***URGENT UPDATE/ALERT! This case was TOSSED by the Judge - never made it to trial,
☛ ER http://eurekareporter.com/article/080826-judge-throws-out-douglas-zanotti-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.***
Gonna be a busy week - five days into the Gunderseen trial, Gallegos took off, that trial resumes Monday the 25th. And the oral arguments in the Douglas and Zanotti trial come the next day.
☛ TS Douglas-Zanotti defense: DA misrepresented the law - The district attorney misrepresented the law and failed to provide evidence of former Eureka Police Chief David Douglas' and Lt. Tony Zanotti's innocence during a criminal grand jury inquiry into the 2006 shooting death of Cheri Lyn Moore, defense attorneys argued in court documents filed Thursday.
The commanding officers were indicted on involuntary manslaughter charges in December, which the defense is asking a Humboldt County Superior Court judge to dismiss.
”Our judicial system stands as a real and necessary check on the grand jury indictment process,” one of the documents states. “This court has the authority and the means by which to halt this prosecution, which is justified neither by the undisputed facts, nor by the law.”
Superior Court Judge John Feeney is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the motions Aug. 26.
If Feeney denies the motion to dismiss, the defense has the opportunity to appeal that decision to another court.
Similarly, if Feeney dismisses the charges facing Douglas and Zanotti, District Attorney Paul Gallegos has said he would have the opportunity to refile the charges and allow a judge to determine if there is enough evidence for a trial.
The defense filed two separate motions for dismissal June 18, arguing Gallegos improperly represented the law to the criminal grand jury that handed up the indictments and that he failed to present the jury with evidence that would have backed up Douglas' and Zanotti's decisions that day.
”In this case, the proceeding resulted in a travesty of justice -- a due process violation -- that must be corrected by this court,” one motion states.
Gallegos countered in court papers that he fulfilled his duty to provide the grand jury with evidence that could have shown Douglas' and Zanotti's innocence. He claimed the defenses' legal citations don't apply, and that there was no immediate danger to justify the commanders ordering a warrantless entry into Moore's home.
”It was reasonable to conclude that, after reviewing the evidence, the grand jury determined that there was insufficient exigency to justify a warrantless arrest,” Gallegos wrote. “A review of the evidence presented to them will show that such a conclusion was supported by the evidence and was not an unreasonable conclusion for them to arrive at.”... ☛ TS ...read the rest
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