◼ Plea bargains rejected in Ferrer case - John Chiv/Words Worth UPDATED
◼ The Judge explains her reasoning. Gallegos late to the hearing. - John Chiv/Words Worth UPDATED
Once Judge Hinrichs was done explaining the rules and the plea bargaining, she opened her remarks with, "This case is a tragedy." She said the Court had read and reviewed all documents presented and these were from all the attorneys and Probation and the victim's family.◼ MAD RIVER UNION
She then said her tentative decision was to set the pleas aside. She explained why and read post 1 (link above) for those details.
◼ Judge Tosses Plea Deals in Anderson-Jordet Stabbing Case - Hank Sims/Lost Coast Outpost UPDATED
...Judge Hinrichs said that it was not in the public interest to accept the plea agreements and signaled that she would disqualify herself from hearing the case in the future.
A Humboldt County Superior Court judge set aside the pleas of three people charged in connection with the fatally stabbing of an Arcata chef in November at their sentencing hearing today.
Judge Joyce D. Hinrichs also set May preliminary hearing dates in the cases to determine whether they will face trial.
...His family asked the judge to set aside the plea, saying manslaughter didn’t represent the scope of the crime.
Arcata residents Nicholas Benjamin Stoiber, 28, and Sophie Buttercup Rocheleau, 24, also had their no contest pleas set aside. There were accused of beating Anderson-Jordet during the altercation.
Rocheleau had plead to a misdemeanor battery charge while Stoiber plead to a charge of assault likely to produce bodily harm.
News Channel 3 - Judge did not accept plea deals in the Ferrer case Juan Ferrer is the man who plead guilty to fatally stabbing 50 year old Douglas Anderson-Jordet in the heart in downtown Arcata.
Ferrer will appear in court again for a preliminary hearing on May 28th.
We have reporter in the courtroom. We'll have more details as they become available.
◼ Plea deals tossed in Arcata fatal stabbing case; Judge: Decision made to keep 'public's confidence in the justice system' - Will Houston/The Times-Standard
A Humboldt County superior court judge on Thursday rejected the plea deals of three Arcata residents charged in the Nov. 25 fatal stabbing of chef Douglas Anderson-Jordet, saying she did “not believe justice would be served.”◼ Judge Tosses Plea Deals In Arcata Stabbing Case - Jack Durham/Mad River Union (UPDATED at 8:27 a.m. April 4 with edits, additional information and photos.)
Judge Joyce Hinrichs said she would be acting as both the “judge and the jury” by moving forward with their sentencings.
”It would undermine the public's confidence in the justice system,” Hinrichs said. “To not set aside the pleas erodes the public's confidence.”
...District Attorney Paul Gallegos argued that Hinrichs' statement of acting as both the judge and the jury should not apply to this case.
”What the court has is the inherent power to accept or reject the plea deal,” Gallegos said.
Hinrichs said her ruling might have been different if she had been able to review all the documents. She noted that Gallegos' office brought her three inches of new documents to review right before the sentencing hearing.
...Though he supported the plea deal, Gallegos said he was “happy accepting the court's ruling.”
”I think the court's ruling results in a just resolution,” he said.
Hinrichs said she would take the blame for giving tentative approval to the plea deals last month. She said at the time, she hadn’t heard objections to the deals from the victim’s family. It wasn’t until after tentative approval of the plea deals last month that the family became publicly vocal about what they perceive as light sentences for the suspects.
“I didn’t ask enough questions,” said Hinrichs, who added that she should have paid closer attention to the state’s Victims Bill of Rights. “Hindsight is 20/20.” Hinrichs said that she doesn’t believe that “justice would be served” by allowing the plea deals to stand....
At today’s hearing, Hinrichs explained how she arrived at her decision, citing the various briefs and letters she had read. She then explained the reasons for her decision, which she said would be tentative until she had a chance to hear from the DA and the defense attorneys at the hearing. This left the door open for the attorneys to convince her to change her decision, but she was unpersuaded.
Gallegos, representing the People, had the first opportunity to respond, but he wasn’t present in the room. There was a short delay before Gallegos arrived. When he finally did, one of his assistants briefly whispered in his ear, presumably telling him what he had missed.
Gallegos, having missed the judge’s explanation of her decision, seemed somewhat confused by her rationale, which he hadn’t heard in its entirety. He said he would respect whatever decision to court made and said he thought that, in the end, justice would prevail.
“The true evidence will come out sooner or later,” Gallegos said.
◼ Prior posts on this case: Sophie Buttercup Rocheleau, Nicholas Benjamin Stoiber and Juan Joseph Ferrer, the three suspects in the Anderson-Jordet killing, who had accepted the plea deals that have now been tossed. HERE
What's next? Re-filing. A Preliminary Hearing. A trial or another set of plea deals.
Preliminary hearing set for May 28 at 8:30 a.m.