Friday, September 26, 2014

Eureka prayer lawsuit settled, city to pay $16K in attorney's fees

City to cease endorsing mayor's breakfast
After nearly two years of hearings, a lawsuit over prayer breakfasts sponsored by Eureka city officials was settled Thursday, but plans are in motion to appeal a previous ruling made on invocations at city council meetings.
Clarification about the prayer lawsuit that was not clear from the Times-Standard article - John Chiv/Words Worth
Mike Newman: We did not settle on the invocation issue, we are free to continue our policy. What was settled was the matter about the Mayor involving City Personnel in a Prayer breakfast several years ago.

Marian Brady: As is true with any unfounded claim or lawsuit against the City, the City has to make decisions about the costs to defend and the risk the claim poses. In this case, it was decided to pay Ms. Beaton a portion of her attorneys’ fees (no monetary damages were paid to her) and permit her to go forward with her appeal, without further cost to the City, to end the matter.
Is Peter Martin hurting for actual clients because he sure has a lot of free time to collect attorney fees on behalf of "causes" - John Chiv/Words Worth

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The DA of San Luis Obispo got it right!

District Attorney Gerry Shea resigning so DA-elect Dan Dow can assume the post. - The Tribune
District Attorney Gerry Shea will step down two months before his current term expires and allow newly elected District Attorney Dan Dow to take over early.

“I’m really convinced it’s in the best interest of the office to do this,” Shea said, noting that there are many significant policy and hiring choices that Dow should be allowed to make sooner rather than later.
Sadly, it looks like our particular train wreck will continue into January.

Another high profile jury trial continued; Benjamin Carter discovery leads to motion to continue

On October 20, three jury trials were scheduled. Timothy Littlefield, Benjamin Carter and Vincent Sanchez. - John Chiv/Words Worth

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Will he won't he go to trial for the third time?

Timothy Floyd Littlefield's victim will have to keep waiting to see if there will be yet another trial or if appeals court will uphold the second trial jury verdict. - John Chiv/Words Worth

Chiv reports that DDA Luke Brownfield will prosecute the case. What, pray tell, qualifies Luke Brownfield to try a difficult sexual assault case?

Who, in the DA's Office right now, is qualified?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Why the gag order? Again.

Gag order in Fieldbrook double homicide case; Lucerne man pleads not guilty - Juniper Rose/Times-Standard

The Lucerne man charged in this month's Fieldbrook double homicide has pleaded not guilty to murder charges and is set to appear in Humboldt County Superior Court again in October.

Jason Michael Arreaga, 29, faces two murder counts and four special allegations related to the use of a firearm, according to court documents. The Humboldt County District Attorney's Office has also submitted that the two murder counts qualify as a special circumstance case, or eligible for a punishment of life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty.

Arreaga has a pre-preliminary hearing on Oct. 6, and his preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 15...

The Oct. 6 hearing will be a closed court session, according to the district attorney's office.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

"Marijuana- the peaceful herb. It's medicine! And that's why we should encourage everybody to grow a couple hundred plants."

◼ from the comments, here: MCSO: Brother Kills Brother in Yesterday’s Shooting - Kym Kemp/LoCo

Yep. It's always the same. Don't blame pot, oh no. Or the pot growers, either. No, no.

Compare and contrast the reactions and consequences of this (and any other pot related shooting) to the outrage when it's a cop shooting a person with a weapon. Just as a asocial experiment. Why is this an "Oh well..." and the other, well, what would you call it?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Surf's up?

Where is Paul Gallegos?

"Every week we come back and hear the same excuse"; attorneys in Ferrer case express frustration with delays by Gallegos - John Chiv/Words Worth

Today in Courtroom 4, the Ferrer case was scheduled for status of discovery and a motion to dismiss the case against Sophie Rocheleau. Paul Gallegos, who is prosecuting the case, has missed several court dates and hearings have been continued several times.

That happened again today. ADA Kelly Neel told the court some time when the hearing was underway that Mr. Gallegos is ill and that decisions regarding issues brought up by Mr. Marek Reavis who represents Juan Ferrer and Mr. Benjamin Okin, who represents Rocheleau, be discussed when Mr. Gallegos is back next week....

"Every week we come back and hear the same excuse," was Mr. Reavis' response and frustration when Ms. Neel responded to his statements at the start of hearing.

Several times, Mr. Reavis and the attorneys have requested X-rays and information on autopsy essential to their case, and finally today, only Mr. Reavis received two CDS, both which he said were duplicates. There were two dozen "images that had never been discovered before, according to Mr. Reavis." He told the Judge that "this is material that should have been discovered the first week."

He told Judge Reinholtsen he renews his request for sanctions. Mr.Okin and Ms. Jennifer Dixon who represents Nicholas Stoiber did not even get these CDS. - Read the rest.

C'mon, MAN! It's a couple more months is all. Then you're free. DO YOUR JOB.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Fieldbrook homicide suspect arraigned today; special circumstance affects penalty

Jury in Fieldbrook double homicide case second trial finds Arreaga not guilty on both counts - John Chiv/Words Worth 2/25/2016

Fieldbrook homicide suspect Jason Michael Arreaga was arraigned in Courtroom 2 today. Due to the three special allegations added to the murder charges, it can affect his penalty. People have not made a decision yet about what penalty to seek. - John Chiv/Words Worth

When the Judge was reading the charges, Arreaga looked down at the floor. Arreaga is charged with two counts of murder, CA Penal Code 187 (a) with special allegations of personally and intentionally discharging a firearm; great bodily injury/death; and a special circumstances under 190.2 (a) which if proven true would result in life without parole or the death penalty being sought.

Fieldbrook double homicide suspect pleads not guilty - KIEM-TV News Channel 3

Earlier reports/Background

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

(Double) Homicide in Fieldbrook UPDATED

Sept 8, 2014
Fieldbrook homicide suspect Jason Michael Arreaga was arraigned in Courtroom 2 today. Due to the three special allegations added to the murder charges, it can affect his penalty. People have not made a decision yet about what penalty to seek. - John Chiv/Words Worth

When the Judge was reading the charges, Arreaga looked down at the floor. Arreaga is charged with two counts of murder, CA Penal Code 187 (a) with special allegations of personally and intentionally discharging a firearm; great bodily injury/death; and a special circumstances under 190.2 (a) which if proven true would result in life without parole or the death penalty being sought.

Fieldbrook double homicide suspect pleads not guilty - KIEM-TV News Channel

(UPDATING) Sheriff’s Office Responding to Suspected Homicide in Fieldbrook - LoCo 3 Sept 3, 2014

UPDATE, 6:57 p.m.: According to scanner traffic, dispatch is calling this a double homicide.

Second update: Fieldbrook homicide investigation confirmed - TS
Updated: Homicide in Fieldbrook - Thadeus Greenson/Journal

Facebook is as good as a news source. "They just said on scanner they know the suspects names and vehicle armed and dangerous." Names are mentioned, I will refrain from posting them until there's confirmation. But apparently it's not in much doubt

Double homicide in Fieldbrook, suspect apprehended - Mad River Union HCSO Press Release 3 Sept 4, 2014


HCSO: Suspect in Fieldbrook double homicide arrested - Times-Standard HCSO Press Release

Victims Named in Fieldbrook Double Homicide, Suspect Arrested on 101 Near Loleta - Andrew Goff/LoCo Sept 4, 2014
At 12:27 this morning, several law enforcement agencies worked together to carefully choreograph a traffic stop on the suspects’ vehicle, which had been spotted traveling on 101 south of Eureka. Audio from the scanner (at the link)
Third Update: Victims identified, arrest in Fieldbrook double homicide - Juniper Rose/Times-Standard

Eureka Police Department Chief Andrew Mills confirmed an EPD detective assisted by deputies took three people into custody in connection with the Fieldbrook double homicide just after midnight, but said the sheriff's office would need to release further details. Sheriff's office Lt. Steve Knight said he could confirm one arrest: Jason Michael Arreaga, 29 years old from Lucerne, California. He said Fieldbrook Road is now open.

According to a sheriff's office release, the first deputy arrived on scene at 5:17 p.m. The deputy immediately learned there were two victims, an adult male, later identified as Harley Wayne Hammers Jr. 37 years old, from Eureka and an adult female, later identified as Angel Robin Tully, 37 years old, from Eureka, both whom had been shot.

Fieldbrook double homicide suspect(s) arrested. Sheriff's office: Eureka residents shot after argument - Juniper Rose/Times-Standard

Hours after a double homicide left the small community of Fieldbrook in shock, a Eureka police officer and Humboldt County Sheriff's Office deputies took three suspects into custody early Thursday morning in Loleta, authorities said.

The Eddie Lee Trial: Murder, robbery, mutilation UPDATED

You know, this one doesn't have the oh-so-famous lawyer involved, but it really is a very interesting case, on a lot of levels - one of them the effect of Pot on a good student, who could have made something good out of his life.

Witness and DA in Eddie Lee case make an oops in Lee case; Judge has to fix it - John Chiv/Words Worth Sept 4, 2014

Father-son like relationship triumphed over Lee's past heroin use, victim's past cocaine use - John Chiv/Words Worth Sept 3, 2014
Judge Feeney clarifies sexual penetration charge in Lee case - John Chiv/Words Worth Sept 3, 2014

(Essentially, the statute has to do with mutilation of remains - in this case, burning)

Limmie Greg Curry trial set for November 10; defense requests daily transcripts of Lee trial - John Chiv/Words Worth Sept 3, 2014
Eddie Lee "fell in love with this area" and chose HSU over other options; the story of a dreamer who ended up accused as a murderer - John Chiv/Words Worth Sept 2, 2014
Mr. Stallworth ended his opening statments by telling the story of Eddie Lee. A young child of bi-racial parents with blue eyes and wavy black hair that everyone loved. A kid and a young man who never got in trouble, even being raised in Michigan, in a city of crime. Lee was recruited into a mentor program, "I had a Dream" as a youth, got great grades. Lee chose HSU instead of UC Davis or Sacramento State and pre-med major in biology because he "fell in love with this area."...

He had problems finding affordable housing in Arcata. Mr. Stallworth said that at this point he met Moriah Foster, a cocaine user who "smoked a lot of marijuana" and "she changed his life." Lee was in love for the first time.
Eddie Lee to "take the stand" ; "He has waited 41/2 years to tell you what happened and he will tell you what happened" - John Chiv/Words Worth Sept 2, 2014
"This is not a ID case. Limmie Curry killed William Reid. Eddie Lee was present. My question to you is did Eddie Lee know? Did he aid and abet? That is your task."

"Eddie was 21 years old when he was arrested and charged. He has been waiting 4 1/2 years to come and tell you what happened. He will fill in the gaps in this case; everything else is conjecture."
Crime of murder, murder committed while commission of robbery, mutilation of grave remains and special allegation of sexual penetration of human remains are the alleged charges the District Attorney's office filed against Eddie Lee, whose jury trial started today. - John Chiv/Words Worth Sept 2, 2014
"In a society where personal worth is equated with economic growth and guns are readily available, it is surprising we don't have more violence" - John Chiv/Words Worth Sept 2, 2014
DOLLISON’S DOCKET: Marijuana, Violence and Greed - Allan Dollison/Lost Coast Outpost

Gallegos' Opening Statement
Whatever happened to Eddie David Lee? - On Feb 23, 2011, we asked: Almost a year ago Eddie David Lee pled not guilty to murder charges. Where is he now and where is Gallegos at on this case?


Eddie Lee and Limmie Greg Curry cases to be tried separately - John Chiv/Words Worth Jun 2, 2014
Eddie Lee and Limmie Greg Curry pre-trial conference update. Will Curry's attorney make an appearance? - John Chiv/Words Worth Apr 4, 2014
Limmie Curry and Eddie Lee - Times-Standard Jul 24, 2013
Jurors hear closing arguments in Curry case; defense: Evidence points to other murder suspect...

After listening to more than two months of testimony in the case, jurors on Tuesday heard two distinctly different arguments as to what story that evidence tells.

In the portion of his closing statement that jurors heard Tuesday, Fletcher said evidence in the case clearly indicates someone else is guilty of William “Billie” Reid's murder, and that Curry has been set up to take the blame. Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos, on the other hand, told jurors that evidence in the case points to only one conclusion: That Curry shot and killed Reid on his rural property off State Route 299 near Willow Creek, doused his body with gasoline and set it aflame, later burying Reid's charred skeletal remains on the property.

Prosecutors allege that Curry and Eddie David Lee killed Reid on Feb. 3, 2010, in order to rob him and take over his marijuana growing operation. Eddie Lee, Reid's roommate, has pleaded not guilty in the case and is slated to stand trial in January.
We welcome federal attention -- in the right places - Times-Standard EDITORIAL Mar 16, 2012
Marijuana cultivation by some estimates accounts for 26 percent of Humboldt County's economy. It's not going to disappear, despite decades of federal effort. But appropriate use of federal power in other ways can be far more helpful.

And so we applaud the recent decision by the U.S. Attorney's Office to prosecute a Humboldt County murder case. It is the first time in decades -- indeed, the only time in local enforcement officials' memory -- that the federal government has done so.
Pre-trial set for suspect in Willow Creek murder case - Times-Standard TOPIX Comment Thread Sep 6, 2010
Icky-sounding Murder Investigation - North Coast Journal Feb 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Driving around hunting down the victims, shooting them in the face - Insane? Or what?

Possible Insanity Defense in Marijuana Murder Case - Thadeus Greenson/The Journal

Allegedly, of course.

It must be crimes of 2010 day.


Kneeland Man Taps Eccentric, Powerhouse Lawyer for Murder Defense - Thadeus Greenson/The Journal Jun 10, 2014
Mikal Xylon Wilde, 32, was indicted federally March 1, 2012 on six counts, including murder in the commission of a narcotics offense, for the Aug. 25, 2010 fatal shooting of Mario Roberto Juarez-Madrid, of Santa Rosa, Guatemala, on a large-scale marijuana growing operation near Kneeland. Wilde — the first Humboldt County resident to be federally prosecuted for murder in decades — began working toward a plea agreement with the feds in December, after they decided not to seek the death penalty in the case.

...The interesting about face is made all the more so by Wilde’s choice of attorney. The long-haired Serra is a bit of a cult figure in the legal profession.
Shooting victim expected to testify against his attacker - Sep 14, 2011
Horror - Sep 21, 2010
On Aug. 25, they went to the Kneeland Airport to call someone to pick them up, the statement reads. Later that day, Wilde came to the property and got into an argument with the two men who had protested, and said he was mad that they had left the property. Wilde left, then came back, driving up to a travel trailer on the property where the two men were standing outside. The other man was inside the trailer, according to the documents.

Wilde pulled out a revolver and fired six shots, the man who was inside the trailer told deputies, and the other two ran. Wilde ran after them, and 20 minutes later, the man in the trailer heard three shots. The man in the trailer hid in the woods the remainder of the night, the statement said, and saw Wilde driving along the roads in his truck, shining a spotlight into the woods. The next morning, the man contacted a jogger, who led deputies to him.
.four gunshot victims - Aug 26, 2010
Cal Fire News: Eureka: Humboldt SO SWAT Responding, 10-20 in a remote area not accessible to patrol vehicles, nothing has been confirmed yet. #PotGrow
about an hour ago
Cal Fire News: Eureka: 3 reported deceased GSW victims have not been located, the RP was shot in face, helicoptered to a hospital #PotGrow
about an hour ago
Cal Fire News: #BreakingNews - Eureka area - LEO/EMS - 3 unconfirmed DOA gunshot vics at a marijuana grow, 4th civ victim at Kneeland Helitack base. 154.74
Do you get the feeling the Feds are here to do the job Gallegos won't do? - Mar 12, 2012
Mikal Xylon Wilde pleads not guilty - Sep 30, 2011