Officers removed from Moore civil suit
A federal judge overseeing the wrongful death and civil rights violation lawsuit brought against the city of Eureka by the son of Cheri Lyn Moore granted a motion Wednesday to dismiss complaints against individual officers at the scene.
In a motion filed Oct. 3, the defendants' attorney, Nancy Delaney, argued the complaint fails to specify what the specific officers did or did not do to cause Moore's rights to be violated. The Eureka Police Department and former Police Chief David Douglas are also named in the suit.
By granting the motion, Judge Phyllis Hamilton ruled that Lt. Tony Zanotti, Lt. Todd Wilcox, Sgt. Lynne Soderberg, Officer Robert Mengal, Detective Ron Harpham, Officer Terry Liles and Officer Rodrigo Sanchez should be removed, pending a chance for the plaintiff's attorney to amend the complaint...
...District Attorney Paul Gallegos said recently that he is considering convening a criminal grand jury to decide whether to pursue criminal charges in the incident.
If Gallegos does decide to ask a judge to convene the jury, Kaupp said it could have serious ramifications on the civil trial.
”It has a huge affect on what we're doing,” Kaupp said. “If the grand jury is impaneled, I believe the defense attorney will instruct any potential suspects to take the Fifth.”
Kaupp said that means he would have to wait until the conclusion of any criminal proceedings to get the testimony of those individuals. Grand jury or no, Kaupp said the civil trial won't get underway any time soon, as there is still plenty of evidence to be gathered and dispositions to be taken.
”It's going to be a long time,” Kaupp said. “There are a whole bunch of steps that have to take place before the trial starts, so I think we're looking at least a year or a year and a half.”