Friday, December 04, 2009

Paul Gallegos simply cannot do his job

Whitmill, Flores take pleas in deadly street race case Times-Standard breaking news
Whitmill, Flores take District Attorney's deal Times-Standard complete write-up
Two men involved in a street race on State Route 299 in October 2008 that caused an accident that killed a 9-year-old McKinleyville girl have accepted plea deals on the eve of their trial.

Jason Whitmill, 31, pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence causing bodily injury. Anthony Flores, 19, pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter and hit and run.

Whitmill agreed to serve 14 years and eight months in prison, and Flores agreed to serve four years, according to Ken Quigley, the father of the 9-year-old girl, Nicole Quigley.

Whitmill and Flores were racing on Route 299 outside Arcata on Oct. 6, 2008. When Whitmill tried to pass Flores' vehicle, his car clipped a Chevrolet Tahoe, which spun off the road and slammed into a power pole.

The crash killed Nicole Quigley and seriously injured her mother, Debra Quigley, who were in the Tahoe.

Whitmill was initially charged with second-degree murder, vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence causing injury and engaging in a speed challenge. Flores was first charged with vehicular manslaughter, engaging in a speed challenge and participating in a hit-and-run injury.

Jury selection was under way for their trial.


Big Plea in Quigley Cast The Journal

Could have told you, the family, the victims, were not consulted.

From the comments on the breaking news piece-
It is late in the evening I am worn out from the surprise attack that me and my family received from the District Attorneys office yesterday telling us that Mr. Gallegos had decided to work with the defense to Reward Mr. whitmill and mr. Flores with a lite sentence for lying and covering up evidence in the murder of Nicole Lynn Quigley. The local TV news channel interviewed me today after the decision was made, I told them that this is what happens when you have a State like California where the judicial system is broken and you live in Humboldt County which has the most incompetent District Attorney in the state. News Channel 3 made the decision to edit out everything negative I had to say about our District Attorney. The simple fact is that Mr. Gallegos did not prepare himself or his attorneys to handle a case of this magnitude now the citizens of Humboldt County will once again pay the price for Mr. Gallegos incompetence. Ken Quigley

We weep.

***
Related:
09
Whitmill and Flores trial date delayed another month 08/04/2009
Whitmill, Flores take District Attorney's deal 12/05/2009
Jury selection begins in trial of Whitmill, Flores 11/23/2009
Whitmill, Flores trial to proceed 11/10/2009
Motion denied to suppress blood sample in Whitmill case 11/06/2009
Whitmill faces murder charge for alleged role in crash 10/15/2008
Quigley family, friends remember 9-year-old Nicole 10/06/09
Nearly one year ago 10/01/2009
Case surrounding fatal crash on Highway 299 delayed 09/15/2009
Too many delays 9/10/09
Legal maneuvers slow case of men charged in 9-year-old's death 09/01/2009
Whitmill and Flores trial date delayed another month 08/04/2009
Evidence, charges unchanged against Whitmill 07/17/2009
Evidence for second degree murder charge? 06/19/2009
Thinking of the Quigleys 05/29/2009
Remember Nicole 05/08/2009
Looking forward: Quigley family watches and waits as case continues 05/17/2009
Defendants in 299 wreck plead not guilty 03/28/2009
Judge holds Whitmill, Flores to answer for 299 wreck 03/14/2009
Wife refuses to testify against husband at preliminary hearing 03/13/2009
Investigator testifies suspect in fatal crash changed story 03/12/2009
Officer testifies about 299 crash at prelim 03/11/2009
Preliminary hearing over Highway 299 wreck continues 03/10/2009
Superior Court delays hearing in 299 crash case 02/11/2009
Broken system 01/23/2009

08
Hug your children 12/03/2008
Vehicular manslaughter suspect has extensive criminal history 11/13/2008
Whitmill-Flores hearing continued 11/06/2008
Street race case waiting on CHP reports 10/23/2008
Authorities seek Mustang passenger for questioning 10/17/2008
Court document: Flores tried to 'subvert' investigation 10/16/08
Whitmill faces murder charge for alleged role in crash 10/15/2008
Authorities arrest driver of Mustang 10/10/2008
New driver named in fatal collision 10/09/2008
Search continues for other driver in fatal crash 10/08/2008
◼ ER Parolee named as driver in fatal collision
◼ TS New driver identified in fatal crash
◼ TS New driver named in fatal collision
TS Update: ☛ TS Police still looking for driver
◼ TS Driver sought: Suspected drag race on 299 results in fatal crash

Note: there were other articles in the Eureka reporter, but none are available online anymore.

20 comments:

Hum Depot said...

Rose, on the one hand, the Grand Jury said he lacks the global perspective needed to keep the department operating efficiently.

On the other hand, this is over and they will go to jail.
Pretty efficient if you ask me.

Would double life sentences bring the girl back?

Anonymous said...

Nothing will bring the girl back but!

After all the workup, the jury selection, then to let them pled guilty to substantially reduced charges at the last minute is a shame.

If these pieces of human waste would have spent more time in jail (or prison) for the previous crimes they committed this would not have happened.

Why the waste of resources? If you get all dressed up to go to the prom why not dance instead of turning around at the door and going home?

This excessive plea bargaining should not come as a surprise anymore. This is just the way it is in Humboldt County.

Rose said...

Rita Rudner has a joke about men and bathrooms...says it seems if they hit something they're happy...

That's Paul's spin, no doubt - has been since the day he was elected - has been since the drive-by shooters, has been since Martinez-Hernandez, has been with the Whitethorn rape - seems he likes to say they're going away and that's all that matters. He's hit something.

Thing is, the way he does it, they'll be out soon - to kill, rape, maim again.

If he was going to reduce the charges, he could've done that a year ago, and not strung the family out on this painful course - if he had the evidence for the higher charges, he should have stuck to it. If he didn't have the evidence, he shouldn't have files the charges...

PatsyC said...

Got to answer:

"Would double life sentences bring the girl back?
12/04/2009 9:26 PM

No. But thats like saying you may as well set them free..it wont "bring the girl back" either.

These scum plea bargaining?
please.
80 years each. Fair enough?

Our society treats 'murder by vehicle' like a littering charge.

& Gallegos is only acting like every other DA, everywhere, and ya'll know it.

Rose said...

No. He is not, Patsy.

Adding this, from the comments on the TS article:
It is late in the evening I am worn out from the surprise attack that me and my family received from the District Attorneys office yesterday telling us that Mr. Gallegos had decided to work with the defense to Reward Mr. whitmill and mr. Flores with a lite sentence for lying and covering up evidence in the murder of Nicole Lynn Quigley. The local TV news channel interviewed me today after the decision was made, I told them that this is what happens when you have a State like California where the judicial system is broken and you live in Humboldt County which has the most incompetent District Attorney in the state. News Channel 3 made the decision to edit out everything negative I had to say about our District Attorney. The simple fact is that Mr. Gallegos did not prepare himself or his attorneys to handle a case of this magnitude now the citizens of Humboldt County will once again pay the price for Mr. Gallegos incompetence.
Ken Quigley

Anonymous said...

News Channel 3 should be forced to remove the "News" portion of their name.

Could there be a lamer local news station than Channel 3? They never get it first, seldom get it right, and wouldn't know a news story if it was delivered by UPS.

Without knowing all the facts I would make the guess or assumption that Gallegos himself made the decision to give the goose away (give the sweetheart deal to the criminals) and then forced the deputy DA handling the case to do the deed in court and take most of the heat.

Do you think DA Gallegos will call Ken to explain? Not likely.

Does DA Gallegos ever accept even partial blame for anything?

I doubt if Gallegos is the worst DA in California but he's for sure in the running. The really sad thing is that apathy and marijuana money will get him re-elected and things will continue on and most likely get worse.

Anonymous said...

14 years is a LONG time.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that Gags doesn't know how to be a District Attorney DA, he only knows how to be a Defense Attorney DA, and tends to settle two or three levels down from the deserved punishment and think it's a good deal. It is a good deal when you're the defense, but it sucks when the office representing the people fails repeatedly.

Anonymous said...

If you want to look around the state you'll see that the sentence was about right for the offense, in which you can't show premeditation.

You wouldn't have gotten more with a long, expensive trial and you could have ended up with a lot less.

Rose said...

At least this time he didn't stand at the podium with the family's picture and cry crocodile tears, only to toss it in the garbage can after the press conference.

This is not the first "deal" he has copped without speaking to the victim and victims' families. And the news media knows it.

Nor is it the first time Channel 3 has refused to say anything negative about this buffooon - their reason - stated reason - is that if they do their reporters will lose access. No longer be granted interviews by the darling DA. Whether that threat came originally from Salzman or they cooked it up on their own, I don't know.

I know that the reporters know - have known, have been told - over and over and over again because I also hear from the families and from people working in the office and in the courts, and they tell me about their experiences with the local media.

And the story is repeated over and over and over again.

mresquan said...

"News Channel 3 should be forced to remove the "News" portion of their name."

That is exactly what I thought when they ran the praise Rob Arkley series a few years back.

Anonymous said...

fuck you konky...go over to Heralda if you want to spout that shit...this about the death of a beautiful little girl. how DARE you make this into an Arkley issue.

Tom Sebourn said...

I used to call their news "old people exercising" because that was their favorite story.

Fact is, local news doesn't have a lot of resources these days. I work for 5 radio stations and we have 2 part time local news people that have other duties besides news.
The Arcata Eye is down to 3 people. Everyone has scaled back.
Channel 3 news may not be good but it's all we have on TV. With economic times as they are, they too could disappear one day.
Some people don't read or listen to the radio. We would have an even larger part of our population that was uninformed on subjects such as local sports, weather, the crime blog and old people exercising.

Now that I'm getting older, I feel like I need to exercise more.

Rose said...

Tryin' this again without the typos:
TV News went down the tubes when Ch. 6 pulled out of the news business. Competition was good.

Channel 3 is not 'bad' Tom, given what they have to work with - we're a training market, and always have been, the pay sucks, and ever since a consultant let them know the importance of the weather report, it's been 20 minutes of weather, a bit of local sports and a couple of canned stories - if you want to catch the REAL news, better tune in in the first three minutes, after that it is over. As a routine we get the obligatory story pulled out of the "tried and true" file - the literacy project, a winery, Holly Yashi, there are a couple more, like your 'old people exercising'... good for their demo reel, maybe good for newcomers to the area, but not a big draw for the rest of us.

Gone are the days when reporters attended meetings, gone are the election night coverage extravaganzas that used to matter and had a lot of community participation...

Yes, the news biz is in decline. And some of it is because there just ain't anything to see even if.

The papers are where the news is - and the TS is on a shoestring, as are the others. Losing the competition of the Eureka Reporter has hurt the Times Standard the most.

As for your statement that "may not be good but it's all we have" - you're right - and if people want to preserve that or make it better, they HAVE TO support it with their ad dollars. That's what makes everything possible.

Conversely - news media that champions the job killers deserves what it gets - not that they need to be biased FOR business, but they sure do need to be balanced, and stop being biased AGAINST business.

A healthy business eco-system is necessary. And no one can afford the ad dollars in a crushingly anti-business climate, nor do businesses feel any particular sympathy for those who hurt them.

All that aside, Tom, when it comes the Gallegos story, there is no excuse for what has gone on.

Anonymous said...

and has continued to go on and will continue to go on.

Interesting to think that the T/S won't say anything bad about Gag's becasue he might or would put them on the "enemies list". Sounds kind of familiar.

Anonymous said...

Was this handled well? No. Was it over charged? Yes, but hindsight is 20/20. Was the disposition fair? Yes.

This is a story from Alameda County, where two defendants were sentenced for killing three UC doctoral students during the course of a street race. Each defendant received approximately 8 years in prison.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/11/22/BA0R1AOPM5.DTL

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Gallegos did pretty well, under the circumstances.

Case closed.

Anonymous said...

Isn't part of the issue that at least one of these criminals should have been in prison for other crimes, that he got extra nice plea bargins.

The theory being that if the DA would have done his job this never would have happened.

Is Jeff Schwartz really running for DA?

Rose said...

You mean Jeffie "yougofree.com" Schwartz?

Maybe part of the reason for Gallegos' success is that he surrounds himself with people who are - if you can believe it - worse than him. Stoen, YouGoFree, Schectman... people even I would have to say negate the 'anybody but Paul' argument.

Trouble is, Paul gives these people positions of power.

Rose said...

And, no, the argument that this can be blamed on law enforcement doesn't hold water. IF that were true it would have been evident at the very beginning, and not pulled out now as an after the fact spin by a Gallegos defender. Wouldn't have taken a year to surface.

Gallegos caved, and his mindset is that if he can get something he is a winner. Look for him to claim this as a win.