Friday, August 31, 2007

Paul's turn

Palco filed their brief -
Briefs - The People v. Pacific Lumber Co. et al. Division 3
Case Number A112028 Respondent's brief.
Defendant and Respondent: Pacific Lumber Co.
Attorney: Edgar Bancroft Washburn
Attorney: John Alan Behnke

NOW - Paul has 20 days to reply -
The Appellant's (Attorney Paul Varden Gallegos') reply brief is due 09/20/2007

Goodbye Jeffrey "" Schwartz

Today was Schwartz's last day in the Humboldt County DA's Office. This is a good thing. 'Bout goddam time.

Remember, Under Gallegos the DA's Office has "lost:"
DDA Zach Bird
DDA Jose Mendez
DDA Ed Borg
DDA Worth Dikeman
DDA Frank Dunnick
DDA Eamon Fitzgerald
DDA Heather Gimle
DDA Paul Hagen
DDA Nicole Hansen
DDA Shane Hauschild
DDA Andrew Isaac
DDA Allison Jackson
DDA Harry Kassakian
DDA Elizabeth Norton
DDA Murat Ozgur
Patrick Pekin
DDA Amanda Penny
DDA Gloria Albin-Sheets
Jennifer Strona
DDA Andy Truitt
DDA Nandor Vadas
DDA Rob Wade
Bill Rodstrom
Investigator Chris Andrews
Investigator Chris Cook
Investigator Jim Dawson (retired)
Paul's secretary Gail Dias
Office Manager Linda Modell
Investigator Eric Olson
Investigator Kathy Philp (retired)
Investigator Dave Dave Rybarczyk
Investigator Dave Walker
Child Interview Specialist Laura Todd
Senior Legal Secretary Melissa Arnold
Alternate Child Interviewer Jennifer Maguire

And, of course: Schwartz and Stoen.

Question, still, is "Who's left?"

Maggie Fleming, Max Cardoza, Wes Keat, Stacey Eads (on leave),
Allan Dollison, Arnie Klein, Jeff Schwartz,
Mary McCarthy, Davina Smith and Randy Mailman (the newest hire)

Two deputies leave DA's Office 3/8/2007
Update: 6/12/2007
County Counsel Kim Kerr - Longtime employee of the county takes job in Ione

Like Stoen leaving, this is good news... "" Jeffrey Scwhartz is leaving the DA's Office, going in to private practice (No surprise since he has had his "practice" listed in the phone book for the better part of a year, while acting as a prosecutor, which should be a big no-no.) 8/31/07, is gone.

1/2008 Davina Smith moves to the County Counsel's Office.

9/25/08 Deputy District Attorney Kelly Neel, who has been handling the (Belant) case, will be leaving the office for another job at the County Counsel Office, Gallegos said.

1/5/10 Kathleen Bryson, hired and reputedly fired by Gallegos, is now running against him... ◼ Local attorney throws hat in the ring for DA

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I don't know why, but this funny YouTube video
came to mind when I read about this fundraising effort from:
Assemblywoman Patty Berg
c/o Roberts & Associates

(sounds so official)

Assemblywoman Patty Berg
Invites You to a Fall Reception
Location: Patty's Home

(wow, sounds so nice, so personal)

$1000 - Sempervirens Sponsor (includes 12 guests & program recognition)
$500 - Oak Tree Sponsor (includes 8 guests & program recognition)
$250 - Spruce Tree Supporter (includes 6 guests)
or $50 - Maple Tree Individual Guest

(what? It's not a party? It's a fundraiser?
It sounds so - mercenary! What's this all about?)

It's not really from Assemblywoman Patty Berg.
It is from Patty Berg for Insurance Commissioner.
Contributions will be used to elect Patty Bery to INSURANCE COMMISSIONER in 2010 OR towards current officeholder expenses.
(Oh. I guess that's how it's done.)

If you're invited, you're supposed to RSVP to

Look for a Gallegos endorsement.

(Details, details...I guess that Sacramento outfit doesn't realize what Sempervirens means to us here in Humboldt County.)

Hilarious! This week's Town Dandy

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Silence allows it to go on

There was a reason every single law enforcement group in Humboldt County endorsed Paul Gallegos' opponent in the last election. Their endorsement was couched in careful terms, but amounted to a stunning vote of no-confidence in Gallegos.

Here again, you might have had a glimpse into the reasons, but the Chief wants concerns surrounding dropped rape charge to be kept private

Concerns about a plea deal that resulted in a 19-day sentence for a man originally charged with rape will not be discussed publicly, said Arcata Police Chief Randy Mendosa.

“I do have some concerns about the process, which I’m going to be communicating to (Humboldt County District Attorney Paul) Gallegos, but it’s not appropriate to make those communications through the media,” Mendosa said Wednesday.

The chief’s concerns stemmed from the case of Clinton Lee Harris III, who was arrested by the Arcata Police Department April 18 and mistakenly released from the Humboldt County jail Aug. 3, while awaiting trial on charges of rape and burglary.

Harris was rearrested several days later but was let out again, this time intentionally, on Aug. 20 after the two felony charges were reduced to a single misdemeanor...

...Mendosa declined to specify his particular concerns with the deal, in large part, he said, because the case involved an alleged sexual assault.

“I don’t want my comments to make the process more difficult for rape survivors,” he said, “but I’ll be discussing the matter further with Mr. Gallegos.”

Guilty pleas in big heroin case

Unclear from the story whether they pled to lesser charges:

Two Los Angeles men have pleaded guilty to drug charges related to a major heroin bust on March 12.

The men were caught with nearly 2 pounds of heroin in their car parked in the Bayshore Mall parking lot after the Humboldt County Drug Task Force called in a K-9 from the Arcata Police Department. The dog pointed out the drugs stashed in a hidden compartment in the center console.

Ignacio Bojorquez, 50, pleaded guilty Tuesday to transportation of heroin, possession of heroin for sale, and use of a concealed compartment to hide heroin, said Deputy District Attorney Maggie Fleming.

His trial was set to begin Tuesday. A special allegation regarding the large quantity of heroin makes him ineligible for probation. His sentencing will be heard on Sept. 25

The passenger in the car, Blas Parra, 27, has also pleaded guilty to the same charges. Parra's sentencing is set for Sept. 12.

The maximum sentence for the crimes is five years and eight months in prison.

”The DA's Office appreciates the hard work of the drug task force,” Fleming said. “Here is an example of the agents following up on information and seizing 2 pounds of heroin before it was distributed in our community.”

It was one of the largest heroin busts in recent Humboldt County history, and a major bust by any standard.
Full story

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Protestors at the Courthouse...

Guess they must be there to protest all the plea bargains. They must be there to stand up for victim's rights, to speak out for children who are victims of child molesters and incompetent DAs. Uhhhh - guess again.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Another plea deal. Another light sentence for a child molester.

A brave victim willing to testify. Deals made anyway. The pattern continues... What you have now is an alleged repeat offender who will serve less time in prison than his victims will spend in high school. He'll get out, he'll do it again, only next time he may not want to leave any witnesses behind.

Child molester is given a three-year sentence in plea deal

...Todd William Gonsalves was sentenced to three years in prison as part of a negotiated agreement.

Gonsalves pleaded guilty to a single count of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child younger than 14, with a stipulated sentence of three years in prison, of which he must serve at least 85 percent. (30 months)

In exchange, two identical charges were dropped, and sentences for unrelated misdemeanor cases will run concurrent with the three-year term.

Additionally, Gonsalves must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Going into the sentencing hearing, (the victim's mother) expressed displeasure with the handling of the case by the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office.

She said she had helped track down an alleged previous victim living in another jurisdiction, and could not understand why the case did not proceed to trial on the original charges — which could have resulted in a sentence of 24 years.

“I asked on numerous occasions,” (she) said, “‘Don’t you think we have enough evidence to go to trial? Don’t you think this is an injustice?’ — and (the deputy district attorney) said she’d rather have a small win than a big loss.”...

Deputy District Attorney Kelly Neel, who handled the case,
claimed that she was aware of another potential victim, but that her office was unable to confirm that she was a victim or make contact with her.

“At this point, I’m just glad it’s over,” (the victim's mother) said. “I’m fine with the outcome. I’m fine that she doesn’t have to go through it anymore.”

Note: Kelly Neel is one of the new DDA's, was in the Del Norte County DA's Office in January 2007;
Kelly Neel has four years experience as a public defender and three years experience as a prosecuting attorney for
various agencies.
No mention of what those agencies were.

Additional discussion on Eric's blog

Might as well just shut down all plans

The predatory litigious "Baykeeper" is back in the news.

...The city was on the California Coastal Commission’s May agenda for consideration for a coastal-development permit — one of several permits/certifications needed from various agencies — for the marsh construction phase that includes replacing a collapsing 24-inch culvert with a 48-inch culvert that connects the marsh and Humboldt Bay.

The Coastal Commission pulled the permit from the agenda.

Last year, high levels of dioxin were discovered in the sediment in a ditch bordering the east side of the former Simpson Timber Co. plywood facility off Railroad Avenue and adjacent to Del Norte Street. This information was contained in a report by Southern California-based environmental consultant Soil/Water/Air Protection Enterprise, which was hired by Humboldt Baykeeper and Californians for Alternatives to Toxics as part of their lawsuit against Simpson for alleged Clean Water Act violations...
(Read the rest: Marsh plan stalls)

Whaddya know - SWAPE provides litigation support! SWAPE provides witness and plaintiff identification services through the use of our network of legal clients and private Investigators. These resources are utilized for locating and interviewing persons and developing evidence for environmental claims cases.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Goodbye Estelle

Richard Salzman is going to miss you.

Day 500 501 502 503 504 505 506 and still no decision in the Cheri Moore case.

"Every person involved with the shooting has been interviewed by the Critical Incident Response Team, the inter-agency investigative squad lead by the District Attorney's Office. The CIRT report has been complete for over six months -- it was complete before the inquest and before the election, contrary to what you might have been led to believe.

Every single officer involved that day with the exception of one testified under oath during the coroner's inquest. All the information and the testimony from that proceeding has been on Gallegos' desk since September (2006)."
from Hank's comment on Eric's post

What is he waiting for?
Previous coverage:
TS - The Moore shooting: 436 days and counting
TS - D.A. says he won't be pressured on Moore case
TS - Silence deafening as shooting anniversary nears
The Dandy's take - back in March

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Stranger and stranger

Felony rape and burglary becomes 19 days and 20 bucks...

Mistakenly released inmate re-released Monday
The man whose mistaken release from jail two weeks ago sparked a daylong manhunt and front-page media coverage was re-released from custody Monday — intentionally — after one of two felony charges against him was dropped and the other was reduced to a misdemeanor.

Clinton Lee Harris III, 25, of Arcata was arrested April 18 and was awaiting trial on felony rape and burglary charges for allegedly breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s Arcata residence and raping her.

He was mistakenly released from the Humboldt County jail Aug. 3 and was returned to custody Aug. 8, after sheriff’s officials discovered the mistake and Sheriff’s Detective Troy Garey tracked Harris down in Arcata.

Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney Ben McLaughlin said Wednesday that the plea deal was made because the case suffered from “problems of proof in regards to the sexual assault and, by extension, the burglary.”

“I believe that the sexual assault allegation was problematic for several reasons,” McLaughlin stated in an e-mail. “The victim and the defendant had a preexisting romantic relationship and continued their relationship after their separation; there was not a (sexual assault) examination until 10 days post-event; and the victim’s roommate, who was home at the time of the alleged event, did not hear anything out of the ordinary.

“Ultimately, the misdemeanor burglary offer was my attempt to get Mr. Harris on probation. For the reasons stated above, had this proceeded to trial, I do not think we would have prevailed.”

Arcata Police Chief Randy Mendosa said Wednesday that his department, which originally arrested Harris, was studying the details of the plea agreement.

“I have asked our staff to review the issue, which includes ordering a copy of the court minutes. Our inquiry, which will include reviewing the facts with the District Attorney’s Office, will most likely take some time to accomplish. So at this point, I can’t say if I will have any concerns or not.”

For the misdemeanor burglary charge, Harris was given a 19-day sentence and a $20 fine. He will also serve three years of probation, with a condition added to his probation prohibiting him from going anywhere near the ex-girlfriend.

“Ultimately, what was of utmost concern for the victim in the case was that there be no contact,” McLaughlin said. “The previous deputy who was handling the case conveyed to me that this was what the victim was concerned about.”

ER Arrest made in alleged sexual assault incident 4/18/07
ER Rape suspect re-arrested after he was mistakenly released 8/8/07
TS Inmate accidentally released from jail
TS Sheriff's Department taking precautions after accidental inmate release

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Gallegos still has his fans

This morning's paper touched off a rant in the coffee shop - the guy starts going off about the brutal cops, how bad EPD is, and cited as evidence "You can tell how bad they are, just look at how they treat OUR DA."

Ya gotta be kiddin' me.

-- Just for the record - what does the guy do for a living? He works in the pot fields. Who would he call if he needed help? Not the cops - he is armed.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: Applegate gets three life sentences

ER Thomas Arthur Applegate was sentenced Tuesday to 65 years to life plus seven years for the May 4, 2003, murder of Joey Church and the attempted murder of Ross Condemi.
TS - Judge slams Applegate with 72 years

Superior Court Judge John T. Feeney sentenced Thomas Applegate today to 72 years in prison for the May 2003 murder of Joey Patrick Church and the attempted murder of another man at Church's Bridgeville home.

The sentence includes 15 years to life for the murder of Church plus 25 years to life for the discharge of a firearm causing death; seven years for the attempted murder of Ross Condemi; plus 25 years to life for the discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury.

Feeney noted that an appeal is automatic.

The judge also ruled against defense attorney Kevin Robinson's request that the sentences run concurrently. Applegate was also fined $10,000.

THANK YOU Judge Feeney!


For this is awarded one "Good Boy Paul" Point.

I'm taking suggestions - anyone have any to add?

It's interesting

It's interesting to look at the cases Paul Gallegos chooses to prosecute and those he chooses not to pursue, or lets go through a plea bargain or outright dismissal.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Interesting Letter to the Editor

He couldn't do it, Kathy. He couldn't risk losing a trial Dikeman had won. It was a real case, and he no longer really has anyone to prep the cases for him - remember the cases he tried and was winning were all prepped by people who are no longer with the office, people who knew what they were doing. He might have had to call Debi August to testify, if he followed the original witness list. He also, in my opinion, would have faced conflict of interest allegations, big time. Pleading Kesser out was a given from the get go. He'll probably try throwing the book at Leahy.

Dear Editor,

Humboldt County’s esteemed district attorney wants to deal with Kesser for hiring someone to kill his wife? Both Kesser and his girlfriend should be retried and hopefully found guilty one more time.

The entire retrial is a farce to begin with! Both of these individuals should rot in prison for the rest of their lives for arranging the murder!

Just because Gallegos resented Worth Dikeman is no reason to set these two free or make a deal with them.

Mary Kesser was brutally murdered in her home — the innocent victim of three twisted minds. Her son has been left without a mother. What is the judicial system coming to in Humboldt County? It seems to me that it’s all politics. Where is the justice in that?

This is just one more reminder of why I left Humboldt County.

Kathy Sutter
Reno, Nev.

Murder retrial an example of why writer left Humboldt County

Doctor gives view on sane verdict in Applegate case

If there's something new in this article I missed it. But it's part of the record.

Dr. Robert Soper

Doctor gives view on sane verdict in Applegate case
Man set to be sentenced for murder in Bridgeville
Thomas Applegate

Leahy's Trial date postponed pending release of prison records

Trial date postponed pending release of prison records

The trial date for Jennifer Gayle Leahy, one-time wife and co-defendant of Richard Craig Kesser, won't be known until at least Sept. 6.

At the request of the attorneys, Superior Court Judge Dale Reinholtsen agreed to postpone the trial date setting. Leahy and Kesser, found guilty in 1992 of hiring a hitman to kill Kesser's former wife, Mary Kesser of Fortuna, recently were granted retrials. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the former deputy district attorney rejected potential jurors on the basis of their race.

Kesser subsequently reached a plea agreement with the District Attorney's Office last week that requires him to testify against Leahy.

Leahy's attorney, Neal Sanders, said Monday that the delay in setting a trial date was requested to await permission to get Kesser's prison records.

A judge is expected to rule Sept. 5 whether those prison records will be made available. Leahy will remain in custody in the Humboldt County Correctional facility.

The Times-Standard Article Launched: 08/20/2007 03:51:23 PM PDT

So, in the meantime, since Kesser (where is he being housed anyway?) has to confess his role as part of his plea deal - which reporter will get the interview? I hope it is one who does their homework - looks at the records, looks at the crime scene photos, and understands the magnitude of the crime.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Gallegos on last week's Humboldt Review

Link to the podcast at KHUM. If that link doesn't work, go to the Humboldt Review archives and Right-click to download the August 16, 2007 mp3 file. I'll get it transcribed soon as I can. The topics are EPD/Large-scale Pot Grows/House Move. Gallegos is on in the last third, in case you're short of time.

Kevin Hoover interviews Eureka Police Chief Garr Nielsen, Mike Dronkers reports in on the Town Hall meeting regarding the Cotton death. Then Humboldt County Sheriff Deputy Mark Peterson and US Forest Service Special Agent In Charge, Ron Pugh and US Forest Service Assistant Special Agent In Charge, Bob Hernandez discuss the recent huge marijuana haul. Then, Kevin discusses it with Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos.

How do you think Paul sounds?

(Note a better link has been added.)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Are polygraphs admissible anyway?

Polygraphs are rarely admissible in court. New Mexico is the only state in the United States that allows for open admissibility of polygraph exam results. Every other state requires some type of stipulation to be met prior to admitting polygraph exams into record. In most cases, both sides of a legal case have to agree prior to the trial that they will allow polygraphs to be admitted. On the federal level, the admissibility criteria are much more vague and admission typically depends on the approval of the judge.
Evidence Code Section 351.1:
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the results of a polygraph examination, the opinion of a polygraph examiner, or any reference to an offer to take, failure to take, or taking of a polygraph examination, shall not be admitted into evidence in any criminal proceeding, including pretrial and post conviction motions and hearings, or in any trial or hearing of a juvenile for a criminal offense, whether heard in juvenile or adult court, unless all parties stipulate to the admission of such results.
(b) Nothing in this section is intended to exclude from evidence statements made during a polygraph examination which are otherwise admissible.

So, assuming there is an express stipulation in the Plea Deal, is there going to be a lie detector hooked up to Kesser when he testifies against his former girlfriend, who was convicted along with him and the hit man? And then will the results of that lie detector be admissible to the judge? Will there have to be a trial or can the decision that he has failed to adhere to the deal just be made unilaterally? By whom? Paul? Or the judge? If a polygraph is rarely admissible in court, is it any more admissible as a condition for a plea deal?

I'm just asking.

Flashback to 2004

And I quote: "As Humboldt’s progressive community looks ahead, Salzman and other campaign leaders are fleshing out a Humboldt-specific strategy for sustainable economic development and crime prevention—the intellectual ground on which Gallegos and other politicians can stand to articulate a new politics grounded in old values."

Jury reacts to settlement in first-degree murder retrial

Jurors were led into Judge Dale Reinholtsen’s courtroom Thursday for what they believed would be the continuation of the first-degree murder retrial against Richard Craig Kesser, but they took their seats in the gallery instead of the jury box.

Reinholtsen, perched on the edge of the defense table, explained to them that the case against Kesser had been settled in their absence the day before.

“(Kesser) has not entered a plea but has waived his right to a jury trial and agreed to let the judge decide the case based on court transcripts,” Reinholtsen said.

But the judge later added, “There’s no question whether he did it. The question is the level of involvement.”

That question may finally be answered after Kesser agreed Wednesday to provide a statement to the district attorney that specifies his precise role in the murder of his estranged wife, who was stabbed to death in her Fortuna home two nights before Thanksgiving in 1991.

Kesser further agreed to a polygraph test, Reinholtsen said, and if the test showed no deception and Kesser testified against his former girlfriend and alleged co-conspirator Jennifer Leahy, he would receive a bench verdict of guilt for second-degree murder, with a penalty of 15 years to life.

If deception were found, however, a bench verdict of guilt would be handed down for first-degree murder instead, which carries a sentence of 25 years to life.

One way or the other, the special allegations of murder for profit and lying in wait have been dropped, and Kesser may some day be released from custody.

In fact, Reinholtsen said, because Kesser had already served 15 years, “he would be eligible for consideration of parole at this time,” if he is charged with the lesser offense.

But the judge went on to say that Kesser’s chances of receiving parole were “slight.”

As part of the settlement, Kesser pleaded guilty to a felony charge of making terrorist threats, which does not impact his sentence but counts as a second strike offense under California’s three-strikes legislation.

“If he ever got out on parole and committed another felony,” Reinholtsen said, “he’d be looking at another 25 years to life.”

While he expressed no opinion of the settlement, Reinholtsen said, “In a good settlement, neither side’s happy.”

Jurors expressed surprise and disappointment that court proceedings ended so abruptly.

“You know this is our one-month anniversary,” juror Greg Brown joked with the judge.

Other jurors asked about the history of the case and also questioned why the settlement wasn’t reached sooner.

Juror Karen August expressed concern that Kesser’s sentence would be based on the truthfulness of his statement rather than the level of his involvement in the brutal murder.

Reinholtsen said he believed the families’ desire to move on with their lives played a role in the resolution.

“All sides wanted closure,” he said, “and I think that’s why this happened.”

Kesser, Leahy and Stephen Duane Chiara were convicted in 1992 of first-degree murder with special circumstances of 30-year-old Fortuna resident Mary Kesser and were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The Kesser and Leahy verdicts were overturned in September when a panel of judges ruled narrowly that former Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney Worth Dikeman rejected three Native Americans from the jury pool at least in part on the basis of their race.

Dikeman called the reversal the biggest disappointment of his career.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Two down - decision on Honda shooting

DA: Police not at fault in death of Jonni Honda

Officers involved in the December shooting of Jonni Honda acted lawfully and in self defense, according to a copy of a report released by the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office today.

Jonni Kiyoshi Honda, 51, of Big Bar, was killed in a standoff last December when detectives learned he was in a room at the Super 8 Motel in Eureka and showed up to arrest him on suspicion of child molestation.

"Compelling evidence establishes that Officer (Joe) Marsh, Officer (Rob) Mataxas and Sgt. (Michael) Johnson were presented with a situation that actually and reasonably appeared to be a life-threatening situation to some or all of them and others," said the report from District Attorney Paul Gallegos. "In fear for their lives, and the lives of others, and forced to make split-second decisions because of the nature of the circumstances and locations of the respective parties, they fired several rounds at Honda ending the threat posed by Honda by his death."

The report said the use of deadly force was "reasonable and justified."

TS 'Self-defense' in Jonni Honda shooting
ER DA commends police in shooting


There are some really odd statements in that story about the plea deal. Things just don't add up.

For example: "Under the agreement, Kesser is required to make a full statement and answer any questions regarding the death of his estranged wife, Mary Kesser. He will also have to take a polygraph test and testify “truthfully” in any trial related to her death.

If Kesser completes all of the conditions, he will be convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. If he lies during questioning or commits perjury while testifying, Kesser will be convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life.

...If Kesser refuses to testify, make statements or take the polygraph, the plea agreement is off the table.

”That would be in violation of the agreement,” said Superior Court Judge Dale Reinholtsen.

Really? A forced confession? And how are you supposed to KNOW if he is telling the truth in any trial related to her death? That seems absurd and improvable. Who comes up with "conditions" like that? Are you going to have a trial to prove THAT?Who's going to CONVICT him of first-degree murder and sentence him to 25 years to life IF he lies, IF you suspect he is lying, how are you going to prove it? Paul? Paul couldn't even take him to trial with real evidence of a real crime.

The District Attorney's Office also agreed to drop the special circumstance count of murder for monetary gain, a move which makes Kesser eligible for parole. As part of the deal, Kesser waives his right to appeal his conviction.

Three people were convicted of this crime BECAUSE it was a MURDER for MONETARY GAIN case. If it wasn't, it would seem at least that Leahy would then be not guilty.

Kesser may be called to testify in the trial of his one time codefendant and girlfriend, Jennifer Gayle Leahy.

Why wasn't SHE given this deal? To roll over on Kesser. Makes more sense, unless she was the mastermind, and came up with the money...

Fortuna Police Chief Kris Kitna, who worked on the Kesser case in 1991, said he trusted the district attorney's judgment.

Ya gotta be kiddin' me.

If the plea agreement is accepted, which won't officially happen until Leahy's trial is completed, and Kesser complies with the orders of the agreement, he will also be convicted of a felony criminal threats charge, which is a strikeable offense.

”If he's ever paroled, he'll have two strikes against him,” Gallegos said.

AND THEN YOU HAVE THIS: If Kesser is convicted of the second-degree murder charge, he may be immediately eligible for a parole hearing because he's been in prison for 16 years. Gallegos said it is unlikely that Kesser will be paroled.

There's an IF in there? Again, who's gonna determine IF he "completes all of the conditions"? Paul? When? And how?

You're gonna let him go if he tells you how he did it? This is worse than OJ's "If I did it."

ANOTHER Plea Bargain - Paul Gallegos cuts Kesser a deal in murder case

Kesser is actually a man who was CONVICTED of killing, not just a man who is ACCUSED. Now he will testify against the person who had the least role in the murder. Shouldn't that have been the other way around? When is he eligible for parole, Chris? How many times was she stabbed, Chris? Has anyone pulled up the old articles - you know the pre-online coverage? You post Chris Burgess' baby pictures. Let's see some crime scene photos so people get a real idea of what has just been done here. I guess this is what Gallegos means by "justice for all."
Kesser cuts deal in murder case

A Fortuna man accused of hiring a hitman to kill his estranged wife in 1991 reached a plea agreement with the District Attorney's Office Wednesday that could require him to testify against his former girlfriend.

Richard Craig Kesser's retrial was scheduled to begin this week.

Under the agreement, Kesser is required to make a full statement and answer any questions regarding the death of his estranged wife, Mary Kesser. He will also have to take a polygraph test and testify “truthfully” in any trial related to her death.

If Kesser completes all of the conditions, he will be convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. If he lies during questioning or commits perjury while testifying, Kesser will be convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life.

The District Attorney's Office also agreed to drop the special circumstance count of murder for monetary gain, a move which makes Kesser eligible for parole. As part of the deal, Kesser waives his right to appeal his conviction.

Kesser may be called to testify in the trial of his one time codefendant and girlfriend, Jennifer Gayle Leahy.

Leahy and Kesser were granted retrials by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals based on the actions of a former deputy district attorney. The appeals court found the former deputy district attorney rejected potential jurors “on the basis of their race, in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.”

Kesser and Leahy allegedly hired Duane Chiara to kill Mary Kesser, reportedly for her life insurance money.

The young mother was killed in her N Street home in Fortuna on Nov. 26, 1991. She was stabbed multiple times with what is believed to be a machete-type weapon. Leahy is due in court Monday for a hearing.

Chiara has also been brought back to Humboldt County as a possible witness in the case.

”The parties have the power to call him,” said District Attorney Paul Gallegos, the prosecutor in Kesser's retrial.

If Kesser refuses to testify, make statements or take the polygraph, the plea agreement is off the table.

”That would be in violation of the agreement,” said Superior Court Judge Dale Reinholtsen.

Kesser, with slicked back hair and a short beard, quietly answered yes to all of Reinholtsen's questions.

After Wednesday's proceeding, Kesser shook hands with his attorney Glenn Brown and was escorted back to the jail.

Fortuna Police Chief Kris Kitna, who worked on the Kesser case in 1991, said he trusted the district attorney's judgment.

”As far as the Fortuna Police Department is concerned, we are essentially satisfied with this agreement,” he said.

If the plea agreement is accepted, which won't officially happen until Leahy's trial is completed, and Kesser complies with the orders of the agreement, he will also be convicted of a felony criminal threats charge, which is a strikeable offense.

”If he's ever paroled, he'll have two strikes against him,” Gallegos said.

If Kesser is convicted of the second-degree murder charge, he may be immediately eligible for a parole hearing because he's been in prison for 16 years. Gallegos said it is unlikely that Kesser will be paroled.

Gallegos also said Mary Kesser's family was made aware of the plea agreement and was part of the decision process.

”They have to know; it's their right,” Gallegos said. “And it's common decency.”

A deal for Leahy will not be discussed now, Gallegos said.

”We have to see what Mr. Kesser has to say,” he said.

Brown declined to comment on the plea agreement, citing Leahy's pending case.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Is Paul Gallegos planning to PLEA BARGAIN the Kesser case?

"Behind a locked courtroom door?" What's up with that?

DA says plea deal a possibility in murder retrial
The retrial of two of three people convicted 15 years ago in the brutal slaying of Fortuna resident Mary Kesser may be over before it begins.

Following days of speculation within the law enforcement community, Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos confirmed late Tuesday that a plea deal is possible in the first-degree murder case of Richard Craig Kesser and Jennifer Gayle Leahy.

In response to an e-mail question about a possible negotiated settlement, Gallegos stated, “Are there proposals out there? Yes. Have we reached an agreement? No. Is it possible that we will? Yes.”

Richard Kesser and Leahy were convicted in 1992 of hiring Stephen Duane Chiara to kill Mary Kesser, Richard’s estranged wife, a charge that included special allegations of murder for financial gain and lying in wait.

Mary Kesser, 30 years old and the mother of a then-4-year-old boy, was found two nights before Thanksgiving 1991 in her N Street home stabbed 34 times in her head, chest, back, abdomen and hands, according to court documents.

Chiara was quickly arrested, and within days police followed a trail of clues back to Richard Kesser and Leahy in what investigators called a murder-for-hire plot.

Attorneys for the two argued that Chiara was hired to blow up Mary Kesser’s car, not to kill her.

All three were convicted in 1992 and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole — but the case, originally tried by former Deputy DA Worth Dikeman, was overturned on appeal in September, after a higher court found that he had made “blatant race-based strikes” of three American Indians from the approximately 140-member jury pool.

Within days of the appellate ruling, Dikeman, who twice campaigned against Gallegos for DA, was fired from his position. He subsequently called the reversal the “biggest disappointment” of his career.

Jury selection for the retrial began in July, and pretrial motions continued Tuesday behind a locked courtroom door.

Gallegos stated later, “There are, like in all cases, constant discussions involving possible dispositions. … (W)e always strive to be reasonable, open-minded and receptive to appropriate pretrial dispositions. That means we always strive to listen to proposals and fairly consider them.”

Kesser’s family, who met with the DA Tuesday, declined to comment.

Why would you plea bargain a proven winnable case? And what's with the locked courtroom door? Is that common?

God, this is a great time to be a criminal in Humboldt County. Murderer, Rapist, Child Molester, Drunk Driver, Drug Dealer, whatever...
In the TS - Homicide retrial now looking to start Thursday
The retrial of a man suspected of hiring a hitman to kill his estranged wife in 1991 has been postponed a few more days.

Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos said Tuesday that the homicide retrial of Richard Craig Kesser now looks like it will start Thursday.

Last week, Gallegos said he believed the trial would start Monday.

Kesser and his girlfriend, Jennifer Gayle Leahy, allegedly hired Duane Chiara to kill Mary Kesser, reportedly for her life insurance money.

The young mother was killed in her N Street home in Fortuna.

She was stabbed multiple times with what was believed to be a machete-type of blade.

Chiara was arrested a day later when he was found hiding in a closet. A sawed-off shotgun was found nearby. The other two defendants were arrested after a month.

Retrials were granted to Kesser and Leahy by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals based on the actions of a former deputy district attorney. The court found he rejected potential jurors “on the basis of their race, in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.”

It is unclear if Leahy and Kesser will be tried together.
9th Circuit Opinion - KESSER v CAMBRA No. 02-15475, D.C. No. CV-96-03452-PJH, OPINION *Decided and filed together with the companion case of Leahy v. Farmon, No. 01-17467, (pdf file) No. 01-17467, (9th Cir. 2006) (unpublished disposition).

BREAKING NEWS - Derek Bowman Back In Custody

Found in Manila. (Better test him for meth)

TS Latest News - Semper Virens escapee caught
Chris Durant/The Times-Standard Posted: 3:40 pm
The Humboldt County Sheriff s Department said Tuesday that the jail inmate who escaped from the Semper Virens county mental health facility has been caught.

Derek Wendell Bowman, 26, was found and arrested in Manila. He escaped from the hospital Aug. 5, just before 6 p.m.

Bowman was in custody on suspicion of resisting arrest, drunk in public and for warrants for forgery and burglary.

ER Mental health escapee back in custody

A convicted felon who escaped Aug. 5 from Sempervirens, a locked, county-run mental health facility in Eureka, was found Tuesday in Manila, according to an official from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.

Derek Wendell Bowman, 26, was re-arrested in the 100 block of Phillips Court, after Sheriff’s Detective Troy Garey received a tip that Bowman may have been hiding at a residence there.

Detectives accompanied by a U.S. Marshal “knocked on the door, and Bowman answered,” stated a news release issued by the Sheriff’s Office. He was taken into custody without incident.

Bowman was booked back into the jail on suspicion of a new charge — escape — and was booked again on charges pending at the time of his escape, which included forgery and resisting arrest, the release stated.
For the full story on Bowman, whose nine felonies were swooped up and dismissed on a single day, after his parents, through the Bear River Tribe, gave Paul Gallegos Ten Grand for his re-election campaign; after his mother, whose other son had MURDERED a Trinidad Rancheria Member, stood on the courthouse steps calling Gallegos' opponent a racist in an unrelated case - This publicity stunt is widely credited with turning the election in Gallegos' favor - for the unfolding story, including Gallegos denial, click on the Gallegos/Bear River label/link.

In July, Bowman was sentenced to 180 days, less time served, in the Humboldt County jail for a probation violation. However, according to jail personnel, he was released Sept. 11 to serve the rest of his time in the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program.

This is more on Derek Bowman - the kind of guy Gallegos lets off -
"Derek Bowman, 23, testified that he was in a vehicle behind Suarez’s vehicle when the shooting occurred and left Justin D. Andersen dead..." Witnesses identify Suarez as shooter in 2003 drive-by. 4/14/2005

"Bowman, a convicted criminal who has served time in the California Youth Authority, said he is associated with the Nortenos gang. He confirmed that he was granted immunity by the District Attorney’s Office in the trial, so that none of the information he provides in his testimony against Suarez can be used against him..."
And: Officer's testimony differs from that of some witnesses 4/16/2005

Bowman was caught violating his probation, and now he is caught escaping. What will Gallegos do now?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Meth again.

'Massive' meth overdose killed man found on back porch

the WEIRDEST anti-Hurwitz site yet

I'm surprised heraldo missed it!
And believe me - this is the SHORT version!

Bush Wants Microchipped Society
"... a secret government black budget program to intercept and monitor (without a warrant) people’s thoughts. Basically what they were doing was they were intercepting and monitoring the signal (energy) that is generated by the brain, when a person has thoughts. That was documented to some degree through ABC News 20/20, when they stumbled onto their black budget project.

When Geraldo Rivera was at ABC News 20/20 back in the 70’s he interviewed some people that went to a land development in northwest Arkansas, called Holiday Island Suburban Improvement District (Holiday Island was at one time or another connected with, McCulloch Properties, Pratt Properties, Pratt Holding Company, MCO Properties, MCO Resorts, MCO Holdings, and others, see section below titled MCO Properties and Charles Hurwitz)...

...Later on in order to legitimize their covert operation and bring online their technologies for the surveillance society, they (the secret network within the Government and their comrades) staged and/or let 9/11 happen. Then they passed dangerous, draconian legislation trampling the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and the rule of law and started a Global Never Ending War on Terror, that in truth, in fact, in reality, rests and is based on a foundation of lies and fraud.

...Common sense should tell you that they never would have tried to pull off the made for tv attack on September 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center had they not of had an embedded network in place to make sure the event happened, the personnel in place to suppress and cover up what really happened, and the means to put out prolonged propaganda in the form of spin and disinformation in order to keep the public distracted, misinformed, dumbed down, confused and terrorized by their continual fear mongering....

,,,The brain scan that can read people’s intentions
A team of world-leading neuroscientists has developed a powerful technique that allows them to look deep inside a person’s brain and read their intentions before they act.

The research breaks controversial new ground in scientists’ ability to probe people’s minds and eavesdrop on their thoughts, and raises serious ethical issues over how brain-reading technology may be used in the future.

Smart Dust
“Smart dust” devices are tiny wireless microelectromechanical sensors (MEMS) that can detect everything from light to vibrations. Thanks to recent breakthroughs in silicon and fabrication techniques, these “motes” could eventually be the size of a grain of sand, though each would contain sensors, computing circuits, bidirectional wireless communications technology and a power supply.

Dust Networks
Embedded wireless sensor networking for monitoring and control.,,,

Ya gotta love it. This is WAY better than Global Warming! Complete with links to ""

Sunday, August 12, 2007

"more effective change agents"

OK, you know that "sanitation engineers" is the new name for "garbage men" - but what is a "more effective change agent"?

Answer.... a "more effective change agent" is - an activist. Why not just call 'em that? Well, ok, they're PAID activists-in-training.
"Two hundred student leaders converged on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol to put Congress in the `hot seat' on global warming through peaceful protest. The rally was the culmination of a seven-day grassroots activist training program called Change It, led by Greenpeace and sponsored by Seventh Generation..."

ALL EXPENSE PAID GREENPEACE TRAINING. Seventh Generation & Greenpeace are training and empowering dedicated student activists to become the next generation ... Selected students will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington

Guess nobody told them about the Y2K glitch Anon.R.mous and others are talking about...Years of bad data corrected; 1998 no longer the warmest year on record moving on to private practice, hallelujah!

I go out for awhile and look what happens! Shoulda been front page news. Deputy district attorney moving on to private practice

A deputy district attorney is leaving the office this month to move into private practice in Arcata.

Jeffrey Schwartz said the motivation for the move is to have more flexibility in his schedule to spend time with his family.

”You can't do it with this job,” Schwartz said.

Before coming to Humboldt County in 2005, he was a defense attorney in the San Francisco area.

He has been practicing law for about 20 years.

”I'm going to set up a private practice and go out on my own,” Schwartz said.

He said he'll probably continue practicing criminal law but would like try out other specialties.

He has a 2-year-old son and having the flexibility to spend more time with him is the reason for the career change, Schwartz said.

He said if all goes well, his practice in Arcata will start in September.


September? That's funny, since he has had his private practice listed in the phone book for a long long time.

Who will be "in charge" of the CAST program now?

Now, who's left?

He said he'll probably continue practicing criminal law but would like try out other specialties.

I'm just wondering - what might those "other specialties" be? Predatory litigation? Big money in that. Very little work.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Just for fun

There's a race in Seattle that's interesting - why it's phrased as Republican v Democrat is beyond me, political affiliation shouldn't matter in a DA's race. Seattle Post-Intelligencer Democrats vie for prosecutor's seat

After 59 years of Republican prosecuting attorneys of Democrat-leaning King County, state and local Democratic Party leaders are hungry to win this high-profile office that rarely offers a competitive race...

...The previous DA, Norm Maleng, was a "prosecutor for 28 years until he died May 24. Maleng was widely regarded as fair-minded and someone who kept the office free of politics. He typically was re-elected easily with bipartisan support...

...Of the candidates Sherman also has raised more money -- approximately $43,000 to Scully's $23,000, according to their campaign finance reports. Satterberg, unopposed for the Republican nomination has raised $117,000... (Dan Satterberg, (was) Maleng's chief of staff for 17 years, is now the interim prosecutor.)

...Each claims to have a resume giving him unique qualifications:

Sherman, 39, calls himself the only "courtroom prosecutor" in the race since neither other candidate now takes cases to trial. To underscore that experience, he promises to personally prosecute one case a year if elected. He says he had management experience in the Clinton administration before going to law school, as co-leader of a reorganization plan that reduced costs in the office of the interior secretary by about $10 million a year.

Sherman most recently prosecuted cases in the domestic violence unit and previously worked in the prosecutor's filing and charging unit, and as a negotiator in the early plea unit. He estimates he has tried 40 criminal cases. He previously was an associate in a Seattle law firm.

Scully, 34, prosecuted misdemeanor and traffic cases in District Court, then prosecuted juvenile court cases and then worked in the prosecutor's appellate unit, followed by stints working in the Sheriff's Office on criminal-case development and prosecuting drug cases, adult felonies and fraud cases. He said he took 30 to 40 cases to trial.

Scully was a United Nations war crimes prosecutor at The Hague, the Netherlands, for 15 months in 2005 and 2006, prosecuting Serbs accused of mass killings in Kosovo. Since November he has been legal director of Futurewise, a land-use conservation organization, arguing cases before the Puget Sound Growth Management Hearings Board.

Sherman has called for placing greater emphasis on protecting the most vulnerable crime victims, such as victims of domestic violence, elder abuse and elder fraud. Scully has promised greater emphasis on gang violence and fraud. He thinks there have been "profound inequalities" in the application of the death penalty.

However, while Scully as well as Sherman have said they have policy problems with the death penalty, especially in light of convictions later overturned by DNA evidence, both say they wouldn't rule out using it and would decide its application on a case-by-case basis.

Scully wants to steer more drug cases into drug court to replace jail time with close supervision and drug testing, which he said are more effective. He also would institute rotating senior deputy prosecutors through District Court to help junior deputies with complex cases..."

Comments on the article agree: Why is this a partisan race anyway? Why take an office that has not fallen into the political bullcrap this country is finding itself deeper and deeper in and try to make it more political. Do the research folks - there is only one guy that should be running this office from amoung these candidates, and he's already doing the job. Don't replace him just because he doesn't have a "D" after his name.

Only YES MEN need apply

Pete Nichols, the predatory litigious Baykeeper doesn't want Dennis Mayo on the state’s Marine Life Protection Act’s Statewide Interest Group because he is not m-o-d-e-r-a-t-e enough. Why do I suspect that if it was Greg King, why that would be perfectly fine because his brand of (Earth First) extremism is politically aligned with Nichols and therefore perfectly reasonable? "Not moderate enough" is code word for "doesn't agree with me."

Dennis, after all, has been an advocate for fishermen's rights, including advocating for a couple dozen surf fishermen to be allowed to keep their permits which allow them to *!GaSp! drive on the beach to get to the surfline where they cast their nets. Can't have THAT! Can't have any contrary fishermen's advocates weighing in on a process that will regulate fishermen. That would just ruin everything.

He's also been around here a whole heck of a lot longer than Pete Nichols, and has a much deeper perspective on the issue than the man who wants to tell everyone else what to do while he prepares for his next lucrative lawsuit/extortion atttempt.

Local man's nomination to state's marine group receives support

McKinleyville resident Dennis Mayo received a boost of support this week in his effort to secure a nomination for membership on the state’s Marine Life Protection Act’s Statewide Interest Group.

The state’s MLPA program aims to better conserve marine resources for their long-term sustainability while enhancing outdoor recreation and ocean research opportunities along the coast.

The Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District Board of commissioners voted unanimously Thursday night during its regular meeting to support Mayo for the post.

The Statewide Interests Group will consist of 12 to 15 members who will be appointed by the MLPA executive director and other officials, according to the California Department of Fish and Game.

According to DFG’s Web site, SIG selections will be made to achieve a diversity of stakeholder perspectives, expertise and geography and its members will be charged with providing a forum for better communication between the MLPA officials and stakeholders.

SIG members will not actually negotiate or decide issues outside the public sessions of the task force, according to the nomination guidelines.

The nomination deadline was noon Friday and the first SIG meeting is scheduled for Aug. 30.

Harbor District Commissioner Dennis Hunter said Mayo, who wasn’t at Thursday’s meeting, showed he was a dedicated member of the district’s Strategic Planning Committee.

“He is very dedicated and very enthusiastic and I think he would be a good representative,” Hunter said.

Although Mayo received support from all of the commissioners present — Commissioner Mike Wilson was absent — several members of the public attending the meeting weren’t keen on Mayo’s endorsement.

Melvin McKinney and Diane Beck both told the commissioners that they felt Mayo doesn’t belong on the SIG because they said he has advocated against the MLPA.

Humboldt Baykeeper Program Director Pete Nichols, who also opposed the district backing Mayo, said he would prefer to see someone on the SIG who was more moderate.

Reached by phone Friday, Mayo indicated he was surprised by the comments, but said he believes he is the right guy for the job.

“I find it very surprising that Nichols would feel that way since I spoke with him personally at a recent Northcoast Environmental Center dinner and had the understanding that we were on the same page,” Mayo said. “I was looking forward to working with him on this issue.”

While he said he has opposed certain protected areas, he is supportive of the process and wants to see decisions made based on science.

On April 13 the California Fish and Game Commission adopted regulations to create marine protected areas designed for the Central Coast of California, which was the first of five regions to be considered for the state under the Marine Life Protection Act

The second phase of the program, which the new round of members is being selected for, has identified the North Central Coast Study Region as next in the process.

For more information on the MLPA, visit the DFG Web site at

The Arcata Eye has a story on this this week, too, but I don't see it online. I'm a little sad to see Jennifer Savage trying to make an issue out of Mayo leaving "conservation" out of the Humboldt Bay Harbor and Conservation District or whatever the hell it is... I guess Harbor District isn't good enough. She's a better writer than that. Eh - maybe it was just that she quoted people who made snarky remarks, I'll have to read it again.

(Jennifer adds: "I did not make an issue of Dennis neglecting to include (twice) the "Conservation" part of the "Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District"; it was brought up more than once by people commenting at the Bay District meeting. I reported it. Just to clarify.

In a related note, we at the Eye (and also the Journal, I notice) use the term "Bay District" as it seems more accurate than the more oft-used "Harbor District." That bothers some people, but makes sense to our readers."
Thank you, Jennifer.

Now I have to ask, though - if leaving the word "conservation" out of the Harbor District's name implies an agenda - doesn't changing it to "Bay" do the same? In light of the politicking that's been going on? Or is making an issue of either just part of the divisive insanity that has taken hold here.

Friday, August 10, 2007

This week's Town Dandy

Cracks me up! Voting machines, surveillance cameras, domain names and this:
Finally, tonight -- a heartwarming story about the tenacity of our county’s agrarian heritage. Remember back when SoHum land subdivider Bob McKee and county government were battling it out in court over McKee’s subdivision of the old Tooby Ranch? Their fight has pretty much died away now, with the county having taken it in the shorts on most of the major matters of dispute. But if we turn the clock back, we remember that one of the county’s concerns was that the division of the 13,000-acre ranch into about 40 parcels would essentially take the land out of agricultural production.

Well, no one need have worried. On Friday, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Task Force harvested 3,046 healthy flowering plants and 20 pounds of finished agricultural produce from five sites on just one of those parcels. They even invited one of the farmers to come back to Eureka with them, so as to hear more about his horticultural technique. Truly, a fine example of the Humboldt County can-do spirit.
Read the rest

Same story - different papers:
ER More than 3,000 pot plants seized
Service of a code enforcement inspection warrant Friday in Southern Humboldt led to the discovery of 3,046 marijuana plants, according to a news release issued by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.

The plants, ranging in height from 1 inch to 6 feet, were allegedly found in nine structures located at five different “grow sites” on property located on Tooby Ranch Road in Garberville, the release stated.

Sheriff’s deputies and agents from the Humboldt County Drug Task Force additionally seized two diesel generators reportedly powering the growing operation.

Soran Zachary Anderson, 35, was arrested on suspicious of possession and cultivation of marijuana.

He posted $20,000 bail and was released from the Humboldt County jail, the release stated.

The case is under investigation.
TS Pot bust in Garberville
Humboldt County Deputies seized 3,046 marijuana plants in Garberville on Friday while assisting County Code Enforcement in serving an inspection warrant.

Deputies discovered nine structures that contained growing marijuana plants from one inch to six feet tall on property located on Tooby Ranch Road.

Two diesel generators that were used to power the growing operation were also seized by deputies.

Soran Anderson, 35, of Eureka was arrested and booked for cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana. Anderson posted $20,000 bail and was released.

County employee linked to pot bust 8/16/2007

And other busts:
ER Reefer sadness
08/12/2007 - excerpt: Conventional wisdom holds that pot heads are the last ones to turn to in a budget crisis, but one advocacy group is asking the state of California to do just that. As the state's budget impasse   

08/11/2007 - excerpt: The 2007 Campaign Against Marijuana Planting season started off with a bang this week as the state-funded effort assisted the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department in the finding and disposal of 134,082 marijuana plants in one location.   

TS Officials announce 'largest marijuana garden' bust in Humboldt County history
08/10/2007 - excerpt: Law enforcement officials today announced the 'largest marijuana garden' bust in Humboldt County history. In a press release, the Sheriff's Department said 134,082 marijuana plants that ranged in height from 1 foot to 3 feet were found at the Bear...

Scripture and marijuana laws 
08/08/2007 - excerpt: To make progress in the marijuana controversy, we must acknowledge that according to the Bible (Genesis 1), the plants growing and bearing seed on the earth were created, and declared to be very good by God, and given to human beings for food... from Letters to the editor

Pot bust in Garberville
08/07/2007 - excerpt: Humboldt County Deputies seized 3,046 marijuana plants in Garberville on Friday while assisting County Code Enforcement in serving an inspection warrant.Deputies discovered...

Pro-pot group marks 70 years of marijuana ban (68%)
08/03/2007 - excerpt: Aug. 2 marked an anniversary that not many people are aware of, but it's one that impacts -- and some say fuels -- the economy of Humboldt County. On Aug. 2, 1937, President Franklin Roosevelt  

Two arrested when code enforcement turns to pot bust
07/28/2007 - excerpt: Humboldt County Sheriff deputies backing up Code Enforcement investigators took over the case Thursday when marijuana was found on property off Bair Road in Redwood Valley.   

Marijuana taken in home invasion 
07/20/2007 - excerpt: Police are looking for three men who allegedly forced their way into an Arcata apartment and robbed the resident at gunpoint, taking property that included more than one ounce of marijuana.   similar results

Support for pot decriminalization 
07/20/2007 - First, thanks to Supervisor Roger Rodoni and Congressman Mike Thompson for thinking progressively regarding marijuana decriminalization and taxation.   similar results

Oft-raided pot grow hit once again
07/19/2007 - excerpt: A man who was arrested a few years ago at the same marijuana grow was nailed again Tuesday when authorities served a search warrant on the property on the Klamath River near Ah-Pah Creek.   

Supervisor: Legalized pot long overdue
06/17/2007 - EUREKA -- Estimating that marijuana brings some $5 billion into the Mendocino County economy, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors recently sent out an impassioned letter demanding that marijuana be legalized and taxed for the benefit of...

Two arrested in Arcata pot raids 
06/16/2007 - Humboldt County Drug Task Force agents raided three Arcata homes Friday, arresting two and netting an estimated $2.8 million worth of marijuana. Humboldt County Drug Task Force agent Jack Nelsen said a one month-long investigation involving...

Massive marijuana crops appearing in Humboldt
05/09/2007 -excerpt:  Finding 19,000 marijuana plants in the woods may sound like a significant bust, but it's becoming a more common scenario on public land and land owned by timber companies in Humboldt County, officials said. ..

Thousands of pot plants worth an estimated $55 million confiscated
05/19/2007 More than 50,000 marijuana starter plants that would have brought in an estimated $55 million were found in an area of the Upper Mill Creek Drainage...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

In Stock

I'm told Borders has 8 copies of Deadfall in stock now.

No word on whether or not any of the local bookstores have it in stock.

You have to laugh

There was one other spicy bit of news to emerge from the first few minutes of Tuesday morning’s (Pacific Lumber bankruptcy) hearing. That is, that the Maxxam family of companies has reached an agreement with Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos. Their agreement concerns the great issue that has defined Gallegos’ career as a prosecutor -- the massive fraud suit he filed against the company shortly after taking office, which led to the dirty Maxxam-financed recall attempt against him, which led to his enshrinement as the untouchable figurehead and heartthrob of all good, right-thinking people. Then the suit itself was thrown out of court, after an out-of-town judge ruled that it had no basis in law.

Gallegos appealed, but the appeal was automatically stalled when Pacific Lumber went belly-up. Well, at Tuesday’s bankruptcy hearing, it was announced that Maxxam had magnanimously consented to allow the Gallegos appeal to proceed.

This move can be read in two ways. Perhaps the company wishes to atone for its past sins against Gallegos -- and, by extension, the people of Humboldt County -- by allowing itself to be eviscerated by the DA’s righteous pursuit of justice. Or perhaps it believes that Gallegos doesn’t have the slightest chance in Hell of prevailing. You be the judge.
The Journal/Town Dandy/Smörgåsbord of scandal

You know which one I choose. Now's a test for Paul - can he stand up to his handlers and say, "NO. I am done with the Palco debacle."?

Monday, August 06, 2007


Compare the propaganda of Sean Penn to the courage of Daniel in Venezuela. And weep.

Frustration and determination

From Lisa's website - - which has links to pdf documents, and recordings related to her sister's disappearance, comes this:

"And unfortunately, even now it’s been nearly 5 years since Andrea’s remains were recovered, and as far as I’m aware, her case is not any closer to being heard in court than it was when she was found, 22 years from the day she disappeared.  I have tried to get information on the status of Andrea’s case, pretty consistently not wanting to resort to drastic measures, I continue to email, fax, and leave letters for the District Attorney’s office.
The last real connection we had was last October, when Paul Gallegos admitted in an email he sent to me, that he had not been kept informed of the progress in Andrea’s investigation, but that he would personally take her case file, and get back to us within a couple months, since this email was written in October, we have been looking forward to a response since January 2007.   A few weeks ago, I emailed Paul again, and followed up with a copy to his office, it is now May 2007, and there has been no form of communication, what so ever."

page 12 on lisa's webpage
Has wma link to actual recording - but link is not working for me. The recording is of the actual phone audio message left from Charlie V. with the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office stating that Lisa had been given authorization to retrieve Andrea’s remains. Follow up calls determined that this was not the case, as Gallegos will not release the remains to the family.

Oh Great.

Inmate escapes from county mental health facility in Eureka

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office announced Sunday that a man in custody at the Sempervirens mental health facility in Eureka escaped at approximately 5:47 p.m.

Derek Wendell Bowman is described as a 6-foot-4-inch-tall 26-year-old American Indian male weighing approximately 200 pounds with short brown hair.

He also has numerous tattoos on his body — particularly his arms, according to police.

Bowman has not been considered dangerous while he has been in custody, but county officials stated that he does have a history of violence-related charges.

At the time of his escape, Bowman was believed to have been wearing dark blue “scrub”-type pants and was traveling on I Street in Eureka in a maroon-colored Caravan being driven by a woman.

The method Bowman used to escape is being investigated.

If anyone sees him or knows of his whereabouts, they are encouraged to phone the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department at 707-445-7251.

Remember Derek? Whose nine felonies were swooped up and dismissed on a single day AFTER his parents, using the Tribe's money, gave Gallegos ten grand+ for his re-election campaign? After his parents, whose OTHER son MURDERED another Native American, stood on the Courthouse steps calling Gallegos' opponent, Worth Dikeman, a racist. (Worth put their other son away.)
Related stories:
Bowman to undergo evaluation
Derek Bowman arrested on warrants
ER - Bear River members seek chairperson's recall
ER - Gallegos sidesteps questions about possible conflict of interest in Bowman charges
ER - Questions without answers hinder our newsgathering
ER - Bowman story not accurate
ER - Contribution made because Gallegos was the better of the two
ER - Questions remain in DA's handling of Bowman charges
ER - Bear River official discusses financial contributions from tribe
ER - Tribe's contribution to DA's campaign was made by the Tribal Council, not Bowman
ER - Gallegos is 'public servant,' not Legal Spiegel
ER - It's telling that Gallegos witch hunt didn't start until firing of Dikeman
ER - Writer appreciates editor's note that identifies writers
ER - Residents deserve answers to questions asked of DA's Office
ER - Bitter? You bet!
TS - Donations not improper, says Bear River Band
TS - DA's office: State OK'd handling of plea deal

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

One down

BREAKING NEWS: DA does the right thing...
Cooke shooting 'justified,' DA says

The Eureka Police Department announced early Wednesday that the Humboldt County District Attorney will file no charges in the Jan. 4 shooting death of 18-year-old Zachary Cruz Cooke.

A news release issued by the EPD stated DA Paul Gallegos “affirmed” the department’s conclusion that officers “acted lawfully and in self-defense and the use of deadly force was reasonable and justified.”

Cooke was killed by police during an arrest attempt after a string of Eureka-area robberies and shootings in which he was believed to have been involved.

That's good. Now. - about the Cheri Moore incident...

TS DA's decision leaves questions in its wake
ER Case closed on police shooting 8/1/2007
TS Chilling review describes barrage of gunfire 08/02/2007

ER Father of slain teen files claims against city of Eureka, county 7/3/2007
ER Omholt returns to court Monday 5/21/2007
ER Omholt arraigned on charges 2/15/2007
ER Omholt to face trial in 3rd case 2/10/2007
ER Omholt preliminary hearing begins 2/9/2007
ER DA's investigation of shooting almost done 2/2/2007
ER Omholt bound over for trial 1/30/2007
ER Cooke tests positive for meth 1/19/2007
ER letter Shooting victim was a child led down the wrong path by his brother 1/15/2007
ER DA's Office files new charges against Omholt Thursday 1/12/2007
ER Preliminary autopsy results show Cooke had 11 wounds 1/11/2007
ER Obit Zachary Cruz Cooke 1/10/2007
ER Omholt arraigned on attempted murder charge of HCSO deputy 1/9/2007