TS - 12/11/2007 Moore Case Facts

TS Moore Case Facts 12/11/2007


The first step in a criminal proceeding, the arraignment is a defendant's first appearance before a judge. The charges against the individual are read aand the defendant has an opportunity to enter a plea.

The incident

Cheri Lyn Moore, who had a history of mental illness, was shot and killed by Eureka police officers in April 2006 after a two-hour standoff that saw her brandish a flare gun, throw items from her second-story window and threaten to burn down the building.

The indictments

A criminal grand jury handed up the indictments after hearing several days of testimony, according to the district attorney's office. The proceedings are held in secret, although a judge can allow the sessions to be open to the public upon the request of the district attorney.

In the grand jury process, because the role of the 19 members is only to determine probable cause to bring an indictment, it is not required for them to hear all the evidence. It is left to the “good faith of the prosecutor to present conflicting evidence,” according to the American Bar Association. A minimum of 12 of the jurors must approve indictments.

Grand jurors are chosen from the same pool as other trials.

The charges

Former Eureka Police Chief David Douglas and Lt. Tony Zanotti are each facing a felony charge of involuntary manslaughter, the unlawful killing of someone during a crime, or a legal act that leads to a death -- but one that is done negligently. If convicted, the charges carry a sentence of up to four years in prison.

The defendants

David Douglas: Former Eureka police chief, who has since retired. He testified at a coroner's inquest looking into the death of Cheri Lyn Moore that he did not take over command at the scene, but was ultimately responsible.

Lt. Tony Zanotti: A current member of the Eureka Police Department. Zanotti was the incident commander at the Moore standoff.

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