Friday, May 16, 2014

For God's Sake, How Many More Of These Guys Are Out There?

From the early days of Gallegos' tenure (2003 to now), the complaint has been, they're out before the ink is dry. We've chronicled a never-ending parade of bizarre plea bargains, the endless saga of letting seriously bad guys go. Charges reduced to nothing. Out on probation, picked up again, let out again, increasingly violent, let out again, and again, and again til someone ends up shot, or dead.

The Escalation of 'Wild Bill' - Documents raise questions about an officer's shooting - Thadeus Greenson/The Journal
It was about 2:45 p.m. on May 6, when a Humboldt County Sheriff's deputy and a sergeant arrived at a residence on Shelter Cove's Kelly Road, where 55-year-old William Lloyd Nelson was living. Several weeks earlier, Nelson's girlfriend of 15 years, and the mother of his son, filed a request for a domestic violence restraining order from the Humboldt County Superior Court, alleging that Nelson had threatened her life, coming to her door with a loaded Glock pistol in one hand and an ax in the other. She alleged that Nelson knocked holes in her walls with the ax and "waved the gun around" while threatening her. The court set the matter for a hearing and granted the temporary restraining order, as well as an accompanying "move-out" order that required Nelson to immediately vacate the residence, which was owned by his girlfriend and her father.

Court records indicate deputies initially attempted to serve Nelson with the order on April 27 but were unable to find him. They returned on May 6 and, according to Sheriff Mike Downey, spoke with Nelson. Downey declined to discuss the exchange in detail, but said the situation escalated and culminated with Nelson opening fire on the officers with a handgun, shooting one in the chest before retreating into the home. Downey said the officers returned fire as they attempted to flee to safety. A bullet-proof vest likely saved the injured deputy's life, Downey said, adding that he was shot at "close proximity."

...Probation reports from Nelson's prior convictions, unsealed after he was charged May 9 with the attempted murder of a police officer, show a string of contacts between Nelson and local law enforcement dating back to 2006. They paint a picture of a man with a propensity for stock piling weapons and disregarding the terms of his probation, and they raise a host of questions....

August of 2006... pulled over for speeding on U.S. Highway 101 and found to be drunk...handcuffed and placed in a patrol car, at which point he "proceeded to smash the window of the vehicle." A search of Nelson's car found a pair of semi-automatic pistols, a shotgun, a number of loaded magazines and night vision binoculars. Charged with drunk driving, felony vandalism and resisting arrest, Nelson ultimately pleaded guilty to a single count of misdemeanor drunk driving, commonly known as a "wet and reckless," and was placed on three year's summary probation.

(June 2007) assaulted a man with a firearm.... The case went to trial but the jury hung, after which Nelson pleaded no contest to a single count of negligently discharging a firearm. He was sentenced to time served and three year's summary probation.

(July 2008/2009?) prosecutors filed a complaint alleging Nelson had used an assault rifle to shoot up a cell phone tower neighboring his Shelter Cove home....

"Some Shelter Cove residents referred to him as 'Wild Bill' and it was known when the defendant became angry with people he would show up at their residences and shoot 'stuff,'"...
Read the whole piece, there's more, and more and more - and were it not for a bulletproof vest, we'd have another murder on the docket.

January of next year cannot come soon enough.

How many more? How many increasingly violent repeat offenders that Gallegos has failed to do anything about? How many more people will get hurt? How many more will die?

UPDATE: Deputy Shot in Shelter Cove, Suspect in Custody - Thadeus Greenson/The Journal
In May 2011, Nelson was sentenced to serve 336 days in county jail, three years in prison and three years probation after being convicted of felony vandalism, shooting at an unoccupied vehicle, discharging a firearm in a negligent manner and possessing a firearm within 10 years of a felony conviction.
(UPDATING) Reports of Shooting in Shelter Cove - ANDREW GOFF/Lost Coast Outpost 5/6/14
(UPDATED) Nelson Arrested: Shelter Cove Shooting Suspect Taken Into Custody Early This Morning - Kym Kemp/Lost Coast Outpost 5/7/14
Update: Deputy shot in chest during Shelter Cove eviction - Times-Standard 5/7/14
Suspect arrested in shooting of California deputy - SF EXAMINER 5/7/14


  1. A very interesting story. Very informatiive.

    "Wild Bill" should have been in prison!

  2. Pretty amazing there has not been more comment on this one? I'm really surprised.

    This is part of PVG's legacy.


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