Sunday, August 24, 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

Lethal levels

Of Meth.

In his system.

4 dead.

Others maimed.

A horrific accident.

A community stunned.

Families devastated.

Unimaginable pain. Anguish.

A habitual user?

Were all those teenagers exposed to this on a daily basis? Was watching their parents destroy themselves a part of their life? Did they say, Dad, Mom, you shouldn't oughtta be doing this stuff? And did it fall on deaf ears? And how many more like this are out there right now?

So, if you are a user, or a dealer - does this wake you up at all? Do you keep on using? Or do you have the will to get clean?

Toxicology Report Reveals Driver in Fatal Hydesville Accident Intoxicated INTOXICATED? INTOXICATED?

"Daniel Morris was very high, and his methamphetamine level was at 0.77 mg/L," said Deputy Coroner Roy Horton. "Methamphetamine levels are potentially toxic around 0.2 mg/L, and that's been known to kill."

Morris, a 40-year-old Fortuna resident, died in the crash. He was driving a 2002 Dodge Dakota pickup truck just east of Fisher Road near Hydesville around 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 10 when the vehicle veered off the road and ran head-on into a tree, according to a California Highway Patrol press release. Three other Fortuna residents, including 33-year-old Alisha Marie Summerfield, her 13-year-old daughter Judith Maxine Martin and 20-year-old Savanna Nicole Line Ramirez were also killed.

Monday, August 18, 2014

I agree with John on this

Public safety changes that can be enacted before November and won't cost us a dime; Paul step down, let Maggie take over - John Chiv/Words Worth

This not showing up for cases, and when you do, showing up unprepared, would not be tolerated in a low-level hire, and it should not be tolerated in a highly paid District Attorney, even if he does have senioritis. Even if he gave himself lame-duck status. Even. If.

For God's sake, your supporters tout your intelligence and competence, can't you at least throw them a bone and show up for court prepared? Give them a little tiny reason to be proud of having slavishly supported you all these years.

Now Paul wants to (RE) consolidate the Ferrer defendants

People oppose motion to sever Ferrer but have yet to file; another date set - John Chiv/Words Worth

So now there is another date set for the motion to (re)consolidate.

Another delay, delay, delay, not ready, mixed messages...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sneaky Plea Deal fails

Shame. This is the one where the deal was killed by one judge, so they schlepped it to another one, without telling the Judge or notifying the victim or her attorney. Good Going, Paul, and Neal.

Allison Jackson scores another win for victim; deal between Gallegos and Sanders busted - John Chiv/Words Worth

The case is (NOW) scheduled to go to trial on November 3 at 8:30 a.m.. Trial Confirmation is on Oct 20 at 3 p.m. and pre-trial conference on September 8 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 4.

Zach Curtis hung out to dry - again.

Allison Jackson puts a crimp in secret plea deal - John Chiv/Words Worth Jul 30, 2014
Previous plea deal rejected back on table with no victim notification; exact deal - John Chiv/Words Worth Jun 30, 2014
Judge Feeney tentatively rejects Workman plea deal; final decision is the same, case to go to jury trial - John Chiv/Words Worth Apr 15, 2014
Elmy Workman sentencing postponed again, this time defense requests continuance based on amended probation report - John Chiv/Words Worth Apr 3, 2014
Elmy Workman sentencing postponed again. - John Chiv/Words Worth Mar 20, 2014
Defense and private attorneys run the courtroom under Paul's watch? - John Chiv/Words Worth Mar 12, 2014
Another case where comments sections get out of control - Real News From The North Coast June 3, 2012
Suspect arrested after woman stabbed in Arcata - Times-Standard May 31, 2012
Blue Laker Slashed, One Arrested - Arcata Eye May 30, 2012

Tuesday, May 29 at approximately 6:45 p.m., officers responded to Mad River Community Hospital on the report of a woman arriving at the emergency room that had just been stabbed....The victim attempted to flag down the suspect to speak with her adult son who was in the vehicle.

According to Arcata Police, when the suspect and victim pulled their vehicles off the roadway, the discussion turned to an argument. During the argument, the suspect slashed the victim across the abdomen with a knife, resulting in a moderate injury requiring hospitalization.

APD Press Release - May 29, 2012

Then there's Vincent...

Vincent Sanchez held to answer on all charges, before murder smoked bowls of marijuana - John Chiv/Words Worth Aug 13, 2014

His brother preaching to him about Mormonism and gay sex between his brother and Rick Storre bothered Sanchez - John Chiv/Words Worth Aug 13, 2014

Vincent Sanchez confessed and provided description of gun he used to Det. Harpham - John Chiv/Words Worth Aug 13, 2014

...Richard Storre's body was discovered slumped in an armchair and Lance Henry's body was in the hallway. Sanchez told Det. Harpham after killing two people he left the sawed off 12 gauge shotgun at the National Guard Armory. That gun was recovered on the 25th at that location on March 25. The bodies were discovered on March 26....

Note: Chiv often posts early details of court proceedings, and then fleshes the story out later in the day, so it is recommended that you check back, to catch the full post, and the full flavor of the proceedings...

Vincent Sanchez preliminary continued at request of DA; new date Aug 13 - John Chiv/Words Worth Jul 21, 2014
Harris street double murder suspect Vincent Sanchez's preliminary hearing was continued until August 13 at the request of the People. DDA Zach Curtis requested the continuanxe because ADA Kelly Neel who is prosecuting the case has been out sick and "needs time to prepare....
Double murder suspect Vincent Sanchez got his wish, or did he? - John Chiv/Words Worth Jul 9, 2014
"I don't want to wait 6 weeks", Vincent Sanchez disposition continued after he argues with his attorney in court - John Chiv/Words Worth Jul 2, 2014
Vincent Sanchez's record requested from Metropolitan State Hospital - John Chiv/Words Worth Jul 2, 2014
Harris double murder suspect Vincent Sanchez court hearing today - John Chiv/Words Worth May 5, 2014
Double murder suspect allegedly gave confession to police, but allegedly also has no recollection of what he did - John Chiv/Words Worth Apr 1, 2014
Vincent Sanchez arrested in double murder homicide on Harris - John Chiv/Words Worth Mar 27, 2014

There's more at LoCo, TS, and other local media, will update links later.

EPD: Suspect in Last Night’s Double Homicide in Custody - Hank Sims/Lost Coast Outpost Mar 27, 2014
UPDATE, 1:42 p.m.: The name of the second victim has been released. The News Channel 3 Facebook page reports the coroner has announced the identity as being that of 25-year-old Lance Delbert Henry, reportedly the half brother of Vinnie Sanchez, the suspect in custody for the crime.

# # #

UPDATE, 10:02 p.m.: The News Channel 3 Facebook page reports the coroner’s office has confirmed one of the victims as 60-year-old Richard “Rick” Storre and are working to identify the second victim.

Storre was the longtime owner of Freshwater Farms.
Homicide in Eureka Home; Caller Tells Police of ‘Large Amount of Blood’ - Hank Sims/Lost Coast Outpost Mar 26, 2014
Eureka Car-Kicking Spree Ends When Suspect Kicks Police Car - Hank Sims/Lost Coast Outpost Feb 11, 2013
Suspected burglar found with sword, hatchet - Sean Garmire/The Times-Standard Jan 14/2009

Delays and continuances continue

Silverio Sanchez preliminary hearing vacated based on new information - John Chiv/Words Worth

Canine brings attempted murder suspect Sanchez out of hiding and leads to arrest - John Chiv/Words Worth May 1, 2014

Silverio Sanchez court hearing this afternoon; the cousin of the fugitive Sanchez - John Chiv/Words Worth May 12, 2014
This afternoon Silverio Sanchez was scheduled for a court hearing at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 4. Same name but not the guy undone by the canine. Same family, same name even the middle and they are cousins.
Ronald Sanchez, Silverio Sanchez's brother arraigned today on parole violation - John Chiv/Words Worth May 8, 2014
Fugitive Silverio Sanchez arraigned in two different courtrooms, old and new charges - John Chiv/Words Worth May 5, 2014
Ben McLaughlin appointed for all cases. New charges are serious violent felonies. Time not waived for recent charges and one of the old cases. Previous cases include misdemeanors and one felony.
Silverio Sanchez preliminary hearing rescheduled for August 12 due to scheduling - John Chiv/Words Worth Aug 8, 2014
Updated information on Silverio Sanchez aka PAL - John Chiv/Words Worth Apr 9, 2014
Warrant issued for Silverio Sanchez for the intentional assault of a United States Forest Service Law Enforcement Agent - John Chiv/Words Worth Apr 8, 2014
Silverio Sanchez preliminary hearing this morning, Eddie Lee case update Aug 6, 2014
"We love him", Team Silverio in court to show solidarity and support - John Chiv/Words Worth Aug 6, 2014
Siverio Sanchez bail enhanced by 5 million - John Chiv/Words Worth May 2, 2014
Silverio Sanchez preliminary hearing continued until tomorrow - John Chiv/Words Worth Aug 12, 2014

The moral of the story is...

'I Need To Hide My Roommate' - Accused Murderer Asked Siri To Help Dump Victim's Body - IBTimes [UK]

Among other things: Bravo's trial has heard about evidence detectives gathered from the defendant's iPhone, including the fact that he used the phone's flashlight nine separate times from 11.31pm to 12:01am on the day Aguilar disappeared....

The moral of the story is...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

First witness testifies in preliminary hearing for Benjamin Carter who called LOCO instead of his defense attorney

Benjamin Carter's sister-in law, Margaret Bitter, was the first witness to testify for the People this morning in a preliminary hearing held in Courtroom 4. - JOHN CHIV/WORDS WORTH 8/12/14

The preliminary that started mid-morning may continue tomorrow. DDA Luke Brownfield is prosecuting the case with Detective Franco assigned as lead investigator. Michael Acosta represents Carter who was in court this morning in an orange jumpsuit.

Carter is the fugitive who called LOCO to tell his story while on the run from law enforcement...

Witness in Carter case appointed lawyer; defense has not had chance to question - JOHN CHIV/WORDS WORTH 8/12/14

How to work for the defense as a prosecution witness; starring Benjamin Carter's sister-in-law - JOHN CHIV/WORDS WORTH 8/12/14

This morning Margaret Bitter testified at the preliminary hearing for Benjamin Carter. There are two other posts and this one is just an excerpt of her testimony this morning.

Fortunately for her, the Judge appointed her a lawyer before she got deeper into her testimony....


Homicide Suspect Ben Carter Returned to Humboldt County Jail - Kym Kemp/Loco 6/2/14

Man Allegedly Tries to Run Over Ex Near Scene of April Homicide - Kym Kemp/Loco 5/26/14
US Marshals Say Homicide Suspect Benjamin Carter Member of White Supremacy Gang - Kym Kemp/Loco 5/14/14
[UPDATED w/Information About Arrest—Found at Residence of Former SoHum Woman] Homicide Suspect Ben Carter Arrested in Arizona - Kym Kemp/Loco 5/13/14
Homicide Suspect on the Run Gives the Outpost His Side of the Story - Kym Kemp/Loco 5/4/14
$1.25 Million Arrest Warrant Bail Set for SoHum Homicide Suspect - Kym Kemp/Loco 4/25/14
Southern Humboldt Homicide Story Clarified by HCSO - Kym Kemp/Loco 4/21/14
Body Reportedly Found West of Garberville - Kym Kemp/Loco 4/19/14
(UPDATE) Wanted for Questioning in Homicide: Benjamin Carter - Kym Kemp/Loco 4/1914
Law Enforcement Looking for Homicide Suspect in Southern Humboldt - Kym Kemp/Loco 4/1814

Monday, August 11, 2014

Jurors being questioned in Eddie Lee trial; first witness expected to be called around September 2

Today in Courtroom 1, Judge John Feeney, District Attorney Paul Gallegos and Eddie Lee's Bay area attorney Darryl Stallworth questioned potential jurors for Lee's trial, which is expected to start around September 2. -  - John Chiv/Words Worth

Related, history:
New trial date for Limmie Greg Curry who is accused of murdering William Reid allegedly for marijuana - John Chiv/Words Worth 6/27/14
Hung jury in Curry case; mistrial declared as jurors can't agree - Thadeus Greenson/Times-Standard 7/31/13
Icky-sounding Murder Investigation - Ryan Burns/The Journal 2/22/10

Motion to sever in Ferrer granted, Gallegos does not show up, hangs DDA Curtis out to dry

Defense attorneys are still awaiting discovery and District Attorney Paul Gallegos who opposed the motion to sever already had the case continued once and today did not even show up for Court. Instead he had DDA Zach Curtis ask for another week with no reason, again. - John Chiv/Words Worth 8/11/14 2:31

The defense attorneys were frustrated and asked their motion to sever be granted. Judge Reinholtsen said he cannot rule if People have not responded.When Mr. Curtis was asked to comment he said it is not case and that if defense attorneys were going to criticize Mr. Gallegos, "it is more appropriate to have Mr. Gallegos here."

Mr. Reavis responded with, "I agree."

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Prosecutor: Murder Conviction Thanks to Bravery of Witnesses

The day after a Humboldt County jury convicted 28-year-old Bodhi Tree of double murder, the prosecutor on the case said the result would not have been possible if not for the courage of several citizens. - Thadeus Greenson/The Journal

“There were some civilian witnesses that put their individual safety on the line to testify, and without their testimony we wouldn’t have gotten this verdict,” said Deputy District Attorney Elan Firpo. “It came down to regular people being very brave.”

The trial, which culminated with the jury convicting Tree Friday of second degree murder for the killings of 18-year-old Christina Schwartz and 27-year-old Allan “Sunshine” Marcet at an Arcata house party on May 18, 2013 and the attempted murder of a Eureka man two days earlier, turned into a trial by attrition. With the trial initially slated to span two months, attorneys walked 900 potential jurors through hardship questionnaires before finding 16 — 12 jurors and four alternates — willing and able to serve. But the trial dragged on, with new evidence coming to light that stretched it to almost three months. Three jurors had been excused by the time the case was submitted to the jury Tuesday afternoon...

Tree, who screamed out, “This is Bullshit,” and pledged to appeal the verdict as it was being read, is due to be sentenced Aug. 22, though Firpo said that date is likely to be pushed back into September to allow Schwartz’s family to be present.

While Firpo said she is pleased and relieved to put the Tree trial behind her, there appears to be little rest in her future as she’s prosecuting Gary Lee Bullock, who stands accused of the Jan. 1 slaying of St. Bernard’s Parish pastor Father Eric Freed. His trial is slated to begin in November.

Bodhi Tree threw temper tantrum in court. This is bullshit. Saying I did something I didn't. - John Chiv/Words Worth
For Rhett, Christina and Sunshine. Thank you Tree jury - John Chiv/Words Worth

BREAKING! Bodhi Tree Guilty 2nd degree murder Arcata and attempted murder in Eureka
Closing arguments: Bodhi Tree Murder Trial, It's with the jury now
Tree trial resumes W/Updates
Bodhi Tree End Game - 7/29/14
Bodhi Tree gamechangers? W/Updates - 7/23/14
Bodhi Tree Murder Trial: DAILY UPDATES, running record.

From everything I heard during the trial, Élan Firpo was on her own. She did not have the usual DA Investigator at her side, as it should have been. Kudos to her. Thanks to the witnesses, condolences and respect to the parents of the victims.

And kudos to John Chiv, who covered the trial throughout, to Paul Mann from the Mad River Union, Lorna Rodriguez and Will Houston from the Times-Standaard, Lashay from News Channel 3 for their attendance and coverage. It matters.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Booking Shrek

Or else the Martians have landed.

Why Did it Take Two Years for an Embezzlement Sentence to Begin?

link - Grant Scott-Goforth

BREAKING! Bodhi Tree Guilty 2nd degree murder Arcata and attempted murder in Eureka

◼ BREAKING NEWS: Bodhi Tree threw temper tantrum in court. This is bullshit. Saying I did something i didnt. - John Chiv/Words Worth (5:15) (linked here at 5:24)

Elan Firpo: Guilty: 2 counts of 2nd degree murder + special allegations. Guilty: 1 count of attempted murder.
To the witnesses and officers and criminalists: thank you thank you thank you.

Bodhi Tree to be sentenced on Aug. 22. - Times Standard - (5:41)


Bodhi Tree guilty of murder, attempted murder, firearm use - Mad River Union (6:15)
Tree could get 25 years each for the two murders plus 12 years for the attempted murder.

Tree’s use of a firearm in the murder could get him an extra 25 years for each special allegation, for a total of additional 50 years on top of the basic sentences.
Bodhi Tree Found Guilty of Second-Degree Murder Lost Coast Outpost (6:16)

Allan Dollison on Lost Coast OutpostOk here is some law. You are charged with Murder. A prosecutor has the option of asking for a conviction on 1st Degree or 2nd Degree from the Jury. That decision is made after you have evaluated all of the evidence. Convictability on 1st v 2nd does play a role. They can ask for a 1st Degree and if the jury can't make a finding on 1st then they have an option to convict of 2nd degree. Or the prosecutor can send to the Jury as only a 2nd. There is NO discretion by the court now on sentencing. Tree gets 15-L each on both 2nd degree, but the fire arms enhancement adds 25 additional years each, so those sentences are actually 40-L, or 80-L. He could get another 7-L for Rhett August. If affirmed on appeal (over 90% chance) then Bodhi Tree will die in prison. Parole process for murder is also all but impossible. It is 4-part, and over 98% fail the very first part. Good win for Élan Firpo and small solace for the families who lost their loved ones.

Bodhi Tree guilty of murder, attempted murder, firearm use - Mad River Union 8/8/14

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Closing arguments: Bodhi Tree Murder Trial, It's with the jury now

Only one alternate juror was left in Tree case and one just left courtroom in tears - John Chiv/Words Worth 8/6/14

Standing in the hallway for other cases, courtroom 4 has been closed three times for Tree case - John Chiv/Words Worth 8/6/14

"Bodhi Tree is a cold blooded killer who kills people he barely knows" - John Chiv/Words Worth 8/5/14
The defense made a big deal about motive in their closing. Ms. Firpo said motive was an issue in this case. "Bodhi Tree is a cold blooded killer who kills people he barely knows. Mr. Tree barely needs a motive to shoot people."

"He shot Rhett because Rhett didn't defend him. He shot two young people whose crime was that Christina didn't want to get with him and Sunshine defended Christina."
"Most of Humboldt County is dodgy about marijuana" Firpo counters defense closing - John Chiv/Words Worth 8/5/14
That is the one statement made by Mr. Russo this morning as the defense is still presenting it's closing on the Eureka case that was free of defense spin.

The defense is hoping the questions they raise in closing may sway the jury however they are relying that the jury may have complete amnesia. If you only rely on closing or have not followed the trial daily, you might buy the hogwash the defense is presenting....
Closing arguments over in Tree cade, case sent to jury - John Chiv/Words Worth 8/5/14
Defense in Tree case insults victim's families, friends, prosecution and witnesses - John Chiv/Words Worth 8/5/14
Sean Butler Smith fooled police, so did Charles Crow, and "put on a show for you" - John Chiv/Words Worth 8/5/14
"What we say is not evidence, we are trying to persuade you" - John Chiv/Words Worth 8/5/14

Note: Chiv often posts early details of court proceedings, and then fleshes the story out later in the day, so it is recommended that you check back, to catch the full post, and the full flavor of the proceedings...

Jury in Arcata double murder case enters deliberation - Times-Standard 8/5/14

After nearly three months, the jury in the Arcata double-murder case entered deliberations... Defendant Bodhi Tree has pleaded not guilty to two murder charges in the deaths of Eureka High School senior Christina Schwarz and 27-year-old Alan "Sunshine" Marcet at a home in Arcata in May 2013, and one charge of attempted murder in the Eureka shooting of Rhett August a few days prior. If convicted, Tree faces 50 years to life.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

"After the barn door has been shut, he's complaining about the horses getting loose," Bohn said. "The best thing that comes out of this is, with a new DA coming in, maybe they will be more financially sophisticated to work with the monies that are provided as we work out of these tough times that we've had."

District attorney, Humboldt County officials disagree on office staffing - Will Houston

First District Supervisor and board Chairman Rex Bohn said the district attorney's office's General Fund allocation has increased by 67 percent since the 2004-2005 budget year.

"He's got about 20 percent more funding in the last 10 years than the public defender's office," Bohn said. "When you're talking discretionary funding, Paul gets between 5 to 6 percent of our discretionary money that is available. To say we don't care about public safety, it's disingenuous at the best and pretty false in the long run."

The Board of Supervisors recently voted to place a sales tax measure on the November ballot that would primarily be used to fund public safety services, such as the sheriff's office and district attorney's office.

With the 2014-2015 county budget already set, Bohn said Gallegos claims come too late.

"After the barn door has been shut, he's complaining about the horses getting loose," Bohn said. "The best thing that comes out of this is, with a new DA coming in, maybe they will be more financially sophisticated to work with the monies that are provided as we work out of these tough times that we've had."

NOTE - "humboldtturtle" commented on the Times-Standard's article, a typical knee-jerk-defend-Gallegos-at-all-cost approach: Do I get this right? Rex is saying his sophisticated answer to the county's financial problems is to raise taxes. Gallegos says allocate your funds more wisely instead, and is called a liar for it? I wish t'was bohn were gohn...

The response: Oh, c'mon, humboldtturtle, you know FULL WELL that Gallegos has mismanaged that office. A Grand Jury pointed out YEARS ago that ""Weak leadership and poor managerial practices" have undermined the office... Implicit in all evidence gathered by the Grand Jury - including interviews with the D.A. - is the unfortunate truth that the D.A. exhibits a limited understanding of how things are done in the department" Gallegos "lacks the global perspective needed to keep the department operating efficiently," and quotes an unnamed staff member as saying, "The D.A. does not fully understand the functionality of many of the things we do here" - Years later, in his own words: "I’m not an administrator, they didn’t elect me to be an administrator, they elected me to make sure this office runs..."

It wasn't even in dispute during the last election, EVERY SINGLE CANDIDATE POINTED TO THE UTTER DETERIORATION. Gallegos lost, fired, or drove away all of the County's top prosecutors and has been utterly unable to replace them.

Gallegos has lost the grants that are critical to funding the office. You know this, and so should the author of this article.

Yet now, Gallegos accuses everyone else of not having their priorities in order.

That's just sick.


And, btw, Will Houston STILL, apparently, has not done his homework.

WHY did Gallegos not fill the positions as they became open, Will? The money did not evaporate.