speak.

Mr. Cockrum said that "we don't object to her speaking at sentencing in the future or at trial but we object to her speaking today."

Judge Feeney said, "I think the victim's family members have a right to be heard at various stages of proceedings." He then said to Ms. Freed, "At this time we are only addressing scheduling."

"The concerns are that the family is still in limbo.," said Ms. Freed. We would like it to move. My father is 90 years old. He would like some peace and resolution instead of these continuances draggin on. We are in limbo. We can't move further."

Due to Mr. Cockrum's schedule with two other jury trials that "are not time waived and would preempt this case" as well as court expert reports not being completed, the new trial date is February 8, 2016. Trial confirmation is January 13 at 4 p.m. in Courtroom 1.

An pre-trial, interim date for status of reports is set for October 14 at 2 p.m.

Bullock's personal appearance has been waived from court upon request by defense until the second court psychiatrist evaluation is in because they have no idea until the last minute when the experts will come see him, said Mr. Cockrum.

It was on February 10, 2015 that Bullock entered a not guilty by insanity plea, in addition to his not guilty plea.

There is extensive coverage on this blog on the Bullock case.

Sep 28, 2015

Another continuance filed by defense for Gary Lee Bullock jury trial

Just checked the computers. Trial confirmation this Wednesday at 2 p.m. will now include a motion by Conflict Counsel requesting a continuance.

This is the fourth continuance by the defense.

Sept 22, 2015:

A pre trial conference with a special set of 3 p.m. in Courtroom 1 was scheduled this afternoon. It was continued to tomorrow because DDA Eads was not available. DDA Issac works part time and is currently not in the office.

The last court hearing was in a closed courtroom, the one before then was open but only because it was a Visiting Judge and all that happened was the date of September 10 was continued.

The jury trial has been assigned to Judge John Feeney. The case is being prosecuted by DDAs Andrew Isaac and Stacey Eads. Conflict Counsel's Mr. Kaleb Cockrum has been appointed to represent Bullock.

Fr. Eric's sister was in court and found out just as I did around 2:35 when Judge Feeney announced it in court. She walked off upset, which I can understand, this has happened three times now.

Due to the gag order, I can understand why public and press don't know, even though these last minute changes continue in cases with gag orders but to not notify family members of victims when this is happened the third time needs to be addressed.

As I was leaving, Times-Standard reporter Tabitha Soden was walking in and I told her of the rescheduling. No other media was in court.

Sep 10, 2015

Next hearing for Gary Lee Bullock set for September 22

A special set at 3 p.m. in Courtroom 1 was scheduled this afternoon by Judge John Feeney for the Gary Lee Bullock case. The attorneys met with Judge Feeney behind closed doors.

Next date is September 22 at 3 p.m.

Last post:

Sep 2, 2015

Gary Lee Bullock continued until September 10
A pre-trial hearing was scheduled this afternoon for the Gary Lee Bullock case. The trial Judge is John Feeney. Visiting Judge Marjorie Carter is subbing in for Judge John Feeney this week.

Judge Feeney sent emails to both attorneys requesting matter be continued until next week on September 10.

Conflict Counsel's Kaleb Cockrum is representing Bullock. Deputy District Attorney Mr. Andrew Isaac and Ms. Stacey Eads are prosecuting the case for the People. Ms. Eads was present for the People on September 2.

At the last hearing, on May 7, a 3 p.m special set time for status of reports and trial setting was scheduled in Bullock case.Judge Feeney met with DDA Isaac, DDA Stacey Eads and Mr. Cockrum privately in chambers.
Then the courtroom was opened and Judge Feeney said, "I believe we are in a position to set a trial date."
He said that in Chambers, "Counsel had discussed October 12 but since that is a court holiday, that the jury trial would be set for October 13 at 8:30 a.m." Pre-trial is September 2 at 2 p.m. and Trial Confirmation is September 30 at 2 p.m.

Guilty until proven innocent? Potential juror mentions my post as TS article

This afternoon Ryan Burns, Paul Mann and I were sitting in while Judge Timothy Cissna and attorneys in the Jason Warren case were questioning individual jurors.

Having sat in jury selection for a few trials, when asked about media it is usually TS or Channel 3 that gets mentioned. A couple of instances with LOCO and my blog.

Today, a potential juror mentioned the exact headline of a post I did linked on LOCO but said she read it in the TS or LOCO, could not recall.

Ryan did mention that in his article but it was the exact headline in my post linked on LOCO.

In fairness to that juror, most people will read the same article or an article and remember some content but not the byline.

I joked with Ryan and Paul that I would be glad to have TS take the blame!

Clearly social media does not affect jury pools!

The theme of this afternoon was guilty until proven innocent mentality of a couple of potential jurors in a row.

Sep 29, 2015

On cross examination, Jarnaghan's attorney asks "Did you enjoy being kissed by Joey?" and Jane Doe answered "Yes."

On cross examination, Mr. Neal Sanders, William Jarnaghan's attorney asked Jane Doe if she and Jarnaghan's daughters ever spent time at her house. She said no. She said they spent time at Jarnaghan's house "because Joey was there."

Mr. Sanders: "So you liked being around Joey?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

Mr. Sanders: "The first time you kissed, you said you were nervous and scared, were you holding his hand?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

Mr. Sanders: "How did that come about? Were you attempting to push him away?"

Jane Doe: "no."

Jane Doe said they were on Route 96 when Jarnaghan pulled over the side of the road and kissed her. After that first kiss, Jarnaghan texted her. Jane Doe said that it was after they kissed three times that it became physical.

Mr. Sanders: "Did you enjoy being kissed by Joey?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

Mr. Sanders" "Did you come to like that contact in the private areas?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

Mr. Sanders: "Were there times you told Joey that you wanted him to keep driving and not take you home?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

Mr. Sanders: "When you were discussing sexual intercourse, did Joey ever tell you he didn't want to have sex with you until you were 18?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

Jane Doe said that she checked with Jarnaghan to see if he wanted pictures of her and she volunteered to send the pictures.

Mr. Sanders: Did you ever say in the CAST interview you sent the photos thinking it might make his day?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

Mr. Sanders: "Did you ever receive any pictures of Joey? Undressed or anything like that?"

Jane Doe: "No."

In response to a question by Mr. Sanders, Jane Doe said that Jarnaghan did not threaten her or physically hurt her.

Deputy District Attorney Bennett only asked one question on re-direct and she asked Jane Doe what Jarnagahan said when she asked him if he wanted her to send photos.

Jane Doe responded, "That he would like more."

William Jarnaghan's underage victim testifies how scared she was the first time he pulled over the road and kissed her while driving her home

Wearing a medicine bag around her neck, William Jarnaghan's minor victim, Jane Doe, testified in a courtroom in front of her former friend and coach who is charged with six counts of alleged sexual acts committed with her.

The courtroom had several rows filled with her family and friends as well as Jarnaghan's family. There was silence in the courtroom for the two and half hour preliminary hearing, particularly when Jane Doe testified.

As allowed in cases involving minor victims, a Victim Witness representative sat next to her on the stand offering silent support.

Jane Doe did not look at Jarnaghan. For most of her testimony, her eyes were downcast, occasionally looking at Deputy District Attorney, Ms. Brie Bennett. There were many times she would pause for long silences before answering. Her demeanor was the same when Jarnaghan's attorney, Mr. Neal Sanders questioned her.

DDA Bennett asked her if she was nervous about testifying and she responded, "Really nervous."

She just turned 17 this September. At the time the alleged incidents occurred starting last December, it was two months after her 16th birthday. She identified Jarnaghan calling him "Joey." His middle name is Joseph.

DDA Bennett: "How did you first meet the defendant?"

Jane Doe responded that she would go over to his house because she was friends with his daughters, her age.

DDA Bennett: What did you think of the defendant when you first met him?"

Jane Doe: "He was their dad, I don't know."

DDA Bennett: "Did you know him in any other context than your friend's dad?"

Jane Doe: "As my softball coach."

DDA Bennett asked Jane Doe that in conetxt of knowing Jarnaghan as her softball coach, "did you develop a friendship?"

Jane Doe: "Yes, we'd text about how our days were going."

DDA Bennett: "When did that texting start?"

Jane Doe did not answer right away. She stared in a downward gaze, became tearful, then after about two minutes, she said, "We just started texting."

Jane Doe would go over to Jarnaghan's house and spend time with his daughters. DDA Bennett asked if Jarnaghan and Jane Doe ever spent time alone.

Jane Doe: "Yes."

DDA Bennett: "How did you come to spend time alone with him?"

Jane Doe was silent, then after a pause, she said, "We would go outside and hang out on the porch and talk."

DDA Bennett: "What did you talk about?"

Jane Doe: "A bunch of things."

DDA Bennett: "Did you become close?"

Jane Doe: "yes."

DDA Bennett: "Did you become close?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

DDA Bennett: "Did you trust him?"

Jane Doe: "yes."

DDA Bennett asked Jane Doe if they ever spent any other time alone to which she responded that they did when he would drive her home.

DDA Brie Bennett: "How frequently did he give you a ride home?"

Jane Doe: "Probably once or twice a week."

Sometimes a friend was there for these rifes.

DDA Bennett: "When it was just the two of you, did he give you a ride straight home?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

DDA Bennett: "Did anything happen during those rides?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

DDA Bennett: "Did anything physical happen between the two of you?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

DDA Bennett: "Did he ever kiss you?"

Jane Doe: "Yes. "

Asked when this started, Jane Doe responded December 2014 and looking downwards, closed her eyes.

DDA Bennett: "How did you feel when he first kissed you?"

Jane Doe: "Shocked."

DDA Bennett: "Did you expect it?"

Jane Doe: "No, not really."

DDA Bennett:"Did you have any other feeling when he first kissed you?"

Jane Doe: "I was scared."

DDA Bennett: "Why were you scared?"

Jane Doe: "I didn;t know what to do."

Jane Doe said they talked a bit after the kiss but she did not tell Jarnaghan she was scared.

DDA Bennett: "What did he say?"

Jane Doe's response was mumbled and I could not make out what she ssaid in response.

DDA Bennett: "Do you know how old the defendant is?"

Jane Doe: "37."

DDA Bennett: "Did he know how old you were?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

Jane Doe said she did not tell anyone about the kiss. They texted "a little about it." She said he kissed her again. When Ms. Bennett asked how many times, Jane Doe said "about 30." The alleged incidents took place over a period of 6 to 7 months.

DDA Bennett: "Did he do anything else physical with you?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

DDA Bennett: "Where would his hands be when he kissed you?"

Jane Doe: "On my face or his lap."

DDA Bennett: "Did he touch you somewhere else other than your face?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

DDA Bennett: "Where did he touch you?"


DDA Bennett: "Did he touch your breasts?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

DDA Bennett: "Over clothes?"

Jane Doe: "yes."

DDA Bennett: "Under clothes?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

The other contact began approximately around March 1, said Jane Doe.

DDA Bennett: Did he touch you on your stomach?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

DDA Bennett: "Did he touch you on your stomach under your clothing? What were his hands doing when he touched you?"

Jane Doe silent, covered her face with her hands over her eyes. Then after a pause, she said, "Hos hands were rubbing wherever he was touching."

DDA Bennett: "Did he touch your bottom?"

Jane Doe: "Yes above clothes."

DDA Bennett: "Did he ever touch you in any of your private areas? Did he touch you near your vagina?"

Jane Doe: "Yes. Both under and above clothes."

DDA Bennett: "Did he ever use his fingers to touch your vagina? Did he touch any other parts of your body?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

DDA Bennett: "What part of your body did he touch?"

Jane Doe was silent, looked down and there was a long pause, 3 to 4 minutes.

DDA Bennett: Did he touch you in any other private areas?"

Jane Doe: "Yes, including the one you previously mentioned."

Ms. Bennett asked Jane Doe what part of her body Jarnaghan touched. Again, silence. Then she softly said, "Vagina."

DDA  Bennett: "When he touched you there what part of his body did he use?"

Jane Doe: "His fingers."

DDA Bennett: "Do you recall what hos fingers were doing when they touched your vagina?"

Jane Doe: "He put it (I could not hear the rest of the response since it was muffled."

Jane Doe said that Jarnaghan put his fingers in her vagina and this happened approximately 8 or 9 times.

DDA Bennett: "How did you feel about this?"

Jane Doe: "Nervous at first."

DDA Brie Bennett: "How did your body feel?"

Jane Doe: "I don't know."

DDA Bennett: Did you talk about this?"

Jane Doe: "Sometimes, afterwards."

DDA Bennett: "Did he tell you how he felt about you?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

DDA Bennett: What did he tell you?"

Jane Doe: "That he loved me."

DDA Bennett: "Did he make any plans for the future or anything?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

DDA Bennett: "What type of plans did he make?"

Jane Doe: "After I was old enough, we would be together."

They did talk about her age, and that he said, "I was really young and he could get caught." Then in response to a question by Ms. Bennett, Jane Doe said Jarnaghan was afraid of "going to jail."

DDA Bennett: "Did you send him photos of you?"

Jane Doe: "yes."

DDA Bennett: "What were you wearing in those phtos?"

Jane Doe: "underwear."

DDA Bennett: "Did he make comments about those photos?"

Jane Doe: "Just how much he liked it."

DDA Bennett: "Did anything else physical occur between the two of you?'

Jane Doe: "No."

DDA Bennett: "Did you discuss having sexual intercourse at any time?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

DDA Bennett: "Did he say he wanted to do that with you?"

Jane Doe: Yes."

DDA Bennett: "Did you make plans to do that?"

Jane Doe: "No."

DDA Bennett: "Did he say he was nervous to do that with you?"

Jane Doe: "He didn't want to get me pregnant."

DDA Bennett: Going back to when he put his fingers in your vagina, did anything else physical happen between the two of you?"

Jane Doe: "No."

DDA Bennett: "Did anything happen to lead up to that?"

Jane Doe: "Kissing."

DDA Bennett: Did you spend time alone at the football field?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

The one occasion that happened was May 25, 2015. Jane Doe said, "I still had to pitch after practice." She usually did that with her stepdad. On that day, she "did it with Joey."

DDA Bennett: Did anything physical happen between the two of you that day?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

DDA Bennett: "Did it start when you were pitching?"

Jane Doe: "No."

DDA Bennett: "How did it start?"

Jane Doe: "We would take breaks because it was hot." They took breaks in the dugout.

DDA Brie Bennett: "When you took breaks, what did you two do?"

Jane Doe: "Kiss."

DDA Bennett: "Did he touch you anywhere else that day?"

Jane Doe: "No."

DDA Bennett: "Do you know if there are surveilance cameras on that field?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

DDA Bennett: "Did someone talk to you about videos from surveilance that day?'

Jane Doe: "Yes."

DDA Bennett: "Did you touch the defendant's body in the car?"

Jane Doe: "Yes."

DDA Brie Bennett: "Were did you touch him"

Jane Doe: "Below the stomach."

DDA Bennett then asked Jane Doe if she did a CAST interview since talking to someone about the video from the surveilance camera.

Jane Doe said yes.

DDA Bennett: "Did you tell that person some of the same information you told me today?

Jane Doe said yes.

Fire Chiefs Association receives Measure Z funded equipment which includes 200 new self contained breathing apparatuses

More than 200 new self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA) were inspected today at the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department and prepared for distribution to local volunteer fire districts. The equipment cost nearly $1.4 million and is being paid for by Measure Z, the half-cent sales tax passed by voters in November.

It is difficult for volunteer fire departments in the county to make substantial purchases of new equipment. Often, these departments operate at emergency scenes with outdated, unsafe and inadequate equipment, which puts the safety of citizens and firefighters at risk. The equipment received today will replace old equipment, dramatically improving the ability for volunteers to respond to fires and other emergencies.

These particular packs were chosen in large part because of the interoperability they offer with other local agencies. It is essential that fire departments be able to utilize each other’s compatible SCBA packs while at fire scenes and are able to recharge and reuse their empty air cylinders. Additionally, the Humboldt County Fire Chief’s Association, the organization that applied for Measure Z funds, purchased a mobile SCBA air fill trailer several years ago that is compatible with the equipment that was unveiled today. Now, rural fire departments can be more confident that their equipment is reliable and compatible with other local agencies by being able to use, rotate, refill and mix SCBA high-pressure bottles.

“Any time a fire fighter goes to fight a house fire, a car fire, anything where there are toxins in the air, this is going to protect them,” said Estelle Fennell, Second District Supervisor and Chair of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. “These fire fighters need so much, and they have all done so much with so little. It’s just wonderful to know that we can do something like this for them.”

In all, the purchase includes the following:
221 air packs with regulator hose, buddy breathing integration and cylinder connection
442 carbon cylinders (4,500 psi, 45 minutes)
221 high-temperature face pieces
221 bi-annual inspection per pack for five years

Defense files oral motion to continue in pizza robbery machete wielding suspect case; he actually behaves since Ms. Allbright got appointed

After several tries, Ms. Allbright is still Charles Kesselring IV's lawyer. He actually behaved in court today better than he ever has in the past.

Was it because it was a double calendar being called or did one of my biggest fans, his wife Jennifer Wall-Kesselring, show up on time after our last repartee.

The defense made an oral motion to continue, Kesselring entered a general time waiver. Deputy District Attorney David Christensen did not object to the continuance. Defense and the People had discussions privately and Mr. Christensen told Judge Joyce Hinrichs he felt there was good cause for the continuance.

The jury trial for October 26 has been vacated. New jury trial is January 4, trial confirmation is December 22, and pre-trial is December 8.

Previous posts:

Ex felon and alleged residential burglar Thomas Prince waives preliminary hearing, will be arraigned for jury trial

Thomas Prince who was sentenced to five years in state prison for domestic violence in 2012 and then arrested in August 2015 for the following incident waived his right to his preliminary hearing this morning.
Public Defender Casey Russo is representing Prince. Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads is prosecuting the case. Arraignment for jury trial is October 13 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 2.

EPD Press Release:

On 07/31/15 at about 11:49 p.m., the Eureka Police Department Communications Center received a call from a resident on the 2500 block of California Street.  The caller said their neighbor’s home was being burglarized.

Officers responded and observed a broken window to the rear of the residence and could see a person moving room to room inside.  Officers secured a perimeter around the house.  The suspect, later identified as Thomas Prince, 31 of Eureka, became aware of the officers and attempted to flee out of a window.  He was met by officers and retreated back inside.  He then tried to flee out the front door but was again met by officers.

Officers lit up the residence with patrol vehicle spotlights and communicated with Prince with a loudspeaker.  Prince was told to come out with his hands up.  Prince eventually complied and was taken into custody without further incident.  K9 Vex cleared the residence and no other suspects were located.

Prince was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and charged with Burglary, Ex-Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Parole Violation.

Previous posts:

September 30 is Thank the Police blue ribbon day, wear blue, change your profile pic to show support

I did change my profile pic and I will leave the blue ribbon on for longer than a day. Most of all, I thank the men and women in blue every day. I am very grateful for what they do and sacrifice for us.

Appeals decision results in yet another disposition and reset date for Timothy Littlefield

Another disposition and reset date was set for Timothy Littlefield today for December 3 at 2 p.m. Mr. David Celli appeared on behalf of Littlefield who was not in court having signed a 977 form.

Deputy District Attorney Zachary Curtis was present for the People.

If you have been following this case on the blog, the disposition and reset date will not surprise you. There are more details and up to date status in this post and on my blog.

Mr. Celli told Judge Joyce Hinrichs that the last he knew Mr. Littlefield's attorney had been suspended and he had been appointed new appellate counsel.

Sep 21, 2015

People respond to Timothy Littlefield's brief in Apellate court, third trial decision still in limbo

The People have responded to the brief by Timothy Littlefield's lawyer in the first Apellate District Courts.

09/21/2015Appellant's reply brief.Plaintiff and Appellant: The People
Attorney: Office of the Attorney General     Supplemental.

Timothy Littlefield has been accused of molesting a female minor victim and in his first trial, the jury deadlocked 11 to 1. In his second trial, he was found guilty of 11 molestation charges but a mistrial was declared after the verdict. The Judge's decision in the second trial is being appealed.

If you are not familiar with the Timothy Littlefield, check out this link to the last post which has background and other links:

Previous posts:

Sep 4, 2015

Timothy Littlefield's appellate attorney files supplemental brief

A motion to file a supplemental brief by Littlefield's appellate attorney was granted in The People v. Littlefield.

09/02/2015Order filed.    Defendant's motion for leave to file a supplemental brief is hereby granted. The supplemental brief submitted with the motion shall be filed concurrently with this order. Ruling on defendant's request for judicial notice is deferred to the decision of the appeal on its merits.
09/02/2015Respondent's brief.Defendant and Respondent: Timothy Floyd Littlefield
Attorney: William Richard Such     Supplemental

Go to link for complete status of case.

Last post (with links):

Previous post (with more links on the case):

Senior DOJ criminalist testifies in Arreaga case; jurors questioned for hardship in Warren jury trial

Dale Cloutier, senior criminalist, at the DOJ who was present at the crime scene and analyzed the firearm testified all morning today in the Jason Arreaga trial. He testified that the bullets found in the victims matched the gun found in a lockbox in Arreaga's car. There was also testimony about two folding knives in that lockbox.

His testimony will continue tomorrow morning.

In the Jason Warren case, individual jurors who filled out a hardship questionnaire were interviewed by Judge Timothy Cissna and the attorneys.

William Jarnaghan, former Hoopa softball coach held to answer to all sexual conduct charges against minor female victim in preliminary hearing

William Jarnaghan, a former softball coach in Hoopa, was held to answer on all charges in a preliminary hearing held today in Courtroom 1.

Jane Doe, the minor victim testified, so did HCSO deputies Mark Peterson and Jennifer Turner.

DDA Brie Bennett is prosecuting the case. Mr. Neal Sanders is representing Jarnaghan.

Both families had several members attend the preliminary hearing which started in the morning around 10:30 a.m. and concluded a little after 2 p.m. this afternoon. I was the only media to cover this today. I chose to forego covering both the Arreaga and Warren cases to cover this preliminary hearing but briefly checked in on both trials.

I will have a detailed post on the preliminary hearing later this evening.

The charges against Jarnaghan involved a female victim under 18 years old. She was 16 at the time, the alleged conduct started in December 2014.

Counts 1,2 and 3 are felonies. Sexual penetration/Foreign object PC 289 (h). Counts 4,5 and 6 are misdemeanors. Annoying/Molest a child under 18 years. PC 647.6 (a)(1).

He has been served with a criminal protective order, had to give up firearms, if convicted he will have to register as a sex offender.

Judge John Feeney denied a motion by the defense to reduce the felonies to misdemeanor charges.

Arraignment on information for jury trial is on October 14 at 2 p.m.

Stiglich withdraws time waiver but jury trial date of October 19 remains set

At trial confirmation today, Judson Stiglich withdrew his time waiver but since previous dates were set according to a general time waiver, all dates remain set.

Jury trial is still scheduled for October 19. Trial Readiness moved to 3 p.m. instead of 1.

Both families of victim and defendant were in court.

Sep 3, 2015

Judson Stiglich jury trial set for October 19, victim's family sobs in court

Today setting for the Judson Stiglich case as well as issues that were briefly addressed at the August 28 trial assignment hearing were scheduled this afternoon in Courtroom 2. This included a motion to amend information and Stiglich being arraigned on the additional charges.  There are also two misdemeanor cases that were on calendar today that Judge Marilyn Miles referred to as related to this event.

Stiglich was arraigned on three additional counts, jury trial date set for October 19. The three additional counts are Count 6, possessing ammunition, Count 7 possession of a firearm by a felon and Count 8 possession of a controlled substance.

Mr. Russ Clanton, who is representing Stiglich, stated his objection to the amended information. "Th facts of this case remain unchanged since February" and he objected to "the timeliness of the People's filing."

Judge Miles said, "Since the trial has not been set, I don't find any prejudice and I will grant the motion."

The first amended information never got filed and therefore not granted. Judge Miles said it was the second amended information that got filed. That is the document she would sign and grant today. The document she signed would therefore be considered the first amended information.

Ryan Robinson is the victim in this case. His sister Jennifer Robinson was dating Stiglich at the time, she is a key witness and the only witness present at the alleged shooting incident. She was present in court along with her mother and a couple other family members. After the jury trial date was set, some of the Robinson family members burst into tears.

Stiglich's family, his mom and dad and friends were also present today. The situation between the two families has been very tense.

The court computer system is down so I will update with all charges when I can and when it is available.

No other media was present in court. Jury trial is October 19 at 8:30 a.m., October 16 is Trial Assignment at 8:30 a.m., Trial Readiness is October 14 at 1 p.m. in Courtroom 2 and Trial Confirmation is September 29 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 2

Aug 28, 2015

Key witness in Judson Stiglich case has medical issues, current jury trial date vacated

The jury trial for Judson Stiglich is scheduled for August 31. The People had filed a motion to amend information and a new case to revoke Stiglich's probation. Today in court, the People said they intend to file a second amended information.

Today, during trial assignment calendar, defense asked that the current jury trial date be vacated because they received additional discovery, there were new filings on amended information and a new case. Stiglich entered a time waiver, which he had previously withdrawn. Mr. Clanton said the matter "could resolve."

Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads said the People "ask that the current jury trial not be vacated, that it trail for a week. The Pople are prepared to proceed, we have new evidence." MS. Eads said that "while the matter has the potential to resolve", one of the primary witnesses has number of medical issues and is not getting better with time."

A date for setting and to address above issues is set for September 3 at 2 p.m.

No other media source was present in court for this development.

Aug 26, 2015

Judson Stiglich jury trial next Monday in question due to DA filing amended information and a petition to revoke

A trial readiness was scheduled today for the Judson Stiglich case. He is charged with the death of Ryan Robinson. At that time, Stiglich's was dating Robinson's sister.

DDA Stacey Eads is prosecuting the case. Mr. Russ Clanton is representing Stiglich. Family members for both Stiglich and Robinson families were present.

In court today, Mr. Clanton said he would be filing a motion to continue given the new petition to revoke probation that was handed to him in court and the DA's amended information on the homicide case which he just received this morning.

Both attorneys spoke with the families before court.

The matter to continue and other "matters" will be addressed at trial assignment this Friday.

No other media was present in court.

Previous post:
(has other links in previous posts)

Courtroom calendar musical chairs with new changes, staff facilitating with directions

Anyone with a warrant surrender this week has the perfect excuse. Your honor, I had no idea what courtroom I needed to be.

The last minute court changes have to catch up with the digital calendar and court system. Not only is Courtroom 2 calling all misdemeanors and Courtroom 5 calling all felonies, with the Jason Warren jury trial in Courtroom 4 all day four days a week and Courtroom 1 having a preliminary hearing this afternoon continued from the morning, Courtroom 2 and 5also has double calendars today.

Tomorrow Courtroom 1 is scheduled to start jury trials all day.

Just for today Courtroom 1 and 4 are being called in Courtroom 2 and Courtroom 2s calendars will be called in Courtroom 5 today.

So until the changes settle in, just show up!

Court staff has put up signs to help facilitate.  And staff are standing outside courtrooms to facilitate and give people directions.

Joe Serna sentenced to 12 years for vehicular manslaughter

Joe Jason Serna was sentenced on September 28, 2015 by the Honorable Timothy P. Cissna to serve twelve years in prison after pleading guilty on September 8, 2015, to committing the gross vehicular manslaughter of James Philbrook, and admitting sentencing enhancement allegations of fleeing the scene of the crime and causing bodily injury to Justin Gross, Jacob Southard and Jessica Armstrong.   The twelve-year prison term was an agreed upon resolution between Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads and Mr. Serna, represented by attorneys Ben McLaughlin and Manny Daskal.  Members of Mr. Philbrook’s family and some of his friends were present in court at the time of the plea, as well as for the sentencing hearing.
            The tragic death of 57-year-old life-long Eureka resident Mr. Philbrook occurred on July 8, 2012 when he was on a late-night walk close to his home, crossing 17th Street in a marked pedestrian crosswalk near Myrtle Avenue.  Mr. Serna, who was 36 years old at the time, drove southbound on Myrtle Avenue and without signaling suddenly turned his Toyota Land Cruiser directly into the path of an oncoming Honda Civic.  The vehicles collided and the Land Cruiser was propelled into the crosswalk, striking Mr. Philbrook and causing his fatal injuries.  Investigation by the California Highway Patrol revealed that 80 minutes after the collision Mr. Serna’s blood alcohol content was 0.17/0.18 percent, well over twice the legal limit.
The Civic was driven by Justin Gross and also occupied by two passengers, Jessica Armstrong and Jacob Southard.  Mr. Gross and his two passengers sustained injuries as a result of the collision.  Moments after the collision, Mr. Serna fled from the scene but was chased down, caught and returned to the scene by Mr. Southard and Mr. Gross.  Mr. Serna made a second attempt to flee on foot, but again was caught by Mr. Southard, this time with the assistance of an unidentified civilian.  Mr. Serna was detained until law enforcement arrived on scene.
District Attorney Maggie Fleming commented on the resolution, “The twelve-year prison sentence imposed holds Mr. Serna accountable for his terrible choice to drive a short distance home while intoxicated.  Mr. Serna robbed Mr. Philbrook of many years of life and his choice has traumatically affected Mr. Gross, Mr. Southard, Ms. Armstrong, their family and friends, and all of the loved ones left behind by Mr. Philbrook.”  

Sep 28, 2015

Blood trail found leading near one of the victims in Arreaga case; possible gunpowder residue on Tully's back

This is a post I did earlier today:

HCSO detectives and Coroner testify in Arreaga trial on day 3
With the Jason Warren jury trial starting, I will be in Courtroom 4 and cover the Arreaga jury trial when I can.

Ryan Burns from LOCO and I have been in Courtroom 4 all morning.

Paul Mann from Mad River Union and Channel 3's Sierra Jenkins were in court for the Arreaga jury trial.

I briefly stopped in briefly to check on the Arreaga case . HCSO Detective Julia Oliveira finished testifying. HCSO Sgt. Diana Freese testified today and currently Deputy Coroner Charles Leo VanBuskirk  is testifying. At the time I was in the courtroom, only Angel Tully's sister, one member of Harley Hammers family and another family member or friend were in Courtroom 2.

The rest of this post is a summary of today's proceedings in the Jason Arreaga case based on information provided to me by Paul Mann of the Mad River Union.

Deputy Oliveira went to Blue Lake Casino and talked to surveilance office staff and obtained some black and white still photographs. She gave them names of possible suspects. These photos were shown to HCSO Detectives Greg Musson and Todd Fulton. Upon request from Deputy Dennis Gagnon, Deputy Oliveira took photos of Jerry Bachus. She said he looked "visibly shaken" and "upset."

Sgt. Freese said she saw three vehicles by the trailer. There was a blood trail on the eastside of the road going towards Harley Hammers truck. Angel Tully's body was next to a vehicle near a passenger door.

Deputy Coroner Van Buskirk did blood tests on both victims and analysis was done by Central Valley toxicology. Tully's blood alcohol level was a .17 and meth level in blood was .36 which Deputy Coroner Van Buskirk described as the low end of a potential toxic range. Harley Hammers blood alcohol level was a .12 and meth level in blood was .21 which was also described as the low end of a potential toxic range.

There were two bullets expended in Hammers' chest, said Deputy Coroner Van Buskirk. Tully had a gunshot wound in the upper abdomen, below the rib cage. When he rolled her over, Deputy Coroner Van Buskirk said he saw blood on her back and what appeared to be powder, possibly gunshot residue. Deputy Coroner Van Buskirk did not know whether the wound on the back was an exit wound or a different wound.

There was blood on the passenger side on the seat of a car as if Tully had been pulled from a vehicle, according to court testimony today. No indication who the car belonged to was given. There was a smear on Tully's chest consistent with CPR.

Sgt. Freese had requested two senior criminalists from the DOJ to be present at the crime scene.

Deputy Coroner  Van Buskirk said that Tully had tatoos on her arm with the names Brittany and Maddie. These are the names of her sister's daughters. The Coroner's office used these names to locate and notify Tully's family.

DA Maggie Fleming keynote speaker at 2nd annual Women in Business Luncheon honoring Betty Chinn, Jennifer Budwig and Kate Russell

The second annual Annual Women in Business Luncheon takes place at the Adorni Center, Eureka on Wednesday, October 14 at Noon

Keynote Speaker is Humboldt District Attorney Maggie Fleming. October is Professional Business Women’s month. The Kiwanis Club of Henderson Center will be honoring the following women in our community at a special luncheon:

 Business Woman of the Year – Jennifer Budwig of Redwood Capital Bank
Woman of Distinction – Kate Russell of the Humboldt Area Foundation
Non-Profit Business Woman of the Year – Betty Kwan Chinn, Betty Kwan Chinn Day Center

Sponsorship of $350 will include your own reserved table for 8 which includes lunch, your name in the program, and your name prominently displayed on your table. Individual tickets: $30.00

Silent auction with 75% of net proceeds directed toward a new playground at a Eureka park.

For more information, call Janine Averill 707-443-9940 or Lisa Gallagher at 707-599-6627.

Another new hire started today at the Humboldt DA office

DA Maggie Fleming was giving the tour and personally training another new hire today.

She said there will be a press release soon. I met him briefly, only know his first name Brent.

DA Press Release (on September 29):
Today Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming announced the hiring of a new Deputy District Attorney: Brent Kling of San Francisco.  He will be handling a misdemeanor caseload.  Brent is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara and Golden Gate University School of Law.  He most recently worked at Golden Gate Law School as a Graduate Fellow teaching trial techniques and has also interned in the United States Attorney’s Northern District Office as a law clerk.

Preliminary hearing for Hoopa softball coach charged with sexual acts with underage victim set tomorrow, for now

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for William Jarnaghan tomorrow at 8:30. It remain set for now. However, today at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 5, there was a pre trial hearing not a disposition and reset hearing as entered in the computer.

With Arreaga jury trial in 2, Warren in 4, another jury trial in 5 and one to start in Courtroom 1, will there be a courtroom available?

Jul 28, 2015

Preliminary hearing for William Jarnaghan, Hoopa softball coach charged with 6 counts of sexual acts against underage female victim set for September 29

A disposition and reset hearing for William Jarnaghan was scheduled this afternoon in Courtroom 5.

All alleged counts are against a female victim under 18 years old. Counts 1,2 and 3 are felonies. Sexual penetration/Foreign object PC 289 (h). Counts 4,5 and 6 are misdemeanors. Annoying/Molest a child under 18 years. PC 647.6 (a)(1).

He has been served with a criminal protective order, had to give up firearms, if convicted he will have to register as a sex offender.

Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett has been the prosecutor present in court for the case. Today, DDA Kelly Neel was present for the People. Mr. Neal Sanders is representing Jarnaghan, who did not have to be in court today because he signed a 977 waiver of personal appearance form.

Intervention is set for September 17 at 3 p.m. and Preliminary hearing is set for September 29 at 8:30 a.m.

Previous posts:

Accidental gunshot wound victim in Eureka

On Thursday, September 24, 2015, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call of an accidental gunshot wound on Berry Lane, Eureka. The male victim, age 57, stated the firearm fell while he was loading his vehicle and a bullet shot through his leg. A neighbor heard the gunshot and went to the victim’s residence to offer assistance. The neighbor observed the victim had lost a large amount of blood and was continuing to lose blood so the neighbor removed his shirt and used it as a tourniquet applying it to the victim’s injured leg which stopped the swift flow of blood.
Deputies and medical personnel responded to the scene. Medical personnel transported the victim to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he was treated for his injury. Due to the neighbor’s quick thinking and actions the victim’s life was saved.

This serves as a reminder unload your firearms when transporting it and make sure the safety is on. Please keep your pistols in an enclosed container and store your ammunition separately during transportation. If you would like to apply for a Carry Concealed Weapons (CCW) permit, please visit our website for more information.

Yes, facebook is down, it's not your internet connection

Could it be a protest against the dislike button or the AT and T vandal moving onto social media?

Inquiring minds will have to wait.

In the meantime, a novel concept would be a good old fashioned conversation with your real life friends, face to face!

You know, like the old days, before social media.

Suicide in Mckinleyville

On Friday, September 25, 2015, at approximately 3:45 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call that a subject possibly committed suicide by hanging. The subject was located on Hammond Trail near Murray Rd, McKinleyville. Deputies and Cal Fire personnel initiated life saving measures until medical arrived. The subject was transported to Mad River Community Hospital for further evaluation and treatment but was later pronounced dead at MRCH. The Humboldt County Coroner’s Office responded to take over the investigation.

The name of the decedent is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

HCSO detectives and Coroner testify in Arreaga trial on day 3

With the Jason Warren jury trial starting, I will be in Courtroom 4 and cover the Arreaga jury trial when I can.

Ryan Burns from LOCO and I have been in Courtroom 4 all morning.

Paul Mann from Mad River Union and Channel 3's Sierra Jenkins were in court for the Arreaga jury trial.

I briefly stopped in briefly to check on the Arreaga case . HCSO Detective Julia Oliveira finished testifying. HCSO Detective Diana Freese testified today and currently Deputy Coroner Charles Leo VanBuskirk  is testifying. At the time I was in the courtroom, only Angel Tully's sister, one member of Harley Hammers family and another family member or friend were in Courtroom 2.

Man in Yorkville allegedly shot in marijuana garden

UPDATE (on 9/29):

On 09-27-2015 Sheriff's Detectives conducted a foot search of the area where the injured 25-year-old Adult Male was found.

Sheriff's Detectives traveled approximately .25 miles over mountainous terrain and located a marijuana garden site of approximately 200 plants.

An unidentified deceased Hispanic Adult Male with apparent gunshot wound(s) was found in close proximity to the garden site.

During the course of subsequent investigations Sheriff's Detectives arrested Isidro Lopez-Bernal (26-year-old male from Ukiah, California) and Mario Godinez (25-year-old male from Cloverdale, California) in connection with the incident.

Both were contacted and arrested in different locations in Cloverdale, California.

Both were booked into the Mendocino County Jail on charges of murder and robbery, each to remain in custody in lieu of $500,000.00 bail.

The injured 25-year-old Adult Male's involvement in the incident is still under investigation at this time.

The location of the marijuana garden site appeared to have been established as a result of a trespass onto privately owned property.

A forensic autopsy on the unidentified deceased Adult Male is scheduled for 09-29-2015 and identification is pending.

On 09-27-2015 at 7:18 AM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office received a report of a possible shooting in Yorkville, California.

A person called into the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office dispatch center and advised they had received a telephone call from a 25-year-old Adult Male they knew who reported that he had been shot while at a marijuana garden.

Deputies were able to contact the 25-year-old Adult Male by calling his cellular telephone and were guided to a remote wooded location near the 37000 block of Highway 128 in Yorkville.

Upon contact the 25-year-old Adult Male was found to have multiple gunshot wounds and was subsequently transported by air ambulance to an out of county hospital for medical treatment.

The 25-year-old Adult Male had sustained life threatening injuries but is expected to survive those injuries at this time.

Sheriff's Detectives were summoned to the scene to further investigate the incident.

This investigation is on-going at this time and no further information is available for release.

Any updated information that does become available over time will be released by a subsequent press release.

Another continuance filed by defense for Gary Lee Bullock jury trial

Just checked the computers. Trial confirmation this Wednesday at 2 p.m. will now include a motion by Conflict Counsel requesting a continuance.

This is the fourth continuance by the defense.

New court schedule includes two courts only doing jury trials all day

The new court changes include two courts during jury trials full days, one court doing felony and in custody cases, and one court doing misdemeanors and out of custody cases.

Jason Warren trial starts, to go full days, jury selection starts this afternoon

The schedule has changed slightly from the last court hearing. The Jason Warren jury trial will be in session Monday through Thursday, 8:30 to noon and 1:30 to 4:30. No Friday session.

Court holidays and Thanksgiving week is still dark days but with the new schedule, trial should end by December 11, instead of the 18.

Mr. Glenn Brown who represents Jason Warren said jury selection is the unknown factor determining length of trial.

Mendocino assistant DA Paul Sequeira is prosecuting the case. Even though this trial covers murder charges for both the Hoopa and Eureka incident, Mr. Kevin Robinson will not be in court.

DA Maggie Fleming will not be in court either.

Warren sat next to his attorney in a black suit, white shirt and ponytail neatly braided.

Jury questionnaire includes charges of murder and attempted murder and the special allegations of "lying in wait" and "infliction of torture."

Sep 27, 2015

Guard puts murder suspect and trial witness in same cell


An Ohio sheriff says a guard mistakenly put a murder suspect in a holding cell with another inmate who was about to testify against him, and a fight ensued.

The Lima News reports that the men weren't handcuffed when the guard put them together in a cell during a break in the trial this week.Read the link for the complete story.

Read the link for the full story.

Buzzfeed article titled "the dark side of medical marijuanas miracle drug"

Lengthy article raising many issues.


Certain compounds in cannabis have serious medical potential for everyone from cancer patients to children suffering from seizures. But patients and parents have no way to distinguish the snake oil salesmen from the trustworthy companies.

Sep 26, 2015

As deputies described finding the victims, the sobbing and pain of the loved ones in the courtroom brought home the loss more than any testimony could

The People's second, third and fourth witnesses were HCSO Deputy Sheriffs. Deputy Dennis Gagnon and Deputy Scott Hicks who were the first two to respond to the crime scene. Ms. Heidi Holmquist very briefly asked them a question or two.  They talked about discovering the two victims and securing the crime scene.

The third Deputy was Ms. Julia Oliveira. She testified about photos she took and will continue her testimony on Monday morning.

Deputy Gagnon was assigned to patrol in the McKinleyville area on September 3, 2014. DDA Curtis asked him what happened around 5:10 p.m.. Deputy Gagnon said he was dispatched to shots in the Fieldbrook area. So was Deputy Hicks.

Deputy Gagnon described how he arrived and saw a woman subject on the ground with a male subject distraught. He then said he was alerted to the second victim who was in the drivers seat in a truck slumped over taking short breaths but non responsive to any communication from Deputy Gagnon even when the Deputy took his flashlight and shined it into his eyes.

Deputy Hicks who was familiar with Jerry Bachus from previous law enforcement contact said "he had blood all over him" and was telling Deputy Hicks to help Angel Tully. "Her shirt was up near the breast and neck area with a wound near the breast area." He also described blood near a circular wound and blood around her face and mouth.

Deputy Gagnon and Hick's testimony was brief but the description of finding the two victims and their state was hard to hear.

Someone seated behind me was sobbing and that brought home the loss and pain of victims in the case more than any testimony could.