Nov 30, 2015

New study claims all male or all female brain traits rare

FPPC opens investigation into Leo Sears' allegations about the Harbor District, FPPC also rules that Greg Dale can use campaign funds for this civil lawsuit

This afternoon, a hearing was held for the lawsuit that Leo Sears has filed against Greg Dale, Jack Crider, and the rest of the Commissioners of the Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation and Conservation District. Judge Reinholtsen did not make a ruling today on either the defendant's motion to strike or the continuance requested by Mr. Bill Bertain. He has taken the matter under submission and will be issuing a written ruling.

Mr. Bertain is representing Mr. Sears. Mr. Paul Brizzo is representing the Harbor District.

The Fair Political Practices Commission sent a letter on November 10 to Mr. Bertain that they are looking into the allegations made by Mr. Sears. As required, they have notified Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming of this investigation they have opened.

Mr. Bertain filed an opposition to the defendant's motion to strike on November 16. Mr. Beratin also filed a declaration in support of objection to evidence based on newly acquired evidence on November 24. In this declaration, there are documents attached including emails which Mr. Bertain claims contradict declarations by Greg Dale that he did not participate in any Harbor District transactions with Pacific Seafoods/Coast Seafoods.

Mr. Brisso also filed responses. Mr. Brisso said that the lawsuit against Greg Dale was a violation of his first amendment rights and other consitutional rights. He also called most of the ex-parte issues "irrelevant."

I will have another detailed post on the oral arguments today by the attorneys.

At today's hearing, Mr. Bertain asked the Judge for a 30 day continuance to file a supplemental opposition based on newly acquired evidence.

From the FPPC Nov 5 monthly report:

Greg Dale     A-15-210 The Act does not prohibit a Commissioner of the Humboldt  Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation  District from  using campaign funds to pay for legal services related  to  defense of a civil lawsuit  alleging that the Commissioner  and the District violated Section 1090 because there  is a direct relationship between the  expenditure  for legal services and  the  Commissioner’s status as an elected officer.

Previous posts:

Leo Sears rejects LOCO's characterization of him as a "railroad buff" and sets the record straight
I happened to call Mr. Leo Sears right in the midst of him writing a response to LOCO mislabeling him as a railroad buff.

After reading all of today's coverage of the press conference, including mine, Mr. Sears gave me permission to print his response on my blog.

This is Mr. Sears response:

"Your headline derogatorily refers to me a “Railroad Buff”. At the-turn-of-the-century, I served a three year term as a Director of the North Coast Railroad, and have long since recognized our areas need for improved transportation.

That having been said, I have never advocated for (or against) an east west railroad. Richard Marks, President of the of the Harbor District, also serves as a Director of the North Coast Railroad Authority and has spoken of the need for improved transportation. I have never thought of Richard as a “Railroad Buff”, and doubt that Richard is a member or advocate of the east west group. I totally reject the bias you've used to paint me with false colors.

Over the past 20 years I have attended numerous monthly Citizens for Port Development luncheons at the Samoa Cook House, as have many Harbor Commissioners. I never felt doing so necessary made me or them members of the Citizens for Port Development. I am not a member of the Citizens for Port Development, and was unequivocal when asked at the press conference. You have simply taken a whole cloth claim by the Commissioners, and ignored asking me for confirmation.

The accusation that the timing the suit is simply to affect the election is a wholly biased and unfounded accusation. Any blame for the timing of the suit fall directly on the shoulders of the Harbor District. It is in reaction to actions they took in September, and I could not have acted any sooner.

To be perfectly clear, I answer to no one other than myself. Over recent years I absented myself from community involvement to care for the declining health of my wife. But I believe my track record to be one of pursuing Economic Growth and Stability. That is what I'm trying to do now. Nothing more, nothing less."

Oct 5, 2015

"I really want to avoid this lawsuit" Leo Sears wants Greg Dale to resign among other remedies sought

The Harbor District races this November just got a kickstart.

A press conference was held at 1 p.m. outside the Humboldt County Courthouse. A lawsuit was been filed in the Humboldt Superior Court this morning by Leo Sears against Harbor District Commissioner Greg Dale as well as fellow Commissioners Aaron Newman, Mike Wilson, Richard Marks, Pat Higgins, Executive Director Jack Crider and the Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation and Conservation District.

The main point of the lawsuit is that the plaintiff, Leo Sears, alleges that "each and every defendant conspired with each of the remaining defendants and that they had common knowledge of and agreed to a plan to borrow $1.25 million from Coast Seafoods and, in a quid pro quo bargain, grant a 10 year lease extension with 4 five year options to Coast Seafoods while Greg Dale was serving on the Board of Commissioners of the Humboldt Bay Harbor District."

"The lawsuit alleges that all defendants were aware of Greg Dale's capacity as an officer of Coast Seafoods, the party with which the Harbor District was contracting. The lawsuit alleges violation of Government Code 1090.

The lawsuit asks that Greg Dale no longer serve as a Commissioner on the Humboldt Bay Harbor District, that the lease extension and $1.25 million loan be voided, several injunctions and costs of attorney fees.

The lawsuit was filed by local attorney Mr. William Bertain for Mr. Leo Sears. The civil lawsuit is a complaint for declaratory relief and preliminary and final injunctions.

Mr. Bertain said that the Commissioners ignored the wishes of citizens. Mr. Bertain said by filing this lawsuit Mr. Sears hoped this would avoid future of conflict of interests.

One of the things that make this conflict of interest significant said Mr. Sears is the quid pro quo issue. "I really wanted to avoid this lawsuit," said Mr. Sears. "No man can serve two masters."

Section 1090 does not excuse a person from  violation of the law just because he abstains or leaves the room, said Mr. Bertain.

Mr. Bertain referred to a 1985 Supreme Court case that upheld 1090. "I would no longer like to se Greg Dale serve on the Commission because of his conflict of interest," said Mr. Bertain. He described it as "blatant."

"We have two commissioners here right now, I guess we are ready to have a meeting." One of those commissioners was Mr. Marks. Mr. Crider had arrived with Mr. Marks. Mr. Greg Dale came in a few minutes late to the conference.

"We are dealing with the 1090 issue," said Mr. Dale. "You have to have ten percent in the company which I don't. This is a political stunt."

Mr. Dale called the people behind this effort a "group of individuals who have an interest in the East-West rail. It's not a coincidence that these people have been sending me threats for the past month and a half, are doing on the day the absentee ballots are to be sent out."

"I look forward to going to court," said Mr. Dale. "I have never been sued before."

Mr. Crider agreed with Mr. Dale that "this was a political stunt.". He said "I try not to get involved in the election office." Being named as a defendant in a lawsuit involving the Harbor is par for the course since he is the Executive Director.

"As soon as the election is over this will get dropped," said Mr. Crider. "We have had multiple attorneys on this, it was a complicated agreement. Because of public interest, we took public input in the final agreement."

Mr. Marks said that the timing was of interest since the absentee ballots come out tomorrow.

Mr. Sears said the timing was dictated by the actions of the Harbor District in September. It was September 10th when they multi-year extension of the lease with Coast Seafoods was signed. It was September 16th when he wrote a letter to the Editor asking for Mr. Dale to resign.

In the press release as well as remarks at the press conference, both Mr. Sears and Mr. Bertain said that at a luncheon meeting of the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Dale told the public attending that he was the one who conceived the idea and pushed the idea of Coast Seafoods, his employer, making a loan to the Harbor District to assist in the removal of pulp processing liquors from the Harbor District's recently purchased property at Samoa that was formerly the Freshwater Pulp Mill.

Mr. Sears also dismissed the criticism by Greg Dale that this was motivated in any way by people involved in the East West railroad. Mr. Sears said he had no connection with the East West railroad. "The only organization I pay dues and am a part of is the Taxpayers League."

Oct 5, 2015

Leo Sears filed a conflict of interest lawsuit in Humboldt Superior Court against Greg Dale, the Harbor District and other commisioners.

This morning, Leo Sears filed a conflict of interest lawsuit in Humboldt Superior Court against Greg Dale, the Harbor District, and the other 4 commissioners.

A press conference is being held at 1 p.m. in front of the Courthouse where more details and a copy of the complaint will be available.

Suspect violates restraining order and allegedly punches his pregnant girlfriend

On 11-20-2015 at about 11:50 AM Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a reported domestic violence incident.

Upon arrival, Deputies learned that a 40 year old female, who was in a dating relationship and recently cohabitated with Gerard Larvie engaged in a verbal argument, regarding her being pregnant.

The argument escalated and Larvie punched the female in the face causing injury to her right eye.

Deputies observed a visible injury to her right eye. There was a small laceration above the eye and it was swollen and slightly purplish in color.

Deputies also learned that there was a domestic violence order keeping Larvie away from the female victim.

Deputies subsequently contacted Larvie in the area of George's Lane and Ellison Way in Fort Bragg, California.

Larvie was arrested for felony domestic violence battery and violation of a domestic violence order. Larvie was determined to be on Mendocino County Court Probation and was also arrested for violating the terms of his probation.

Larvie was booked into the Mendocino County Jail for the listed charges where he was to be held in lieu of $30,000.00 bail.

"No, we are talking about the difference between negligence and intentional"

Mr. Paul Sequeira who is prosecuting the Jason Warren case decimated the defense's main witness, traffic collision reconstruction consultant, Steven Walker during cross examination this morning.

Mr. Sequeira started his cross examination by getting Walker to agree with his statement, "There's no question that the joggers were hit from behind." He further got Walker to admit that he was not asked to estimate speed by the defense. Mr. Sequeira got Walker to admit there were no mechanical defects in the KIA; he got Walker to back off and unsuccessfully justify his claims in the report that the road where the collision happened was dangerous and that the driver was out of control when he hit the three joggers and the Jessica Hunt's dog.

Using google maps, Walker's own words and reports, Mr. Sequeira got the jury's attention and was able to completely unravel Walker's theory and report.

At one point Walker trying to save his report said that  a driver involved in an accident would bring in question of he was a good driver.

Mr. Sequeira responded with, ""No, we are talking about the difference between negligence and intentional."

full update later...

Defense rests in Warren case, closing arguments Dec 2, deliberations to start same day

With only two witnesses, the last one being HCSO Detective Cheryl Franco, the defense started and rested it's case this morning in the Jason Warren jury trial.

Nothing in the defense case pointed towards Warren's innocence or put a dent in the People's case.

Jury will be back for instructions, closing arguments Wednesday, December 2 and is expected to start deliberations the same day.

Jason Warren's juvenile record where he admitted to stabbing and assault put on record, defense traffic collision expert testifies

This morning the People read into record exhibits that will be admitted into evidence this morning about Jason Warren's juvenile record in 2001 where he admitted to attempted murder of a taxi cab driver, Cid Miller, and another admission of assault on a man, Fred Her, riding a bicycle. Both men testified for the  People earlier in the trial.

Judge Timothy Cissna said that "this evidence maybe used solely as to the issue of whether Jason Warren committed acts of stabbing" to Cid Miller on April 10, 2001 and whether he hit Fred Her or his bicycle on April 10, 2001. It cannot be used for any other purpose. There will be a specific closing jury instruction explaining the limited purpose for this evidence.

The defense's first witness was Steven Walker, a self employed traffic collision reconstruction specialist, who has been on the stand for an hour.

full update later...

Missing diver in Point Arena finally found and rescued but deceased

On 11-28-2015 at approximately 7:12 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were summoned to the area of the 45000 block of Light House Rd, Point Arena CA. for a report of a missing diver.

Representatives from the United States Coast Guard (Station Noyo Harbor), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California State Parks, and Fire personal from the Redwood Coast Volunteer Fire Protection District were requested to respond and assist in the search.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived on scene and learned that two men from Vallejo CA had entered the ocean in the area of the Point Arena Lighthouse at around 2:45 PM to dive for abalone. The reporting party said he finished diving first and noticed it was starting to get dark and he had not heard from his friend who was still in the water. The reporting person said the missing diver was last seen in a cove about 300 yards north of the Point Arena Light House. The reporting party was unable to locate his friend and called 9-1-1 for help.

Helicopters, boats, and personnel on land were utilized to search the area. The search continued into the night but the missing diver could not be found.

On 11-29-2015 the Mendocino County Sheriff Volunteer Search and Rescue Team, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, along with the United States Coast Guard, California State Parks, California Fish and Wildlife, and Redwood Coast Volunteer Fire protection District continued the search for the missing diver.

At about 10:05 AM the missing diver was located, deceased, by members of the Mendocino County volunteer Search and Rescue Team approximately ¼ mile north of the Point Arena Light House in the surf at the Manchester State Beach. The decedent’s name is being withheld pending Next of Kin notification.

Nov 27, 2015

Will anything occur at the next court hearing for Leo Sears lawsuit against Greg Dale?

A court hearing is scheduled this Monday at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 8 for the civil lawsuit filed by Leo Sears against Greg Dale and the Humboldt Harbor District Commissioners.

That day's calendar for that courtroom is huge. Based on covering civil cases, and the slow pace of paperwork back and forth before any decision is made, will happen anything Monday or just another date being set?

Read link below for background.

Truck allegedly stolen from Trinidad, seen on 101 south today, help return it to rightful owner

This truck was allegedly stolen yesterday from Camel Rock in Trinidad while the owner was surfing and seen on 101 South today without the camper, driving towards McKinleyville, according to a Facebook post.

The owner just told me a report was made around 12:30 today after the truck was sighted near McKinleyville.

If you see it, call law enforcement.

Nov 26, 2015

Someone needs to tell Secret Service officers their job is to protect, not prey

I think the Secret Service officers need to understand their job is to protect, not prey.

Why do we keep hearing about more scandals and no consequences?

So far, no fatality reported from car accident at Bayshore Mall

It was reported earlier on LOCO that a car flipped on it's roof at Bayshore Mall.

As of 2 p.m. no fatality had been reported to EPD Captains. I will update this post with more information later.

Why is the rest of the media silent on the Humboldt Area Foundation debacle?

Except for The Humboldt Consequential no one has touched the Humboldt Area Foundation debacle.

They did an excellent job and I assisted in a minor way.

Why has the rest of the media been silent on investigating this? Is Patrick Cleary not accountable? It is the job of the media to provide public information and answers, not protect someone who doesn't understand conflict of interest.

According to commenters on THC, Clearly and HAF have not responded or returned calls. I want them to respond publicly and not just to me, so here's another effort to get some response.

Listed below are just two links that will get you caught up.

What journalists are thankful for

Saw this link orginally via a journalist I like and respect, Lindsay Housaman.

These are my feelings about the article:

When we actually inform the public is my favorite. And the scoop one.

Real shoe leather reporting is what separates a true journalist from the others, does not matter whether you are TV, print or online.

Nov 25, 2015

Come see your favorite turkey run tomorrow in Old Town

Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot
5K Walk/Run
7:30 am - Registration at Old Town Coffee & Chocolates
9:00 am - Race begins - meet at the Gazebo.
Sponsored by the Jogg N Shoppe
Call 707-822-3136 for more information.

Medical Cannabis Ordinance, personal grows and the Coastal ordinance on next Eureka City Council agenda

8.Medical Cannabis Ordinance Amendment
Recommendation: Provide direction to draft an amendment to Chapter 158 – Medical Cannabis Ordinance banning cultivation of medical marijuana within the City; and Provide direction with regard to cultivation, delivery, manufacturindistribution, dispensary, personal grows and use, laboratories, and the coastal zone in light of new state law. (City Attorney)

Nov 24, 2015

Second jury trial win for Deputy District Attorney Whitney Barnes, hired earlier this year

This is the second win for Deputy District Attorney Whitney Barnes. The first win was for a domestic violence case. See link below.

The first case Ms. Barnes won against Conflict Counsel's Mr. Marek Reavis. This second win was against Conflict Counsel's Mr. Kaleb Cockrum.

DA Press Release:

Today a jury found 25-year-old Michael Wayne Ayer guilty of receiving stolen property, a felony.  The jury also found the defendant guilty of possessing heroin and methamphetamine, both misdemeanors, as well as displaying a false license plate, an infraction.  The jury was not able to reach a verdict on the charge of burglary in the first degree, a felony.

The charges arose from two separate incidents: On June 9, 2015, a deputy from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office made contact with the defendant near the intersection of Jackson Ranch Road and Old Samoa Road.  The defendant was found to be in possession of property that had recently been obtained in the burglary of a nearby Eureka residence. In a second incident in the early morning of June 1, 2015, officers from the Eureka Police Department contacted the defendant outside of his car in the parking lot of a closed business.  The defendant’s car was displaying a false license plate, and he was found to be in possession of heroin and methamphetamine.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Whitney Barnes, with assistance from District Attorney Investigator Gary Cooper.  Judge Dale Reinholtsen presided over the trial.

Hundreds show up for Thanksgiving dinner at St. Vincent's facility

There is a bigger line than usual at the St. Vincent dining facility right now. Elected officials and community leaders helping out today included Supervisor Virginia Bass and Matthew Owen, Supervisor Rex Bohn and Eureka Police Chief Andy Mills. Members of Henderson Center Kiwanis also helped out.

It is important to note that the Rescue Mission, St. Vincent De Paul and Betty Chinn live Mathhew 25:35 every day.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.

Victim stabbed in Arcata yesterday knows the suspect, they had disputes and altercations in the past

Just spoke with APD Sgt. Todd Dokweiler about the stabbing yesterday near the Fourth Street Market in Arcata. Victim was treated and released from the hospital.

The suspect is known to victim but he does not know his name, not even a street name. The suspect is not known to law enforcement, said Sgt. Dokweiler. "They have had disputes and encounters in the past, unclear what they were over. They had an altercation" That led to the stabbing.

This was not a random act, said Sgt. Dokweiler.

The suspect is a white male adult, in his late teens, with light colored hair, medium to thin build, last seen wearing blue jacket.

No weapon has been recovered.

More photos from EPD promotional ceremony

Times-Standard, North Coast News and KIEM were the only other media covering the ceremony.

"I apologize for not having a mic, someone stole it. Can someone take a report"?"

Chief Mills opened the EPD promotional ceremony with a joke to laughter. "You can always log in Chief" yelled someone. "It's an inside joke," said Chief Mills.

"If you are not safe, no one else is, " said Chief Mills. Police safety is one of our highest priorities. He talked about "treating people well, both externally and internally."

Chief Mills said he was proud to wear the blue uniform. He told the honorees "each and every one of you has earned your promotion.

Family members pinned badges on those being promoted.

Both Captain Stephen Watson and Captain Brian Stephens were in attendance. Chief Woods, Eureka Council members Melinda Ciarabellini and Kim Bergel as well as Fourth District Supervisor Virginia Bass and her husband Matthew Owen attended the ceremony.

The Eureka Police Department held a Promotional Ceremony today from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Adorni Center in Eureka.  The public and media were invited to attend.

I spoke briefly with Eureka Police Chief Andy Mills before the ceremony. EPD still  has employees and officers working during the ceremony.

For me today, the ceremony has personal significance. New hire Officer Ben Altic is someone I have known years including his entire family, especially his father former EPD Officer Louis Altic. It was also great to see Sgt. Shawn Sopoaga, who is one of the few EPD officers I have known since I moved here.

The seven employees who were announced and promoted in September were sworn in for their new assignments.  The ten new hires who joined the Department ranks since the last ceremony in November, 201 were also recognized.

A few special awards were handed out at the end of the ceremony.

Sgt. Rodrigo Sanchez was given the medal of valor for his actions in March 2010 that saved Officer Patrick Bishop's and a citizen's life. Officer Patrick Bishop was also honored.

September 25 press release:

Stanley Harkness was promoted to Patrol Sergeant.  Sergeant Harkness has been with EPD for about 9.5 years.  He has worked several positions within the department, most recently as a Field Training Officer and Drug Task Force Officer.    

Shawn Sopoaga was promoted to Patrol Sergeant.  Sergeant Sopoaga started his career with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department and has been with EPD for four years.  He is on the SWAT team and prior to his promotion, was assigned to the Problem Oriented Policing (POP) Unit. 

John Gordon was promoted to Senior Detective.  Detective Gordon has worked for EPD for 9 years.  He has been in the Criminal Investigations Section for the last two years and enjoys using technology to solve his cases.

Jon Luken was promoted to Senior Detective.  Detective Luken has been with EPD for 7.5 years.  He achieved his goal of being a detective just four years into his career and enjoys the challenge of solving a complicated case.

Brittany Wilson was promoted to Senior Dispatcher.  Brittany has been with EPD for just under 10 years.  She is a Communications Training Officer.  This past year she received commendations for her job performance and tireless efforts assisting officers and citizens in need. 

Katie Hill was promoted to Senior Dispatcher.  Katie has been with EPD for 5.5 years.  She is a Communications Training Officer and was recently awarded Dispatcher of the Year. 

  Brittany Wilson

Katie Kime

Shawn Sopoaga

John Gordon

Jon Luken

Stan Harkness

Nov 22, 2015

Anonymous tips lead to arrest of two Sohum's most wanted

On 11-19-2015, at approximately 9:10 a.m., the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received an anonymous tip for one of the fugitive listed on the “Southern Humboldt’s Most Wanted Poster”.  The tipster reported that Gretchen Brooks (age 38) was seen walking in the 900 block of Redwood Drive, Garberville.
 Sheriff’s Deputies assigned to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Garberville Station responded to the area.  Deputies were able to locate Brooks and took her into custody without incident.
On 11-21-2015, at approximately 9:35 a.m., Sheriff’s Deputies were following up on a tip where an anonymous caller reported seeing Dennis Hicks (age 37) driving a green SUV type vehicle in the Miranda area.  Deputies located the vehicle parked near a residence in the 10 0block of Gibney Road, Miranda.  Deputies located Hicks on the property and took him into custody without incident.
Both Hicks and Brooks were transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where they were booked for various warrants.  
These arrests were based solely on information provided by anonymous tips.

Nov 20, 2015

Concerns about security and access expressed by local attorneys if law library is moved

These are some concerns the County regarding moving the law library.

Listed below are some concerns summarized:

There will probably be some pushback on using the law library.  Right now, attorneys can get a key card to the law library and have after hours access.  Some attorneys are very concerned that a move may limit their access to the law library.  There's also an issue because there is no security at the law library entrance. 

EPD invites public to attend promotional ceremony at Adorni and introduction of ten new hires

The Eureka Police Department is holding a Promotional Ceremony on Tuesday, November 24, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Adorni Center in Eureka.  The public and media are invited to attend.

The seven employees who were announced and promoted in September will be sworn in for their new assignments.  Additionally, we will introduce the ten new hires that we have had the privilege to welcome into the Department ranks since our last ceremony in November, 2014.  A few special awards will be handed out at the end of the ceremony.

"We expect a prosecutor to know the law." comment about former DA Paul Gallegos on the Timothy Littlefield case currently before the Court of Appeals

I have been following every court hearing and development in the Timothy Littlefield case since it was sent to the Court of Appeals. Mr. Allan Dollison has often given feedback on the developments and he has been correct every time.

I contacted him to ask him what his prediction was since there have been several disposition and rest hearings to schedule the third trial.

This is a response from Mr. Dollison. He is a private attorney. He often comments on my blog. And writes Dollison on the Docket for Lost Coast Outpost.

"It appears that the incredibly long People v. Timothy Littlefield case is finally near conclusion. The matter stands submitted at the 1st District Court of Appeals after oral arguments on November 3. The Justices have 90 days to issue their decision. I ordered the oral recordings of the argument and listened to them intently to see if through their questioning, I could guess what is going to happen.
This was the case, where a man was convicted of Multiple Lewd Acts on a Child. Over 9 months later he brought a Motion for New Trial with an affidavit from a juror attached who expressed an opinion that the "defense didn't prove their case." Purportedly the declaration was written by a defense investigator after a discussion with the juror. In our system of justice, the defense does not have to prove anything of course. The legal dispute will center around the admissibility of that declaration.

Here is my prediction, and we will officially know what actually happens when the opinion is released. I believe the Justices are going to reverse the trial Court's decision granting a new trial as a result of juror misconduct. They will remand to the trial Court with instructions to offer the Defendant the opportunity to present legally admissible evidence in support of their claim for a new trial. They are going to rule that the trial Court should not have allowed the Affidavit or Declaration from a juror, as it violated California Evidence Code section 1150. That section says in its pertinent part as follows: "...No evidence is admissible to show the effect of such statement, conduct, condition, or event upon a juror either in influencing him to assent to or dissent from the verdict or concerning the mental processes by which it was determined..."

I believe the opinion could be critical of the prosecutor who handled the hearing (and the trial), Paul Gallegos, as he did not object to the admissibility of this declaration. In fact most of the oral argument centered on whether or not the people waived this argument by failing to object. Yet, the Court of Appeals in the argument were noticeably troubled by inadmissible evidence being considered to overturn a jury verdict in a very serious case. The key distinction is whether or not this juror communicated this improper opinion to other jurors. Having done 35+ trials, my experience is when a juror voices an opinion to others contrary to the law or suggests something inappropriate, the other jurors will report such conduct to the judge. That never happened in this case. The argument pointed out that the juror did not back up his declaration while testifying on this motion.
The key point is the finality of this process, and attorneys being able to march into court with juror declarations. The law does not allow for that, and thus the process should be reversed.
Both Appellate lawyers agreed to the suggestion of the Court of Appeals that a remand with a final opportunity to present admissible evidence should be afforded, which is why it is certain that is the track they are taking. I think it is a fair decision. There is always the possibility they could rule against the people because of the waiver or failure to object argument. It is an important principle of the law that evidentiary objections must be made at the trial court level and not wait for an appeals court to straighten it out. One reason is the delay an appeal can take, and now any future hearing, the evidence will really be from a long time ago. They did note that the defense took about 8-9 months post-conviction to file that motion, so it is my prediction that they will not be persuaded by the waiver argument. Oral arguments are typically used by the justices to test theories that they have, as they already have an inkling of what they intend to do. They reviewed long legal briefs on the issues before the argument. Most of their questioning was testing this remand with another opportunity theory.
On the waiver and admissibility of the evidence, at one point, one of the Justices said, "We expect a prosecutor to know the law." Shortly when the opinion is issued we shall find out what the law is. One thing is clear and it went unsaid in the oral argument hearing. It is not the job of a judge to make the objections for the prosecutor, or even the defense attorney if the shoe was on the other foot.
This will be an interesting opinion in a case, where a man who had stood convicted faces 150+ years in prison. There has already been two trials, the first hung 11-1 in favor of guilt. The second was a unanimous guilty verdict. The justices were mindful of how difficult it would be for a minor victim to have to testify in a 3rd trial."

Two new judges, two new courtrooms in Humboldt County?

It seems the Humboldt Law Library will be relocated to make rooms for two courtrooms for two additional Judges Humboldt County may be getting.

I got some clarification from and just spoke with Ms. Kim Bartleson, CEO for the Humboldt Superior Court.

Humboldt was supposed to receive an additional Judge in the last session but Governor Jerry Brown vetoed that, said Ms. Bartleson. Any Judges that will assist will be Visiting Judges.

It is not known where the law library will relocate to yet. Ms. Bartleson said that the Judicial of California is negotiating with the County for additional court so that some of the homicide trials can be held.

See some positive changes with Ms. Bartleson already. She is definitely more accessible and helpful than her predecessor.

As reported several times on this blog, getting trials out on a timely issue has been challenging.

Credit to Ed Denson for first mentioning this development and thanks Ed for shout out for my reporting.

After attorney's advice, person living at Freshwater where suspicious fire was started refuses to speak with Deputy, Sheriff investigating

On Thursday, November 19, 2015 at approximately 4:05 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Humboldt Bay Fire to respond to a suspicious residential fire on the 1200 block of Freshwater Rd, Eureka. Deputies responded and spoke with Humboldt Bay Fire’s Battalion Chief who stated he believed the fire was caused by a hash lab explosion from inside the residence.

The Deputy spoke with one of the persons who was in the residence when the fire started but was interrupted by their attorney. The attorney advised the involved person not to speak with the Deputy in regards to this incident. The Deputy was informed of two additional subjects who were in the residence during the fire and they were now at a local hospital. The Deputy responded to the hospital and began questioning the involved party when their attorney appeared and advised them not to speak with the Deputy in regards to this incident as well.

Due to the lack of cooperation with this incident this case has been forwarded to the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division for further investigation.

Lindsay Kaminsky, charged with stabbing her husbands enters plea for reduced charge and felony probation

Lindsay Kaminsky, the Arcata woman charged with stabbing her husband, Glenn Kaminsky who did not want the case prosecuted. He has been there for every court hearing.

The case was originally set before Judge John Feeney for sentencing. He is in Garberville today. His cases were moved to Courtroom 5. Not seeing Lindsay Kaminsky or her lawyer. I had to wander around the second floor to discover the case being called in Courtroom 4. I told her husband.

We were not privy to the last minute change via email between the Judges, last minute. Even the lawyers did not know until the last minute.

The case is now being prosecuted by Deputy David Christensen. Manny Daskal is representing Lindsay Kaminsky.

The case may eventually be settled as a wobbler. This information was not mentioned in court this morning but information I have. It was explained to Mr. Kaminsky that a wobbler is a when a felony reduced to misdemeanor with probation. This is what he wants the DA's office to do and has been requesting.

Lindsay Kaminsky plead to an added count 3 which was added, assault by means of force most likely to reduce bodily injury.

Count 1 inflict corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant with a special allegation use of deadly weapon and Count 2 assault with a deadly weapon other than firearm were dismissed.

Lindsay Kaminsky entered an Arbuckle waiver. If the plea is rejected by the sentencing Judge, which will be Judge Joyce Hinrichs, Lindsay Kaminsky faces a potential prison term of 2 years which is lower term, 3 years which is mid term, or 4 years which is the maximum. If probation is violated, she will get the maximum prison term.

DDA Christensen gave the factual basis for the charge. In June 2015, Lindsay Kaminsky stabbed her husband in the neck with a knife. Before accepting the plea, Judge Cissna asked Mr. Christensen, "Why is your office reducing serious charges like this and making this offer?"

DDA Christensen said, "The defendant, Ms. Kaminsky does not have a significant criminal record, she has a misdemeanor DUI in New York. The alleged victim, Mr. Kaminsky since Day 1 has wanted a misdemeanor resolution. He feels his wife suffered a mental episode and this was unusual circumstances." Glenn Kaminsky feels there were emotional and psyschological issues and wants his wife to get help.

Glenn Kaminsky wanted the no contact order dropped today so he could see his wife in jail. Judge Cissna said that normally notice is given and that he is not familiar with the case and was not going to make that decision today. He said that the request could be put on calendar or addressed at sentencing.

Judge Cissna told Lindsay Kaminsky that after he refers this matter to probation for a pre-sentencing report, Judge Hinrichs can follow their recommendation, accept the plea or reject the plea. He advised her of the rights she was giving up. That she could face a potential fine up to $10,000. Probation could be up to five years. She would have to pay restitution to the victim, "if there was any requested" and there would be a mandatory restitution fine ranging anywhere from $300 to $10,000.

Sentencing will be on December 22 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 5.

No other media was in court this morning or has been following this case after the initial headlines.

Nov 19, 2015

Preliminary hearing finally set for Thomas Lusk charged with 6 felonies including torture, rape, false imprisonment, oral copulation and has prior conviction of terroristic threats

A preliminary hearing was finally set for Thomas Lusk, who had yet another disposition and rest hearing scheduled for today.

Lusk is charged with six felonies. Count 1 Torture; Count 2 Rape by Force, Count 3 Penetration by a Foreign Object, Count 4 Oral copulation with Force/Violence/Duress, Count 5 Assault likely to produce great bodily injury; Count 6 False Imprisonment and a special allegation of a prior felony conviction, which was of making terroristic threats.

Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis was present in court today with Lusk. Deputy District Attorney Zachary Curtis is prosecuting the case.

Jul 23, 2015

Preliminary hearing for Thomas Lusk, the Miranda man accused of sexual assault continued

A disposition and reset hearing set for August 13 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 2. Lusk waived time. DDA Brie Bennett is prosecuting the case. Conflict Counsel's Mr. Marek Reavis is representing Lusk.

Lack of courtrooms is reason for the change.

Lusk's bail was  set at $650,000. 

Jul 9, 2015

Man who was arrested for mistreating a dog in 2011 now charged with alleged sexual asault

HCSO Press Release:

On Monday, 07/06/2015, at about 8:15 PM, a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputy was dispatched to CA Highway 254 just north of Phillipsville to contact a California Highway Patrol Officer who was standing by with the victim of an alleged sexual assault.

The 31 year old female victim reported that she met Thomas Leonard Lusk Jr., age 34 years, about three days ago near Miranda, CA. She was waiting for the bus to continue her travels. Lusk told her the bus wouldn’t be arriving for several hours and he suggested she wait at his residence. The victim thought this was a good idea and she went with Lusk to his residence in Miranda.

Lusk and the victim were at his residence for several hours conversing. When the victim questioned Lusk about the bus, he became angry and started beating her with his fists and threatened to kill her. Lusk kept the victim captive, by force and fear, in his residence for the next three days where he sexually assaulted her repeatedly. On the third day Lusk left the victim alone and she was able to escape through a bedroom window. She ran to the highway where she encountered a subject in a parked car making a phone call. She jumped in the car, told the subject she had been sexually assaulted, and requested a ride to the hospital. The driver started toward the hospital and encountered the CHP officer who notified the Sheriff’s Office of the assault.

On Wednesday, 07/08/2015, Lusk was arrested at his residence where a search warrant was served. Lusk was arrested and charged with rape through force and violence, sexual battery, oral copulation through force or fear, sexual penetration through force or fear, criminal threats, and false imprisonment.

From Times-Standard article in June 2011:

Humboldt County Sheriff's Office arrested a Miranda man Wednesday night for allegedly firing shots at another man after the man confronted him about mistreating a dog.
Deputies arrested Thomas Leonard Lusk, 29, and booked him into the Humboldt County jail on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful discharge of a firearm, robbery and vandalism. His bail is set at $100,000.

Deputies received a call around 8 p.m. from a 23-year-old Eureka man who said he was shot at by an unknown person on the side of U.S. Highway 101 near the Miranda Bridge. Deputies and the California Highway Patrol responded.

According to a press release, the man had been parked in the turnout working on his broken-down vehicle when he saw Lusk mistreating a dog. The man said he "verbally confronted" Lusk about the mistreatment, reportedly angering Lusk, who threatened to shoot the victim before riding off on his bicycle.

About five minutes later, Lusk returned on his bicycle carrying what appeared to be a rifle. Lusk reportedly started shooting at the Eureka man, who fled into the bushes and called 911. Law enforcement officers reportedly arrived after Lusk allegedly entered the man's car and began removing items before fleeing into nearby bushes.

The officers ordered Lusk out of the bushes, and he complied.

After deputies informed Lusk he was under arrest, he reportedly began kicking the inside of the patrol car, damaging it. He was transferred to another deputy's patrol car and reportedly damaged the interior of the second car as well.

Heroin, meth, suspended license and three arrrests

On Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at approximately 9:40 a.m. a Deputy with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office recognized the driver of a vehicle as 25 year old Robert Glenn Adam Ellis, of Fortuna. From prior contacts the Deputy knew Ellis’ driver’s license was suspended and he is on multiple counts of probation in Humboldt County with a search and seizure clause. The Deputy conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle on Brenard Rd on the Bear River Rancheria.

The Deputy contacted Ellis and Ellis admitted to the Deputy his driver’s license was still suspended and he also claimed to not have any drugs on him. There was a female passenger in the front passenger seat and a male passenger in the rear seat. The female passenger, Allissa Chad Brock, age 25, of Willow Creek, told the Deputy she had needles in her purse. Brock exited the vehicle and then told the Deputy she had heroin and methamphetamine in her bra. The Deputy directed Brock to remove the narcotics from her bra and she placed them on the patrol vehicle.

Daniel Michael Langevin, age 25, was not on probation and did not have warrants. Langevin requested to leave and the Deputy said he was free to go. Langevin got out of the vehicle and started walking away.

The Deputy continued his search of the vehicle and located a box on the floor next to where Langevin was sitting. Inside the box were two plastic bags containing what appeared to be a large quantity of heroin and methamphetamine. Before the Deputy mentioned the narcotics to Brock and Ellis, both exclaimed the narcotics did not belong to them but to the subject walking away. The Deputy drove a short distance and located Langevin. The Deputy explained to Langevin he found evidence that would send all three people to jail unless he could determine who the owner was. Langevin described the location, container, and type of narcotics located within. The Deputy estimated the bags each contained one half ounce each.

Brock was released on scene with a citation for HS11377(a)- Possess a Controlled Substance; HS11350(a)- Possession of Heroin; and HS11364(a)- Possess Drug Paraphernalia. Ellis was released on scene with a citation for VC14601.1(a)- Suspended License; and VC16028(a)- No Insurance. Langevin was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and booked for HS11378 – Possession of a Controlled Substance for Sale; and HS11351- Possess or Purchase a Controlled Substance for Sale.

Robert Huntzinger and Billy Joe Giddings arraigned for jury trial for the alleged home invasion, robbery and homicide of Trevor Harrison

Arcata home invasion suspect Robert Huntzinger who was arrested for the May 9 home invasion robbery and homicide of Trevor Harrison, along with Billy Joe Giddings, were both arraigned on information this afternoon for a jury trial.

They were held to answer after an almost week long preliminary hearing. Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo appeared on behalf of DDA Roger Rees who is prosecuting this case.

Huntzinger is being represented by Russ Clanton and associates. Mr. David Celli appeared in court today with Huntzinger.  Giddings is being represented by Public Defender Mr. Luke Brownfield.

Both entered not guilty pleas and denied all special allegations. Both waived time.

Setting for trial date is scheduled on January 21, 2016 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 5.

"In the last 5 years, 400 firearms have been reported stolen in Eureka" ; EPD, Federal Firearm License Holders and ATF agents meet to work together

Two days ago, I reported on a meeting between Eureka Police Department and Federal Fierarm License holders.

The meeting was closed to press but as a follow-up, I got the following information from EPD's Brittany Powell.

"About 13 FFLs were in attendance today and two ATF agents.  We went over some statistics.  So far in 2015, 91 firearms have been reported stolen within the city limits of Eureka.  Over 100 firearms have been seized by EPD officers though drug busts, traffic stops, special enforcement raids, etc.  In the last 5 years, 400 firearms have been reported stolen in Eureka. "

"We had a round table discussion about safety and security of firearms.  There were many good ideas thrown out and several FFLs expressed interest in working together.  Some ideas included continued education after firearm purchase, a communication platform among FFLs, and an awareness flyer."

Aaron Ostrom, who owns Pacific Outfitters, and had a theft of guns at his store, attended the meeting. He told me, "We are looking forward in partnering with the Eureka Police Department to co-promote safe firearm storage. When you consider most firearms used in crimes are stolen firearms and how many stolen firearms are reported annually within Eureka city limits, we can stress enough the importance of locking up your firearm when you are not around."

Nov 17, 2015

EPD to meet with Federal Firearm License Holders this Thursday to talk about gun safety educational campaign

This Thursday, November 17 at 1pm, the Eureka Police Department is meeting with all FFL (Federal Firearm License) holders in the city of Eureka to talk about an educational campaign.

I contacted Pacific Outfitter's owner Aaron Ostrom who is a FFL holder. He told me that "We continually host free gun safety/cleaning clinics. In addition to that we have some literature that we hand out and talk about to all our customers. The other part of selling firearms is educating safety. "

This is part of the educational safety campaign that I posted about from Chief Mills on November 5, the day after the firearm storage ordinance was pulled from the Eureka City Council agenda.

November 5, 2015 post:

On Tuesday, I reported that EPD Chief Andy Mills had pulled the safe storage firearms ordinance, for now and was working instead to educate the public.

He also said he is open to better solutions from the comunity. At the EPD press conference yesterday, Chief Mills spoke passionately about gun safety issues.

I asked him to give me a preview of his educational campaign for gun safety.

Below are his remarks:

We are going to work with the gun dealer community and gun clubs to educate on best practices in the prevention of gun theft.  I have discussed with at least one dealer to offer a discount on safes here in Eureka should people want them.  In the meantime we will continue to monitor gun theft and attempts and compare before with after the campaign.  Further definition will come when we identify how we will promote better gun retention techniques. 

Jury selection complete for the Jason Armstrong jury trial; he is charged with homicide committed in Redway

Jury selection was completed this morning for the jury trial of Jason Armstrong who is charged with  the homicide of Daneyal Siddique of Redway California.

Mr. Kevin Robinson from the Public Defender's office is representing Armstrong. Deputy District Attorney Roger Rees is prosecuting the case.

The jury trial is not in session tomorrow or next week. Trail will resume Monday, November 30.

Despite criminal proceedings suspended in other cases, DA can still charge Jett with assault on deputy in a new case

I asked Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming if Jett would be arraigned for these new charges.

DA Maggie Fleming responded to me via email:

"We do not yet have that report. We are able to file charges on a person while other criminal proceedings are suspended.  (The defense in that situation can choose to seek to have the new charged case also suspended.)"

Kristopher Jett who is awaiting placement in a mental health facility and had an order signed for psychotropic medication and is charged with assault adds to his criminal charges. Criminal proceedings have been suspended in his case. He was arrested for an assault near the Courthouse Market.

Count 1 is assault with a deadly weapon with a special allegation of a prior conviction in Del Norte County for PC 594 (b) 1.

Count 2 Elder/Dependent abuse. The complaint alleges Jett willfully caused " an elder and dependent adult to suffer unjustifiable physical and mental suffering", the victim is James Louis Stratton. Same special allegation of prior conviction of P 594 (b) 1.

Jett also has a prior conviction from Del Norte County for PC 422 which is a special allegation for both counts.

On November 13, Judge Bruce Watson found Jett not competent to stand trial based on a report by Dr. Ramirez.

On November 16, a judgement of mental incompetence and order of placement as well as an order for anti psychotic medication was filed.

Robert Wall appointed as interim Director of Planning and Building for the County

The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors last week appointed Robert Wall to the position of Interim Director of Planning and Building.
Wall currently serves as the supervising long-range planner in the department. There he has helped guide the General Plan Update (GPU), developing a robust public outreach process including putting on workshops and hearings throughout the county. As interim director, Wall will supervise the department and continue guiding the GPU and the medical marijuana land use ordinance, among other duties.
Prior to his time with the county, Wall served as the senior long-range planner and then director for the Planning Department with the City of Eureka. While with the city, some of Wall’s accomplishments included two certified housing elements, serving as the project planner for the Lost Coast Brewery project, securing environmental clearances and coastal development permit for development of the Hikshari Trail, and finalizing the city’s historic preservation element of the general plan. Wall also worked in the private sector with SHN Consulting Engineers & Geologist for several years and prior to that was a planner with the County of Humboldt. Wall has also worked on three general plan update teams in the north state.
“Rob has already had a very positive impact in the Planning Department since he came on board,” said Estelle Fennell, Chair of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. “I look forward to working with him as we all work to make our Planning Department even better with greater customer service to our community.”
Other pieces of Wall’s background include being certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners since 2001, graduating from Humboldt State majoring in geography, and earning his master’s in rural and town planning from Chico State. Wall also served our country in the Coast Guard. He will replace Director Kevin Hamblin, who is set to retire in December and will serve until a permanent director is appointed.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to serve as interim director and look forward to the opportunity to work alongside our dedicated planning and building team and citizens of Humboldt County,” Wall said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deputy District Attorney David Christensen is prosecuting the case.

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

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

Nov 5, 2015

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

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

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

Sep 11, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

Previous post (with other links and coverage):

California Highway Patrol press release:

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

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

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

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

Kristopher Jett who is awaiting placement to be committed, has order for anti psychotic medication assaults HCSO Correctional Deputy

Kristopher Jett who is awaiting placement in a mental health facility and had an order signed for psychotropic medication and is charged with assault adds to his criminal charges. Criminal proceedings have been suspended in his case. He was arrested for an assault near the Courthouse Market.

Count 1 is assault with a deadly weapon with a special allegation of a prior conviction in Del Norte County for PC 594 (b) 1.

Count 2 Elder/Dependent abuse. The complaint alleges Jett willfully caused " an elder and dependent adult to suffer unjustifiable physical and mental suffering", the victim is James Louis Stratton. Same special allegation of prior conviction of P 594 (b) 1.

Jett also has a prior conviction from Del Norte County for PC 422 which is a special allegation for both counts.

On November 13, Judge Bruce Watson found Jett not competent to stand trial based on a report by Dr. Ramirez.

On November 16, a judgement of mental incompetence and order of placement as well as an order for anti psychotic medication was filed.

HCSO Press Release:

On Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at approximately 8:30 p.m. a Humboldt County Correctional Deputy was assaulted by an inmate, Kristopher Frank Jett, age 29. The inmate was housed in a maximum security unit due to assaultive behavior and threats made against Correctional Deputies. Two Correctional Deputies were present to let inmate Jett out of his cell for his daily shower. Inmate Jett casually walked out of his cell and as he passed one of the Correctional Deputies he turned toward the Correctional Deputy and punched the Correctional Deputy in the face with a closed fist. Inmate Jett continued to punch the Correctional Deputy several more times. The Correctional Deputy attempted to block the punches and successfully backed away far enough to deploy their department issued Taser. Inmate Jett was unaffected when hit by the Taser probes and retreated into his cell. As this was occurring, the second Correctional Deputy radioed for backup and withdrew their department issued Taser. Inmate Jett was secured in his cell by Correctional Deputies. Inmate Jett is being charged with PC243.1- Battery on a Custodial Officer; and PC241.1 – Assault on a Custodial Officer. Jett has been in custody since October 13, 2015 for warrant for PC245(a)(1)- Assault with a Deadly Weapon. The Correctional Deputy victim declined medical attention.

On Thursday, November 19, 2015 at approximately 6:05 a.m. a Correctional Deputy was conducting a routine check on inmates in cells when inmate William Glen Abram, age 57, charged his door and pushed his way out. The Correctional Deputy attempted to contain inmate Abram, and a struggle ensued. Inmate Abram punched the Correctional Deputy in the face four times with a closed fist. Inmate Abram prevented the Correctional Deputy from radioing for more assistance. An additional Correctional Deputy began to assist and was able to radio for more assistance. Both Correctional Deputies deployed their department issued Tasers and the Taser probes contacted inmate Abram with minimal affect. Additional Correctional Deputies arrived and they were able to contain Abrams. The injured Correctional Deputy was treated at a local hospital for his injuries. Inmate Abrams is being charged with PC 243.1 – Battery on a Custodial Officer. Inmate Abram was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility just hours earlier on charges of PC245(a)(1)-Assault with a Deadly Weapon and PC243(e)(1)- Battery against a Spouse or Cohabitant.

It is undetermined if these incidents are related at this time.

Betty Chinn gets a surprise this morning thanks to AAA and Pacific Towing employees

Betty Chinn got a surprise this morning. Justin McCray, business manager for AAA delivered food donations that were donated by AAA and Pacific Towing employees to the Betty Kwan Chinn Day Center, mostly to be used for holiday dinners.