Showing posts with label Significant Losses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Significant Losses. Show all posts

Friday, January 16, 2009

Barger sentenced for vehicle theft

David Gabriel Barger, a 23-year-old man acquitted in October of first-degree murder, was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison for stealing a vehicle.

Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Dale Reinholtsen sentenced Barger to the maximum possible term for felony vehicle theft -- a charge he was convicted of at trial.

Reinholtsen granted Barger 1,020 days credit for time served, giving him 75 total days remaining on his prison term. Following his release, the judge ordered Barger be placed on parole for three years.

In late October, a jury found Barger not guilty of murder, and hung on the lesser count of second-degree murder, with eight of 12 jurors in favor of acquittal. Those jurors heard evidence indicating that in mid-July of 2003, Barger, Rex Shinn and three other passengers, drove in Shinn's truck to a marijuana farm in Honeydew operated by Scott Starnes.

Witness testimony indicated that at the time, Barger was being paid by Starnes to work on the marijuana growing operation, and Shinn had recently been fired by Starnes.

Barger and Shinn parked the truck at the gated entrance to the Honeydew property, and left their passengers inside as they walked up the mountain road to Starnes' residence.

At trial, the passengers who waited in the truck testified after Barger and Shinn left, they heard the sound of gunshots before Barger -- who was reportedly high on methamphetamine at the time -- returned to the truck alone.

Barger drove the truck, and passengers, away from the Honeydew property, and later abandoned the vehicle near Petrolia. At the conclusion of his trial, the jury found Barger guilty of felony vehicle theft for taking Shinn's truck.

”It seems to me, under those circumstances, the callousness of the offense (vehicle theft) makes the matter more serious,” Reinholtsen said Thursday, explaining why he was choosing the aggravated sentence.

Shinn's body was later discovered by investigators, buried on the Honeydew property. An autopsy showed Shinn had been shot twice in the head and once in the neck.
☛TS Barger sentenced for vehicle theft

Related:
☛TS Barger not guilty of first-degree murder
☛TS Barger murder trial to begin this week
☛TS a 2003 murder case

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Barger not guilty of first-degree murder

☛ TS Jury: Barger not guilty of first-degree murder

After nearly four days of deliberations, a jury found 23-year-old David Gabriel Barger not guilty of the first-degree murder of Rex Shinn, who was shot in the head on a Southern Humboldt County pot farm in 2003.

The jury could not agree on the lesser count of second-degree murder, and ultimately hung with eight of the 12 jurors in favor of his acquittal.

Barger was found guilty of vehicle theft for taking and hiding a truck that belonged to Shinn.

...Following the verdict, juror No. 1, who deliberated in the case, said she was unhappy with the outcome, but because the prosecution did not produce enough compelling evidence, the jury had no choice but to find there was reasonable doubt Barger committed the murder.

”It's very upsetting the evidence wasn't better,” juror No. 1 said. “It wasn't fair to the whole jury because of the evidence. They didn't give us enough.”

...witnesses were granted immunity for their involvement in the marijuana growing operation, and juror No. 1 said this was a primary concern during deliberation.

”Maybe if they had a witness without immunity it might have been more believable,” she said.
Gallegos said he understands the jurors' concerns.

”This murder revolved around a marijuana grow. If we don't grant immunity, those people won't talk, so we have no evidence,” Gallegos said. “It doesn't feel good to us either. But in the spectrum of wrongs, the person pulling the trigger is a lot worse than the others.”

Barger was returned to the Humboldt County jail, and awaits sentencing for the vehicle theft.
He is scheduled to return to court for a pretrial hearing on the second-degree murder charge Nov. 18.


Related coverage:
☛ ER Preliminary hearing in murder/attempted murder case continued
☛ HCSO Date Released: Sheriff's Press Release 8/28/2003
☛ JN MISSING MAN'S BODY FOUND:
☛ JN MURDERED MEN IDENTIFIED:
☛ TS Barger murder trial to begin this week
☛ ER David Barger arraigned on 2003 murder 3/27/07
☛ ER Barger cases scheduled for hearing 4/11/07
☛ ER Preliminary hearing continued 7/3/07
☛ JN Marijuana crime 12/25/03
Previous Posts:
a 2003 murder case
Barger murder trial to begin this week
Barger not guilty of first-degree murder

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Barger murder trial to begin this week

It's quite a story how this guy came to be in jail! Complete with a pot grow, drug deals, more offers of immunity from the DAs Office, a case dismissed the day the trial was set to begin back in 2006 and refiled in 2007...
☛ TS Barger murder trial to begin this week
More than five years after Rex Shinn was reportedly shot dead near the Southern Humboldt town of Honeydew, David Gabriel Barger is preparing to stand trial for his murder.

Jury selection is expected to continue Monday for the trial, in which Barger is charged with first-degree murder and stealing Shinn's truck.

Barger was also held to stand trial on a charge of attempted murder and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, but those charges will be tried separately.

Shinn, 32, of Loleta, was reported missing July 19, 2003, by his mother, after no one had seen him for several months. His abandoned pickup truck was found a month later by a hunter near Petrolia.

More than a year later, in January 2005, Sheriff's Office investigators were led to Shinn's body, which was later identified through dental records....

According to a Feb. 17, 2007, Declaration in Support of Arrest written by Sheriff's detective Rich Schlesiger, Barger, Shinn and four other passengers piled into Shinn's pickup on the morning of July 19, 2003, and headed to the Honeydew property of Scott Starnes, parking outside his front gate.

Shinn and Barger then left the other passengers in the truck and went up and knocked on Starnes' front door, according to the report. Starnes reportedly told investigators that he was awoken by the knocking, and was on his way to answer the door when he heard several gunshots.

When Starnes opened the door, he found Shinn lying dead with a gunshot wound to the head and Barger running down the driveway, according to the report....

Because Starnes had a marijuana growing operation on the property, according to the report, and was afraid to call law enforcement, he told investigators that he and Cordrey decided to use a backhoe to bury Shinn's body near a pond on his property.

According to other documents in Barger's case file, both Cordrey and Starnes repeatedly denied having any knowledge of Shinn's death when asked about it by law enforcement and only admitted to their roles after being offered immunity by the District Attorney's Office....

Barger was soon charged with the attempted murder of Pires, but Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Timothy Cissna ruled in June 2006 there was not enough evidence to hold him over for trial.

Barger was arraigned on a complaint of the attempted murder of Fee the next month, as well as two allegations of felony assault stemming from the incident, but the District Attorney's Office dismissed the case the day the trial was set to begin.

The Humboldt County District Attorney's Office re-filed those charges Feb. 14, 2007, as well as the first-degree murder and vehicle theft charges relating to Shinn, after the case apparently caught a break. While still in custody on the unrelated charges, Barger allegedly confessed to two people that he'd killed Shinn, according to the investigator's report....

☛ TS Read the whole story.

Related: Men reported missing a year ago, investigations still open - 8/9/04 The Times-Standard
A year ago today was the last time anyone saw Chris Giauque. Giauque, 36, of Redway, was reported missing by his wife Aug. 10, 2003, when he failed to return from meeting an acquaintance in northern Mendocino County. The next day, Rex Shinn's mother reported him missing after not seeing him for four months.

The two cases are not believed to be related but the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department is still actively investigating both cases....

☛ ER David Barger arraigned on 2003 murder 3/27/07
☛ ER Barger cases scheduled for hearing 4/11/07
☛ ER Preliminary hearing continued 7/3/07

☛ NCJ Marijuana crime 12/25/03
On Aug. 11, Southern Humboldt residents Chris Giauque and Rex Shinn were both reported missing to the Sheriff's Office -- neither has been found, and both are believed dead. Giauque, a prominent medical marijuana advocate, had been on a trip to the Spy Rock Road area of Mendocino County -- the precise purpose of the trip was unknown, but was presumed to have involved drugs. Shinn was believed to have been murdered in a drug deal gone bad. The incidents were probably unrelated.

Two weeks later, Whitethorn teenager Sean Akselsen was shot dead near Briceland. Three unidentified African American males from the Bay Area or Sacramento are suspected in the murder -- they had apparently been staying in the Garberville area for a few days, looking to score, before they met Akselsen.

Those were the worst incidents this year, but far from the only ones. There were two home invasion robberies connected with the drug, in Arcata and Manila. A carjacking and attempted murder in the Dyerville area was rumored to be related to a marijuana deal. There was a murder and car chase just over the Humboldt County line near Willow Creek in November -- a deal gone bad.

The robbers' greed is the principal cause of the violence, of course -- but the deplorable self-interest of some locals involved in the industry helps insure that this unacceptable situation becomes ever more common....

☛ NCJ MISSING MAN'S BODY FOUND 1/27/05
☛ NCJ MURDERED MEN IDENTIFIED 2/17/05
***
Related coverage:
Preliminary hearing in murder/attempted murder case continued
Date Released: Sheriff's Press Release 8/28/2003
MISSING MAN'S BODY FOUND:
MURDERED MEN IDENTIFIED:
☛ TS Barger murder trial to begin this week
☛ ER David Barger arraigned on 2003 murder 3/27/07
☛ ER Barger cases scheduled for hearing 4/11/07
☛ ER Preliminary hearing continued 7/3/07
☛ NCJ Marijuana crime 12/25/03

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dowdy pleads guilty to misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter

Update:
☛ TS Dowdy: No contest to manslaughter 7/30/08
☛ ER Fortuna Christmas Eve murder suspect freed 7/30/08
☛ ER Dowdy pleads guilty to misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter 7/29/08
☛ TS Dowdy to be released today
For the misdemeanor crime, Dowdy was sentenced to time already served without probation, and is to be discharged after he is processed at the jail, where he serves 190 days since January, following the Christmas Eve 2007 shooting death of Fortuna resident David Steed.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dowdy - Mistrial Declared

☛ TS Dowdy acquitted of murder
Thomas Dowdy Jr. was acquitted of second-degree murder in the Christmas Eve shooting death of David Steed on Thursday, but the court declared a mistrial on the lesser manslaughter charge due to a hung jury.

The foreman told the court the jury was deadlocked 11-1 on the manslaughter charge after voting on the matter four or five times during more than three days of deliberation. Sources told the Times-Standard the 11 jurors voted not guilty on the manslaughter charge, but prosecutor Ben McLaughlin and Dowdy's attorney, Blair Angus, would not comment on which way the vote fell.

McLaughlin did say that the one opposing juror refused to engage in deliberations.

”My understanding is that when they got to the manslaughter, this juror had his or her mind made up and would not deliberate,” McLaughlin said.


☛ ER Dowdy’s future remains unclear after mistrial declared
Deputy District Attorney Ben McLaughlin said a decision will be made next week on how to proceed with the case against Dowdy, who’s accused of shooting and killing David Steed after a confrontation over stolen firewood escalated.

The Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office has three options — dismiss the case, negotiate a plea deal or proceed with a new manslaughter trial. “A new trial is highly unlikely, but that decision hasn’t been made yet,” McLaughlin said. For now, Dowdy remains in custody at the Humboldt County jail.

☛ TS Jury: Dowdy not guilty of murder
Fortuna resident Thomas Dowdy Jr. was found not guilty of second-degree murder this morning in the Christmas Eve shooting death of David Steed.

The jury was hung 11 to 1 on a charge of manslaughter. It was not clear how the vote was divided.

The jury deliberated for three days before reaching its verdict after 11 a.m.

☛ ER Thomas Dowdy Jr. not guilty of first degree murder
☛ ER Mistrial declared in Dowdy manslaughter case
A Humboldt County Superior Court judge declared a mistrial Thursday in the voluntary manslaughter case against 22-year-old Thomas Dowdy Jr. Before doing so, the jury acquitted Dowdy of the second-degree murder charge. The jury foreman stated the jurors voted at least four to five times on whether to convict Dowdy of voluntary manslaughter, and the vote was consistently 11-1. It's unclear which side was in favor of convicting the Fortuna man.

Dowdy, who remains in the Humboldt County jail, has a new pre-trial scheduled for August 12. Deputy District Attorney Ben McLaughlin said one juror apparently wasn't deliberating and when the voluntary manslaughter charge was discussed, the juror's mind was already made up.


Update: ☛ ER Dowdy pleads guilty to misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter 7/29/08
Thomas Dowdy Jr. has been released from the Humboldt County jail or will be released later today with time served. He has been in custody since late January for the Christmas eve 2007 murder of Fortuna resident David Steed.

The jury found him not guilty last week of second-degree murder but was deadlocked regarding the voluntary manslaughter charge. The judge declared a mistrial last week because of that deadlock.

The family of Steed was visibly upset in court today.

☛ TS Dowdy to be released today
Thomas Dowdy Jr. will be released from the Humboldt County jail today after entering a plea of no contest to manslaughter at 2 p.m.

For the misdemeanor crime, Dowdy was sentenced to time already served without probation, and is to be discharged after he is processed at the jail, where he serves 190 days since January, following the Christmas Eve 2007 shooting death of Fortuna resident David Steed.

During his trial, Dowdy faced second-degree murder charges after fatally shooting Steed twice -- in the back and elbow.
After two weeks of testimony, the jury found him not guilty of second-degree murder, but deadlocked on the manslaughter charge, 11-1 in favor of Dowdy's innocence.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The Dowdy Steed Fortuna Christmas Murder case

☛ ER Investigation under way in death of Fortuna man on Christmas Eve 12/25/2007
☛ TS Officers sorting through incidents that led to Fortuna man's death 12/26/2007
☛ ER Questions remain in Fortuna homicide; probe continues 12/26/2007
☛ TS Preliminary results point to gunshot wounds as cause of death 12/29/2007
☛ TS Week in Review 12/30/2007
☛ TS Chief says charges will be filed in Fortuna shooting 1/01/2008
☛ ER Arrest warrant to be issued in Fortuna homicide 1/2/2008
☛ ER FPD requests arrest warrant for shooter in homicide 1/12/2008
☛ ER Christmas Eve killing leaves one man on suspicion of homicide 1/23/2008
☛ ER Fortuna man charged for involvement in Christmas Eve homicide 1/24/2008
☛ TS Fortuna suspect surrenders in Christmas Eve death 1/24/2008
☛ TS Shooting suspect pleads not guilty 1/26/2008
☛ TS Fortuna man pleads not guilty in fatal Christmas shooting 4/25/2008
☛ ER Christmas Eve shooting death case heads to trial 4/29/2008
☛ TS Judge denies motion to dismiss Dowdy case 6/14/2008
☛ ER Jury selection in Christmas Eve homicide to start Monday 6/14/2008
link
☛ TS Fortuna Christmas murder trial begins 7/08/2008
☛ ER Justifiable self-defense argued 7/7/2008
☛ ER Witness testimony continues 7/8/2008
☛ TS Evan Steed testifies about father's death in Fortuna murder trial 7/09/2008
☛ ER Fortuna murder case continues 7/9/2008
☛ TS Scene of shooting described in murder trial's third day 7/10/2008
☛ ER Steed died from gunshot, specialist says 7/10/2008
☛ TS Forensic pathologist testifies in Dowdy trial 7/11/2008
☛ TS Jurors hear Dowdy's post-shooting interviews 7/12/2008
☛ ER Dowdy admits shooting man, but didn’t intend to kill 7/12/2008
☛ ER Department of Justice witnesses to testify today 7/14/2008
☛ TS Witnesses: Testimony in Dowdy trial differs from statements 7/15/2008
☛ ER Dowdy says he wasn't shooting to kill David Steed 7/16/2008
☛ ER Testimony in Christmas Eve murder trial to conclude Thursday, jury to start deliberations Monday 7/16/2008
☛ TS Dowdy's former friend testifies in shooting trial 7/16/2008
A former friend and roommate of Thomas Dowdy Jr. testified in his second-degree murder trial Tuesday that Dowdy acted on his own volition when he allegedly stole a trailer filled with firewood, sparking a confrontation that ended in the fatal Christmas Eve shooting of David Steed.
Amber Herman, 20, testified she spoke with Dowdy days before the Dec. 24, 2007 shooting about a trailer filled with firewood, which Steed had placed for sale on a roadside near his residence. Herman told jurors she asked Dowdy not to steal the trailer, but “he just sorta snickered and said, 'Don't tell my parents.'”
In interviews taken after the shooting, 22-year-old Dowdy told police three weeks before the shooting Herman had asked him to steal the firewood for her mother, who had recently run out of wood. When he returned with the wood, Dowdy told police Herman had changed her mind, and “acted like she was joking.”
Herman testified she never told Dowdy her mother needed the wood, and the trailer belonged to her father, Kenneth Hughes -- a close friend of Steed's -- who then notified Steed of the theft.

☛ TS Dowdy takes the stand in Fortuna murder trial 7/17/2008
☛ TS Dowdy testifies in Christmas Eve murder trial 7/18/2008
☛ ER Closing arguments in Christmas Eve murder trial slated for Monday 7/18/2008
☛ ER Final arguments made in Fortuna Christmas Eve murder 7/21/08
☛ TS Dowdy case sent to jurors 7/22/2008
☛ TS Dowdy acquitted of murder
Thomas Dowdy Jr. was acquitted of second-degree murder in the Christmas Eve shooting death of David Steed on Thursday, but the court declared a mistrial on the lesser manslaughter charge due to a hung jury.

The foreman told the court the jury was deadlocked 11-1 on the manslaughter charge after voting on the matter four or five times during more than three days of deliberation. Sources told the Times-Standard the 11 jurors voted not guilty on the manslaughter charge, but prosecutor Ben McLaughlin and Dowdy's attorney, Blair Angus, would not comment on which way the vote fell.

McLaughlin did say that the one opposing juror refused to engage in deliberations.

”My understanding is that when they got to the manslaughter, this juror had his or her mind made up and would not deliberate,” McLaughlin said.


☛ ER Dowdy’s future remains unclear after mistrial declared

Update: ☛ ER Dowdy pleads guilty to misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter 7/29/08
Thomas Dowdy Jr. has been released from the Humboldt County jail or will be released later today with time served. He has been in custody since late January for the Christmas eve 2007 murder of Fortuna resident David Steed.

The jury found him not guilty last week of second-degree murder but was deadlocked regarding the voluntary manslaughter charge. The judge declared a mistrial last week because of that deadlock.

The family of Steed was visibly upset in court today.

☛ TS Dowdy to be released today
Thomas Dowdy Jr. will be released from the Humboldt County jail today after entering a plea of no contest to manslaughter at 2 p.m.

For the misdemeanor crime, Dowdy was sentenced to time already served without probation, and is to be discharged after he is processed at the jail, where he serves 190 days since January, following the Christmas Eve 2007 shooting death of Fortuna resident David Steed.

During his trial, Dowdy faced second-degree murder charges after fatally shooting Steed twice -- in the back and elbow.
After two weeks of testimony, the jury found him not guilty of second-degree murder, but deadlocked on the manslaughter charge, 11-1 in favor of Dowdy's innocence.

☛ TS Dowdy: No contest to manslaughter 7/30/08
☛ ER Fortuna Christmas Eve murder suspect freed 7/30/08

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

a 2003 murder case

Preliminary hearing in murder/attempted murder case continued
...defense attorney (Neal Sanders) declared a conflict of interest Monday morning with regard to defending his client — a man charged in a 2003 murder/attempted murder case... David Gabriel Barger was to have his preliminary hearing — after which a judge would have determined whether there was sufficient evidence to warrant a trial — he was assigned a new Eureka-based attorney, Marion Miller.

According to past reports, Barger pleaded not guilty in late March to the July 19, 2003, murder of Rex Shinn; the Aug. 13, 2004, attempted murder of Brandon Fee; the Aug. 13, 2004, assault with a deadly weapon, being a firearm, of Brandon Fee; and the Aug. 13, 2004, assault with a deadly weapon, being a firearm, of Alvin Pires.

Barger, 22, a resident of Southern Humboldt — who has gone by the last name of Sequoia — also issued denials to the various firearms-related special allegations listed on the complaint filed by the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office.

...The police report alone, Sanders said in a previous interview, is more than 1,400 pages long.


Humboldt County DDA Max Cardoza is prosecuting the case.

Related:
Date Released: Sheriff's Press Release 8/28/2003
Subject: Missing Person
Contact: Det. Rich Schlesiger (707)268-3642
Case No#: 200305296
Released By: Brenda Gainey, PIO
Location: Loleta

Investigators from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office are still searching for a missing Loleta man. Rex Donald Shinn, 32, was reported missing on August 11, 2003. Since then investigators have been conducting an intensive search for Shinn.

Shinn is a white male adult, 5’8” tall and 160 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes.

Shinn drives a silver-blue 1995 Chevrolet ½ ton extended cab 4X4 truck; California license number 5B49549. The truck has the phrase “Shinn Dig Excavation” in blue letters on the doors and a graphic of an excavator on the side.

Anyone with information should call Detective Rich Schlesiger at (707) 268-3642.

MISSING MAN'S BODY FOUND: A body believed to be that of a murdered Loleta man was found Jan. 20 on private land five miles east of Honeydew, the Sheriff's Office reported. An autopsy will be performed this week to identify the remains, but sheriff's officials believe the dead man is Rex Donald Shinn, 32, who was reported missing in July 2003. A homicide investigation began soon after Shinn's truck was found abandoned in Petrolia on Aug. 30, 2003. Detectives believe they know who killed Shinn and will forward the case to the District Attorney's office. Anyone with information can contact Humboldt County Sheriff's Detective Rich Schlesiger at 445-7251.

MURDERED MEN IDENTIFIED: The remains of two slain men whose bodies were left in Southern Humboldt have been positively identified. A body discovered last month in Honeydew was identified through dental records as Rex Donald Shinn, of Loleta, according to the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office. Autopsy results confirm that Shinn, 32, died of a gunshot wound. The Sheriff's Office says that they know who killed the man, who was reported missing in July 2003. Sheriff's detectives are continuing an investigation into Shinn's murder. Anyone with information should contact Detective Rich Schlesiger at 445-7251. In another unsolved homicide, a recent DNA comparison has identified Robert John Tobaka, 53, of Eureka almost one year after his body was discovered in the woods near Pepperwood. The cause of the man's death was not released by the Sheriff's Office; an investigation continues.