Dec 31, 2015

$100,000 damage in Cutten fire, cause electrical

             At approximately 2:05 PM, Humboldt Bay Fire responded to a reported structure fire in the 6200 block of Avalon Drive, Cutten with 3 engines, a squad and 2 duty officers. The first arriving engine reported a two-story residence with an attached commercial nursery with heavy fire showing from the first floor. A second alarm was requested bringing an additional truck, engine and duty officer to the scene. Fire crews entered the structure and attacked the fire. Additional arriving crews vented the roof and searched for occupants with none found as the occupants were not home at the time of the fire.

             The fire quickly extended from the first to the second floor and fire crews were able to bring it under control within approximately 15 minutes. The fire was contained to the residence with no extension into the commercial nursery. Fire units remained on scene for several hours to overhaul the structure and extinguish hot spots as there was a large amount of contents inside the structure.
             The cause of the fire was determined to be electrical and accidental in nature and damage was estimated to be $100,000 to the structure and contents. Two mutual aid engines provided coverage within Humboldt Bay Fire's jurisdiction during the incident.

             The occupants were provided with Visa gift cards from the departments “Assistance to Victims” program allowing them to purchase immediate critical need items as the structure was not inhabitable following the fire.

Bringing dignity, protectecting human rights and bridging relationships between the homeless and others, Erin hopes promises today will pan out

Erin Powers Taylor said, "I believe we had about 10 to 12  housed individuals, from all different groups, many involved in different social justice and human rights groups."

"Our huge goal was to make a presences, which I absolutely believe we did. Both Chief Mills and Captain Watson were out at this Thursday "clean up" which is not the usual thing for them. With this more public can and have been able to see what is going on, and were able to ask questions face to face with our Chief and Captain. At this point lots of promises have been made, on working with us to find a more humane way to support these folks out there in the Palco Marsh, all we can do is see if they will actually pan out."

" I am a Co creator of Friends of the Palco Marsh, amongst many other hats that I work with. We were created after the very first services fair, where I and a couple other folks there, under another group, saw and felt that these folks needed us. They needed a voice, compassion and support. We are in constant conversations with the folks back there, we do serve a lunch every Friday but we do so much more, our main goal has been to bridge relationships and to give support in anyway we can and most of all to bring them dignity and protect their human rights. We support the idea of sanctuary camps and declaring a Shelter Crisis which both are on the Eureka City Council Agenda for Tuesday, I and many others will be there."

Instead of a protest, dialogue occurs and EPD receives an offer from a private group to help relocate the homeless

"It really didn’t feel like a protest to me," said Captain Steve Watson. "We had some engaging conversations with some compassionate, intelligent and reasonable people and all agreed we need to work together to find a path forward to address homelessness in our community."

"To my knowledge, no one interfered with the City’s clean-up operations which were as usual," said Captain Watson. "We even received and accepted an offer from a gentleman representing a private group to help relocate (in an organized, productive and orderly manner) those in the newly closed northernmost section."

Senator McGuire Named Legislator of the Year by AMVETS

Senator Mike McGuire was honored by the recent announcement that he has been chosen by AMVETS as 2015 Legislator of the Year. He was selected, along with Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Oakley) “for their steadfast support of military veterans, active service personnel, and their families.”
“I am honored by the recognition from AMVETS. The organization does incredible work fighting on behalf of those who fought so hard for all of us, our nation’s veterans. I’m proud to work with AMVETS and veteran service organizations all throughout this great state to ensure our heroes have the resources they need to thrive,” Senator Mike McGuire said.
The AMVETS Legislator of the Year honor is awarded to a select group of legislators who have gone the extra mile to support California’s veterans and their families.
This year, Senator McGuire successfully authored SB 685, which expanded the ability of veteran service organizations from across California to broaden their community building and fundraising capabilities. These fundraising initiatives help pay for services and programs that benefit the health and well-being of local veterans. McGuire worked hand in hand with veteran service organizations to get the bill passed, including AMVETS.
“Senator McGuire gets it. He immediately understood the challenges facing veterans halls and the need for veterans service organizations to maintain their viability. I have known Mike for a long time and he has always supported veterans when he was on the Healdsburg City Council and the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. It was a pleasure working with him and his staff on SB 685 and we look forward to continuing that relationship going forward in service to our veterans,” said Lorraine Plass, Team AMVETS Legislative Committee Chair.
McGuire has a long record of supporting California’s veterans. He brought forward the policy that made Sonoma County one of the first in the State to be designated a Purple Heart County. He also led the effort that provided all Sonoma County veterans with free access to public transit. The measure, the first in California, provides thousands of local veterans with access to reliable transportation which connects veterans to jobs, medical care and desperately needed services via Sonoma County Transit.
The Legislator of the Year Awards will be presented at the Team AMVETS’ Annual Day at the Capitol event on April 6, 2016.

Pizza robbery machete wielding suspect's jury trial start date undetermined

Charles Kesselring's court appearance was waived for trial assignment calendar this morning by his attorney, Ms. Christina Allbright. Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo was present for the People.

The case was set to begin jury trial on January 4, it will be called that morning, but since it is a time waived case and many other trials are starting next week , Judge Joyce Hinrichs said "it is unlikely to proceed until later of next week."

Due to some scheduling issues with court availability and Ms. Allbright's schedule, the jury trial may be reset.

Sep 29, 2015

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:

Jury trial for sexual assault suspect Markis Shirley charged with forcible rape, forcible threats, false imprisonment and sexual penetration by foreign object expected to start next week

The defense in the Markis Shirley case provided some discovery to the People this morning before the trial assignment calendar was called. Conflict Counsel's Mr. David Lee is representing Shirley.
Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo was present for the People during trial assignment; DDA Stacey Eads is prosecuting this case.

The trial assignment for this case was continued until Monday, January 4, when the jury trial was supposed to begin. It is expected to proceed on Tuesday, January 5.

Mr. Lee waived Shirley's presence for today's hearing. He talked with family members and supporters of Shirley before and after trial assignment. The trial is expected to last 10 days, if there are full day sessions.

Nov 12, 2015

DA's office adds charges of sexual penetration by a foreign object, criminal threats and false imprisonment by violence in additton to forcible rape against Markis Shirley

Markis Shirley who was held to answer on the charge of forcible rape after his preliminary hearing, was arraigned on information this afternoon in Courtroom 1. The District Attorney has filed three additional counts against Shirley for the jury trial.

Count 1 is forcible rape, Count 2 is sexual penetration by a foreign object, Count 3 is forcible threats, Count 4 is false imprisonment by violence.

Oct 28, 2015

Markis Shirley held to answer on forcible rape charge; he laughed as victim tearfully testified about her being brutally raped him

A preliminary hearing for Markis Shirley was held this morning. He is charged with one count of forcible rape.

After testimony by the victim, her friend and EPD detective Ron Harpham, Judge Dale Reinholtsen held Shirley to answer on the charge of forcible rape.

Arraignment on information will be November 12 at 2 p.m.

DDA Stacey Eads subbed in for her colleague Ms. Brie Bennett. Conflict Counsel's Mr. David Lee is representing Shirley. The investigating officer is EPD's Detective Ron Harpham.

The victim, Jane Doe testified this morning, followed by her friend,  Nathan King, and the preliminary hearing was continued to this afternoon at 2:30 to wrap up with Detective Ron Harpham's testimony. Two victim witness representatives were in court this morning as was an unidentified older African-American lady, known to Shirley, who interrupted Doe's testimony and was admonished by Judge Dale Reinholtsen. Four other supporters for Shirley showed up in the afternoon.

Race was not brought up by the People but in his cross, Mr. Lee asked Jane Doe about Shirley being African American and her being Caucasian. This was in reference to how Shirley and,Jane Doe met. The victim is an escort and also trims for a living. According to her, Shirley came to her hotel room as a potential client, he did not have the money and instead of leaving, he allegedly raped her. Jane Doe said race was not an issue as long as the client was clean cut and treated her with respect.

Before court started, Mr. Lee talked with Shirley and asked if he would plead to the rape charge, Shirley refused.

Ms. Eads said that the People intended to provide additional evidence and add/amend charges to include criminal threats, false imprisonment, resisting arrest and a special allegation of use of a deadly weapon other than a firearm. This was so that the People have the opton of filing additional charges for jury trial. Judge Reinholtsen said if the evidence is shown, the District Attorney's office can file additional charges.

Today's testimony opened the door for that possibility.

The victim testified how Shirley threw her on the bed, forced her face into the bed when she tried to speak, threatened to cut her unless she was a good girl". She broke down on the stand.

Shirley laughed during points of her testimony and again, when Detective Harpham testified about Shirley being apprehended and resisting arrest.

I will have posts later with detailed testimony from the witnesses.

Oct 15, 2015

$150, 000 bail set for sexual assault suspect Markis Shirley, he mouths "wtf" in court

Shirley was just arraigned in Courtroom 5. On the new felony, sexual assault charge, the bail was set at $150,000.

There is one count in the new case which is rape by force/violence and duress. PC 261 (a) 2.

He also has 3 other cases, one is a violation of probation.

DDA Brie Bennett prosecuting. Conflict Counsel's Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis representing Shirley.

A woman was in court to support Shirley. She was admonished by bailiff for trying to talk to him. Shirley mouthed "wtf" to her later as bail was set and he was being served with a CLETS order in court.

Markis also has three other pending cases with charges that include taking a vehicle without an owner's consent, driving with a suspended and revoked license and failure to provide evidence of financial responsibility.


On 10/13/15 at about 10:29 a.m., an Officer with the Eureka Police Department spotted Markis Shirley walking near the 2500 block of Union Street.  After a quick foot pursuit, Shirley was taken into custody near the 2500 block of California Street. 
Shirley was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and booked for sexual assault. 

Original Press Release:

On 10-4-2015, at about 0555 hours, Eureka Police Officers responded to a locale downtown motel for a report of a rape that just occurred. Investigators have developed probable cause to arrest Markis Shirley for the sexual assault. If any person has information where Shirley is located call EPD Dispatch Center at 441-4044. If any person has information about this crime please contact Detective Harpham at 441-4305.

Shirley is described as a BMA, about 6’1”, 135 lbs with black hair and brown eyes. 
Previous posts:

Invocation policy to be rescinded at next Eureka City Council meeting; bill introduced to ban commercial cultivation of medical cannabis in Eureka

After public comment, this is the first item.

Public Hearing – Medical Cannabis Ordinance Amendment 

Recommendation: Hold a public hearing; Waive reading, read by title only and Introduce Bill No. 904-C.S. “An Ordinance of the City of Eureka Amending Eureka Municipal Code Title 15 Chapter 158 Medical Cannabis Cultivation, Processing and Distribution to ban commercial cultivation of Medical Cannabis”; and Waive reading, read by title only, and introduce Bill No. 905-C.S. “An Ordinance of the City of Eureka adding Title 10, Chapter 5, Article 30 Medical Cannabis Cultivation to the Eureka Municipal Code to ban commercial cultivation of medical cannabis.

The first item on the consent calendar is:

Policy No. 1.25 Invocations at City Council Meetings
Recommendation: Rescind Policy No. 1.25 “Invocations at City Council Meetings”

Dec 30, 2015

No weapons used in assault last night at 2nd and C

This was first reported on Kym Kemp's blog last night

 I followed up with EPD this morning.

Brittany Powell told me that a male victim went to his friend's apartment on 2nd and reported he had been assaulted by two men who took his wallet. No weapons were used.

He complained of pain in his back and ribs and was taken to the hospital. Officers searched the area but were unable to locate suspects.

Dec 29, 2015

Humboldt County Courts more progressive than San Francisco on bail

Bill Damiano, Chief Probation Officer for Humboldt County responded via email about our local bail schedules.

Humboldt County has a court bail schedule set by the court and historically (based on data prepared for our Pretrial Assistance grant) about 17% of people booked into the jail are released on bail bond.  The remainder of releases are either on Own Recognizance (OR – about 64%, predominantly misdemeanors), a jail booking matrix OR (see description below, about 18%) or an ordered release on our Supervised Release Program (SRP – about 2.3%).

Persons who are booked into the jail  are screened for pretrial release on the Supervised Release Program based on risk to re-offend while pending adjudication in the present matter, or likelihood to FTA for court.  The jail staff does the initial assessment with the Ohio Risk Assessment System – Pretrial Assessment Tool (ORAS-PAT) on all offenders brought in, and they use the scores to help determine who gets released outright with a promise to appear (because they are lower risk, and therefore likely to show up to court and not commit a new offense while pending court).  There are some categories of offenses that are not eligible for consideration for release (“serious” and “violent” felonies as defined by the Penal Code, for instance). 

The tool forms the basis for the jail booking matrix, guiding decision-making regarding booking someone into custody depending upon the current/recent capacity of the jail and their assessed risk to re-offend or FTA.  Lower risk offenders are screened out at booking.  In order to maintain control of the jail population and keep detainees and staff safe, as the jail gets closer to capacity (around 80% and 90%), the score eligible for consideration of matrix OR release increases.  Normally a score of 3 or less in released OR with a promise to appear.  At 90% capacity, a score of 5 or less will be considered.  The tool always allows for an override by a supervisor, with proper justification.  

Bottom line:  Eligibility for release on OR, pursuant to the jail booking matrix, or the SRP program is not based on ability to pay, having a home or a job.  In fact, we have had quite a number of individuals with no stable residence or job ordered by the court into the SRP program (about 35% of those ordered into the program, on average).   

San Francisco and California bail system unconstitutional?

The same AP article in the link above was reprinted in several media outlets.


Crystal Patterson didn't have the cash or assets to post $150,000 bail and get out of jail after her arrest for assault in October.

So Patterson, 39, promised to pay a bail bonds company $15,000 plus interest to put up the $150,000 bail for her, allowing to go home and care for her invalid grandmother.

The day after her release, the district attorney decided not to pursue charges. But Patterson still owes the bail bonds company. Criminal justice reformers and lawyers at a nonprofit Washington D.C. legal clinic say that is unconstitutionally unfair.

The lawyers have filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Patterson, Rianna Buffin and other jail inmates who argue that San Francisco and California's bail system unconstitutionally treats poor and wealthy suspects differently.

I spoke with a couple bail bond companies. One person said that "it will bankrupt the cities and the County. This does not work. It was tried in Philadelphia and it cost them to be bankrupt to the tune of one billion."

Links to Philadelphia bail reform:

Philadelphia : A Case Study of Public Policy Disaster  
About 40 years ago, Philadelphia assumed exclusive control over the city’s bail system by abolishing private bail services and implementing its own pretrial release service. The typical Philadelphia defendant is required to deposit only 10 percent of his total bail assigned by the judge and sign a statement agreeing that he will owe the remaining 90 percent for failure to appear on the court date.[2] According to a recent investigation by The Philadelphia Inquirer
For decades, Philadelphia court officials have presided over an ineffective bail system that allowed accused criminals to skip court virtually without consequence. Defendants routinely failed to appear in court and just as routinely, failed to pay the forfeited bail that was supposed to come due as a result.[3] 
Further, Philadelphia court officials admitted that no one made any effort to collect the money owed the city by those who had skipped their court dates.[4]  
What is the result of the city’s pretrial release services? Today, fugitive defendants owe the city more than $1 billion for failing to appear for their trials.[5] Further, there are more than 47,000 defendants wanted on bench warrants for failing to appear for trial.[6] 
The Private Sector Does it Better (Again)  
Private bail bond insurers provide important services to defendants and society at no cost to taxpayers. In exchange for a fee, private bond agents secure the release of defendants from jail while the accused await trail. Compared to other types of pretrial release, research indicates that private bond agents are more effective at ensuring defendants make their court appearances.[7] Individuals who obtain their release through private bond agents are 28 percent less likely to fail to appear before court than when freed on their own recognizance.[8] When defendants fail to appear before the courts and remain at large for more than a year, private bond agents seem to be more effective at catching these fugitives than public law enforcement. Those released through the assistance of private bond agents have a fugitive rate that is 53 percent lower than the fugitive rates of those released on their own recognizance.[9] 

Dec 28, 2015

Sheriff deputies will be patrolling and checking for individuals allegedly trespassing and trashing private property in Kneeland

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind those looking for fun in the snow that Kneeland is all private property. The Sheriff’s Office has received numerous complaints about people leaving their trash and damaging the landscape while on private property. The property owners are left with the responsibility to clean up after trespassers. The United States Forest Service has public property available for people to enjoy, and remember to remove all belongings, including trash that was brought with you. Deputies will be conducting extra patrol checks in this area and may issue citations to individuals trespassing on private property.

To report trespassing or any other incident, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or leave an anonymous tip at (707) 268-2539.

In his resignation letter, Phillip Smith Hanes thanks Loretta Sands, the staff, the Board and highlights some of the successes under his administration

This is a copy of the resignation letter Phillip Smith Hanes sent to the Board of Supervisors. Anyone that has been to board meetings regularly knows that Phil is being very modest. He has always been very accessible and helpful to the public and a great support to the Supervisors and the County.

Wishing you the best in Kansas, Phil.

December 14, 2015

Board of Supervisors:

This is to notify you that I am resigning from employment with Humboldt County. I have
accepted a position as County Administrator for Ellis County, Kansas. Pursuant to the
terms of my contract, this resignation will be effective in 45 days. My last day with
Humboldt County will be Friday, January 29, 2016.

In the words of a fifty-year-old song, quoting a 2,300-year-old sacred text, “to everything
there is a season, and a time to every purpose.” One’s departure from an organization
not uncommonly encompasses many of these times – “a time to weep and a time to
laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” I am naturally sad to be leaving an
organization – and a community – in which I have found a home for more than 10 years.
I am mournful for all the work left undone, which I will not get to be a part of. Yet I am
also joyous at the remembrance of all that we have accomplished together and
celebratory at the prospect of the new opportunity before me. Therefore, please permit
me a few reflections.

First and foremost, I am proud to have been part of working with a wonderful staff to
help your Board carry out the mission of this organization. Together, we have weathered
a horrible economic crisis and helped build a stronger county for the future.
Over my time in Humboldt County, I’ve worked to prepare the county for the next storm
that will inevitably come our way. In particular, with the help of many dedicated
employees, we have achieved successes in:

 Developing the strengths of our workforce through creation and support of the
Humboldt County Leadership Academies and the fostering of self-directed work
teams through the Humboldt-21 initiative.
 Better alignment of County resources around your Board’s priorities through
development and annual review of the Strategic Framework.
 More robust planning for our financial future through quarterly budget updates,
development of a five-year financial forecast, and set-asides for facilities and
retirement funding.
 Greater engagement with our residents through efforts such as the interactive
community budget meetings, the Open Humboldt Forum online participation tool
and the Citizens’ Advisory Committee on Measure Z Expenditures.
There is still much work to be done, including:
 Continued policy development such as needed policies on retirement funding
and debt financing.
 Completion of construction projects, including the new Juvenile Hall, the
expanded Jail/Community Corrections Resource Center, and a new building at
the site of the current Public Defender office to house financial functions.
 Even more transparency for our staff and residents through implementation of the
Socrata open budget web portal.
 Continued progress in systems review, including implementation of changes to our
computerized financial system and potential reorganization of departments.

I am confident, however, that Humboldt County has in place all the resources needed to
tackle these additional tasks. One of the reasons I am comfortable transitioning to a new
opportunity at this time is the faith I have in our current staff. We have built a team that is
on par with any local government in America and they will continue to successfully
implement your Board’s policy direction long after I have left the organization.

While staff throughout the organization deserves recognition, I would be remiss if I did not
specifically call to your attention the wonderful and dedicated staff of the County
Administrative Office. Whether they work in Economic Development, Information
Technology, Purchasing, Revenue Recovery, or the Management and Budget Team, the
staff of our office are among the unsung heroes of the organization. They work tirelessly
on “background” processes that support the work of other County staff and
departments and I want to take this chance to thank them for the spirit they bring to this
work each and every day.

Finally, I need to thank your Board and your predecessors for allowing me the
opportunity to serve as your CAO. I am also grateful to my predecessor, Loretta Sands,
for her encouragement and mentorship. I cannot think of a more supportive place to
have begun my journey as a chief administrator than in Humboldt County. Please
continue to treat the staff and your new CAO as well as you have treated me.

Thank you and best wishes,

$75,000 bail set for Rachel Randall allegedly in possession of 200 lbs of processed weed and evidence of sales

On Wednesday, December 23, 2015 at approximately 12:30 p.m. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputies were sent to a residence on the 1000 block of Cameron Ct, McKinleyville, for a report of an alarm. Upon arrival, deputies checked the residence and found an open door. Deputies entered the residence through the open door and located a large indoor marijuana grow. The Humboldt County Drug Task Force was called and a search warrant was obtained and served.

Deputies located approximately 200 lbs of processed marijuana, and evidence of sales. Rachel Randall, 22, arrived at the residence when the search warrant was being served. She was arrested for possession of marijuana for sale, and possession of concentrated cannabis. Her bail was set at $75,000.

Dec 27, 2015

Freshly popped popcorn leads to arrest in Fortuna

On December 23, 2015 at approximately 9:45 PM hours, officers with the Fortuna Police Department were dispatched to a business located in the 1300 block of Main Street for a suspicious report. Upon arrival, officers contacted an employee, who had entered the business and observed several items out of place.

Officers entered the business and immediately smelled the odor of freshly popped popcorn. Officers located a male adult, later identified as Tyrone Jones, just getting up off the couch and appeared to have just woken up. Jones was contacted and detained in handcuffs.
Next to Jones on the couch officers located a multi colored handbag, and plaid sweater. Inside the bag officers located computer equipment and electrical computer cords that had been removed from offices within the building. On the ground directly next to the couch where Jones was located, officers located another black bag which contained an HP laptop, 6 checkbooks bearing the name of employees, and more computer cords. In addition, there was an empty bag of microwave popcorn and empty soda can on the ground next to the couch.

Jones was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for PC 459, PC 496, and PC 1203.2.

Dec 26, 2015

Campaign kick off next Saturday for Uri Driscoll features helping to build a native dune forest

Come join Uri Driscoll and his team for the campaign kick- off for District Three Supervisor at the Manila Community Center playground Saturday January 2, 2016.

One of our featured events will be helping to build a native dune forest. We have 100 native shore pine trees to plant in the neighboring dunes. Pick a place to plant a small family grove or a tree for a favorite pet or loved one. Trees will be provided. If you have a shovel, bring it along.
Tree planting starts at 11 am and lunch starts at noon.

Bring your kids, your dogs, your horses and a New Year spirit as we get treated to a bowl full of “Wild Dutch Oven Dick’s” famous chill-killin’ chili and cornbread and hot mulled cider.
Rain date is the following Saturday January 9, 2016. Light showers will not postpone. 

For more information and to RSVP, contact Uri Driscoll at 707-496-2122 or

Check us out on the web

Dec 25, 2015

$6,000 damage estimate for fire caused by newspaper and kindling placed too close to stove

Shortly after midnight on December 25th Humboldt Bay Fire was dispatched to an
investigation of a house fire which the owner believed to be extinguished but
needed verification that the fire was out. The initial dispatch included a squad
and an engine (five firefighters) to investigate and remove smoke from the
residence. Upon arrival the officer from Squad 8174 observed moderate smoke
and fire coming from a window and heavy smoke throughout the residence.
Based upon conditions the response was upgraded to a first alarm assignment.
First arriving crews quickly knocked down the fire and removed smoke from the

The fire was caused by newspaper and kindling being placed too close to an
operating wood burning stove. Heat from the stove ignited the newspaper and
started the fire, spreading to walls and surrounding combustibles. The owner
said she woke up with her dog, which ordinarily sleeps in the living room near the
wood stove, in her bedroom barking. After realizing her home was on fire she
attempted to extinguish it with a garden hose before calling 911. There were no
working smoke detectors inside the residence. The owner and dog were
uninjured, but unfortunately a pet bird and frog died due to smoke exposure.
Property damage is estimated at $6,000.

Dec 24, 2015

Three arrested for alleged mail theft in Ukiah

  On 12/24/2015 Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office noticed several mail boxes open along the rural areas of Highway 253 and Robinson Creek Road.  Closer inspection revealed the mail boxes appeared to have been ransacked and several items of mail were strewn down the roadway.
  Due to previous mail thefts in the area, and with the approaching Christmas Holiday, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office had begun surveillance of several locations in some of the rural areas fearing further mail thefts would occur.  Deputies viewed surveillance materials and were able to identify a vehicle associated with the theft.
  Deputies began searching the Ukiah area for the vehicle and located it at 1340 North State Street, the Discovery Inn.  Deputies learned the vehicle was associated with subjects in a particular room.  Detectives contacted Daniel Montalvo in the room and entered the room seizing it for search warrant.  Also located in this room were Shannon Archer, Joshua Dean, and Lewis Dishman.  Joshua Dean initially used a false name stating he was another person.
  Deputies received a search warrant for the room and the vehicle from a judge of the Mendocino County Superior Court and served the search warrant.  Located in the room were firearms, drug paraphernalia, pepper spray, stolen mail from multiple locations throughout the Ukiah Valley including the Highway 253 area as well as burglary tools and indicia of occupancy.
  A search of the vehicle was also completed, Deputies located stolen firearm components as well as stolen property from locations within the Ukiah valley.
  Shannon Archer was found to have convictions which precluded her from possession of firearms.  Deputies were able to positively identify Joshua Dean through photographs and learned he had outstanding arrest warrants for parole violations as well as local warrants.
  Montalvo, Dishman and Dean were arrested and booked on charges of 182 PC Criminal conspiracy, 530.5e Mail theft, 496 PC Possession of stolen property and 466 PC possession of burglary tools.  Dean was also charged with 529 PC impersonation of another.    Archer was arrested and booked on charges of 29800 PC Felon possessing a firearm and 22810a Felon possessing pepper spray.
  An investigation into this case is continuing as more victims are being located.  If you have any information regarding this crime or believe you may have been a victim in this case please contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at (707) 234-2100.

Shane Sovereign arrrested, warrant out for Dalina Sovereign in alleged robbery on Herrick Avenue

On Wednesday, December 23, 2015, at approximately 7:45 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a robbery on Herrick Ave at Elk River Rd. When deputies arrived they spoke with a 37 year old female victim. The victim, who is familiar with the suspects, stated she met with them to provide gas for their vehicle. The victim and female suspect were sitting in the victim’s vehicle when the female suspect quickly took the victims cell phone and wallet and exited the vehicle. The male suspect then reached in the vehicle and sprayed the victim with bear mace. In an attempt to get away from the suspects, the victim sped away in her vehicle and veered off of the roadway over a small embankment. The victim was transported to a local hospital where she was treated for her non-life threatening her injuries.
Deputies were able to locate the male suspect, 38 year old Shane Sovereign. Sovereign was arrested for robbery, conspiracy to commit a crime, and felon in possession of tear gas. He was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and his bail was set at $50,000.
The female suspect, 37 year old Dalina Sovereign, is still outstanding. She was contacted by phone and stated she was going to turn herself in to law enforcement but has yet to do so. A warrant been issued for her arrest.

Dec 23, 2015

Delila Colegrove arrested for alleged drug paraphenelia and possession of a loaded firearm


On Monday, December 21, 2015, when arrestee Delila Colegrove was being booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility, Correctional Deputies located .5 grams of methamphetamine in a body cavity. Colegrove was additionally arrested for possession of a controlled substance in prison/jail. Her bail was raised to $55,000.
The vehicle Colegrove was arrested in was discovered to be an unreported stolen vehicle. The vehicle was reported as stolen during a burglary in the Willow Creek area on Tuesday, December 22, 2015. The key for the vehicle was located in Colegrove’s purse. This case is currently under investigation.

On Monday, December 21, 2015 at approximately 1:20 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the Hoopa Post Office for a patrol check on a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot. When deputies arrived, they contacted a male and a female in the vehicle. The deputies recognized the occupants from prior law enforcement contacts.
While speaking with the deputies, the female passenger, 27 year old Delila Colegrove, admitted to having drug paraphernalia in her purse. The deputy requested permission to search her purse and she agreed. The deputy located the drug paraphernalia in Colegrove’s purse and placed her under arrest for possession of unlawful paraphernalia. The deputies searched the vehicle and located a loaded firearm in the center console. Carrying a loaded firearm in a public place was added to Colegrove’s booking. Colegrove was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where she was booked under the above charges. Her bail has been set at $25,000. The male vehicle occupant was released on scene.

Dec 22, 2015

EPD forwards report of today's shoplifting spree to DA's office to obtain arrest warrant

Just spoke with EPD's Brittany Powell. A report has been forwarded to the District Attorney's office to get a warrant for arrest. This was done after the identity of the primary suspect was known.

What used to be shoplifting under Prop 47, is now charged as a misdemeanor under Penal Code 459.5, said Ms. Powell.


459.5.  (a) Notwithstanding Section 459, shoplifting is defined as
entering a commercial establishment with intent to commit larceny
while that establishment is open during regular business hours, where
the value of the property that is taken or intended to be taken does
not exceed nine hundred fifty dollars ($950). Any other entry into a
commercial establishment with intent to commit larceny is burglary.
Shoplifting shall be punished as a misdemeanor, except that a person
with one or more prior convictions for an offense specified in clause
(iv) of subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of
Section 667 or for an offense requiring registration pursuant to
subdivision (c) of Section 290 may be punished pursuant to
subdivision (h) of Section 1170.
   (b) Any act of shoplifting as defined in subdivision (a) shall be
charged as shoplifting. No person who is charged with shoplifting may
also be charged with burglary or theft of the same property.

From EPD"S Facebook page:

Update: We know the identity of the primary suspect. Thank you to everyone who shared and helped identify. 
Be on the lookout! 

In the last hour we have had 3 reports of a male and two females entering local stores and stealing large amounts of clothing. Suspects are reportedly driving a black Kia Forte CA plate 6LUS253. The three suspects haven't all entered each location.
The surveillance images below are from a local clothing store on the 500 block of 4th street. The two females stole several articles of clothing and left in the black Kia at about 11:45 a.m. 

Call EPD at 441-4044 if you have any information. More information and descriptions will be shared as available.

Lindsay Kaminsky finally reunited with her husband, Court, DA and defense work together for a beneficial resolution

Judge Timothy Cissna accepted the conditional plea from Lindsay Kaminsky and she will be released today to go home and be reunited with her husband, Glenn Kaminsky, the victim in this case.

Three years of formal supervised probation. Instead of a 52 week batterer's program generally required in domestic violence cases, in this case, Judge Cissna found good cause to order individual and mental health counseling related to domestic violence. Compliance will be monitored by probation.

Judge Cissna said that counseling would be "beneficial to the victim, Ms. Kaminsky and society. " Judge Cissna said his decision was based, "given the mental health factors and circumstances leading up to the case and comments from Ms. Kaminsky and the victim."

There were several terms of probation added and modified by Judge Cissna. The existing CLETS order will be modified to a conduct order and served on January 14 at 4 p.m. in Courtroom 4.

Deputy District Attorney Jackie Pizzo was present for the People today since DDA David Christensen is currently in an all day jury trial. Mr. Manny Daskal was present with Lindsay Kaminsky.

Mr. Kaminsky did not wish to address the court.

Nov 20, 2015

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.
Original press release:

On 06/05/2015 at approximately 0806 hours, the Arcata Police Department responded to the 1000 block of 14th Street for the report of a male subject that had just been stabbed in the throat.
Upon officer’s arrival, they located the male victim conscious and alert. The male identified the suspect as Lindsay Kaminsky (25 years of Arcata). The suspect fled the residence prior to police arrival, but was quickly located in a nearby park. The victim was transported to Mad River Community Hospital where he is in serious condition.
Kaminsky was booked at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for the following charges:
P.C. 245(a)(1) – Assault with a Deadly Weapon
P.C. 273.5(a) – Domestic Violence.

Three counts of first degree felony burglary filed against Crescent City Post Office Supervisor for alleged theft of prescription drugs

Felony charges have been filed by Del Norte District Attorney's office against Hollie Maready, who is under investigation for alleged theft of prescription drugs from coworkers and area veterans.

Maready is to be arraigned tomorrow afternoon for three counts of first degree felony burglary. District Attorney Dale Trigg said additional charges might be added or others dropped during the adjudication process.

According to the Triplicate article, one of those charges is considered a violent felony since it pertains to an incident in which a non-accomplice party was present. Maready’s husband said she entered a rehabilitation facility in early September soon after investigators searched her home and vehicle.

Read full article at

Previous post:

Sep 23, 2015

Crescent City post office supervisor under investigation for alleged theft of prescription drugs

Excerpt from the Triplicate article:

A supervisor at the Crescent City post office is under investigation for theft of prescription drugs from coworkers and area veterans, according to court records.
Hollie Maready, 39, is suspected of using her position as supervisor of customer service for the U.S. Postal Service to steal pharmaceuticals from packages, coworkers, and private homes.
Maready hasn’t been charged with any crime.

Read the full story, here is the link:

Call APD if you spot this car

From Mckinleyville Community Watch:

Dec 21, 2015

Will Humboldt County's Agency Shop for non union County employees be upheld as legal by the U. S. Supreme Court decision expected in 2016?

I was speaking with a County employee. This is not someone in top management, this is someone working every day on the front lines.

I mentioned the labor negotiations today that took place during closed session for the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. No report out of that session today.

This employee told  me that  the Union last year voted that non-union employees need to pay 1.3 of their gross income or join as union members and pay dues yet they have no say in labor negotiations and no vote.

Dan Fulks, County Director of Human Resources, clarified and gave me more details. This is from an email he sent in response to my questions:

Hello John,

“Agency Shop” is the term for what AFSCME has negotiated for in the last contract period.  Technically what was negotiated was the right to have a “Card Check” wherein State Mediation and Conciliation Service came in and counted the number of existing union members, then compared that number to the total number of bargaining unit employees.  If the result was 50% plus one or more then they qualified to have the “Agency Shop” by default, and the count was more than sufficient to qualify.  This means that all unit members will either pay a “service fee” and not join the union or become a full union member and pay regular dues. 

Voting is a matter that is controlled by the union and their bylaws.  Typically only full members can vote according to most bylaws in my experience.  As to the amount unions charge for dues we (the County) do not have any control over what amount is charged, those are union matters that we do not delve into.

Dan Fulks
Director of Human Resources

The U.S. Supreme Court has taken the issue of Agency Shop legality on in this session because in some states it is legal and others it is not legal.  By the end of June of 2016, a decision on this matter is expected.

Tyler Durant's repeated arrests and pending alleged charges get him denied release on OR

Judge Timothy Cissna denied release on OR for Tyler Durant this afternoon. Durant is being represented by Public Defender Ms. Heidi Holmquist.

Deputy District Attorney Roger Rees pointed out the number of files and open cases against Durant and his failure to appear in court on December 10. Judge Cissna noted Durant's criminal history and alleged charges which include repeated arrests, many for felonies and this has built up over the years.

Intervention is set for December 31 at 3 p.m. in Courtroom 5. Preliminary hearing is on January 4, 2016 at 8:30 a.m.

Bail set for $165,000 for Tyler Durant's six open cases, including his recent arrest this Tuesday

From LOCO"S Booked:

TYLER JOSEPH DURANTFOPDFRESH ARRESTPossession of Controlled SubstanceHS11379.6(a),PC29800(a)(1),HS11350(a)Receiving Stolen PropertyTuesday, Dec. 15
9:27 a.m.

A citizen emailed me to follow up on Tyler Durant's arrest. This is from that email:

"He was arrested in Fortuna Tuesday morning after a night of thievery. He took things out of my neighbors car, my car and other places in Fortuna."

Durant's alleged charges are listed above.

Durant was arraigned yesterday. He currently has six open cases, including this one. He is still in Humboldt County jail and the total bail for all six cases is $165,000.

Durant's other arrests:

Judge Marilyn Miles denies defense 995 motion to dismiss charges against Kailan Meserve which include sexual battery, rape by force and forcible oral copulation

A 995 motion to dismiss most of the sixteen charges including sexual battery, forcible oral copulation, rape by force against Kailan Meserve was denied by Judge Marilyn Miles on December 17, 2016.

Nov 10, 2015

Kailan Meserve 995 motion to dismiss 15 counts including sexual battery, kidnapping and forcible rape continued and case sent to Judge Miles

A motion to dismiss information in the Kailan Meserve case was scheduled this afternoon in Courtroom 5 to be heard by Judge Joyce Hinrichs. Cases for  Courtroom 5  were called in Courtroom 1 this afternoon.

The defense had filed a motion to dismiss information, the People filed an opposition and then the defense filed a reply to the People's opposition.

Mr. Russ Clanton, who is representing Meserve, told Judge John Feeney, "this is a lengthy matter that has been under consideration by Judge Hinrichs. We ask that the matter be set over for two weeks."

Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett who is prosecuting the case agreed. She said the People needed time to look over the defense's response to the prosecution's opposition to the 995 and see if they will file a response.

Judge Feeney said he had received an email today at 1:15 from Judge Hinrichs, who is the presiding Judge for Humboldt Superior Court. She had given two dates and wanted the matter calendered before Judge Miles.

The 995 motion to dismiss will be heard on December 1 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 2.

Bail was originally at two million and the DA's office asked it be paid by legitimate means. Meserve made bail and is out of custody. Kailan Meserve was in court with his father Dave Meserve.

Oct 22, 2015

Will all charges be dismissed against Kailan Meserve, these include forcible rape, sexual battery and kidnapping

Kailan Meserve had been charged with 19 counts such as sexual battery, kidnapping, forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, criminal threats, assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and the case involves two female victims.

After his preliminary hearing in August, one count dismissed by People, two counts not held to answer; Kailan Meserve held to answer on 15 counts including forcible rape.

The two counts Meserve was not held to answer was first degree residential burglary and assault to commit a felony during the commission of a first degree burglary.

Meserve's attorney Mr. Russ Clanton filed a motion to dismiss information on October 20. Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett is prosecuting this case. The hearing on this motion is scheduled for November 10 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 5.

The only media coverage on this case has been on my blog.

Sep 3, 2015

Kailan Meserve jury trial set for January 19, arraigned today on 17 felony counts

Kailan Meserve was arraigned on information this afternoon is Courtroom 2 on 17 felony counts with two special allegations. He is being represented by Bay area attorney Randolph Darr and local attorney Mr. Russ Clanton, who made a general appearance today for Mr. Darr.

Meserve was only accompanied in court today by his father, Dave Meserve. A time waiver was entered. Deputy District Attorney Zack Curtis is prosecuting the case but DDA David Christensen handled the arraignment today for the People.

Jury trial is January 19th at 8:30 a.m., Trial Readiness is January 13 at 1 p.m., and Trial Confirmation is December 3 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 2.

Previous post (with other links):