Mar 11, 2016

"I am not leaning on any case law that Mr. Clanton is unfamiliar with"; Timothy Littlefield's lawyer says he is not obligated to follow Court of Appeals suggestion for a new trial

The defense filed a supplemental document to their 2014 original motion for a new trial in the Timothy Littlefield, Jr. alleged molestation case on March 9, 2016. A hearing on the motion for the new trial was scheduled for 8:30 a.m. in Courtroom 1 which was then rescheduled for 3:30 this afternoon.

The People did not file an opposition but Deputy District Attorney Andrew Isaac, who was present for the People, was prepared to present oral arguments.

Mr. Russ Clanton, who represents Littlefield, Jr. objected and asked for a continuance and written response from the People and then for him to have time to file a response to that document. He said he needed time to prepare on any case law that the People may cite.

Mr. Issac said that the "Court is aware of the People's position and the victim's position on a continuance." He added, that he was going to use the California Evidence Benchbook and cited Section 34.9.; "I am not leaning on any case law that Mr. Clanton is unfamiliar with."

Mr. Isaac told Judge John Feeney that the "supplemental for motion for new trial was filed" on March 9. Today is March 11, when Littlefield was to be sentenced unless there was a motion for new trial.

That ruling of juror misconduct was overturned by the Court of Appeals unless any new evidence was provided.

At previous court hearings, Littlefield Jr's family has been present, maybe two or three people. Today, Mr. Clanton took great pleasure in pointing out "None of the family or the alleged victim are in court today." Victim Witness Advocate Marybeth Bian and a representative from the North Coast Rape Crisis have been attending the court hearings.

"The Court's recollection is that when the original motion for a new trial was filed on April 30, 2014, there was no opposition filed at that time. I am not faulting Mr. Isaac who was not prosecuting the case at that time."

Former District Attorney Paul Gallegos was handling the case, he was criticized by the Court of Appeals in their ruling as basically, a prosecutor not knowing the law.

"How long has the court been hearing from the defense about a motion for a new trial based on juror misconduct?" asked Mr. Isaac. "Now, the defense says I have no evidence of juror misconduct; I have a new theory."

Mr. Clanton rebutted that he "did not have to follow what the Court of Appeals suuggested."

Mr. Issac told Judge Feeney that Mr. Clanton had cited a 1996 study about DNA and semen transfer and he did not include the date in his documents, "not from 2014, not 2015; it's from the last century. This is not newly discovered evidence. The last time similar studies were quoted in California courts was 2005.  People have (already)  argued all cases from 2005 and 2007 about DNA transfer. "

Littlefield, Jr, with his hair pulled back in a bun, in an orange jumpsuit stood silently, next to Mr. Clanton. His father Timothy Littlefield, Sr. was in court and today there were 6 other family members or friends in court.

End result: the hearing on the motion for new trial will be at 8:30 on April 1. The People have to file their written response to the supplemental document by March 18 and if the defense wants to file a response, that has to be in by March 29.

Feb 17, 2016

Remittitur issued in the Timothy Littlefield case today

This link will give you more details.

Today, a remittitur was issued in the Timothy Littlefield case by the California First District Apellate Court.


Remittitur is a term with different meanings. In the context of a jury verdict, it refers to a judge's order reducing a judgment awarded by a jury when it exceeds the amount asked for by the plaintiff.

In the context of appellate procedure, it refers to an appellate court sending a case back to the trial court so that the case can be retried, or so that trial court can enter an order that conforms to the findings of the appellate court. Remittitur is a process by which jurisdiction is transferred back from the appellate court to the trial court. Remittitur divests the appellate court of the jurisdiction after it has resolved the appeal, and permits full jurisdiction over the judgment to be returned to the trial court.

Feb 3, 2016

"This case involves multiple acts of molestation of a child who was 8 years old at the time, the victim is now a teenager and has been waiting a long time for finality", Cook and Associates to investigate Timothy Littlefield case

Timothy Littlefield dressed in an orange jumpsuit stood silently by his lawyer, Mr. Russ Clanton, and as his hearing today concluded, he shook Mr. Clanton's hand before he was taken back into custody.

The defense filed a motion to continue his sentencing which was set for February 5. That date was vacated after Judge Joyce Hinrich's granted the defense motion to continue.

Mr. Clanton mostly referred to his written pleadings and said since the last court hearing, he has been in trial and there have been issues with investigators and he just got back some material from one investigator last week and he wanted some more time. Chris Cook of Cook and Associates has agreed to take on the case and he had to file a motion for funding.

Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads said the People opposed the motion. It has been two and a half years since Littlefield had been sentenced so the defense claiming inadequate time is not a good cause.

"This case involves multiple acts of molestation of a child who was 8 years old at the time, the victim is now a teenager and has been waiting a long time for finality," said Ms. Eads.

Jury misconduct is the sole issue before sentencing, the defense has not provided additional relevant evidence, said Ms. Eads.

Judge Joyce Hinrichs said that she was trying to balance the rights of the victim and Littlefield and that it was not any delay caused by Littlefield, so she granted the request for the defense continuance.

Timothy Littlefield will now be sentenced on March 11, 2015 unless the defense provides more evidence regarding jury misconduct and a third trial date will be set.

Timothy Littlefield cuffed and taken unto custody, no bail, says I love you to his father twice

The January 7 date is vacated. Next date Feb 5. Timothy Littlefield cannot post bail. His previous bail bond is exonerated.

Timothy Littlefield Jr dressed in khakis and an olive green sweater came to court with his father, Timothy Littlefield, Sr and two other supporters.

Citing the recent decision by the Apellate Court, the length of prison sentence he faces and "the substansial risk of absconding," Timothy Littlefield was ordered remanded into custody as requested by the Humboldt County District Attorney's office.

I was present for both the morning and afternoon hearings today during which prosecution and defense presented their arguments. In the afternoon, the People presented elaborated on reasons for remand. The victim contacted the DA's office requesting that she would feel safer if Littlefield was in custody. Mr. Clanton repeated his arguments from the morning.

After the guilty verdict in the second trial, Littlefield faces upto 155 plus years to life unless a motion for a third trial is granted or additional evidence is provided by the defense regarding the second trial.

As the bailiff slapped cuffs on him in court, Littlefield bowed his head down. He turned to his father and said, "I love you." As he was being led away out of the courtroom, he also said, "I love you again" to his father and supporters.

The next court date is February 5, 2016 at 8:30 decide motion for a new trial and for defense to provide supplemental evidence.

Dec 18, 2015

People request bench warrant for Timothy Littlefield, defense counsel tries unsuccessfully to change Judge Feeney's mind

Bennett vs Clanton, after three rounds of defensive and passionate advocacy by Mr. Russ Clanton, who represents Timothy Littlefield, Jr.; questioning and effort by Judge John Feeney to accomodate rescheduling; the People represented by Deputy District Attorney prevailed.

Littlefield was not in court because he posted bail and signed a 977 form, which is a waiver of personal appearance for certain court hearings.

Addressing the Court of Appeals ruling and custodial status was scheduled this morning at 8:30 a.m. The hearing proceeded and the matter is continued to December 22 at 4 p.m. I just found out at 10:30 a.m. that now the hearing has been changed to 4 p.m. today, which was one of the options given to defense. Initially, Mr. Clanton said that would be impossible to achieve today.

Littlefield has been ordered to personally appear in court for the hearing today by Judge Feeney.

For now, Timothy Littlefield remains a free man. That could change today.

Judge Feeney asked that the issue of custodial status be addressed first.

From a May 2014 article in the North Coast journal:

"Timothy Floyd Littlefield was facing eight life sentences in state prison without the possibility of parole stemming from convictions on 11 child molestation charges when he stood before Humboldt County Superior Court Judge John Feeney last week at a sentencing hearing. Instead of sentencing Littlefield to serve 188 years to life, as he said was his intent, Feeney declared a mistrial in the case, finding juror misconduct"

This morning in court, DDA Bennett said that the Court of Appeals reversed the Court's decision of a mistrial. "The defendant is in the same position he was when he was convicted," she said. "He was convicted without the option for bail."

The People requested that Littlefield be remanded unless a motion was given for a new trial. DDA Bennett said that Littlefield had been convicted of 11 counts of sexual misconduct against a child and facing 150 years to life and that due to public safety concerns and possibility of flight risk, a bench warrant be issued.

Mr. Clanton was very upset and emotional in his responses. snapping at the prosecutor twice this morning. "We are invited to provide more evidence" of juror misconduct. "He's out on bail. He has made every court appearance. He has never failed to appear."

Ms. Bennett said that it has been the People's position that Littlefield be in custody. Mr. Clanton responded, "There is no practical reason, this is predatory."

Judge Feeney asked Mr. Clanton if he intended to present additional evidence. Mr. Clanton told Judge Feeney there is additional evidence. "It exists. I have met with the investigators and Mr. Littlefield. I have 45 days to present that evidence to the Court. We have no intention of dragging this matter. We would like to get this to conclusion."

Ms. Bennett said that most of the time when Littlefield appeared in court, he was in custody. Ms. Bennett cited Penal Code 1166.


1166.  If a general verdict is rendered against the defendant, or a
special verdict is given, he or she must be remanded, if in custody,
or if on bail he or she shall be committed to the proper officer of
the county to await the judgment of the court upon the verdict,
unless, upon considering the protection of the public, the
seriousness of the offense charged and proven, the previous criminal
record of the defendant, the probability of the defendant failing to
appear for the judgment of the court upon the verdict, and public
safety, the court concludes the evidence supports its decision to
allow the defendant to remain out on bail. When committed, his or her
bail is exonerated, or if money is deposited instead of bail it must
be refunded to the defendant or to the person or persons found by
the court to have deposited said money on behalf of said defendant.

Mr. Clanton disagreed and said that Littlefield had made other court appearances when he was out of custody. He added that there had been no additional offenses committed by Littlefield while he has been out of custody. He also told the Court that Timothy Littlefield is living in Redding.

No other media was in court. There is a disposition and reset hearing currently set for January 7, 2016 if there will be a third trial.

Dec 18, 2015

Dec 17, 2015

Review of appellate hearing and custody status scheduled in Timothy Littlefield's case for tomorrow

Tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. in Courtroom 1, the Humboldt County District Attorney's office has a hearing scheduled to review the appellate hearing and custody status in the Timothy Littlefield case.
The parties will appear before Judge John Feeney.

A disposition and reset hearing, if there is a third trial is currently set for January 7, 2016 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 5.

Dec 15, 2015

Appellate court reverses Littlefield mistrial decision by Judge Feeney

I have been following this regularly.

DA's Press Release (as of 4:53 p.m.]

Today the First Appellate District of the State of California, Division One, reversed the Humboldt County Superior Court ruling in People v Timothy Littlefield which granted the defendant a new trial. In 2013 a jury found the defendant guilty of all charges related to his sexual misconduct with a child under 10 years of age.
The defense filed a motion for a new trial based on a declaration by a juror that addressed his mental processes during jury deliberations. The trial court conducted a hearing during which the juror recanted the declaration, stating he had not personally written it nor read it carefully before signing it. Nevertheless, the trial court granted the motion for a new trial.
The appellate court reversed the trial court and found the juror’s declaration irrelevant in assessing the validity of the verdict. The appellate court further stated: “…we think the appropriate remedy is not to affirm the order setting aside the verdict based solely on irrelevant evidence and speculation about what defendant could have proved, but to remand for further proceedings to determine whether relevant and admissible evidence of jury misconduct actually exists.”


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  2. The legal issue is fairly straight-forward, which is why Mr. Isaac said he is not "leaning on case law that Clanton doesn't already know." In certain very limited circumstances, if you come forward with new evidence post conviction and can show that there was a substantial probability of a different result than it can be grounds for a new trial. The issue will be whether the evidence was truly new. It wasn't. Mr. Isaac pointed out to me just before the hearing that semen transference from a washing machine ""yep that is what they are arguing" has been known since the middle 90s. Not new evidence. At trial the defense was that Littlefield's ex-wife planted the evidence on her daughter, the victim. It did not fly. I predict this will be denied and Mr. Littlefield will be sentenced. I have yet to be wrong on this case.