May 31, 2016

Unlimited coffee, free WiFi, ping pong table and office space in Old Town?

Coworking, shared office space, free unlimited coffee from Old Town Coffee and Chocolates, conference room, free hi speed WiFi, no long term leases and a ping pong table.

Where? Firework is at 325 Second Street, Suite 201. There is a grand opening this Thursday at 12:30. Call (707) 877-4404 for more information.

Department of Justice challenges federal judge 's order for ethics training

$50,000 bail for allegedly stealing a sandwich from Sohum Shop Smart and brandishing a knife

On Saturday, May 28, 2016, at about 2 p.m., Humboldt County Deputy Sheriffs responded to Shop Smart in Redway for a report of a robbery that just occurred.  Upon arrival, deputies met with the victim, (a store clerk), who told deputies a suspect attempted to walk out of the store with a sandwich.  When the victim tried to stop him, the suspect brandished a pocket knife at the victim and walked out of the store.  The victim described the suspect as a white male adult, wearing dark shorts, a dark jacket, and recognized him as a person he knew as “Jeremy.”

Deputies searched the area and located a subject matching Jeremy’s description.  The subject was positively identified as 32 year old transient Jeremiah Gene Branscum.  It was determined Branscum was responsible for the robbery, and had consumed the stolen sandwich.

Branscum was taken to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for robbery, exhibiting a deadly weapon, and violation of probation.  His bail was set at $50,000.

Marijuana, rifles, ammunition and two Mexican citizens arrested for alleged illegal marijuana grow

On Friday, May 27, at 12:15 p.m., Humboldt County Deputy Sheriffs responded to a parcel on Lake Prairie Rd in Weitchpec for a pre-arranged civil standby due to the property owners having been confronted by armed men during their previous trip to the parcel five months ago.  At the request of the property owners, deputies searched the residence which belonged to the property owners, and located two male suspects.  The suspects were identified as 20 year old Marco Antonio Arellano, and 21 year old Edgar Tizoc Ponce Hernandez, both citizens of Mexico.  A further search of the residence revealed approximately 5 – 8 lbs of processed marijuana, piles of marijuana trim, three loaded rifles, and ammunition.  Deputies searched the rest of the parcel and located a greenhouse with approximately 236 growing marijuana plants, ranging from 3” – 12” in height. Deputies determined Arellano and Hernandez were responsible for the illegal marijuana grow operation on the property.

Arellano and Hernandez were arrested for cultivation of marijuana, conspiracy to commit a crime, and for arming themselves during the commission of a felony.  They were taken to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where they were booked on the above charges.  Each had their bail set at $50,000.

Preliminary hearing for suspended HSU football player Raul Sierra postponed to June 23; Manny Daskal joins as co-counsel for defense

The preliminary hearing for Raul Sierra was scheduled to begin today. Courtroom 1 was "dark" today. Courtroom 5 was to have a Visiting Judge but due to a death in the family, that Judge could not be here this week, as planned.

Courtroom 2 has the Charles Kesselring trial going on in the mornings. That left just Courtroom 4 to handle the preliminaries today and Judge Cissna also started the Jason Daniels jury trial.

Judge Cissna and Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads were informed by Sierra's attorney, Beorn Zepp that Mr. Manny Daskal is joining as co-counsel for the defense.

After discussing the schedule that was conducive to all the attorneys' schedules, the victim and HSU Sgt. Janelle Jackson, the new preliminary hearing date was scheduled for June 23 at 8:30 a.m.

Intervention is June 15 at 3 p.m. in Courtroom 5.

Sierra has a job and is not in Humboldt anymore. He looks very clean cut with a shave and haircut. He was accompanied by a woman, who seemed to be his girlfriend.

The victim was also present in court, along with Victim Witness advocates and a friend.

Mar 14, 2016

Preliminary hearing for suspended HSU football player charged with forcible rape by use of drugs continued at defense request, Sierra out of custody

Raul Sierra, former HSU football player, charged with forcible rape, made bail and is out of custody. He appeared in court this morning for a preliminary hearing that was scheduled for today, with his attorney. He looks nothing like his booking photo having a shaved head and no beard.

Judge Watson filled in today for Judge Joyce Hinrichs in Courtroom 5. She will be gone for two weeks. Deputy District Brie Bennett is prosecuting the case. Beorn Zepp represents Sierra.

The defense filed a motion to continue. They were asking for 60 days. The People and the victim who was in court, opposed the continuance. Ms. Bennett said "if there was good cause", and the Court granted the continuance that it be short, not more than 30 days. People has just waived 10 days, and today, they waived time.

Mr. Zepp told Judge Watson that there was "discovery pending,", his investigator had a "lot to do" and there would be "an associated counsel." Sierra had previously waived time.

Judge Watson granted a 45 day continuance. Intervention is April 6 at 3 p.m. and Preliminary hearing is April 20 at 8:30 a.m.

Jan 27, 2016

Raul Sierra suspended from HSU, his alleged victim sobbed in court

Raul Sierra was denied release on OR by Judge Joyce Hinrichs after hearing from Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett and Sierra's attorney Beorn Zepp. A referral has been made to Probation for a Supervised Release report.

Zepp gave letters of support from Sierra's family in San Diego to Judge Hinrichs. Zepp said Sierra has been suspended from HSU since his recent arrest.. He asked for reduction in Sierra's bail, which was denied. He then asked for a referral for  supervised release.

"Mr. Sierra had been cooperating with the system" since he was initially contacted last year, said Zepp. He said his client had no other criminal history and has never been in trouble before and has a good record at HSU.

DDA Bennett opposed Sierra's release. Ms. Bennett said the victim was in court and had told told her that she would feel safer if Sierra was in custody. Sierra had been served with a protective order.

Zepp countered, "Even before the order was issued, he avoided contact with the victim."

After the court hearing concluded, as Sierra was walking back to custody, the alleged victim, a young blonde woman, was sobbing.

Jan 26, 2016

HSU football player Raul Sierra pleads not guilty to charge of forcible rape, preliminary hearing scheduled for March 14

Raul Sierra was arraigned this afternoon in Courtroom 5. He plead not guilty and has retained a private attorney Beorn Zepp.

An OR/Bail hearing is scheduled for January 27 at 2 p.m., Intervention is on February 29 at 3 p.m. and preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 14.

Jan 25, 2016

HSU's Raul Sierra was charged with felony, forcible rape with use of drugs on December 18, 2015

An arrest warrant was ordered on December 30, 2015.

Count 1 alleges that "on or about November 7, 2015" Raul Eduardo Sierra IV was charged with rape by use of drugs."

Jury trial finally begins for ex HCSO Deputy Jason Daniels who is charged with on duty sexual assault

This morning, Jason Daniels jury trial finally started. Judge Timothy Cissna spoke with Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett and Daniel's attorneys, Julia Fox and Steven Betz about scheduling and the hardship questionnaire.

Daniels was dressed in a black suit, his wife was in the courtroom. His wife has been with him at every court hearing.

Not much is expected to happen this week. Today, 80 jurors will fill out the hardship questionnaire.

Today is a full day; for the rest of the week, June 1-3, the trial will be in session, only in the mornings. Starting June 6, the trial will be full days Monday through Thursday from 8:30-Noon and 1:30 to 4 p.m. Fridays will be morning session only.

June 13 and June 20-24 will be dark days. The trial is expected to conclude no later than June 30; with attorneys expecting closing arguments to be done as early as June 17.

May 27, 2016

Ex HCSO deputy Jason Daniels jury trial a go next week, if courtroom is available

Jason Daniels, his wife and both attorneys were at trial assignment this morning.

Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett is prosecuting the case.

DA Maggie Fleming said that the case is "trailing" into next week to see if and when a courtroom will be available.

May 26, 2015

Jason Daniels, former HCSO deputy charged with off duty rape trial confirmation this afternoon

Today, trial conformation is scheduled in Courtroom 5 for Jason Daniels at 2 p.m. Just dates were confirmed.

May 12, 2015

Dates remain set for Jason Daniels, former HCSO Deputy charged with off duty sexual assault charges

A pre-trial conference was held today in Courtroom 5 for Jason Daniels, the former HCSO Deputy charged with off duty sexual assault.

Dates remained set. Nothing else occured today. DDA Andrew Isaac was there for the People. Julia Fox with Daniels who was accompanied by his wife.

Last post:

Apr 7, 2015

Jury trial for Jason Daniels charged with off duty sexual assault charges set for June 15
Jury trial is now scheduled for June 15 largely to accommodate Jason Daniel's attorneys' schedule. Instead of his Bay area attorneys, Julia Fox and Steven Betts appearing with him in court today, Mr. Lawrence Killoran who is representing Daniels in a civil suit filed against him,  was present in court today with Daniels. As she has for all court hearings, Daniel's wife was with him.  Instead of Mr. Andrew Isaac who is prosecuting the case, DDA Brie Bennett was there today for the People.

In response to Judge Joyce Hinrichs,  time was waived by both parties. Mr. Killoran waived full reading of the complaint. Trial Confirmation is May 26 at 2 p.m. and Pre-Trial is May 12 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 5.

Another post done April 7 (with links to previous coverage):

Previous posts:

May 30, 2016

No one found in the Motel 6 room, EPD checked allegations as precaution

Captain Steve Watson just told me, "No one was found in the room which was checked as a precaution due to the allegations. "

Bad accident near Ruth Lake yesterday, major injuries

Reader tip: There was an accident near Ruth Lake campgrounds yesterday. Major injuries, most likely DUI.

I will update with more information.

May 29, 2016

Deputy District Attorney Zachary Curtis gone at the end of June?

More than one insider source claims that Deputy District Attorney Zachary Curtis will no longer be with the Humboldt County D.A.'s office after the end of June.

It is a holiday weekend but I have contacted District Attorney Maggie Fleming for official confirmation and to find out whether he was let go or is leaving voluntarily.

DA Maggie Fleming responded promptly, "The Humboldt County personnel policy is that I am not to discuss this or any other personnel matter with the media or the public."

Another electrical fixture, possible cause of fire

On May 29, at approximately 0930 hrs. Humboldt Bay Fire responded to a structure fire at 3800 Little Fairfield Street. The occupants of the building saw and smelled smoke inside and saw smoke coming from the roof on the north corner. The first arriving units found smoke and a small amount of fire at the roof near a sign. The building was evacuated of all tenants. Crews laddered the structure and removed the roofing and ceiling of the exterior overhang and attacked the fire, extinguishing it within 10 minutes of arrival. Crews then removed more of the overhang to ensure that no more of the building was compromised. Bonomini's Market had minor water damage from the extinguishment effort. Salvage covers were placed to minimize any additional damage The fire is under investigation, but appears to have started near the sign electrical fixture and is suspected to be caused by an electrical short.

No injuries were reported.

3 engines 1 truck and 2 chief officers responded to the fire along with1 fire support volunteer and Humboldt County Sheriffs for traffic control.

Arcata Fire Protection District provided 1 engine for coverage of Humboldt Bay's jurisdiction.

Damage is estimated at $2000.

TS oopsie! There is a Humboldt County Board of Supervisors meeting this Tuesday

The TS is incorrect.

There is a Board of Supervisors meeting this Tuesday. I just checked with Supervisor Rex Bohn, Supervisor Virginia Bass and Supervisor Ryan Sundberg.

This is after I checked the agenda posted online.

May 28, 2016

"This is the 2016 Penal Code.On that morning, Mr. Kinley committed a few crimes" This was the defense opening remark

"This is the 2016 Penal Code," said Public Defender Luke Brownfield, showing the Kinley jury the book and placing it on the table. "On that morning, Mr. Kinley committed a few crimes. Drunk in Public. Mr. Kinley is guilty of this crime. Indecent exposure. He is not guilty of it."

"Indecent exposure is a specific intent crime. You have to get into his head to prove what Mr. Kinley was thinking. Likely is not our standard of proof."

"He is intoxicated, that is a defense to this crime. That doesn't make sense to us because he got voluntarily drunk. It is not a defense to most crimes but to Count 1 it is a defense."

"It's pretty clear he is masturbating, we don't dispute the facts, but what was going on in his head.?"

Mr. Brownfield said this despite that just moments earlier, Judge Feeney said that the voluntary intoxication was being offered for a limited purpose. It was not a defense to public intoxication. The jury had this written instruction.

In her rebuttal argument, Deputy District Attorney Whitney Barnes, said, "I don;t have to prove to you why he did it. I don;t have to prove motive to you."

"All I need to prove to you is intent; is that he intended for the purpose of sexual arousing himself." Then she added, "for all the reasons argued (in her closing argument)."

"The fact that the defendant was intoxicated is not a defense based on the testimony we heard."

"The defendant tried to game the system. He lied to the officer. He gave the officer a false name. Now, he is lying to all of you."

"His pants/underwear didn't fall down on accident, he did it on purpose."

"Actions speak louder than words," said Deputy District Attorney Whitney Barnes. "In this case, not much is disputed about the facts. The only dispute is if the defendant was responsible for his actions.

"Two witnesses saw directly with their own eyes what the defendant was doing."

"Daniel Ward observed the defendant fondling himself. Pants down to his knees, shirt pulled up. He seemed out of it, cars passing by didn't faze him."

"Officer Price observes the defendant. The defendant notices the police vehicle, turns away, pulls his pants up."

Ms. Barnes pointed out the lie Kinley told Officer Price. The story about a friend needing to urinate and Kinley doing this so he would not be arrested. There was no one else around. Then after being arrested, he said, "not sure how it happened."

Ms. Barnes said there was no evidence that Kinley was under the influence of marijuana or pills.

For Count 1, indecent exposure, Ms. Barnes said wilful = on purpose. "It does not require intent to break the law. His pants did not fall down on accident; he did it on purpose."

Addressing a defense claim, she said, "the defense said he did not have the necessary thoughts; that is not true."

"He was facing the public; traffic; his pants were down, he was masturbating. His penis was erect. Why would he be masturbating if not for the purpose of sexual gratification."

 Ms. Barnes reminded the jury that during jury selection, she told them, "Even if you are drunk, you could chose to have consensual sex with someone, so why not of you drunk and masturbating?"

"The defense wants you to believe he "was drunk as a skunk" and "hammered". She pointed out the evidence they had just heard earlier. "You know he was not that intoxicated. He talked to the officer, he did not stumble, complied with booking orders, could walk without assistance."

Dumb and dumber or a jury that could not give a hoot?

The jury in the Todd Kinley case took an hour and 15 minutes to reach their decision. Considering the time it takes to pick out a foreperson and fill out two forms, assuming they even looked over the law and jury instructions, they came to this decision in less than 50 to 55 minutes.

The defense did not dispute the facts, they acknowledged guilty on Count 2, drunk in Public. The jury agreed.

Did it make a difference that they started deliberations around 11 on Friday, before a three day weekend? Would it have made any diference if the indecent exposure had been charged as a felony? The jury had 7 men and 5 women, including a social services supervisor.

Most of us, who heard these closing arguments, including another media colleague, were shocked at the jury's decision.

Then again, this is the jury, who chose a foreperson, who wrote not guilty instead of guilty for Count 2 and then yelled in open court, "I am terrible foreperson, that was not our decision." The mistake had to be rectified and the Judge had to ask the jurors if that was, indeed their decision.

What this jury did not see is that after they left, Kinley signed a waiver to his right for a hearing on a second case. Kinley, who has a fugitive, felony warrant out of Montana, was cuffed and taken into custody. He was out of custody for the misdemeanor.

No one is allowed to show emotion while the verdict is being read and court is still in session, but after the verdict of not guilty was read for Count 1, Mr. Luke Brownfield slapped Kinley on the back,  congratulating him.

Judge John Feeney, in his concluding instructions, told the jury that the instruction on voluntary intoxication was "offered for a limited purpose." and it was not a defense to public intoxication.

Out of the presence of the jury, Deputy District Attorney Whitney Barnes won a motion that the defense could not argue memory loss. The judge also ruled that Ms. Barnes could argue in rebuttal, no such evidence was submitted.

If you have read the evidence presented by the People, with hardly any cross examination by Mr.  Brownfield and then heard the closing arguments, the only conclusion is that in Humboldt County, you can be drunk with your blood alcohol limit twice the legal limit, the defense does not provide any evidence that you also took prescription pills and smoked weed, you can be jacking off early morning facing traffic on a freeway, cars slow down and brake, an off duty police officer sees your erect penis, you pull your pants up right away when you see a police car, but the jury did not think that the People provided enough evidence that it was Kinley's intention to direct attention to his genitals.

This from a man who gave a false name to the police officer and a false story about why he was masturbating in public.

Glad this jury was not the one to decide a rape or murder charge.

Another successful private, government, non profit partnership to help homeless vets

The people staying at the Third and Commercial lot are moving forward.

Here is another success story.

No red tape? maybe the government should look at how their bureaucracy delays everything.

May 27, 2016

State Senate adjourned in honor of former supervisor Jimmy Smith

Today, Senator Mike McGuire adjourned the Senate in memory of longtime Humboldt County Supervisor Jimmy Smith, who served a distinguished career in public service.
“No one was a stronger champion for the North Coast than Jimmy. He was known for his unique ability to bring people together, no matter how tough the issue, to build a stronger community,” Senator McGuire told his fellow State Senators.
For 12 years, Smith represented Humboldt’s 1st District on the County Board of Supervisors and as a commissioner with the Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation and Conservation District from 1995 to 2000. He was a standout leader who worked day and night to keep people together. His leadership and diplomacy resonate throughout Northern California.
Smith championed many large projects and initiatives for the benefit of nature and fish and wildlife. He performed significant work on Humboldt Bay, Salt River, Eel River, Trinity River, Klamath River and marine fisheries.
“Jimmy was known for his grace and humility and love for the North Coast. He will be deeply missed,” Senator McGuire said.
The Senate was officially Adjourned in Memory of Jimmy Smith on Friday, May 27, 2016, the same day his family and friends are holding a memorial at the boat ramp named in his honor.

Semore found guilty of second degree murder of David Ganfield

Not guilty first degree murder, guilty second degree murder, did not find special allegation true.

The jury deliberated over 13 hours and only sent in one note.

The courtroom was packed with deputy District Attorneys, DA staff, HCSO deputies and defense attorneys for the verdict.

Second degree murder sentence ranges from 15 years to life.

Mr. Clanton said his client will waive time for sentencing because "they just became aware of issues this morning that may affect the verdict" and after investigation, he will file the appropriate motion.

Sentencing is July 27 at 3 p.m.

One male juror said that not every one could agree on first degree murder.

The jury foreperson's response was "look at the definition of second degree murder."

A female juror added, "It was a hard decision but we talked through it."

The foreperson said the jury was very cognizant that "this was somebody's life. We went through each instruction, the law, the evidence very carefully."

The female juror concluded, "It was a honor to serve with such a good group of people."

Press Release from DA:


May 27, 2016

On May 27, 2016, a Humboldt County jury found Jonas Randall Semore guilty of second degree murder.
The charge resulted from an incident on April 28, 2015, when the defendant, Nick Johnson, and several others entered a Blue Lake home and repeatedly struck the victim, David Ganfield, in the head with a wooden bat. Mr. Ganfield was asleep when he was attacked.  Seriously injured from the attack, Mr. Ganfield was taken to the hospital but died later from his injuries.
Investigation by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with other local agencies led to the arrest of Mr. Semore on May 14, 2015 and he has been in custody since that time. Nick Johnson eluded police until January 26, 2016 when investigators from the District Attorney’s office located him in a residence on Pine Street in Eureka.  Mr. Johnson came out of the house firing a high-powered AK-style rifle and was wounded when investigators returned fire.  Mr. Johnson is currently awaiting a preliminary hearing and subsequent trial on charges stemming from the Ganfield homicide.
The investigation as to the other individuals involved in the Ganfield homicide remains open.                                               
Deputy District Attorney Roger C. Rees prosecuted the case with assistance from District Attorney Investigator Gary Cooper and District Attorney Victim Witness Advocate Holly Hensher, and technical assistance from District Attorney Investigator Martin Perrone. Attorney Russell Clanton represented the defendant. The Honorable John T. Feeney, Judge, presided over the month-long jury trial.
Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Greg Musson, Deputy Dennis Gagnon, and Deputy Marcus Walker testified at trial, as did several community members who were present when the homicide occurred. The successful prosecution of the case relied on the community members’ testimony; their willingness to participate in the trial is greatly appreciated by the District Attorney’s Office. District Attorney Maggie Fleming also expressed appreciation for the efforts of those who served on the jury.

 The scheduled sentencing date is July 27, 2016. The maximum sentence for the crime is 15 years to life in state prison. Mr. Semore is 42 years old. 

Verdict in for Hwy 101 indecent exposure and drunk in public case

Count 1 Indecent Exposure Not guilty

Count 2 Drunk in Public Guilty

Kinley had served 40 days in custody, he got credit for another 40 days and that was considered time served for Count 2.

Since he had a felony warrant out from Montana, he was taken into custody in court for transportation.

One of the jurors told Ms. Barnes  they felt she did not prove that Kinley intended to expose his genitals for public attention.

The jurors deliberated for a total of an hour and 15 minutes with a 15 minute break.

Jonas Semore verdict in

Verdict in Semore case. Will be after Kinley verdict. Waiting for the jury and courtroom to open up again.

"His pants were down, shirt pulled halfway to his stomach, his right hand was grasping his penis and he was messing with it."

CHP officer Phillip Price was the second and final witness presented by the People in the Todd Kinley case.

"I was informed at 4:49 a.m. that a person was exposing himself on Southbound 101."

He was near Fifth and Myrtle and arrived at the location at 4:42 a.m.

"I saw a man standing on the west shoulder, his pants were down, shirt pulled halfway to his stomach, his right hand was grasping his penis and he was messing with it."

As Officer Price was turning his patrol car to get to where Kinley was "he saw me, he turned around, collected himself and put himself away."

"When I pulled up, he had his back to me. He put his hands up and started to walk towards my patrol car. His pants were pulled up, his belt was still unfastened."

"I asked him why he was exposing himself to traffic?"

"Initially, he told me a friend of his had to urinate in the roadway and he did it so his friend would not get arrested."

No one else was around. Later, Kinley said he did not know why.

Officer Price said, " he was slurring his speech and reeked of alcohol." After Kinley was asked to breathe into a PAS device, he was arrested due to his blood alcohol level.

Originally, Kinley told Officer Price his name was Vincent  Keenan and that he did not have ID. When he was searched and booked into the jail, a Blue Lake Casino card with his name was found.

On cross examination by Kinley's attorney, Mr. Luke Brownfield, Officer Price said a glass smoking pipe "which appeared to have been used to smoke marijuana" and "a green substance", that turned out to be 12 grams of marijuana were in Kinley's possession.

On redirect by Deputy District Attorney Whitney Barnes, Officer Price stated that "the defendant did not stumble" and that he did not require assistance to walk to the car or into the booking area.

The defense did not provide any evidence. I will update closing arguments later today.

The jury started deliberations at 11:45 today. They deliberated through lunch and have a verdict.

Ex HCSO deputy Jason Daniels jury trial a go next week, if courtroom is available

Jason Daniels, his wife and both attorneys were at trial assignment this morning.

Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett is prosecuting the case.

DA Maggie Fleming said that the case is "trailing" into next week to see if and when a courtroom will be available.

Warrant for murder issued for incident originally thought to be assault

On 05-18-2016 at approximately 7:08 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies were called regarding a possible physical assault that occurred the previous day at a residence located in the 23500 block of Road 337D (Also known as Charlie Hurt Highway] in Covelo, California.

Upon arrival, Deputies found evidence of a physical assault and contacted potential witnesses.  During this initial investigation, Deputies learned Joshua Richard Ruoff had been witnessed assaulting Timothy William Sweeting with a blunt object on 05-17-2016.

Deputies began a missing persons investigation regarding as Sweeting's whereabouts were unknown and he had no recent contacted with family or friends since the alleged physical assault.

Sweeting's vehicle, a white 1999 Chevrolet Tahoe was missing and Ruoff's whereabouts were also unknown.

Detectives from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Investigative Services Bureau responded to the residence where the scene was further examined.

The scene was processed with the assistance of investigators from the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office and criminalists from the California Department of Justice.

During the follow up investigations, Sweeting was not located and was considered to be a missing person under suspicious circumstances.

On 05-19-2016 Sweeting's vehicle was located on Mendocino Pass Road, parked on the side of the roadway about a mile from the residence.

As the investigation continued, it was learned Ruoff had rented a U-Haul truck and left the area for the state New Hampshire, where he previously resided.

Detectives contacted the New Hampshire State Police Major Crimes Unit and requested their assistance.

The investigation continued and evidence was gathered, including witness statements and physical evidence that supported the belief that Ruoff had murdered Sweeting and disposed of his body.

Initially a felony arrest warrant was sought and issued for Ruoff for felonious assault with a deadly weapon, and on 05-23-2016 the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office filed charges seeking an arrest warrant for murder against Ruoff.

On 05-23-2016 the New Hampshire State Police Narcotics and Investigations Unit located and arrested Ruoff in Concord, New Hampshire.

Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives traveled to New Hampshire on 05-23-2016 and continued investigations for 2 days with the assistance of the New Hampshire State Police.

Multiple search warrants were served by the New Hampshire State Police at the request of the Sheriff's Detectives.

During the two days in New Hampshire additional evidence was gathered to support the belief Ruoff had murdered Sweeting.

Ruoff was booked into the Merrimack County Jail (Concord, New Hampshire) where he was to be held on a no bail status. Ruoff was challenging extradition to Mendocino County and the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office is working on getting him extradited to Mendocino County.

At this time, the remains of Sweeting have not been located and the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office is asking anyone who may have information about this case to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Investigative Services Bureau.

If anybody, particularly in the Covelo area sees anything suspicious they are encouraged to call the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office at 707-463-4089, or call the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office Tip line at 707-234-2100.

First note sent in by Semore jury

Jury in the Jonas Semore case sent a note at 9:45. They just left for a break. Both attorneys are in the courtroom. They just left.

May 26, 2016

Defense for man masturbating on Hwy 101 is that "he was drunk as a skunk" and he did not have intent "because he was hammered."

Today, jury selection started for Todd Kinley in Courtroom 1. He is  charged with two misdemeanors which were filed 4/20/16.

Count 1 is PC 314 (1) Indecent Exposure The complainst states that "on or about April 17, 2016"
Kinley "did unlawfully expose his person, or the private parts thereof, in a public place, and in an place where there were other persons present to be offended or annoyed thereby"

Count 2 is 647 (f) Disorderly Conduct, Under the Influence. Kinley is charged with being "under the
influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any combination of any
intoxicating liquor,  drug, controlled substance, or toluene,in such a condition that he or she is unable
to exercise care for his or her own safety or the safety of others, or by reason of his or her being under the influence of intoxicating liquor, any drug, controlled substance, toluene, or any combination of anyintoxicating liquor, toluene, or any combination of any intoxicating liquor, drug, or toluene,
interferes with or obstructs or prevents the tree use of any street, sidewalk, or other public way."

He spent three days in jail and is out of custody. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy District
Attorney Whitney Barnes. Kinley is being represented by Public Defender Luke Brownfield.

Another complaint was filed for him on 4.26/16. He was charged in Count 1 with being a fugitive from justice charged with a felony who "unlawfully entered Humboldt County on a warrant issued by Montana with no bail amount."

He waived his right to a hearing and will be transported to Montana, pending the outcome and result of this case.

Seven men and five women were selected as jurors with two alternates, one man and one woman. Jury selection started after 10 a.m. and ended around 3:15 (with lunch from noon to 1:30).

At 3;30, Judge John Feeney read the preliminary jury instructions and the complaint.

Ms. Barnes gave her opening statement. "On April 17, Daniel Ward was driving on 101 between Arcata and Eureka. On the side of the road, he saw the defendant masturbating. He called 911. Officer Phillip Price responded."

"Officer Price saw the defendant with his shirt up to his navel, pants down to his knees and his penis was erect." Kinley was found to be under the influence and was arrested.

"Daniel Ward is a CHP officer from Del Norte County who was off duty that day," said Ms. Barnes.

Mr. Brownfield said, "This is difficult for Mr. Kinley. The allegations against him are embarrassing, to say the least.  Mr. Kinley went out for drinks, he takes prescription meds and smokes weed."

"The CHP officer saw him with his pants down. You will see that Mr. Kinley was slurring his words, he reeked of alcohol. He blew a PAZ that was over .18, more than twice the legal limit."

"Mr. Kinley was drunk as a skunk. We are not going to dispute the facts. Mr. Kinley is charged with two crimes. Drunk in Public is clear. However, Count 1, indecent exposure, is a crime that requires specific intent. Mr. Kinley did not have the thoughts going through his head that the people require. Why? Because he was hammered."

CHP Officer Ward was the first witness to testify and the only one before court adjourned for the day.

"On April 17, 2016, around 4;45 a.m., I was driving home to Sacramento from Del Norte County, where I work. Driving southbound on 101, I saw a male adult on the west side of the road with his pants down and he was fondling himself."

Officer Ward said he was in the number one lane, the fast lane. Another vehicle was "in front of me in the number two lane and I saw their brake lights."

While it was dark outside, "some street lights were up," said Officer Ward.

"The person was standing, facing the roadway, with his pants down past his kneecaps and fondling himself. I did not come to a full stop but it seemed to be that the man was manipulating his penis."

Officer Ward said he called 911 because it was "offensive behavior to me and others." He testified that "it seemed like he didn't react to other cars passing by. The cars passing by didn't change the way he acted."

During cross examination, Mr. Brownfield asked Officer Ward about a statement that Kinley "seemed he was out of it."

Officer Ward said he could not recall the exact words but they were something similar.

Man screaming obscenities on 2nd and I and then a woman running towards the police car

Screaming on the corner of Second and I street mostly from a man holding a plastic bag in his hand standing on the sidewalk yelling non stop for 15 minutes. This resulted in a police car pulling up at the corner and the woman arguing with him running towards the police car.

You would think seeing the police, the two would shut up but they kept up their yelling and drama for another five minutes.

Police car left about five minutes ago.

NCJ cover story on Bullock a slap in the face to Fr. Eric , the community, and self agrandizement

Regurgitating a probation report, passing it off as a cover story, and claiming the NCJ has this exclusive insight into Gary Lee Bullock is a joke.

Every single local media, except the North Coast Journal, dedicated staff to cover the Bullock trial. NCJ erroneously mentioned jurors were not aware that the trial was bifurcated.

Anyone can get probation reports and claim it as an exclusive when you write one or two stories a week. The Bullock piece includes some information which was stated in court and previous coverage.

It is 15 days after the sentencing and it is not a direct interview with Bullock. NCJ's article on Bullock is a slap in the face to Fr. Eric and those who loved him.

Making it sound as if the result would be different had the insanity phase of the trial proceeded without attending the trial except for the prosecution's opening statement does not qualify NCJ to any opinion. It would not have made a difference. Why do you think Bullock withdrew his insanity plea? Two out three evaluations were not in his favor. He wanted a psychiatrist paid for by him for a favorable report.

NCJ passed off a cover story on Public Defender Heidi Holmquist as some big deal. It was months after the Arreaga sentencing. Paul Mann from the Mad River Union did an article on Ms. Holmquist, a week after the Arreaga verdict. MRU is also a weekly.

NCJ should just stick to doing puff pieces and listing entertainment and dining options.

At the Palco Marsh "evictions", NCJ staff walked with AHAA. The rest of us covered the story, and it was not from one perspective.

Former public defender, now private attorney, Christina Allbright has applied to be a Humboldt County judge

I have heard a lot of names about who might be running for Judge in Humboldt County, who may have applied. Some did not qualify, some are considering.

The only person confirmed is Ms. Christina Allbright, private attorney and former public defender for the County of Humboldt.

One of the more recent high profile cases that Ms. Allbright is a defense attorney is for one of the suspects in the Jesus Garcia homicide.

Another butane honey oil lab in Carlotta; again no suspects on scene

On Wednesday, May 25, 2016, at about 11:45 a.m., Humboldt County Deputy Sheriffs served a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant to a residence on the 700 block of Golden Gate Drive in Carlotta. Upon serving the search warrant, deputies located a sophisticated closed loop Butane Honey Oil (BHO) hash lab constructed inside a detached garage. Deputies located large amounts of butane, indicia, documentation of sales, digital scales, a firearm, BHO product, and approximately 733 lbs. of marijuana shake.
No suspects were located on scene. This is an ongoing investigation, and arrest warrants will be issued for persons responsible for the BHO operation. The BHO lab was dismantled and seized as evidence.

The rest of the states need to follow Louisiana's lead and pass blue lives matter legislation

North Coast News is reporting that the Governor of Louisiana signed a blue lives matter bill.

Louisiana's governor has signed a "blue live matter" bill expanding the state's hate-crime statue against first responders.

Semore jury deliberating since 3:30 yesterday, no read back, no questions

The jury in the Jonas Semore case has been deliberating since 3:30 p.m. yesterday. They went home at 4:45.

Today, they started deliberating at 8:30, took a lunch break at noon and resumed deliberations at 1:30.

They have not requested any read back or asked any questions.

EPD wants you for community policing!

EPD Community Policing Recruitment

EPD is a department focused on working with the community.  We look for officers who understand that we serve and work with the community yet strive for good, thoughtful, relentless and tough-nosed police work.  Balancing the two can be difficult, but isn’t that the essence of policing?  It is vital to the success of the EPD mission.

EPD seeks officers and dispatchers who understand that community comes first.  If this video represents your thoughts…join us! If you want to have fun, join us. EPD - dynamic community policing!

One million secured for PALCO Marsh transformation thanks to efforts of Senator Mike McGuire

Today, the State Coastal Conservancy authorized $1 million to construct the Eureka Waterfront Trail, which will increase public access to the city’s beautiful bay front and marshes, connecting residents from natural coastal eco-systems to historic Old Town Eureka.
For months, Senator McGuire has been engaged with City of Eureka residents on PALCO Marsh. In March, Senator McGuire brought the involved state agencies together in Eureka to help move this project forward. Senator McGuire invited representatives from the Coastal Commission, the Coastal Conservancy, the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the state’s Housing and Community Development department to the City of Eureka to collaborate on the project.
“We promised the residents of Eureka that the State would be an active partner in PALCO Marsh and we believe this $1 million investment will help solidify the long term transformation of the Marsh,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “Dozens of folks were involved to help move this investment forward and we are grateful for the collaboration of the Eureka City Council and staff, Coastal Commission representatives along with the hard working team from the Coastal Conservancy.”
These funds will construct 3.75 miles of new trail, which will consist of 8 to 10 foot wide paved sections with gravel shoulders. The trail system will open up a significant portion of the Marsh for public access in perpetuity.
In addition to the paved surface, the new trail will include a boardwalk section to avoid impacts to wetlands and seven bridges. The project also includes installation of trailheads, interpretive signs, parking and lighting. When the proposed project is complete, the Eureka Waterfront Trail will be 6.3 miles in length.
The Conservancy funds will also be used to demolish the blighted structures at PALCO that have become a public nuisance.
“While this is a significant investment for public access along the Bay, we know the State must also partner on the issue of homelessness,” Senator McGuire said. “We’re championing a $2 billion initiative which would provide cities like Eureka with desperately needed homeless services funds to expand needed shelter space, housing and programs.”
The bipartisan and first-of-its kind “No Place like Home” initiative will assist local communities in preventing and addressing homelessness by issuing a $2 billion bond to construct permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless persons with mental illness.
This unprecedented policy framework is crafted with the understanding that fighting modern homelessness – with long-term solutions, not short-term band-aids – requires a localized approach sustained by a strategic statewide commitment. 
Recently supported by Governor Brown, the “No Place Like Home” initiative will move through the legislature over the next few months.

Three convicted felons, one out of statecwarrant arrested for alleged marijuana sales

On Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at about 9:00 a.m., Humboldt County Deputy Sheriffs served a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant at a residence on the 200 block of Golden Gate Drive in Carlotta. Upon serving the search warrant, deputies located three suspects on the property – 34 year old Anthony Thomas Rose, 51 year old Derrick Tyrone Bodiford, and 34 year old Dayshawn Luis Maxon. It was discovered all three suspects were convicted felons. Bodiford had an extraditable felony arrest warrant out of Alabama.
A search of the property resulted in the discovery of a large commercial marijuana cultivation operation located inside a greenhouse in the back yard. The greenhouse contained green growing marijuana plants in a budding stage of growth. These plants ranged between 4’ – 5’ tall.
Two indoor marijuana cultivation grows were located inside the main residence. These indoor grows contained green growing marijuana plants in a vegetative state of growth. These plants ranged between 6” – 1’ tall. A total of 262 growing marijuana plants were located on the property and seized.
Deputies located indicia associated with the above listed suspects, documentation of sales, digital scales, packaging materials, large postage envelopes, $10,974 in U.S. currency, ammunition, and a stolen firearm.
Bodiford, Dayshawn, and Maxom were arrested and taken to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility. They were booked for cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sales, convicted felons in possession of a firearm, prohibited person in possession of ammunition, carrying a loaded firearm to commit a felony, conspiracy to commit a crime, and receiving stolen property. Each had a bail set at $50,000.

Donald Trump has enough delegates to secure Republican nomination

May 25, 2016

Is the Times Standard Peter Martin's PR agency?

Perhaps the Times Standard instead of being Peter Martin's personal PR agency should research cases he cites and claims he makes and do an in depth article.

Martin cites Reed vs Gilbert  in the Times Standard article with a threat to sue the City of Eureka over it's panhandling ordinance if it is not repealed in 30 days.

TS has never asked Martin if he is working pro bono on these cases. LOCO and NCJ seem content to give a pass to Martin on investigating just who is behind these lawsuits?

I have asked Martin this question several times on this blog. No answer.

When the city pays for lawsuits, especially fees and settlements, it costs you and me and aggressive panhandling costs businesses.

So why is certain media quiet on Martin's lawsuits and who maybe behind it? They did the same thing with Richard Salzman. Why are you okay supporting such media?

Are certain media really objective and independent or unbiased? You support these media sources by reading them, enabling them to get advertisers with clicks and you may advertise with them.

Yet, information that is relevant to you is not pursued. Is Martin working pro bono on these repeated lawsuits and investing so much time just for "civil rights?" If so, why the silence by him?

Why not have discussions with the City instead of giving ridiculous deadlines and threatening and filing lawsuits?

Here is a link to the Supreme Court blog.

Other links:

Martin maybe feeling confident with certain recent rulings but as this link shows, his win is not guaranteed.

$200,000 bail for man who demanded money from woman but left

On 05-25-16, at about 9:00 AM, Kay Graves was in her kitchen when she was confronted by a strange man standing near her in her house. The man was wearing fabric tied around the lower portion of his face to conceal his identity and demanded that Graves give him money. Graves told the suspect that she does not have any money and he replied that he needs money and demanded that she give it to him. Graves maintained that she did not have money to give him and he turned to leave. When the suspect turned Graves saw that he was holding a large black handgun at his side.

The suspect walked out of Grave's house and ran toward the east into the woods. Graves called 911 and Mendocino County Sheriff's Deputies arrived and began searching the area. A Sheriff's Office canine was used to assist in the search. The investigation eventually identified nearby resident Matthew Rantala as the suspect.

Rantala was arrested and the disguise that he wore during the crime was recovered, as was the handgun. The handgun was found to be a replica firearm. Rantala was subsequently lodged in the Mendocino County Jail with bail set at $200,000.00

Motion to continue jury trial in Jesus Garcia homicide granted, new jury trial date is August 22

This afternoon trial confirmation was scheduled in Courtroom 5 for all four suspects in the Jesus Garcia homicide.

Joe Olivio III is represented by Ms private attorney, Ms. Anakalia "Andrea" Kaluna Sullivan, Mario Nunez is represented by Mr. David Celli., private attorney Mr. Michael Acosta represents Nicholas Leigl and private attorney Ms. Christina Allbright represents Joe Olivio, Jr.

A motion to continue the jury trial scheduled for June 6 was filed by Ms. Sullivan.

Mr. Manny Daskal made a special appearance on behalf of Ms. Sullivan today.

New trial date is August 22. Pre-trial is July 26.

Judge Hinrichs granted the motion to continue after hearing from Deputy District Attorney David Christensen and all the defense attorneys. Mr. Celli and Ms. Allbright said discovery was outstanding.

May 23, 2016

Private attorney for one of the suspects in Jesus Garcia homicide requesting a continuance

Trial confirmation is scheduled on May 25 for the four suspects in the Jesus Garcia homicide.

Anakalia "Andrea" Kaluna Sullivan, Joe Olivio III's private attorney She is a Lake  and Mendocino County criminal defense attorney with offices in Ukiah and Lakeport.

Ms. Sullivan has requested a continuance for Joe Olivio III for the jury trial currently scheduled for June 6.

That motion for continuance is scheduled tomorrow at the same time as trial confirmation for Olivio III and the other three suspects.

Apr 4, 2016

Four suspects in the Jesus Garcia homicide held to answer on charges, case to proceed to jury trial

The four suspects in the Jesus Garcia homicide were held to answer all charges and special allegations today by Judge Hinrichs.

The preliminary hearing lasted all of last week and concluded today.

 Arraignment on information for the jury trial is on  April 18 at 2pm in Courtroom 5.

Previous post (includes all previous coverage):

Closing arguments concluded just now, jury deliberation starts in Jonas Semore case

About two minutes ago, the bailiff was sworn in and jury deliberations have started for the Jonas Semore case.

The jury has the option of first degree murder or second degree murder and a special allegation that a dangerous and deadly weapon was used in the commission of the alleged crime.

May 24, 2016

Kudos to Betty, the businesses and these former Marsh residents

Excellent article by Hunter Creswell. Betty is the best. Kudos to the businesses who hired people. Good luck to those who are trying to change their lives by taking the first step.

"She did not want to get hurt. She would give him a BJ and a backrub."

After an hour and half preliminary hearing this morning, Judge Joyce Hinrichs dismissed the 2016 case against Thomas Lusk II.

Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads submitted the matter to the court after presenting one witness, former HCSO Deputy Bang Cao. At the time of this alleged incident, he was assigned to the Southern Humboldt. Deputy Cao is currently employed with the Marin County Sheriff's office.

Conflict Counsel's Mr. Greg Elvine-Kreis told Judge Hinrichs that "my client has not been IDed in court today. He also said no evidence had been provided regarding Count 1 and asked that the case be dismissed."

 Judge Hinrichs acknowledged that the ID of Lusk was "problematic. The court finds all elements have not been proven by evidence." Lusk was not held to answer to Counts 1 and 2 and the "complaint was dismissed."

 He waived his preliminary hearing for the 2015 case and remains in custody on that case, awaiting jury trial.

On May 11, Lusk, who has been in jail for 314 days, was arraigned for a new case, involving a new victim that came forward.

In this new case, Lusk is charged with two felonies. Count 1 Human trafficking. Count 2 Assault with intent to commit a sex offense. Both counts have special allegations that Lusk has a prior conviction for criminal threats.

On September 19, 2014, Deputy Cao was "dispatched to investigate a possible rape in Miranda."

"When I arrived, a red jeep was parked at the intersection of French Road and Miranda off-ramp. The passenger was Jane Doe and the driver was the reporting party, Ernie Bull."

Asked to describe Jane Doe's demeanor, Deputy Cao said, "she was crying and breathing heavily; she appeared to be in distress. I remember she was trying to put on a pink top while sitting in the vehicle. I believe she was wearing a bra and jeans."

"I asked Jane Doe to step out of the car and walk to my patrol vehicle." By this time he said, Deputy Filipini had arrived to assist him "and she walked Jane Doe to my car."

Deputy Cao spoke to Bull. Bull told Deputy Cao that "he was driving on 101 and near the intersection of Miranda off-ramp and French Road, he observed a female waving him down with a flashlight. Jane Doe got into the vehicle and asked him to call 911." Bull told Deputy Cao that "the female was wearing a bikini bra and appeared to be in distress." Jane Doe told Bull what had happened.

DDA Eads: Did Jane Doe say anything to Mr. Bull while she was in a state of distress."

Deputy Cao: "yes."

DDA Eads: "What did Jane Doe say to Mr. Bull?"

Deputy Cao: "Jane Doe told Ernie Bull a guy was trying to rape her and to call 911. This was told to me by dispatch."

Ms. Eads asked Deputy Cao if he had an opportunity to speak with Jane Doe. He said he did,

"She verbally told me her identity and provided her date of birth. She explained to me that received a text from TJ to come to his house and collect the $200 he owed her."

Jane Doe told Deputy Cao she had met "TJ about a month before" this alleged incident and that "she knew the person as TJ."

Jane oe drove to Lusk's house. "She went into the house and asked him for the money. He avoided the subject about the money" and said the real reason she was there "was to rent a room from him. This caused Jane Doe concern. At this point, she knew TJ was not going to pay her and tried to leave."

"Jane Doe tried to open the door but she could not because there were three locks on the door and no door knob. She explained that TJ tried to punch her in the face while she was trying to unlock the door but she was able to avoid the punch. She pulled out a big knife. She explained TJ grabbed a hammer. TJ brandished the hammer and took the knife away from her. "

"She said that TJ told her that she could not leave and that she needed to have sex with him. Jane Doe grabbed her cellphone and tried to call her boyfriend, (I am not printing the name because it may reveal Jane Doe's identity). TJ took the phone away from her."

DDA Eads: "Did she tell you why she was in fear of her life?"

Deputy Cao: "TJ would kill her."

DDA Eads: "Did Jane Doe tell you that she told TJ something?"

Deputy Cao: "She did not want to get hurt. She would give him a BJ and a backrub. I believe she was offering so she would not get hurt. I don't believe she performed those acts."

DDA Eads: "Did Jane Doe tell you what else she said to TJ?"

Deputy Cao: "Jane Doe told TJ she had drugs in her vehicle and she would give them to him TJ told Jane Doe to take off all her clothes before she went out to the car to get the drugs. She only took off her shirt but not anything else."

"Jane Doe grabbed her purse and went outside to her vehicle with TJ. As she was walking to her vehicle, Jane Doe dropped her purse in the driver door and started looking for her keys to her vehicle and she could not find her keys. TJ went to the passenger side and opened the door while she was continuing to look for her keys. TJ demanded that Jane Doe show him the drugs she had offered him. TJ demanded that she come over to the passenger side to show him where the drugs where."

"As she was walking over, she turned on a flashlight and shined it in the direction of the driveway and took off running down the hill."

"Jane Doe said that she spent approximately an hour at TJ's house". Deputy Cao asked her to describe TJ. "She told me that TJ is about 35-40 years old; tall; Indian male adult, weighed about 300 pounds."

DDA Eads: "Did you ask her if she had any alcohol or had done drugs?"

Deputy Cao: "She told me no but because of the way she was acting, I asked a CHP officer to conduct an evaluation. He told me that she was not on drugs or under the influence of alcohol."

Deputy CAO said he asked the CHP office to evaluate Jane Doe because "she was stressed, crying and her speech was fast."

"From what Jane Doe told me and the location she described, I was in Sohum for a while, so I knew it was Thomas Lusk's house/trailer. I asked her to get in the back of the vehicle." Deputy Filipini, the CHP officer and Deputy Cao drove to where Jane Doe described the location was and she had said her car, a Mazda Miata was in the driveway.  From a former call, Deputy Cao recognized it as Thomas Lusk's house.

When they got there, Deputy Cao investigated and looked at the car. "The driver door was open. There was a purse and items strewn about. Several caps and syringes."

"Deputy Filipini and I went to the house and knocked and announced ourselves. It was dark. The front door did not have a door knob. Two deadbolts in the door.  No one answered."

Deputy Cao photographed the exterior of the house and the car. He then spoke to Jane Doe who said "she wanted to press charges against TJ."

"I told her I would come by with a photo lineup later and assigned her a case number for the incident. Jane Doe got into her car and drove away."

Deputy Cao went and spoke to Lusk's neighbor, (name not printed for privacy reasons). Deputy Cao returned to the Garberville station and looked up Thomas Lusk. "The driver's license descriptor said he was 6 feet 4 inches, 260 pounds, and had his date of birth."

Deputy Cao said he was familiar with the Lusk property from a previous visit with Sgt. Swithenbank and had gone there to look for Thomas Lusk, Sr.  Deputy Cao described two trailers on the property, the house and "a lot of garbage" and items all over the property.

He requested help from the Arcata Police Department to prepare photo lineups and went to pick them up the next day, September 20, 2014. He asked them for two lineups because he was not sure if Jane Doe was describing Lusk Sr. or Lusk Jr.

He could not get in touch with Jane Doe until September 21 and he met her at the Lone Pine motel in Garberville and asked her to speak with him in his patrol car "in private."

He gave her a photo admonishment form, explained it, she read it and signed it. He never mentioned the name Thomas Lusk to Jane Doe. First, he showed her the line up with Lusk, Sr. She did not identify anyone in that line up. Then he showed her the second photo line up with Lusk jr.

"She was immediately able to point him out and said, 'a 100% picture #3. I will never forget his eyes. She circled Lusk's picture and initialed it."

Deputy Cao said that Jane Doe was "calm, very coherent, not the same as the first time I met her. She was very polite."

In court today, when DDA Eads asked Deputy Cao to see if the person identified in the line up was in court, he said it had been a long time and he could not say for sure.

Previous post (includes all other coverage):

Investigation ongoing regarding structure fire on Salmon Creek Road


On Tuesday, May 24, 2016, Humboldt County Deputy Sheriffs responded to the 4000 block of Salmon Creek Rd at the request of Cal Fire to assist with evacuations in the area due to a structure fire, and possible explosive materials on scene. The fire resulted in the total destruction of one structure. No injuries were reported, and no residences were located on the property. CalFire, Humboldt Bay Fire HAZMAT, and Miranda/Salmon Creek Volunteer Fire Departments put out the fire and secured the scene.
DEU responded to investigate, and discovered burnt remains of a Butane Honey Oil (BHO) lab. Marijuana bud/shake, butane canisters, nitrogen tanks, propane tanks, commercial grade ovens, and two commercial grade stainless steel hash extractor tubes were located at the scene.
A subsequent search of the property based on exigent circumstances resulted in the discovery of an extensive marijuana cultivation grow site. A Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant was consequently obtained and served on the property. Deputies with DEU and Drug Task Force (DTF) agents located marijuana growing outdoors, indoors, and inside greenhouses located on the property. Units located and eradicated 2,815 green growing marijuana plants between 6” and 3’ in height.
The owner of the property has been identified. This investigation is currently ongoing. Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

On May 24, 2016, at approximately 1055 hrs, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a request from Cal Fire to respond to a structure fire in the 4000 block of Salmon Creek Road in Miranda. It was reported that a possible Butane Honey Oil operation was in the structure.
Deputies responded and established a unified incident command with Cal fire personnel. The area was secured and Thomas Road and Salmon Creek Road were closed to all traffic. A reverse 9-1-1 was activated for an evacuation of the area within a one mile radius do to potential hazards associated with large butane and nitrogen tanks that were seen on the property.
At approximately 1434 hrs the fire was contained. Deputies from the HCSO Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) are currently on scene investigating.

Victim uncooperative with details, EPD still locates and arrests suspects

     On Sunday, 5/22/2016 at 4:43 p.m. hours, EPD officers responded to the 800
block of P Street for a report of shots fired.   Upon arrival it was reported that
Lance Adams (aka Lance Aubrey) had fired a weapon towards a silver vehicle.  
Adams was seen fleeing the area in a dark grey sedan.
     Witnesses were contacted at the scene.  The victim was uncooperative and details
of the incident remain unclear.   
     At about 8:45 p.m. EPD officers initiated a traffic stop for vehicle code
violations in the 200 block of 5th Street. Lance Adams was a passenger in the vehicle
being driven by Gina Smith. There were multiple warrants for Adams' arrest.  
Additional officers responded and Adams was detained without incident.  He had a
loaded 9mm handgun on his right hip.  Smith was found with a .22 caliber pistol in
her purse and a loaded magazine for the pistol on her person.  Three other
occupants in the vehicle, including one teenage juvenile were detained and
eventually released. The teen was released to a guardian.
     Officers recovered methamphetamine from Adams.  A meth pipe and a stun gun
were located inside the vehicle.  Lance Loren Adams, 25, of Eureka and Gina
Elizabeth Smith, 20, of Rio Dell, were arrested and transported to the Humboldt
County Correction Facility without incident.  
Lance Loren Adams
PC 29800(a) Felon with a Firearm (Felony)
PC 25850(a) Carrying a Loaded Firearm in a Public Place or Vehicle (Felony) 
H&S 11370.1(a) Possession of a Controlled Substance (Felony)
PC 30305(a) (1) Felon in Possession of a Firearm (Felony)
H&S 11377(a) Possession of Methamphetamines (Misdemeanor)
H&S 11364(a) Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Misdemeanor)
PC 1203.2 (a) Violation of Felony Probation (Misdemeanor)

PC 417(a) (1) (Warrant) Brandishing a Weapon (Misdemeanor)
PC 211 (Warrant) Robbery (Felony)
PC 211 (Warrant) Robbery (Felony)
PC 148 (Warrant) Resisting Arrest (Misdemeanor)

Gina Elizabeth Smith
PC 25400(a) (1) Carrying a Concealed Weapon (Felony)
PC 25850(a) Carrying a Loaded Firearm in a Public Place or Vehicle (Felony)
H&S 11364(a) Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Misdemeanor)