Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Links to KESSER coverage

☛ ER Court rules in Dikeman's 1992 dismissal of jurors9/12/06
☛ ER Rollin, Kesser appear in court to handle retrial issues 4/30/2007
☛ ER Judge continues Kesser, Leahy murder retrial to early July 5/07/2007
☛ ER Judge denies bail to murder suspect 5/14/2007
☛ ER Murder retrial begins Monday 7/07/2007
☛ TS Retrial dredges up past for longtime Fortuna residents 7/16/2007
☛ ER District attorney says plea deal a possibility in murder retrial 8/14/2007
☛ TS Homicide retrial now looking to start Thursday 8/15/2007
☛ ER Jury reacts to settlement in first-degree murder retrial 8/16/2007
☛ TS Kesser cuts deal in murder case 8/16/2007
...accused of hiring a hitman to kill his estranged wife in 1991 reached a plea agreement with the District Attorney's Office Wednesday that could require him to testify against his former girlfriend.

Richard Craig Kesser's retrial was scheduled to begin this week.

Under the agreement, Kesser is required to make a full statement and answer any questions regarding the death of his estranged wife, Mary Kesser. He will also have to take a polygraph test and testify “truthfully” in any trial related to her death.

If Kesser completes all of the conditions, he will be convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. If he lies during questioning or commits perjury while testifying, Kesser will be convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life.

The District Attorney's Office also agreed to drop the special circumstance count of murder for monetary gain, a move which makes Kesser eligible for parole. As part of the deal, Kesser waives his right to appeal his conviction....

If Kesser refuses to testify, make statements or take the polygraph, the plea agreement is off the table.
”That would be in violation of the agreement,” said Superior Court Judge Dale Reinholtsen....

☛ ER Murder retrial an example of why writer left Humboldt County 8/19/2007
☛ TS
Trial date postponed pending release of prison records
☛ TS Leahy murder retrial set nearly 16 years after sentencing 9/04/2008
☛ TS Attorneys discard Kesser's polygraph results 9/17/2008
A failed polygraph test taken by Richard Kesser, a Fortuna man accused in 1991 of hiring a hit man to murder his estranged wife, was thrown out of evidence Tuesday after attorneys in his case agreed to administer a new test.

The agreement was another step in a prolonged plea deal, arranged in 2007, requiring Kesser to make a full polygraphed statement regarding the deal struck with his former girlfriend and a hit man to kill his former wife, Mary Kesser.

Under the plea agreement, if Kesser truthfully answered the questions posed in the polygraph test, and testified in any trial related to Mary Kesser's death, he was to be convicted of second-degree murder, rather than first-degree murder.

However, court documents show Kesser showed deception on a number of answers given during the test.

Attorneys had agreed if Kesser failed to answer the questions truthfully, he would be convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life....

Prosecution and defense attorneys agreed Tuesday to find a new polygraph technician to readminister the test. Kesser is expected to return to court Sept. 25.

Richard Craig Kesser, Petitioner-Appellant, v. Steven J. Cambra, Jr., Warden, Respondent-Appellee., 392 F.3d 327 (9th Cir. 2004)
Federal Circuits, 9th Cir. (December 16, 2004)
Docket number: 02-15475
Permanent Link:
Id. vLex: VLEX-18465828

Argued and Submitted December 13, 2005--Portland, Oregon Filed September 11, 2006
Filed October 14, 2005
☛ TS Humboldt County jail inmate attempts suicide breaking news 12/2/08
☛ TS Kesser attempts suicide at Humboldt County jail 12/3/08
☛ TS Kesser has died
Richard Craig Kesser, an inmate who reportedly hanged himself in his cell at the Humboldt County jail early Tuesday morning, has died, the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office reported.
Kesser, 47, was in critical condition after the suicide attempt, and was placed on a life support system at St. Joseph Hospital. According to HCSO information, Kesser died shortly after 11 p.m.
He had been incarcerated since 1992, when he was found guilty of first-degree murder for soliciting the killing of his estranged wife in 1991.
An autopsy will be conducted by a forensic pathologist later this week, the Sheriff's Office reported.
☛ TS Man convicted of wife's murder dies after hanging himself

THE SIDE STORY - Gallegos' conflict in this case:
☛ ER Two protestors call Dikeman a "racist"; he disagrees 5/20/06
☛ ER Second news release countering racism allegations issued 5/22/06
☛ ER Mrs. Kesser speaks. Elections should focus on the good record of candidate 5/27/06
☛ ER Dikeman is a man of integrity and professionalism 6/4/06
☛ ER Court rules in Dikeman's 1992 dismissal of jurors9/12/06
Of special note: More than monetary contributions - Ellie Bowman was one of the two "protestors" - Worth Dikeman successfully prosecuted Ellie Bowman's son, Jeff Bowman, for murder. Bowman went to prison for 25 years to life for the murder of a Trinidad Rancheria Tribe Member named Julius Aubrey.

But Ellie Bowman was not only the mother of a murderer convicted by Worth Dikeman, she also had another son facing charges... on July 19th. less than six weeks after Gallegos was re-elected and one week after the court ruling in the Kesser case, the "DA’s Office gathered nine felonies and a handful of misdemeanors pending against Derek (Bowman), and dismissed or suspended sentence on all of them in a single day....

In all, the Bowmans, the tribe and an attorney employed by the casino contributed $11,100 to Gallegos’ campaign coffers, just under 10 percent of the total of all funds raised by the incumbent during the campaign, according to FPPC filings.

In addition to the $10,000 contribution in the name of the Rancheria, Leonard and his wife personally contributed $100, the FPPC documents show...."

Gallegos, of course, denies it all - as you will see in the stories linked below.
Related coverage:
☛ TS ER - Bear River members seek chairperson's recall
☛ ER ER - Gallegos sidesteps questions about possible conflict of interest in Bowman charges
☛ ER ER - Questions without answers hinder our newsgathering
☛ ER ER - Bowman story not accurate
☛ ER ER - Contribution made because Gallegos was the better of the two
☛ ER ER - Questions remain in DA's handling of Bowman charges
☛ ER ER - Bear River official discusses financial contributions from tribe
☛ ER ER - Tribe's contribution to DA's campaign was made by the Tribal Council, not Bowman
☛ ER ER - Gallegos is 'public servant,' not Legal Spiegel
☛ ER ER - It's telling that Gallegos witch hunt didn't start until firing of Dikeman
☛ ER ER - Writer appreciates editor's note that identifies writers
☛ ER ER - Residents deserve answers to questions asked of DA's Office
☛ ER ER - Bitter? You bet!
☛ TS TS - Donations not improper, says Bear River Band
☛ TS TS - DA's office: State OK'd handling of plea deal

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