Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Day 875 - Douglas-Zanotti case TOSSED by judge

He misrepresented the law.
He didn't provide exculpatory evidence.
The entry was legal.
☛ TS Douglas-Zanotti case tossed by judge BREAKING NEWS!
Humboldt County Superior Court Judge John Feeney dismissed the criminal case against Eureka Police Chief David Douglas and Lt. Tony Zanotti this afternoon.
At a hearing on the motion to dismiss the involuntary manslaughter charges that stem from a grand jury inquiry into the 2006 death of Cheri Lyn Moore during a SWAT operation, Feeney ruled for the defense.
The defense argued that District Attorney Paul Gallegos misrepresented the law and didn't provide evidence of the commanding officers' innocence to the grand jury.
The criminal charges have been called unprecedented, in that they focused on the officers in charge of the SWAT operation. No charges were filed against the officers that stormed Moore's apartment and shot her after a standoff in which she brandished a flare gun and threatened to burn down the building.

☛ ER Douglas/Zanotti case dismissed
☛ ER Judge throws out involuntary manslaughter case
Feeney said the indictments the grand jury handed down to Douglas and Zanotti in December 2007 weren’t supported by probable cause. Insufficient evidence regarding the former leaders’ alleged failure to oversee other law enforcement was also presented to the grand jury, Feeney said, and instructions given on “exigent circumstances” were inadequate.

The grand jury should have also been instructed on justifiable homicide by law enforcement officials, Feeney said.

The entire courtroom applauded.


While he respects the court’s decision, Gallegos said he disagreed ... Gallegos said there’s no set timeline on when and if he’ll file charges against Douglas and Zanotti, as he used a group process to make such big decisions and would speak to other district attorneys. “There’s no reason to be hasty,” he said.


  1. Maybe he should have focused his time on breaking up meth and commercial pot grows then fling mud at the EPD officers.

  2. Remember this -

    Gallegos no longer gets to try cases that better, more experienced, more competent, and more ethical people have prepped.

    Now you are seeing the REAL Gallegos.

  3. What a colossal, absolute and predictable abuse of authority.

    After the other high profile, front page blunders, Paul's political machine is now clearly revealed for the farce that it always has been.

  4. I wrote on this blog some time ago that he would fail badly. It wasn't just that he filed a poor case, but that he pick a fight with some of the best labor lawyers in the state. Having been a member of PORAC (Peace Officers Research Association of California) I'm proud to see the legal defence funds go to defeat this idiot. I also said that many in the local LE community knew that GAGS would go after LE. Truth be told, the county deserves him for electing him thrice(counting the recall). And I agree with the previous post, go hard after the dope growers and other druggies. Take back your County!!! Quit putting the welcome mat out to the NATION'S bums and druggies!!!

  5. Dude, where's my case?

  6. Gee, I thought Heraldo "I censor posts on my blog" would be all over this...


    and, in honor of plainjanedoe...lmSao...

  7. Excellent point 6:58.

    PORAC's attorneys are good. But Tad could have beat Gallegos on this one.

  8. Makes two failure for Heraldo at least, this one, and the old Glass case.

    Run for your lives! Yet nothing.

  9. Yo, Red, Dude, my case is down the shitter!

  10. Paul Gallegos must be the first District Attorney to ever lose cases. Oh well, simple pleasures for simple people.

  11. Here that sound in the distance...it's the high-pitched dying sound of a DA when he blunders two cases and badgers his key witness on another important one still pending.

    If he fails prosecuting Gundersen, kiss the DA goodbye.

  12. The only DA to lose cases? No.

    Maybe you're not familiar with the unusual nature of these charges, the reason why people all over the nation are watching this case.

    Maybe you don't yet realize the magnitude of what just happened here. Or maybe you are trying to minimize it.

    He MISREPRESENTED the law, he provided a one sided case to the Grand Jury, he FAILED to fulfill his obligation to present exculpatory evidence. These are serious things.

    And that's just for starters.

  13. Do I hear the sound of silence from your critics on some other local blogs? Good scoop Rose!

  14. Apparently, Gallegos tried to get Douglas And Zanotti postponed. Because he is busy with Gundersen.

    What will he do now? He has a brief window - and he can file a writ to overturn Feeney's finding, but that seems since Feeney nailed all of his points.

    He could bring it back in front of the Grand Jury to try to 'fix' the inherent flaws in his case.

    The prudent thing to do is DROP IT.

  15. Maybe if I just took a vacation to get my thoughts in order . . . .

  16. The case is dead Rose. The Judge ruled that the entry was legal and the shooting was legal. Case closed. This is the law of the case that Gallegos is trapped with. This is why he can’t refile it nor re-present it to the Grand Jury.

    He’s toast, its over. If he refiles, it will be dismissed again. This is a Nifong moment. I suspect that there will be a state bar complaint and investigation into this abuse of power.

  17. Rose: just read this on the TS and it is unbelievable.

    "A man accused of plotting to kill a well-known Eureka couple pleaded guilty to three of eight charges in Humboldt County Superior Court Tuesday.

    Robert Primeau pleaded guilty to charges of threatening his family with a crime, animal cruelty and assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury. The plea bargain dismissed two charges of soliciting murder and other misdemeanor domestic violence charges."

    Ok another bizarre plea bargain. More bad judgment by the DA. He wastes hundreds of thousands of dollars bringing baseless charges against people, baseless. The he plea bargains good cases away. Here the Barnam's could have been murdered by this creep, but the DA doesn't care. He dismissed those charges and let him plead guilty to animal abuse and threatening his own family.


  18. I agree. It is another example of the schizophrenic prosecution record of this DA.

  19. Penny O'Gara's car skidded in a patch of hail, Sean Marsh's toddler walked ahead of him on the sidewalk, John Biord was behind in his bed taxes...

    Looks like Gallegos failed to provide exculpatory evidence in the Debi August case - her right to due process hopelessly destroyed, and now the Douglas and Zanotti case, which is found to have no merit whatsoever, just like the Palco case, no merit, doesn't even get to go to trial.

    These aren't just mistakes. these are willful - often against the advice of those who should be his advisors

    Then, factor in the Bowman dismissal of a handful of felonies after Bowman's parents donate to Gallegos' campaign...

    When is enough enough?

  20. Don't forget Tim Stoen.

  21. Words escape my delight over this matter. Giggle, giggle!

  22. NOw that we are well into his second term, could someone please point to one single positive accomplishment by the DA? Has he improved on the staff he inherited? Maintained or improved the tools (such as CAST and various law enforcement grants) for which he assumed responsibility?
    Has he prosecuted fairly, responsibly? Does he lead by example, carrying the heaviest burdens, working the longest hours? Has he increased the respect in which his office is held by judges and other DA's?
    Has he brought transparency to the
    process, making records available so that the public can fairly asses his job performance? Probably other questions will occur to other people.


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