Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Day 875 - Douglas-Zanotti case TOSSED by judge
DOWN ON EVERY COUNT.
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.
JUSTICE IS SERVED.
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.