Thursday, April 18, 2013

I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house down!

Big threats. Big charges designed to garner a plea and thus an easy win. Then a plea deal, that in this case does not warrant all the time and effort expended by an office that is coming apart at the seams.

What are we down to, 8 or 9 prosecutors? From 19? That's a HUGE gap, and the poor fresh-out-of-school hires are trying to carry all that weight.

Now this "important" front-page case fizzles. It's as if once the Supervisor's kid isn't in the mix, all the fun went out of it.

They were charged with 11 felonies. Only one plead to one simple felony (the other a Misdemeanor, and another dismissal.) And one never made it past the preliminary hearing.

Two men in Fortuna pepper spray case plead no contest to reduced charges - Times-Standard

Gregory Stephens and Wyatt Williamson had faced a number of felony charges including: first degree burglary, attempted kidnapping, two felony counts of false imprisonment by violence, and two misdemeanor counts of false imprisonment by violence.

Stephens pleaded no contest to a single felony charge of use of tear gas or a tear gas weapon for purposes other than self-defense. He faces a maximum sentence of three years in jail and up to five years probation. He's scheduled to be sentenced May 30.

Williamson pleaded no contest to a single count of misdemeanor false imprisonment, and was immediately sentenced to three years probation and 10 days in jail. He was credited for one day served. He is scheduled to turn himself over to the jail on May 11.

The single charge of first degree burglary against Loleta dairyman James O'Neil was dismissed.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Rumors and confirmation?

Arnie Klein for next District Attorney? - John Chiv

It would not surprise me to see 5 or 6 running. Everyone knows how bad it is. On the other hand, you could see no one running, because what's the point? And who wants to tackle the enormous task of rebuilding?

Then there's the rumor that Salzman thinks he's going to turn Paul into the next Kamala Harris. Careful, don't be drinking coffee at the computer while you contemplate THAT.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Humboldt County public defender to represent man accused of killing jogger, Hoopa woman; Warren could face the death penalty

3/4/2015 UPDATE - The case goes to trial. New DA Maggie Fleming prosecutes Jason Warren homicide. ◼ I made it to the courtroom just as the next court date of March 18 was being called and to see that DA Maggie Fleming was prosecuting the case. - John Chiv/Words Worth

Humboldt County public defender to represent man accused of killing jogger, Hoopa woman; Warren could face the death penalty - Kaci Poor/The Times-Standard

A Humboldt County public defender was assigned Wednesday to represent Jason Anthony Warren, who is accused of purposely running down three joggers on Old Arcata Road -- killing a Humboldt State University instructor and severely injuring two others -- and the death of a Hoopa woman.

During Wednesday's counsel setting conference, Superior Court Judge Dale Reinholtsen assigned public defender Kevin Robinson to the case.

At his March 28 arraignment, Warren pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder. He also denied special circumstance allegations of multiple murders, lying in wait and torture. The special circumstance allegations elevate the maximum sentence Warren faces, if convicted, from life in prison to life without the possibility of parole and the death penalty.

District Attorney Paul Gallegos -- who will be prosecuting the case -- has not said whether he will seek the death penalty.

Following the March 28 arraignment, Reinholtsen granted a gag order requested on Warren's behalf.

Letter regarding Gag Order/Protective Order, from Public Defender's Office - Arcata Eye
Warren pleads not guilty to deaths of Humboldt State University instructor, Hoopa woman; judge grants gag order prohibiting attorneys, law enforcement from discussing case - Kaci Poor/The Times-Standard
The man accused of killing a Hoopa woman and then later purposely running down three joggers on Old Arcata Road -- killing a Humboldt State University instructor and severely injuring two others -- has been charged with two counts of murder - Grant Scott-Goforth and Kaci Poor/The Times-Standard
In the face of death: Special allegations change how a defendant should be represented - Kaci Poor/The Times-Standard
CHP to DA: Jogger’s Death Was Murder - Heidi Walters/The Journal
CHP requesting murder, attempted murder, animal cruelty charges in hit-and-run deaths - From the CHP via Times Standard
CHP Recommends Murder Charge In Seeman Death - Arcata Eye
District attorney's office opposing Cruz waivers following hit-and-run, homicide case; Experts: Move could harm ability to get pleas - Grant Scott-Goforth/The Times-Standard
Who is Jason Anthony Warren? - Two Rivers Tribune
Hit-and-Run/Hoopa Homicide “Person of Interest” in Custody - Andrew Goff/The Journal
Murder, hit and run 'person of interest' Jason Warren is in custody on warrant - Times-Standard
Suspect Identified In Hit-And-Run & Hoopa Crimes - Humboldt Sentinel
Woman Found Dead In Hoopa - Andrew Goff/The Journal 9/27
Car plows into 3 joggers, kills Bayside woman - Carrie Peyton Dahlberg.The Journal
A morning jog turns tragic; one woman killed, two others hospitalized in hit and run - Kaci Poor/The Times-Standard 09/28/2012
Seemann, Hunt and Vroman-Little: Three women shared a love for running - The Times-Standard 09/29/2012
CHP: Person of interest ID'd in hit-and-run death; memorial service for Suzanne Seemann set for Saturday - Grant Scott-Goforth/The Times-Standard 10/02/2012
Three Joggers Down/Coroner Called/Accident in North Eureka - Kym Kemp/Lost Coast Outpost
CHP Investigation Turns Up Dead Body in Hoopa. Connection to This Morning’s Fatal Bayside Hit-and-Run? - Hank Sims/Lost Coast Outpost
Three Joggers Down/Coroner Called/Accident in North Eureka
Arrest Made in Hoopa Suspicious Death — No Word on Connection to Yesterday’s Bayside Tragedy - Hank Sims/Lost Coast Outpost
Sheriff Dept. Releases Name of Suspicious Death in Hoopa—Calls It Homicide - Kym Kemp/Lost Coast Outpost 9/28
Businesses To Support Bayside Hit & Run Victims and Families - Mike Dronkers/Lost Coast Outpost
Sheriff’s Office Names ‘Person of Interest’ in Hoopa/Bayside Cases - Hank Sims/Lost Coast Outpost
Person Of Interest In Custody For Jogger Collision - Arcata Eye 10/12/12
Person of Interest Named in Hoopa Homicide and Fatal Hit and Run - Two Rivers Tribune

DA Press Release

Former Hoopa school district employee found guilty of sexual abuse, lewd contact with children - Times-Standard

The following is from a Humboldt County District Attorney's Office press release:

On 4/8/2013 a Humboldt County jury returned guilty verdicts today against Joseph Saint Orozco for having lewd and lascivious contact against three separate minors. Two counts of violating Penal Code Section 288(a) and one count of violating Penal Code Section 288.5(a), continuance sexual abuse of a minor. All three victims were under the age of eleven (11) when they were abused. He will be sentenced May 2, 2013 at 2pm by the Honorable Judge Christopher Wilson.

Orozco worked for the Klamath-Trinity Joint Unified School District. He was assigned to work in the afterschool program at the Hoopa Elementary School. It was at this program that Orozco offended against these children.

An investigation was launched after one of the children reported to her parents that what Orozco had done to her. She had helped Orozco distribute some papers in the teacher's lounge and when she finished he gave her money for the vending machine.

When she returned from the vending machine he asked the child for a hug and then put his fingers down the front of her shirt. She was able to get away from Orozco and as she did he commented to her, “Don't be shy.” She told her parents about the incident which led to her and other children being interviewed via a forensic interview at the Child Abuse Services Team (CAST) office. The interviews revealed other victims.

Search warrants obtained as a part of this investigation revealed Orozco had a large amount of child pornography as well. Much of which depicted children of similar age to the children he molested.

”The courage of all of these children to testify about the abuse they endured by Orozco cannot be overstated. Orozco was in a position of trust and had easy access to the children he victimized while working with an afterschool program.” Paul Gallegos, District Attorney.

This case was investigated by the Hoopa Valley Tribal Police with assistance from the District Attorney's Office and was prosecuted by Paul Gallegos.

We'll put this in the 'GBP' file.