Friday, March 19, 2010

Man shot by Eureka Police dies

Man shot by Eureka Police dies
A Eureka Police officer shot a reportedly armed man in an alley off Summer Street at around 11 a.m. Thursday after a resident wrestled the man to the ground.

Humboldt County Coroner Dave Parris identified the man who was shot as David Sequoia, 25, of Eureka, and said that he was pronounced dead shortly after he was taken to the hospital. Eureka Police Chief Garr Nielsen confirmed that the shooting involved two officers with his department, but released few details about the incident.

On Thursday, Summer Street resident Kris Coon said he heard rustling in the carport of his home, and found a white man in his early 20s carrying a backpack. Coon said the man pushed him, and Coon wrestled him to the ground, then realized the man had a handgun in his belt. His wife had called 911, and police arrived quickly, Coon said.

The man refused to comply with officers' orders to give up the gun, Coon said, and an officer shot the man in the head.
”They gave him every chance in the world to comply,” Coon said....


From the comments: (comments threads have been shut down since this morning it seems)
Gumshoe said:

David Sequoia = David Gabriel Barger.
The first name, age, alias, and city of residence all match David Gabriel Barger, He stood trial for the first degree murder of Rex Shinn and was charged with the attempted murder of Alvin Pires and Brandon Fee. A handgun was discharged in both crimes.
Considering the deceased criminal history, I don't see how there could be any doubt that the use of deadly force by this EPD Officer was justified.


Here's what I have that's related: (heraldo has a thread up too: ◼ Slain suspect acquitted of murder in 2008
Preliminary hearing in murder/attempted murder case continued
...defense attorney (Neal Sanders) declared a conflict of interest Monday morning with regard to defending his client — a man charged in a 2003 murder/attempted murder case... David Gabriel Barger was to have his preliminary hearing — after which a judge would have determined whether there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial — he was assigned a new Eureka-based attorney, Marion Miller.

According to past reports, Barger pleaded not guilty in late March to the July 19, 2003, murder of Rex Shinn; the Aug. 13, 2004, attempted murder of Brandon Fee; the Aug. 13, 2004, assault with a deadly weapon, being a firearm, of Brandon Fee; and the Aug. 13, 2004, assault with a deadly weapon, being a firearm, of Alvin Pires.

Barger, 22, a resident of Southern Humboldt — who has gone by the last name of Sequoia — also issued denials to the various firearms-related special allegations listed on the complaint filed by the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office.

...The police report alone, Sanders said in a previous interview, is more than 1,400 pages long.


It's quite a story how this guy came to be in jail! Complete with a pot grow, drug deals, more offers of immunity from the DAs Office, a case dismissed the day the trial was set to begin back in 2006 and refiled in 2007...
☛ TS Barger murder trial to begin this week
More than five years after Rex Shinn was reportedly shot dead near the Southern Humboldt town of Honeydew, David Gabriel Barger is preparing to stand trial for his murder.

Jury selection is expected to continue Monday for the trial, in which Barger is charged with first-degree murder and stealing Shinn's truck.

Barger was also held to stand trial on a charge of attempted murder and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, but those charges will be tried separately.

Shinn, 32, of Loleta, was reported missing July 19, 2003, by his mother, after no one had seen him for several months. His abandoned pickup truck was found a month later by a hunter near Petrolia.

More than a year later, in January 2005, Sheriff's Office investigators were led to Shinn's body, which was later identified through dental records....

According to a Feb. 17, 2007, Declaration in Support of Arrest written by Sheriff's detective Rich Schlesiger, Barger, Shinn and four other passengers piled into Shinn's pickup on the morning of July 19, 2003, and headed to the Honeydew property of Scott Starnes, parking outside his front gate.

Shinn and Barger then left the other passengers in the truck and went up and knocked on Starnes' front door, according to the report. Starnes reportedly told investigators that he was awoken by the knocking, and was on his way to answer the door when he heard several gunshots.

When Starnes opened the door, he found Shinn lying dead with a gunshot wound to the head and Barger running down the driveway, according to the report....

Because Starnes had a marijuana growing operation on the property, according to the report, and was afraid to call law enforcement, he told investigators that he and Cordrey decided to use a backhoe to bury Shinn's body near a pond on his property.

According to other documents in Barger's case file, both Cordrey and Starnes repeatedly denied having any knowledge of Shinn's death when asked about it by law enforcement and only admitted to their roles after being offered immunity by the District Attorney's Office....

Barger was soon charged with the attempted murder of Pires, but Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Timothy Cissna ruled in June 2006 there was not enough evidence to hold him over for trial.

Barger was arraigned on a complaint of the attempted murder of Fee the next month, as well as two allegations of felony assault stemming from the incident, but the District Attorney's Office dismissed the case the day the trial was set to begin.

The Humboldt County District Attorney's Office re-filed those charges Feb. 14, 2007, as well as the first-degree murder and vehicle theft charges relating to Shinn, after the case apparently caught a break. While still in custody on the unrelated charges, Barger allegedly confessed to two people that he'd killed Shinn, according to the investigator's report....

Barger not guilty of first-degree murder
After nearly four days of deliberations, a jury found 23-year-old David Gabriel Barger not guilty of the first-degree murder of Rex Shinn, who was shot in the head on a Southern Humboldt County pot farm in 2003.

The jury could not agree on the lesser count of second-degree murder, and ultimately hung with eight of the 12 jurors in favor of his acquittal.

Barger was found guilty of vehicle theft for taking and hiding a truck that belonged to Shinn.

...Following the verdict, juror No. 1, who deliberated in the case, said she was unhappy with the outcome, but because the prosecution did not produce enough compelling evidence, the jury had no choice but to find there was reasonable doubt Barger committed the murder.

”It's very upsetting the evidence wasn't better,” juror No. 1 said. “It wasn't fair to the whole jury because of the evidence. They didn't give us enough.”

...witnesses were granted immunity for their involvement in the marijuana growing operation, and juror No. 1 said this was a primary concern during deliberation.

Maybe if they had a witness without immunity it might have been more believable,” she said.

Gallegos said he understands the jurors' concerns.

”This murder revolved around a marijuana grow. If we don't grant immunity, those people won't talk, so we have no evidence,” Gallegos said. “It doesn't feel good to us either. But in the spectrum of wrongs, the person pulling the trigger is a lot worse than the others.”

Barger was returned to the Humboldt County jail, and awaits sentencing for the vehicle theft.
He is scheduled to return to court for a pretrial hearing on the second-degree murder charge Nov. 18.


Related coverage:
☛ ER Preliminary hearing in murder/attempted murder case continued
☛ HCSO Date Released: Sheriff's Press Release 8/28/2003
☛ JN MISSING MAN'S BODY FOUND:
☛ JN MURDERED MEN IDENTIFIED:
☛ TS Barger murder trial to begin this week
☛ ER David Barger arraigned on 2003 murder 3/27/07
☛ ER Barger cases scheduled for hearing 4/11/07
☛ ER Preliminary hearing continued 7/3/07
☛ JN Marijuana crime 12/25/03
Previous Posts:
a 2003 murder case
Barger murder trial to begin this week
Barger not guilty of first-degree murder

UPDATE:
'I could have been killed so quickly'; Thursday shootings in Eureka believed to be linked
Earlier report: Initially believed to be related to the Thursday shooting incident, there was a report of two shots fired about a block away in the parking area of an apartment complex on California Street. Resident Charlie Rangel said that he was in his apartment when he heard two men outside arguing loudly in Spanish. Rangel said he then heard a gunshot, more arguing, and another gunshot.

Detectives were called to the area just after police were dispatched to the scene of the Summer Street shooting.

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