Thursday, June 11, 2009

Charges may be reduced

Charges may change for Bear
A Wednesday preliminary hearing for a Hoopa driver who struck and killed a bicycle commuter in August 2008 was delayed as a result of new evidence, which District Attorney Paul Gallegos said may force prosecutors to reduce charges in the case.

Speaking after the hearing, Gallegos said as the investigation into the crash has continued to unfold, California Highway Patrol officers say it appears Alan Bear did not act with gross negligence when he struck and killed 42-year-old bicyclist and local botanist Gregory Jennings.

In the opinion of the CHP investigators “this is not gross negligence,” Gallegos said. “I have an obligation to turn that evidence over to the defense, and I have to reevaluate my case.”

Bear has been charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, providing false information to a police officer and making an unsafe lane change. But, Gallegos said those charges may be altered as a result of the new information.

It is not yet certain the charges will be amended, or exactly what charges Bear would face if they are, Gallegos said.

Gross negligence is one of three criteria prosecutors must prove in order to sustain a vehicular manslaughter charge. Those criteria are: proof the defendant was driving the vehicle, the suspect violated the law and that violation was committed with gross negligence.

Gross negligence, as defined in California statute, is an act done with such careless disregard for the safety of others' lives that it is likely to cause foreseeable injury.

35 comments:

  1. Explain to me what was newly discovered? Where's the transparency? How old is this case? How does something get to be newly discovered after so long? Oh, and since when do the opinions of CHP investigators on MATTERS OF LAW take precedence.
    The DA's sworn duty is to take the facts and assess whether, as a matter of law, which legal standard applies. Unless, of course, there is a convenient way out of a case
    where there's an election coming up and someone, who knows who, might
    be counting on a bunch of votes from a particular community or set of communities.

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  2. Gallegos just remembered that this guys family donated about ten grand to his campaign so he has to do some quick tap dance to get out of it.

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  3. Rose,

    I hope you will follow up on this. If there is evidence, at some point it should become public. We're not going to bring the cyclist back to life by convicting and innocent man.

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  4. Thanks. But what is the process in discovering what this new "evidence" is? When and where do we learn what is going on?

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  5. I don't know. It would require reporters demanding answers. I requires people who know something to speak out.

    I don't particularly buy the statement that there is new evidence. What - a new witness who says the bicyclist swerved out in front of the vehicle? Makes no sense.

    Part of my frustration here - in the overall sense, and not in this specific instance - is that people come to me with information, even documentation, and yet I can say nothing because my speaking can get that person fired. I try to get everything out, but it isn't always possible.

    This DA is a disaster. People who work in that courthouse know it. People who have served on juries know it - the most frequent statement I get is "We found him guilty IN SPITE OF Gallegos." yet Gallegos takes credit. People who know how bad it is WILL finally go to the reporters with the the information when a campaign is in play, because they see some hope that, if people KNOW what is happening they will finally un-elect this man. But because they wait, when they do come, the reporters discount their information as politically motivated.

    I have done all that I can. It is like beating your head against a wall. I am begging all of you who KNOW, go to the reporters NOW. Don't be intimidated. Say something NOW.

    Particularly those of you involved in CAST - what's he gonna do if you speak up? Close your program? Guess what - he's already effectively done that.

    Not just CAST, but other programs.

    If you work in the field of law, and if you are supposed to be about justice, you know how wrong things are, and you know that not saying anything allows another innocent guy like the toddler wanderer's Dad to be persecuted. You know that justice is not being served.

    The political season has already begun. Candidates for Board of Supes have already announced.

    The DA is up - he will undoubtedly be running again. he can't make this kind of money and get those bennies in his private practice.

    This is not a partisan issue - regardless of your party affiliation, you can see what is wrong.

    Do something about it. DO IT NOW.

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  6. I did do something. I left.

    To hell with Humboldt, its voters, its
    DA, its pot obsession, its shot to hell economy, its progressives, its supine news media, its navel gazing.
    You can stew in you own mediocre juices. Life goes on. I only get one life, and fixing Humboldt is not how I choose to spend it.

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  7. "Bennies?" Are you suggesting Gallegos is a drug addict? If so, kindly offer some kind of evidence.

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  8. Oh goodness. Is there someone so into drugs and out of work as to be ignorant of the word bennies
    as slang for "job benefits" like insurance, free parking, and unlimited surfing vacations?

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  9. LOL - exactly 11:01.

    And family Health Insurance could be worth as much as a grand a month, you don't have to pay your full Social Security costs generally, there's PERS... in addition to the pay.

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  10. The definition of Gross negligence would seem to fit our DA and one might wonder why he hasn't been charged with such a crime. It's due to a technicality in the law, he's grossly incompetent and it's not against the law to be stupid.

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  11. Less name calling, more facts please.

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  12. Jeez 8:50 - haven't you been reading the paper over the last 6 years. Go back and you will read the facts.

    Palco case
    August case
    no sex assault prosecutors
    no domestic violence prosecutors
    not being able to prove 1st degree homicide after a guy drove for hours to kill the dude.
    dismissal after dismissal
    reduced charges
    insane charges

    The question is: where the hell have you been in order to write such a stupid post? Mars?

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  13. It's not just the Palco, August cases etc... it is what they REPRESENT - the filing of a case at his backers' behest, using his office as an activists' tool; with August, using his office to go after a critic...

    It's letting really bad guys off, and going full bore after an innocent like the toddler wanderer's Dad (whose name I will not use, because as it is the internet record follows him because Gallegos chose, again, to, in his words, send a message).

    It is the decimation of important, human-friendly programs like Victim Witness, and CAST, designed to make the legal system less onerous for victims of crimes, and to IMPROVE the quality of the cases filed....

    And despite his recent win with the slam-dunk Belant case, just ask yourself how many child abuse cases have gone to trial since he was elected.

    It's not me making it up - those numbers are part of his record - the Eureka Reporter covered it.

    The Times Standard has yet to realize.

    And there's more to that story.

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  14. Oh come on, be fair. Paul has tried every single sex case where Rick Grimm has bored through the perp's computer and found pictures of the defendant committing the crime.

    Every single one. Yay Paul. You da man!!!!!!!!!!
    Oh yeah, Grimm, nice work buddy. Just don't write any letters like that Andrews computer guy did or I'll try to get you fired, too.

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  15. "The question is: where the hell have you been in order to write such a stupid post? Mars?"

    Not one fact listed above, just your spin on various legal decisions. It's obvious you don't have even a dim idea of how our legal system actually works to protect the innocent.

    The question is: where the hell have you been in order to write such an utterly idiotic rant and call it fact?

    EOC

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  16. Where have I been you ask? In the real world. Quit self medicating 11:37.

    Go up and read the side bar here on this site and you will see the facts: the cases, the lost ones, the dismissals, the GJ report. You are living in LaLa land to ignore this 11:37.

    ok - let me help you as you must be a bit impaired to either navigate on this site OR read:

    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... ”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.”

    and

    ★ ...District Attorney Paul Gallegos said he believes the statute of limitations clock, even on misdemeanors, doesn't start running until law enforcement knows or reasonably should have known of the offense. In this case, Gallegos said, that means the statute of limitations would not run out at least until Feb. 8, 2009, or one year after Gundersen's arrest and the discovery of the photographs in question...

    ★ "...some people actually molest out of different feelings, some times out of feelings of love....” DA Gallegos explaining why Child Abuse prosecutions were down

    ★ “I never said that the information was not available under the Freedom of Information Act. Quite the contrary, I informed you that our use of force policy is not a public record.” Paul Gallegos to the Times Standard 5/25/07

    ★ ...“One is that I do everything to make people happy which means I don’t stand for anything except for just something,” he said. “The other is I stand for something and I try to be a leader and take some people, a group of people, a community someplace and I say guess what folks, this is who I am. I stand for your beliefs. We share these beliefs or we don’t. You get the option to judge that. This is who I am and I am committed to leading us this place, wherever it is...." Eureka Reporter Gallegos defends record, looks ahead 7/3/2005

    or

    The Humboldt County Grand Jury found that "Weak leadership and poor managerial practices" have undermined the office... Implicit in all evidence gathered by the Grand Jury - including interviews with the D.A. - is the unfortunate truth that the D.A. exhibits a limited understanding of how things are done in the department" Gallegos "lacks the global perspective needed to keep the department operating efficiently," and quotes an unnamed staff member as saying, "The D.A. does not fully understand the functionality of many of the things we do here"

    If you want to suffer more, I can help by pasting more "facts" for you to face. Your choice, make it.

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  17. Zounds! An "unnamed source" smears our DA. What an airtight argument.

    A DA requires actual FACTS to prosecute a case. And in America, the accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    Better stick to your anonymous sniping.

    EOC

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  18. Thats the problem EOC. Your DA routinely charges without the facts to back it.

    No unnamed source is smearing "your" DA. He is too busy smearing himself. Here is a suggestion, deal with the points (also known as facts) made at 12:20and put your name down if you want to complain about anonymous bloggers.

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  19. That is a fact - no "oh these mean people are picking on him" meme is going to work this time.

    Gallegos' record is clear.

    And lying to people is not going to work this time.

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  20. He's a nice guy, he's a good Dad, a loving husband, a good surfer, and he is an attorney - great.

    He's a lousy DA.

    Let him return to a successful private practice, Gallegos and Gallegos, and let him have a long and happy career making piles of money without having to put up with all this negativity.

    More power to him.

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  21. EOC has been castrated with the facts. Ouch.

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  22. Yawn. More name calling, Rose.

    Facts please. And spare us the clumsy attempts at legal spin. In America, the accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    Not the other way around. That would a police state.

    You seem to want a DA who will assume that every arrested individual is guilty as charged. That's how it works in a police state, Rose.

    Would you be happier living in one?

    EOC

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  23. EOC, what have you been smoking today? Sorry you can't bear to read the facts and I am so laughing my ass off at you calling this "legal spin" and in the same breath accuse Rose of wanting a DA to assume every arrested individual is guilty as charged.

    Newsflash nimrod, the DA is the sole person vested with the legal authority to charge someone and had better believe that person is guilty when he decides to charge them. It is the court and our system or justice that presumes that the individual is not guilty until the DA proves that guilt as he charged it in a court of law. You evidently don't know shit from shinola.

    Nobody is talking about a police state. We are criticizing little Paul for being inconsistent, incompetent and unjust.

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  24. This is getting boring.

    What have you got besides ad hominem attacks?

    You don't understand the function of a DA at all. Our founding fathers would be turning over in their graves to see the ways in which you have attempted to shred our Constitution.

    But you will continue as a cheer leader for Rose's shrill demands that every one charged with a crime is getting away with murder if the death penalty is not sought by Gallegos.

    It's obvious that you are you are sand in the gears of the DA's office. The question is: what have you ever contributed to society?

    EOC

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  25. Look, ex, you've lost your grip on reality.

    The founding fathers wouldn't have tolerated Gallegos' Palco suit, much less some of this other BS.

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  26. The Founding Fathers whole point was to protect us from parasites like Palco. Gallegos did the right thing and the bastards wore him down.

    What have you ever done for? Besides throw sand in the gears...

    Anything at all?

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  27. Is that you, Paul? Founding Father's quotes? Got a nice one from Lincoln?

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  28. The Founding Fathers would never have approved of what Kat Zimmerman and Sean Marsh were put through.

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  29. Oh I can just see how John Hancock would have responded to Shunka sitting in the crosstrees of one of his whaling ships, crying "Save Moby". I can almost smell the black powder smoke. The Founding Fathers were all about property rights (like, for the Virginians at least, slaves). If you think they would have sided with EF!
    you are ignorant.

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  30. Shit....the "Save Moby" line is priceless. Very funny 9:24.

    And thank you EOC for making sure we all know how nuts you are. Palco didn't wear Gallegos down. It was the law and the court of appeal that said he was wrong on the law and that the facts wouldn't have supported what he filed anyway. Go read the ruling skippy.

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  31. Well, I was right: ad hominem attacks are the best you can do, since you have no facts at all on your side.

    In fact, with every new ad hominem attack you dig yourself in deeper.

    You weren't even able to list a single positive thing you had done for the community.

    I rest my case.

    EOC

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  32. These comments were left on another thread - moved here as applies to topic:
    ROSE: Off topic, but what's up with the Gallegos waffling on the bike homicide on rte 299 (last summer) trial? Apparently, he has had a last minute change of heart and may be considering dropping the felony charges.

    In a murder trial?

    cyclist
    ******

    update: Apparently a large number of cyclists are going to show up at the court for the hearing tomorrow (?) to be sure justice is done.

    I'll keep checking back here to see if you have received this message. I'm hoping you can find out more about this potential reversal by Gallegos. The parents of the dead man are very angry.

    *****
    Sorry, I didn't see the listing on Bear further down in your blog. Ignore these posts.

    cyclist

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  33. The Bear case should never have been charged as a gross vehicular homicide. That was a mistake by the DA's office. Compounding the mistake by trying to convict the defendant of that crime would have been unjust. The DA's office should have followed the original CHP recommendation, which was misdemeanor manslaughter.

    What's up with all the posts about irrelevant crap? No murder convictions? Other convictions? You really have no idea what you're talking about...

    Consider the following recent verdicts: J. Lopez (murder); R. Groh (murder); A. Bellant (kiddy rape); R. Valentine (rape); C. Larson (stat. rape); L. Orcutt (First degree burg w/ enhancement); A. Kelly (possession of meth for sales). Not included are recent misdemeanor trial convictions, of which there have been many.

    If you're keeping count, it's about 13-3 in the last 16 trials. I know that Farmer's DDA's would have convicted everyone, even without evidence; but I'll take that conviction percentage.

    I've noticed that the pro-PVG people who post on this site are much more persuasive than the typical anti-PVG. It's due mostly to the fact that the pro-PVG's write better, I think. Probably a more educated lot.

    Sometimes the anti-PVG's have decent points, but mostly they're knee-jerk reactionaries who have no idea about what's in a case file and are pissed because Farmer lost the election.

    If Humboldt wanted Farmer, they would have re-elected him. If Humboldt didn't want PVG, they would have elected Dikeman. If Humboldt doesn't want PVG, they can elect a person with no experience and no ideological distiction, like Hagan. Personally, I would love to see Hagan come out with the "law and order" card.

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