Thursday, October 11, 2007

Day 548 - and finally some news

It's not any more conclusive than the last report, though.

TS DA eyes grand jury in Moore case

The Humboldt County District Attorney's Office is planning to convene a criminal grand jury to consider whether to bring charges in the death of Cheri Lyn Moore who was shot after a standoff with Eureka police.

District Attorney Paul Gallegos confirmed today that such a move is under consideration, perhaps within a month. The grand jury would review evidence presented by the prosecutor and determine whether there is probable cause to return an indictment against the officers involved in Moore's death.

Grand jury proceedings are held in secret, although the presiding judge can allow the sessions to be open to the public.

Moore, who had a history of mental illness, brandished a flare gun on April 14, 2006, and threatened to burn down her apartment building at Fifth and G streets. Police have said they believed Moore had put down the flare gun when the order was given to kick in her door. But when officers went in, according to police reports, Moore pointed the signal-flare gun at them. They shot her multiple times.

Moore's son has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Eureka, the Eureka Police Department and individual officers.

ER DA considers grand jury investigation of Cheri Moore's death

Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos said Thursday that he is “contemplating going forward on a criminal grand jury” to investigate the death of Cheri Moore, a mentally ill woman shot and killed in 2006 by officers from the Eureka Police Department.

The Eureka Reporter announced as much one month ago today, after receiving numerous reports from public officials who said on condition of anonymity that the decision to convene a criminal grand jury had already been made.

At that time, Gallegos would neither confirm nor deny the reports, but said, “This community is entitled to an impartial finding, whether it is by me or by a grand jury.”

The DA appeared to confirm the reports Thursday, but declined to elaborate, citing centuries-old secrecy rules that govern grand jury proceedings.

EPD Police Chief Garr Nielsen, whose officers would be the focus of the criminal inquiry, said he was not opposed to any venue that would provide “a fair and impartial hearing of the facts.”

Nielsen added, “I think Paul’s intent is to bring closure to this for the community and the organization, and I support him in that.”

A criminal grand jury typically consists of 19 community members. Its proceedings take the place of a preliminary hearing, in which a judge determines whether charges brought by the DA’s Office will proceed to trial.

Written material provided by the DA’s Office states that at the conclusion of grand jury deliberations, a juror will notify the DA whether an indictment — or written accusation charging someone with a crime — has been found.

If no indictment is found, the target of the investigation is entitled to a declaration stating as much, but if an indictment is handed down, the accused would then stand trial in Superior Court on charges identified in the indictment.

Gallegos did not say when grand jurors were likely to be summoned, but left open the possibility of proceedings taking place in public session.

Nielsen expressed his support for public hearings, while reiterating his hope that the process would be impartial.

“For me it’s all about it being a fair process, because I’m absolutely convinced that my officers, who were acting under orders, acted appropriately and did what they were told, believing they were doing the right thing.”

Moore, 48, was killed in her Eureka apartment April 14, 2006, after she brandished a flare gun during an approximately two-hour standoff with the EPD.

Gallegos said last month that he believed Cheri Moore’s death to be “a symptom of other, bigger issues that our community has and is faced with. What the diagnosis is will ultimately be decided by others.”

So tell me again why they need to hold proceedings in secret when all the facts are already out there, already part of the official reports, already known to the public, the news media... This is just more of Gallegos' phony games. Earth to Garr Neilsen...

Day 548 - also the day that the notice to administer Cheri Moore's estate appeared in the paper.


  1. This is a CYA move. Any way you slice it, its still bologna - hard to see this as anything but gutless. Either the GJ doesn't hand down an indictment, in which case PVG can blame them, or they do - in which case PVG can say it wasn't his idea. And given his track record with grand jury criminal cases, he probably thinks he won't have to try the case because a judge will dismiss it.

  2. This is Paul hoping the grand jurors can find something he cannot - grounds to charge the officers.

    But this is funny - even heraldo says "So, he confirmed that maybe it’s possible that a Grand Jury could potentially get the case." Says it all.

  3. How many salary steps will he have to bump klein to take on this turkey?

  4. To get to top step salary (under PVG) it's a requirement to fall on your sword ........ as needed.

    Timmy fell on his, Jeffie fell on his. Arnie is next.

  5. Funny thing about that - those who didn't fall on their swords are gone. But those who did are also gone.

    Only one difference - those who didn't still have their self respect.

    Not sure I agree that yougo did, though. Stoen certainly announced over and over again how he would take the arrows for his beloved Paul. Stoen didn't get thrown under the bus though.

  6. PVG just want the Times Standard to quit running that daily reminder. They should keep it going until the day he actually does something. Go Times!


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