Sunday, October 19, 2014

Last word: 'Unfit for a Free Society'

A week after Bodhi Tree was sentenced to serve 105 years to life in state prison for murdering two people in Arcata last year and shooting a third in Eureka, a pre-sentencing report made public as a part of his case file sheds new light on the 29-year-old and his path through the criminal justice system. It also underscores the multi-layered tragedy that just played out before our community’s eyes. - Thadeus Greenson/The Journal
The report paints a picture of a man born into difficult circumstances who suffered numerous childhood traumas and was never taught to harness his anger, a problem that compounded with the onset of multiple mental illnesses as he became an adult....

Born July 5, 1985, Tree grew up in Garberville with his parents, but bounced around, living in at least six different communities by the time his mother died of an aneurism when he was 13. But Tree’s troubles began long before that, according to a letter from Kai Ferrara included in the report....

“I believe it is the responsibility of our justice system to protect its citizens from people as dangerous as my childhood friend Bodhi Tree,” Ferrar wrote. “With the delinquency of his parents, I have always felt like an older brother to him, wishing the best for him and wanting to help. However, as all of his past friends have individually learned, there is no safe place near him. When he is on the street, he is a free roaming threat to whoever has the misfortune and responsibility of his presence.

“As a kid, Bodhi needed constant supervision, which his parents were not capable of providing. As an adult, Bodhi needs constant supervision, and only our jail system can provide the kind of safety we citizens need. It is an incredible misfortune that two beautiful innocent lives have been lost, and we must use this experience to prevent further imminent harm. I worry that Bodhi Tree will be out on the streets in 10 years’ time. We citizens need to be safe for longer than that.

“Please, do not allow him freedom, ever.”
Tree sentenced in tear-filled courtroom - Paul Mann/Mad River Union
Convicted murderer Bodhi Tree’s 105-year sentence was pronounced in a packed, tear-filled courtroom, where the 29-year-old Garberville native spoke no word and showed no remorse.

In impassioned statements read aloud minutes before the Oct. 10 sentencing, wrathful and weeping family members of the victims implored Superior Court Justice Dale A. Reinholtsen to mete out the maximum punishment of 117.5 years.

He came close.

Accusing Tree of lacking any moral compass and describing his shooting spree as senseless and inexplicable, Reinholtsen ordered the prisoner to serve consecutive sentences totaling 105 years
"I'm here to talk about the impact on our lives by the senseless slaughter of two innocent people by a man, and I'm hesitant to use the word, man." - John Chiv/Words Worth Oct 10, 2014
"Little did we know that this nightmare would never end" - John Chiv/Words Worth Oct 10, 2014
Jurors, family, community members pack courtroom for Bodhi Tree sentencing - John Chiv/Words Worth Oct 10, 2014
...7 jurors took the time out of their schedules, community members that attended the trial, and the families of all victims have been waiting...
link - John Chiv/Words Worth Oct 10, 2014
...He has to serve consecutive sentences... but the basic gist is he has to serve 75 years and even then with minimum parole times on other terms, it is another 25 so it would be 100 years before he is eligible for parole.

Tree sat with with an attitude, no remorse and after sentence looked at bailiffs and said "Allright, ready."
We plead with the court to never release this animal to society" - John Chiv/Words Worth Oct 10, 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014

"It would seem that if you were running for City Council you might want to divulge that you filed a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy petition, just a little over 2 years ago...." UPDATED

Is a Bankruptcy filing by a Eureka City Council candidate relevant information? - John Chiv/Words Worth
Kim Bergel and her husband filed bankruptcy in July of 2012 and listed $222,514 in unsecured creditors along with $233,794 in secured and priority creditors for a total of $524,248.
Bankrupt? You too can pay off $524,248 with just $51,720 - John Chiv/Words Worth
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Soooo........

Here we are. In a year when almost every item on the ballot is asking for MORE money. Which means the budget is Issue #1.

So. This is sad. And yet it is very relevant. Because you're asking for a position that will oversee public funds, and which arguably will make decisions, or pass ordinances which will involve punishing people who don't pay their bills or follow rules.

I've spoken to John, who is working without a scanner, and he has transcribed the documents listed amounts.

And, on another note, I sit here shaking my head, thinking - what if?
What if this were the 'other side'? You'd be seeing interactive charts, complete with analysis, and comments threads with 1,000 denunciations.
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J. Eric Bergel Responds: It's interesting to note Mr. Chiv's obvious bias as evidenced by the fact that he didn't brother to report on Mike Newman's 2004 Chapter 7 (non-repayment) bankruptcy. I'd be curious to know if his pre-economic meltdown bankruptcy was a result of a nearly fatal accident as ours was. I'd also be interested in ascertaining whether or not he made an effort comparable to our nearly four years doing everything within our power to avoid bankruptcy.

We deeply regret the damage we caused to local business as a result of our misfortune. We only exercised our right to protection under the law as an absolute last resort after exhausting all other avenues. Then, against the advice of our attorney, we filed a repayment plan (chapter 13) rather than walking away from our debt (chapter 7) as we were legally entitled to do.

The unfortunate reality is that after all the damage caused by thirty years of trickle down, voodoo economics and deregulation which resulted in the latest devastating economic melt down, financial success can no longer be relied upon as an accurate gauge to measure a person’s intelligence, aptitude, work ethic or character. Because the playing field is no longer level, it makes it very difficult for working class people to achieve or even maintain the American dream.

I understand campaigning for political office often turns to blood sport, especially when a candidate is seriously threatened, but I really do believe in the golden rule as well as the adage that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Perhaps it could be modified in this case to state, those who have soiled there own reputation should not sling mud.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Eddie Lee case dismissed, Judge Feeney grants defense motion

Right before the jury would decide - John Chiv/Words Worth
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All jokes that Paul would Fuck Up this case have been proven true I guess.

Is he gonna tank the Limmie Curry case, too?

The Eddie Lee Trial: Murder, robbery, mutilation - September 2014
Two high profile jury trials; one murder; another human trafficking scheduled for tomorrow - September 2014
Jurors being questioned in Eddie Lee trial; first witness expected to be called around September 2 - August 2014

Whatever happened to Eddie David Lee? And Maggie Jean Wortman UPDATED - February 2011

One suspects pleads not guilty to Willow Creek man's murder - February 2010

John Chiv's Questions for Ms. Egger

Janelle's screenshot

Janelle Egger tries to serve court summons to Supervisor Rex Bohn during public comment - John Chiv/Words Worth

Why was it necessary to serve the summons during that meeting besides to get attention and on the cameras? It isn't as if you don't know where Rex is or his office is located. Like your previously ill-intentioned lawsuit and perceptions, you just keep on with your agenda. Who is behind this latest ploy? And why?

Those are the questions unasked, not investigated by the local media. People are smart Janelle and they deserve public information that is complete.

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A. Why was it necessary to serve the summons during that meeting besides to get attention and on the cameras?

Janelle: ____
(Anonymous answer #1: The papers were served on the Board of Supervisors which does not exist except when in session. Pretty simple to understand if one has the most basic understanding of our government.) INCORRECT, BTW
B. Who is behind this latest ploy?

Janelle: ___

C. And why?

Janelle: ____
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I'm not playing the email game with you, Janelle. I get that you have something to say. As John points out, you have chosen to 'respond' - though not ANSWER the questions - on an anonymous blog "which clearly has an agenda and is very obviously comprised of the same Heraldo crowd, the Fair Wage crowd and Occupy Eureka."

And you've chosen to comment profusely - pseudonymously - in the comments threads, which is only obvious because people respond to you by your name following those arguably anonymous responses.

All from someone who professes to care about free speech issues.

We live in a nation where free speech is a God-given right, meaning it cannot be taken away, and you are safe to use your name when stating your opinion.

Yet people hide in the shadows of anonymity, refusing to be upfront and honest in stating their opinions, and you choose to participate in that manner.

Not gonna play.

Comment here - WITH YOUR NAME - and I will put your responses in the post. I will do so even if you wish to use your pseudonym: Fortuna Rain. No problem.

ADDED: IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE POSTING HERE, you can email your answers, and I will paste them in.

Supervisors served court summons for alleged Brown Act violations - Will Houston/Times-Standard

The writ of mandate was filed against the board this month by Fortuna resident Janelle Egger, who said the board's use of committees — with three specifically targeted — violated the Brown Act by ignoring its own rules on committee formation and excluding members of the public from attending standing committee meetings, which she claims should be open to the public.

"The Brown Act has a provision, generally speaking, that meetings are going to be open and publicly noticed and agendized," she said. "It says that applies to the legislative bodies and its commissions and committees and then it gives an exception to that. The way the county seems to be interpreting it is that as long as it has less than quorum of the board members it was not subject to the Brown Act."

...One question still up in the air is whether Egger served the summons correctly.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What a sweet deal

So we'll drop the attempted murder charge if you agree to waive your prelim...

What? Why?

This does not look good. Certain things should be avoided when the defense attorney is related to the Assistant DA... is the first reaction to this news. Seriously.
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Silverio Sanchez preliminary waived; attempted murder charge dropped

DDA Zach Curtis stipulated with Silverio Sanchez's attorney, Mr. Ben McLaughlin, to drop Count 1 which is the attempted murder charge and the special allegation associated with it and Sanchez agreed to waive the preliminary hearing.

..."Our aim this morning was to get the attempted murder charge dropped and to litigate the rest of the trial," Mr. McLaughlin told me after the hearing. "By waiving the preliminary hearing, we are not acknowledging that Mr. Sanchez was driving the vehicle."

Friday, October 10, 2014

"We plead with the court to never release this animal to society" UPDATED

And so it ends. "May God have mercy on your soul."

"I'm here to talk about the impact on our lives by the senseless slaughter of two innocent people by a man, and I'm hesitant to use the word, man." - John Chiv/Words Worth Oct 10, 2014

"Little did we know that this nightmare would never end" - John Chiv/Words Worth Oct 10, 2014

Jurors, family, community members pack courtroom for Bodhi Tree sentencing - John Chiv/Words Worth Oct 10, 2014

...7 jurors took the time out of their schedules, community members that attended the trial, and the families of all victims have been waiting...

link - John Chiv/Words Worth Oct 10, 2014

...He has to serve consecutive sentences... but the basic gist is he has to serve 75 years and even then with minimum parole times on other terms, it is another 25 so it would be 100 years before he is eligible for parole.

Tree sat with with an attitude, no remorse and after sentence looked at bailiffs and said "Allright, ready."

We plead with the court to never release this animal to society" - John Chiv/Words Worth Oct 10, 2014

Some of the jurors were wiping tears as did Sean Butler-Smith's sister Breanne and community members. Even the court staff who were stoic and professional were shaken by the emotional testimony of the families. While Rhett August's mother attended, she chose not to speak.

Victim witness representative Marybeth read a letter from Nancy Jo Marcet, Sunshine's mother, Michael Tostado, Christina's uncle read his own statement, that of his wife, and Christina's aunt and the last one to read was Tina Schwarz, Christina's mother.

Mrs. Marcet started her letter by referring t the loss of her son, "who was taken from us so violently trying to protect Christina." The last words Alan "Sunshine" Marcet etxted to his mother on May 17, was "I love you so very much." And on May 18, she found out he was dead. This loss just on the heels of Sunshine's father being killed.

"He should not be allowed to do this anyone again," Mrs. Marcet's sentiment was reiterated by all speakers, Ms. Firpo and Judge Dale Reinholtsen.

They were very grateful to DDA Elan Firpo and the jurors who they thanked. Mrs. Schwarz even thanked the public defenders and addressed Bodhi Tree. At one point, she asked him to look at her, he didn't. She said, "May God have mercy on your soul."
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Thank you, John Chiv, for covering this case in its entirety.
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Tree gets life in prison - Paul Mann/Mad River Union
A full report will appear in the Oct. 15 edition of the Mad River Union.
Thank you, Paul Mann.
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Bodhi Tree Sentenced to Life in Prison - Andrew Goff/Lost Coast Outpost
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AFTERMATH:
Key witness in Tree trial assualted the second time in jail - John Chiv/Words Worth Oct 11, 2014
Even with the trial over, Sean is not safe; his sister's account - John Chiv/Words Worth Oct 11, 2014
DDA Elan Firpo gives notice, joins well-known local firm - John Chiv/Words Worth Oct 10, 2014

DDA Elan Firpo gives notice, joins well-known local firm

DDA Elan Firpo has given her notice to DA Paul Gallegos. Effective 11/1, she is joining a local firm as partner. - John Chiv/Words Worth

Because everyone should take advice from a known liar


Profit Motive - Richard "R Trent" Salzman/LoCo

Yeah, the guy who creates phony names, shadowy groups, attack pieces mailed in plain brown wrappers, and who sneaks around in the dark of night sticking attack stickers on parking meters - yeah, that guy - wants to tell you how to vote. How to run your business. How to see the world is you're an employee.

The only question is - are you that stupid?

'Cause he's not gonna be there for you when you lose your job, or your employers closes his doors.
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Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Pheww! Judge denies defense motion for new trial in Tree case

Bodhi Tree was in court dressed in the orange jail garb with his trademark "wtf" and "I don''t give a damn" expression. - John Chiv/Words Worth

Representatives from Probation, Victim Witness and two jurors were present as well as prosecution key witness Sean Butler-Smith's sister.

Prior to the motion, when sentencing has been scheduled, other jurors have attended as well. They are very vested in the outcome.

(John) Will be updating soon with more highlights from both arguments. (at the link)

"Russo and Holmquist were handed a crappy case and they did a crappy job." - John Chiv/Words Worth

Prior coverage at Words Worth
LINKS to Bodhi Tree coverage, including Words Worth

Bodhi Tree sentencing scheduled for this afternoon in Courtroom 4 - JOhnm Chiv/Words Worth Oct 10, 2014

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

It's a good thing she had those plastic bags



Fatu Kekula, 22, was just a nursing student, and was left with no choice -- she became a one-woman Ebola hospital as she treated her sick family. - Laura Ingraham

Request for continuance

Will Judge Feeney grant defense motion in Bullock case to continue the trial again? - John Chiv/Words Worth

Decision to be made today.

UPDATE:
Bodhi Tree motion for new trial will be heard October 8

When world views collide

Oh, the irony. It seems POT is not a victimless crime. Paul. Ken.

Salmon recovery plan IDs Humboldt marijuana cultivation as threat - Juniper Rose and Jeff Barnard/Times-Standard

From damage to streams and rivers caused by clear-cutting and illegal road grading to water diversions and chemical pollution associated with marijuana grows, the action plan calls for steps to address many of those issues alongside hundreds of other recovery strategies for salmon populations in an area stretching from the Mattole River near Petrolia to southern Oregon, said Julie Weedly, NOAA recovery coordinator for the Northern California office.
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You're guiltier than Palco EVER was.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Eureka prayer lawsuit settled, city to pay $16K in attorney's fees

City to cease endorsing mayor's breakfast
After nearly two years of hearings, a lawsuit over prayer breakfasts sponsored by Eureka city officials was settled Thursday, but plans are in motion to appeal a previous ruling made on invocations at city council meetings.
Clarification about the prayer lawsuit that was not clear from the Times-Standard article - John Chiv/Words Worth
Mike Newman: We did not settle on the invocation issue, we are free to continue our policy. What was settled was the matter about the Mayor involving City Personnel in a Prayer breakfast several years ago.

Marian Brady: As is true with any unfounded claim or lawsuit against the City, the City has to make decisions about the costs to defend and the risk the claim poses. In this case, it was decided to pay Ms. Beaton a portion of her attorneys’ fees (no monetary damages were paid to her) and permit her to go forward with her appeal, without further cost to the City, to end the matter.
Is Peter Martin hurting for actual clients because he sure has a lot of free time to collect attorney fees on behalf of "causes" - John Chiv/Words Worth