Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jackie Ray Hovarter - Affirmed

Jackie Ray Hovarter has been on death row for the 1984 kidnapping, rape and murder of a teenage girl from Willits. ☛ JN GENERATION NEXT ON THE BENCH

A Humboldt County jury convicted Jackie Ray Hovarter in 1988 of the first degree murder of Danna Elizabeth Walsh. (Pen. Code, § 187; all further statutory references are to this code unless otherwise indicated.) It also convicted defendant of kidnapping and forcibly raping Walsh (§§ 207, subd. (a), 261, former subd. (2), now see id., subd. (a)(2)) and sustained special circumstance allegations that he murdered Walsh while engaged in the commission of a kidnapping and rape (§ 190.2, former subd. (a)(17)(ii) & (iii), now subd. (a)(17)(B) & (C)). The jury was unable to reach a verdict as to penalty, and the trial court declared a mistrial.
Defendant, with the agreement of counsel, waived his right to a jury for the penalty retrial, and in 1989, the trial court, sitting as the trier of fact, returned a verdict of death under the 1978 death penalty law. (§ 190.1 et seq.) This appeal is automatic. (§ 1239, subd. (b).)

As explained below, we conclude the guilt and penalty judgments should be affirmed in their entirety.

On Tuesday, August 12, 2008, Supreme Court Rules Defendant May Waive Jury for Death Penalty Retrial
The justices affirmed the death sentence of Jackie Ray Hovarter, convicted of killing a young woman, Danna Walsh, who was abducted, raped, and strangled. Her body was found under the Scotia Bridge, about 30 miles south of Eureka in Humboldt County, in August 1984.

Hovarter, a truck driver from the San Francisco Bay area who transported wood pulp from a mill near the crime scene, was charged with the murder after he was identified as the perpetrator of another crime—the abduction, rape, and shooting of a teenager in Mendocino County in December 1984.

While in jail, Hovarter allegedly confessed both crimes to his cellmate, Gary Marolla. Marolla, who was being held on drug and weapons charges, negotiated a deal in which he received 111 days’ credit for time served and probation in exchange for his testimony against Hovarter.
Besides Marolla, prosecutors called the victim of the Mendocino County crime, identified only as A.L. Humboldt Superior Court Judge William F. Ferroggiaro Jr. ruled that her testimony—in which she explained how Hovarter tied her to a tree, assaulted her, shot her twice and left her for dead—was more probative than prejudicial, citing the similarities between the crimes. Both of the attacks occurred along U.S. 101—which Hovarter traveled on his route between his home, the mill, and the Oakland yard to which he delivered the wood pulp—and the modus operandi were similar, the judge ruled.

Much of the case against Hovarter was circumstantial, including evidence that on the morning of the crime, he arrived at the mill more than two hours later than usual, and about an hour after the murder occurred.

Jurors found Hovarter guilty of first degree murder, kidnapping, and forcible rape, with special circumstances of rape and kidnapping. After jurors deadlocked in the penalty phase, Hovarter agreed to have the judge alone decide the sentence, and Ferroggiaro opted for the death penalty.


  1. Thank you for including this in your posting today - a day after the "Minerva Awards" --- "A.L." is the hero --- pulling bullets out of her skull and surviving is miracle enough - but having the courage to come up here and testify against Hovarter in court -still sends chills down my spine.

    Everyone who worked that case and had a difficult time not vomiting each and every day over the details of it.

    Thank you to the BEST FRIGGIN PROSECUTOR in the world - WORTH DIKEMAN and know that these types of matters are still happening locally every day but our ASSHOLE District Attorney either finds a way to not prosecute or pleads the cases all down to next to nothing...


  2. There were a number of people who had courage to do things to ensure justice was done here.

    This is very good news.

  3. I wish there was a machine that could take stuff off of microfiche and transfer it to the internet - those old archives need to be translated.

  4. Just imaginge PVG handling that case.

    now poke out your mind's eye.

  5. Thank you everyone who made comments about Jackie Ray Hovarter. He is / was my Brother in Law. I was Married to his younger Brother for many yrs. After we heard he was arrested in 1984 we didnt belive it was true. But then we had talked to JAckie in Jail and he admitted what he had done. We seen him in Jail in 1985 and he again admitted what he did.He is in San Quinton Prison not even 10 miles from where i now work, and i will be there the day he is Executed, as he admitted that one of the Women he killed was a very good friend of mine that disapered

  6. Anonymous sister in law if you read this please contact me at My name is Melinda and Danna was my best friend, I need to know what happened to her. If you knew her you may know me. I have never been able to get past this, I may even write to him, I just want to know what happened. Please email me.

  7. Bonnie Wolfe6/18/2010 4:36 PM

    Melinda, I read your post from Jan. 7th, I am 1 of A.L's best friends, i've been searching for her since the early 90's, I'm going to forward you a file of the court proceedings that will give you all the information and then some... if you have any info on my friends where-abouts anything would be a helpful. I need to re-connect with her, I miss and love her. I sent you an e-mail it's from
    Please write me back and I will forward the complete file or the website which ever you choose.
    look forward to hearing from you,
    Bonnie Allen Wolfe

  8. My new email.


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