Deputy Field Organizer for the West Side (OHIO)

the North Coast Journal - Web of Lies - Richard Salzman and other email phonies
From the Publisher: An apology
Rhonda Meehan's letter
Letters from "R. Trent Williams" printed by the Journal
Glossary of terms
Another Salzman alias?
Salzman exposed: Local newspapers reveal real names of letter writers
Supervisor Geist wants apology from Salzman
Police begin investigation into fake letters allegedly sent by Salzman
Editor files criminal complaint
Search warrant served in Salzman case
Salzman investigation forwarded on to state Office of the Attorney General
Trinidad police investigate Salzman
The final Salzman tally?
Consultant used others' names in letter-writing blitz to local newspaper


An apology - by JUDY HODGSON

September 1, 2005

This is a long overdue apology to our readers.

As you will learn in this week's cover story, this newspaper and every other newspaper in the county we have researched so far have been victims of a letter-writing hoax. We printed a letter in June from a reader who had written before, whose letters had appeared in other newspapers, without calling to verify the letter's authenticity.

It was a fake name, one he used to influence public opinion in the best-read section of any paper -- the letters to the editor. This deception, we learned this past week, has been ongoing for months, much to our embarrassment, and we sincerely apologize.

The letter writer isn't just an ordinary reader. He is a political activist, and a volunteer and sometimes paid consultant for many liberal causes. He worked on the campaign to elect Jill Geist as county supervisor, Paul Gallegos' initial run for district attorney and Chris Kerrigan's bid for re-election to the Eureka City Council. He was a key player in the successful fight against Gallegos' recall attempt. And he has been an outspoken critic of Pacific Lumber Co. and Debi August, a Fortuna City Council member indicted by the grand jury for conflict of interest. (August's case was later dismissed.)

During our investigation, we learned he wrote frequently under several names, including, occasionally, his own -- Richard Salzman.

By perpetrating this hoax, Salzman betrayed the public, especially the people who have supported his causes. Citizens on the other side of these important issues will long remember his deception. There were many thoughtful, passionate, sincere letter writers during the same period of time who will now have their very existence called into question because of Salzman's deception.

Some readers may ask if our headline, "Web of lies," is too harsh. I don't think so. To write letters under an assumed name is a lie in itself. Then, when we confronted him with the evidence of his deceit last Friday, he initially denied it. It was only after a face-to-face confrontation Monday in our office, and a few more hours of private reflection, that he admitted his deception.

Salzman now claims he has some right to use a "pen name." Maybe in writing fiction, but not in the news business. Political careers and important causes are advanced or maimed based on how the news unfolds, and cynical attempts to twist the contents of newspapers to one's own end should be roundly condemned, whether the twister is Salzman or Karl Rove. Geist has long distanced herself from Salzman; Gallegos and Kerrigan should do the same.

We spent staff time this past week reviewing all letters published in the Journal in the last two and a half years. In addition to those originated by Salzman, we have published a few others whose authenticity we cannot yet verify, meaning we cannot find the authors in any of our databases nor can we contact them by phone or e-mail. Our promise to readers is to do our best to screen letters in the future, and to investigate any and all attempts to falsely and covertly manipulate public opinion.

-- -- --

We also learned this past week of what we hope will be the penultimate chapter in the pepper spray saga. The judge in the case, which found that Humboldt County and the city of Eureka police officers used excessive force in dealing with anti-logging demonstrators in 1997, ruled that the plaintiffs are entitled to recover legal fees. (The ultimate chapter will be when the attorneys actually get paid.)

As we have editorialized many times these past eight years, the county supervisors and the Eureka City Council should have condemned the actions of their officers -- under orders of then-Sheriff Dennis Lewis, who bears ultimate responsibility -- and they should have offered to settle with the victims. Fighting this case every step of the way has been a failure to accept responsibility all along the chain of command and has been extremely costly to taxpayers. The tab so far is in the millions.

-- -- --
-- -- --

For at least the last 10 months, controversial political figure Richard Salzman has authored numerous letters to local newspapers under fake names, the Journal has learned. The letters, which were signed "R. Trent Williams" and "Dick Wyatt," were published in the Journal and the Eureka Reporter, the only two local newspapers with extensive online archives. It is believed that they also appeared in other publications.

Nearly every hot political topic to hit Humboldt County in the past year is addressed in the letters -- from the aftermath of the failed recall attempt on District Attorney Paul Gallegos (during which Salzman was the DA's campaign chairman) to the battle over the new county general plan, Eureka City Councilman Chris Kerrigan's reelection, the threatened boycott of Arcata and the backlash against Salzman himself.

Acting on a complaint from Fortuna resident Rhonda Meehan (see sidebar), the Journal contacted Salzman Friday afternoon to ask if he had, in fact, written letters to the editor using phony names. He said that he had not.

"The only letters I write are the ones you see from me," he said. He added that he had never heard of "R. Trent Williams," but that Fortuna resident Dick Wyatt was a political colleague.

In a follow-up telephone conversation that evening, Salzman at first sought to dismiss Meehan's claims, saying that Meehan was "clearly a hard-core Dikeman supporter." (Deputy District Attorney Worth Dikeman has announced that he will challenge Gallegos for the post of district attorney next year).

However, on Monday, after being presented with hard evidence collected by the Journal that supported Meehan's allegations, Salzman recanted and issued a partial confession.

In a statement delivered to the Journal Monday afternoon, Salzman confessed that he had submitted letters to the editor under a "pen name."

"The use of pen names has been a common practice throughout history," Salzman wrote. "It is important to know I stand behind the substance of everything contained in all the letters I submitted."

Salzman's change of story came after he met with the Journal in our offices Monday morning to review the information supporting Meehan's case that this newspaper collected Friday afternoon and over the weekend.

After reading Meehan's complaint, the Journal looked closely at identifying information in e-mails from Salzman stored on our computers, then at similar information in the single e-mail from "R. Trent Williams" that we retained. We also looked at the e-mail purportedly sent by "Dick Wyatt" that Meehan referenced, which we received but did not publish.

A careful read of the e-mail "headers" -- addressing information at the top of the message that most e-mail programs hide -- showed that both the "Williams" and the "Wyatt" e-mails contained the IP address of the computer that sent them (see sidebar). These addresses matched addresses used by Salzman in the same period.

The "Williams" e-mail (sent May 23, 2005) and the "Wyatt" e-mail (July 9, 2005) both originated from a computer using the IP address All the e-mails that we had received from Salzman between March 3, 2005, and July 5, 2005, were from a computer using the same address. (The first e-mail we received from Salzman after the "Wyatt" e-mail was dated early August, by which time his IP lease of that address had apparently expired.)

Over the weekend, the Arcata Eye provided this newspaper with copies of e-mails it had received from "Williams" -- one dated Dec. 16, 2004, and one dated Aug. 4, 2005. The Journal compared the IP address information contained in the Eye e-mails to the same information in e-mails known to be sent by Salzman at those times. In both cases, the IP addresses matched. In mid-December, both Salzman and "Williams" were using IP address; in early August, both were using The combination of these three dates, during which Salzman and "Williams" were using the same IP address, was conclusive.

In addition, the Journal discovered that Salzman didn't employ much creativity in devising what appears to be his principal pseudonym.

Though the Williams letters were signed "R. Trent Williams," e-mails sent from "Williams'" e-mail address appeared in inboxes as coming from "Rick William." Salzman's full name is Richard William Salzman.

Reached Tuesday morning, Salzman declined to comment on the matter any further. He said that he would not provide a list of false names he has used.

In recent months, the Journal has received two letters from a person claiming to be a Eureka resident named "R. Johnson," one of which was published in July (the other, sent a month earlier, was published in the McKinleyville Press). Upon further examination, the letters have proven to be false.

Even though the "R. Johnson" letters were sent to the Journal electronically, they cannot be definitively tied to Salzman or any other person as they contain no IP address information. However, they both take stances similar to ones Salzman has taken in the past: One thanks former Assistant District Attorney Tim Stoen for his service to the county, the other excoriates the Humboldt Taxpayer's League and auto dealer Harvey Harper.

The "R. Johnson" letters give the address of a Eureka home that turns out to belong to 93-year-old Ruth Johnson. On Monday afternoon, the Journal reached Ruth Johnson's caregiver, who said that there was no way that she could have written the letters.

"She can't even sign her own name," the caregiver replied.

Meehan, who is the sister of Fortuna City Councilmember Debi August -- a vocal Gallegos opponent and former target of a lawsuit prosecuted by the DA's office -- said Tuesday that she sent her fax to local newspapers after the real Dick Wyatt, a Fortuna resident, apologized to August for the content of the Salzman letter that appeared under his name.

According to Meehan, Wyatt said that Salzman had asked to write a letter to the editor using his name. He later regretted that it had made reference to August's "mendacious behavior," Meehan said. (Wyatt could not be reached for this story. August declined to comment.)

Meehan said that she just took a guess about the "R. Trent Williams" letters.

"That one -- I don't know," she said. "Both letters just sounded so much alike that I threw that one in there." l

-- Staff writer Helen Sanderson contributed to this report.

-- -- --

Rhonda Meehan's letter


Will the real R. Trent Williams, Dick Wyatt and all the other Debi August and Palco bashers please stand up?

Oh, just as I thought! Could that be you, Richard Salzman?

The DA's chief financial guru must be getting really desperate. I have factual information that Richard Salzman, Paul Gallegos' fundraiser, better known as "Friends of Gallegos" has been writing letters to the editor (signing someone else's name) in support of Paul Gallegos and Tim Stoen and bashing Debi August and Pacific Lumber.

It's pretty sad when someone like Richard Salzman doesn't have the guts to sign his own name to his own letters, but instead puts innocent people in the position of being sued for libel. If you have to write a letter to the editor and then sign someone else's name to it (with permission or not) in order to try to convince the public that there are people out there that believe the DA's office was right in doing what it did, you have a serious problem.

Each of the above letter-writers needs to be contacted and asked if they in fact wrote those letters. And why didn't the Times-Standard and other newspapers verify the authors of those letters?

Rhonda Meehan, Fortuna

Letters from
"R. Trent Williams"
printed by the Journal

Hiding behind lawyers
Nov. 4, 2004


So it looks like Mr. Salzman was right all along. I don't expect the North Coast Journal will be running any apologies for its editorial that criticized him for the (private) e-mails he sent out which warned against exactly the type of tactics that were ultimately employed by Rex Bohn's supporters. Of course, since they hide behind a Sacramento lawyer, we will never know each of the names of the people who funded the last minute attack ads against Councilman Chris Kerrigan, but it is rumored that at least one of the funders owns a local paper and wants to bring big box stores to Eureka. It is more than a little bit absurd for this secret group to be blaming Chris for the county's economic ills. First of all, Chris was in the minority on votes like the retail ordinance, so the policy he supported didn't prevail. Furthermore, if it had prevailed it would have only served to protect small businesses that the attack ads claim to be concerned about losing. The final irony is that their ad featured Moon's Play and Learn, which did not go out of business but rather expanded to a larger location in the revitalized downtown that Chris has worked so hard to support.

R. Trent Williams, Eureka

Defending Salzman
Feb. 24, 2005


Mike Harvey is the spokesman for HELP, which is funded by Rob Arkley. Arkley threatened a campaign to smear Salzman's name in the press and his lapdog, Mike Harvey, has started to do so. So Salzman is responsible for the destruction of the fishing industry? Wow.

R. Trent Williams, Eureka

On Gallegos' critics
March 24, 2005


Rose Welsh, who produced Jill Geist's ad campaign and is infamous for her conspiracy theories and for co-hosting a radio show with fellow nut-case Stephen Lewis, is now preaching about how the DA should be working harder ("Mailbox," March 17). Pay no mind to the fact that Paul has won every case he has tried since taking office. That would be seven more cases that [former DA] Terry [Farmer] tried in the last 10 years combined.

Let's not forget that during the recall, Rose was one of the people running around to the media waving e-mails stolen from the DA's office during the whole Flanigan scandal. EPD investigations were inconclusive and no charges were ever brought, but it still leaves a bad odor on the woman. At the end of the day, as with the article in general ("One year later," March 3), what we learn is that Paul's critics are still critical of him. Sixty-one percent of the voters chose to keep him in office.

His critics should give it a rest.

R. Trent Williams, Eureka

Arcata politics
June 2, 2005


I keep hearing how Arcata's political positions hurt local businesses and that city's economy. That's interesting spin, as the commercial vacancy rate is at a 20-year low, new commercial buildings on previously empty lots have been immediately rented and property values in Arcata are about $100,000 greater than in Humboldt County in general. On top of all that, sales taxes collected are up 12.4 percent over last year, which is 50 percent higher than the increase in Eureka. The facts simply don't prove the critics out.

Arcata's long history of progressive values and liberal politics seems, in fact, to be good for business. For every right-wing Fortuna resident who writes a letter saying they now won't be shopping in Arcata (as if they ever did) there are 10 people outside the Arcata city limits who enjoy going into that town to do their shopping.

Local businesses in Arcata would be well advised to stick to business and leave politics to the elected officials. If they think that they are going to be punished by a misguided few for the actions of their city government, for which they are not responsible, wait until they feel the economic effects of taking the political position of opposing the will of the voters and their elected representatives. I'm sure they will find that most Arcata shoppers like Arcata's politics and don't appreciate the strong-arm tactics the Arcata Chamber of Commerce is currently demonstrating.

R. Trent Williams, Eureka



Derek Bowman
..."Nine felonies and a handful of misdemeanor charges... ...dismissed or suspended sentence on all of them in a single day."...

Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos declined again Thursday to answer specific questions raised by The Eureka Reporter regarding a possible conflict of interest in the DA’s Office, while statements by two Gallegos subordinates answered some questions and raised others.

The controversy centers around a $10,000 contribution made to Gallegos’ re-election campaign by the Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria, chaired by Leonard Bowman.

On July 19, less than six weeks after the election, Leonard’s son, Derek Bowman, received a plea deal from the DA’s Office involving nine felony and two misdemeanor charges, in which seven of the charges were dropped and sentences on the remaining charges were suspended.

Derek received jail time only for a 12th charge, a violation of the terms of his probation. Judge Timothy Cissna sentenced him to 180 days, less time served, in the Humboldt County jail. According to jail personnel, he was released Sept. 11 to serve the rest of his time in the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program....

Court documents state that among charges against Derek dismissed as part of the plea agreement were felony threat of death or great bodily injury to a 17-year-old girl, felony domestic battery against a different 17-year-old girl and misdemeanor battery against Bowman’s mother-in-law, Cheree Bowie.

The first of those charges, California Penal Code 422, is a “strike” felony under the California Three Strikes Law. Court files show that in the third charge, Derek was accused of hitting Bowie in the face three times as she was held down by her daughter and a second female.

Alan Bear
MANSLAUGHTER - Bear received one year in county jail with three years probation upon his release.

After Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos reduced the vehicle manslaughter charge from a felony to a misdemeanor... Bear pleaded no contest to vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence, providing false information to a police officer and making an unsafe lane movement in connection with the collision that killed (bicyclist) Jennings on Aug. 25, 2008.... Gallegos said the charge was reduced because the reporting officer revised his statement on the collision and it did not appear that Bear acted with gross negligence.

”Further investigation proved that it was not gross negligence or at least that we couldn't prove it beyond the shadow of a doubt,” Gallegos said at the preliminary hearing.

Benjamen Edward Jentry-Rakestraw
DRUG CHARGES - Benjamen Edward Jentry-Rakestraw, 20, of Fortuna, was accused of attempting to bring heroin, marijuana and tobacco into the jail on July 3. He was also accused of allegedly providing prisoner Ruben Anthony Peredia with the drugs, according to court documents.

Peredia is currently in jail on charges connected to the murder of Ezra Sanders. Neither Peredia nor Taryn Nicole Mabe, who allegedly brought the drugs to Jentry-Rakestraw, have been officially charged by the District Attorney's Office for the incident....

Two charges -- possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit a crime -- dropped after he entered the guilty plea.... faced up to four years in prison when he's sentenced... could also get probation, which is what the Probation Department recommended to the court....

His case was delayed due to misplaced copies of evidence materials intended for his defense attorney....

Peredia was in jail on charges connected to the murder of Ezra Sanders. Neither Peredia nor Taryn Nicole Mabe, who allegedly brought the drugs to Jentry-Rakestraw, have been officially charged by the District Attorney's Office for the incident.

The DA's office was supposed to provide a copy of Jentry-Rakestraw's statement to police for his defense attorney, Michael Robinson. Robinson told the court Wednesday that he had requested the information from the DA's office multiple times with no success....

Blake Gregory Moreland
ATTEMPTED MURDER - On the day he was to start trial proceedings, an Arcata man pleaded no contest to a plea agreement that dropped an attempted murder charge.

Based on (a) negotiated plea agreement, a judge will not be able to sentence Blake Gregory Moreland, 21, to more than seven years in state prison, said Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney Arnie Klein — the minimum Moreland could potentially face, Klein said, is probation.... Moreland pleaded no contest Monday morning to a plea agreement of assault with a deadly weapon — a .380-caliber handgun — and admitted a special allegation that he personally used a handgun in the commission of a crime, Klein said... A special allegation increases the time a defendant faces at sentencing.

...Past reports indicate Moreland was charged with attempted murder, assault with a firearm, discharging a firearm out of a vehicle and negligent discharge of a firearm... According to previous reports, Moreland and a male victim were driving in separate vehicles in the Manila area when, at one point, Moreland shot at the victim — who had a woman, a 17-year-old girl and a 2-year-old child as passengers in his vehicle.

Bradley Harold Mallett
ATTEMPTED MURDER - Bradley Harold Mallett was sentenced on a plea agreement stemming from a 2006 assault that left a then-transient man severely injured.

Mallett, 25, of Manila, was sentenced Wednesday to a total of six years in state prison — a stipulated term per the plea agreement... assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury with a special allegation that he did produce great bodily injury, said Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney Arnie Klein.

Mallett’s case stems a Feb. 19, 2006, incident after which Kirk M. Celis, then 48, was found severely beaten behind the Valley West shopping center in Arcata, suffering significant head trauma and injuries to his upper torso that resulted in a punctured lung...

...As part of Mallett’s plea agreement, McCrone said, the DA’s Office dismissed the attempted murder and second-degree robbery counts Mallett was initially charged with.

Also dismissed as part of the plea agreement was another special allegation pertaining to the assault charge — that Mallett inflicted great bodily injury to Celis that caused Celis to become comatose due to brain injury, or to suffer paralysis.

Clare Holmes and John Devoe
DRUG CHARGES - John Devoe, 42, and Clare Holmes, 37, had their six properties searched by Humboldt County Drug Task Force agents on Aug. 20, 2007, after an investigation based on an anonymous tip began. More than 200 marijuana plants, $20,000 in cash and 20 pounds of processed marijuana were reportedly seized by Humboldt County Drug Task Force agents between the residences. Devoe and Holmes agreed to forfeit more than $66,000, which included monies from bank and stock accounts and seized cash, as part of the plea agreement.

Clinton Lee Harris III
RAPE - Concerns about a plea deal that resulted in a 19-day sentence for a man originally charged with rape will not be discussed publicly, said Arcata Police Chief Randy Mendosa.

“I do have some concerns about the process, which I’m going to be communicating to (Humboldt County District Attorney Paul) Gallegos, but it’s not appropriate to make those communications through the media,” Mendosa said Wednesday.

The chief’s concerns stemmed from the case of Clinton Lee Harris III, who was arrested by the Arcata Police Department April 18 and mistakenly released from the Humboldt County jail Aug. 3, while awaiting trial on charges of rape and burglary.

Harris was rearrested several days later but was let out again, this time intentionally, on Aug. 20 after the two felony charges were reduced to a single misdemeanor... According to court documents, three different prosecutors handled the case – Jeffrey Schwartz, Kelly Neel and Ben McLaughlin.

Collin Gregory Roczey and Kevin Scott Walker
KIDNAPPING, SODOMY, ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON, SEXUAL ASSAULT - - Two transient men arrested in early May on suspicion of sexually assaulting and beating up a man near Trinidad Beach pleaded guilty... to assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, which carries a two, three or four-year sentence. They were originally charged with kidnapping to commit a crime, assault with a deadly weapon and sodomy in concert with another person.

The (alleged) Whitethorn Rape case
Deshawn Lee Moore
Levi Cole Garza
Nate Robin Garza
Gregory Donald Scheider
KIDNAPPING, RAPE, SODOMY AND FALSE IMPRISONMENT - The four men accused of kidnapping and raping a woman in Whitethorn in March have each had charges against them dropped as part of a deal with the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office.

Charges were DROPPED after a convoluted and inexplicable process:
...three of the men were sentenced Wednesday to three years of formal, supervised probation.... Four men charged in the alleged kidnapping, rape, sodomy and false imprisonment of a woman in Whitethorn have agreed to a conditional plea bargain offered by the Humboldt County District Attorney's office. The men — 21-year-old brothers Levi Cole Garza and Nate Robin Garza, 31-year-old Gregory Donald Scheider and 32-year-old Deshawn Lee Moore — have faced the charges since mid-March, following an incident that allegedly took place over three days, March 7, 8 and 9.

According to reports, the woman testified during a prolonged preliminary hearing that during the ordeal she was tied to a tree overnight, threatened she would be shot with a rifle, taken indoors and tied down and raped by three of the men — all allegedly in retribution for her role involving a $6,000 drug-related debt.

The trial had been set for this month. But Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Schwartz said on Tuesday that all four of the accused men agreed to plead guilty to several charges. All four plead guilty to "rape in concert" — less delicately known as gang rape — and to false imprisonment. Levi Garza additionally plead guilty to kidnapping and marijuana trafficking. All four men "insist the sexual part didn't happen," said Schwartz. And so, as part of the plea bargain, they will take lie detector tests.

"What makes this case unusual is that we're going to rely on the lie detector," he said. Lie detectors are not considered reliable in the courtrroom, but they are "a tool we use" in other arenas, such as plea bargaining, said Schwartz. He said he has faith in lie detector tests, and that the county's polygrapher, Jim Dawson, is "one of the best in the state."

If the case had gone to trial, Levi Garza was facing a maximum sentence of life in prison because of the "kidnap for sexual assault" charge. "Realistically, I didn't see that" happening, Schwartz said. "We had some proof problems — was it a kidnapping, or was it not a kidnapping?" The evidence for false imprisonment — tying her up — is more clear, he said. It carries a lesser sentence. And, if a trial jury had found the men guilty of rape in concert, the maximum sentence they would have faced is nine years. Under the plea bargain, depending on the lie detector test results, here's what could happen:

If the lie detector says the men are telling the truth — that they didn't rape the woman — then the rape-in-concert guilty plea will be dropped. Three of the men would then face five years in state prison (85 percent of which they would have to serve), a strike under the three strikes law, and life-time sex-offender registration for the false imprisonment guilty plea. Levi Garza would get the strike, life-time sex offender registration, and up to eight years in state prison.

Schwartz said the difference in sentencing, between a trial and plea bargain, in this case likely would not have been very significant because he didn't know if they'd be able to prove the kidnapping charge. But, he said, "the bottom line is, this whole arrangement is driven by the wishes of the victim. She states that she was tied up and raped by three men in a living room. She would have to go over that humiliating experience in telling that to the jury. She doesn't want to do that." She has already had to tell her story numerous times, he added, "and her emotional level is high."

Duane Bowie Jr.
FELONY ASSAULT - The plea agreement — being a felon in possession of ammunition — was a stipulated agreement, meaning a prison term was already agreed upon by the defense and prosecution.

In return for Bowie pleading guilty to the offer, it was stated in court that one of the two charges and all the special allegations — which could have increased potential prison time — were dropped. They included felony assault with a deadly weapon (a metal bed rail) by means likely to cause great bodily injury and allegations of prior prison enhancements.

Isaias Felix-Romero
SEXUAL ABUSE (CHILD) - ...pleaded no contest to the sexual abuse of his 8 yr. old daughter... report says he pled "no contest to allegations..." but does not say what the CHARGES (Penal Code Sections), and resultant minimum and maximum penalties were. Eight years prior Felix-Romero was convicted of unlawful intercourse with a 13-year-old minor, the mother of Jane Doe. Felix-Romero later married Jane Doe's mother.
Reminiscent of the Martinez-Hernandez case except this time, it looks like the guy really is going to get deported.

But in 6 years he'll get to rape another 8-13 year old (actually younger, probably, and next time, he may not want to leave any witnesses behind.)

James Phillip Geth
ROBBERY, BURGLARY, ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON FALSE IMPRISONMENT, PROBATION VIOLATION RESISTING AND EVADING ARREST, RECKLESS DRIVING - pleaded guilty last Friday to two counts of robbery and assault with a deadly weapon in connection with a McKinleyville-to-Arcata crime spree...

Geth was on felony probation for drug offenses at the time of the robbery spree. Arcata Police recommended numerous felony charges against him for robbery, burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, probation violation, resisting and evading arrest with reckless driving.

However, in a subsequent plea arrangement, newly hired Deputy District Attorney Allan Dollison recommended only one robbery and one evading count against Geth.

Arcata Police were aghast at the downsizing of the Geth case. Noting Geth’s disregard for public safety, his having terrorized citizens (security video shows him slashing at the clerk and a patron with the knife at the Alliance Road store) and placing an officer in a possible shooting situation, APD communicated its surprise and displeasure at the weakened charges to Dollison and DA Paul Gallegos.

At a preliminary hearing... Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Dale Reinholtsen reproved Dollison for failing to subpoena the CHP officer involved and for not having the McKinleyville mini-mart clerk present.

Dollison, who has served mostly as a defense attorney, conferred with Gallegos and re-filed the evading and robbery charges. Geth ultimately pleaded guilty to one of the previously dropped robbery charges.

In ensuing months, the case was transferred to Deputy DA Andy Truitt, who did not immediately return calls Friday. Geth's father didn't return calls either, but last fall had characterized "Jamie" as an industrious but troubled youth.

...Geth was sentenced to nine years in prison and two felony strikes against him.

Jason Leon Belles
MURDER, HOME INVASION ROBBERY - One of two defendants accused of participating in a December 2008 home invasion robbery that left a Cutten man dead pleaded no contest Tuesday to voluntary manslaughter and related drug charges.

Jury selection for the trial of Jason Leon Belles, 31, and Jonathan Henry Watson, 30, was set to begin Monday but Belles pleaded Tuesday to reduced charges. He will be sentenced Aug. 21. The stipulated term of the plea deal was seven years and eight months in prison, according to court documents....

Belles accepted the plea deal from Deputy District Attorney Max Cardoza that reduced a murder charge to voluntary manslaughter; a first-degree burglary charge to transporting more than an ounce of marijuana; and a first-degree attempted robbery charge to possessing marijuana for sale, according to court documents. A second attempted robbery charge was dismissed.....

Watson (wa)s charged with murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Jonathan Henry Watson
Jason Leon Belles, 31, and Jonathan Henry Watson, 30, were scheduled to be sentenced after each pleaded no contest to charges related to the death of Benson during a home invasion robbery on Dec. 3, 2008.

Watson initially accepted a plea deal Aug. 11 from Deputy District Attorney Max Cardoza for first-degree murder with a firearm enhancement and an agreed-upon prison term of 50 years to life. On Friday, he contested his previous plea.

Watson was then set to contest his plea... in a closed hearing. I don't seem to have any follow up on that

Jesse Ray Perez
ASSAULT - Jesse Ray Perez, 27, was arrested Nov. 29, 2007, on suspicion of robbing the alleged victim, assault with a deadly weapon, assault with intent to commit a sexual felony, sexual penetration by a foreign object and drug charges. He pleaded guilty to assault with a firearm as a strike offense, being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance....

Keyontae Lamar Taylor ...CHGs DROPPED

Joaquin Angel Fitzgerald more... Sixteen-year-old pleads guilty
MURDER - (Fitzgerald) pleaded guilty to second degree murder...Fitzgerald, 16, and Keyontae Lamar Taylor, 15, were arrested in connection with the homicide of Tracy Daniel Reynolds less than a week after he was found dead near the railroad tracks by the Humboldt Hill exit of U.S. Highway 101, at approximately 1 p.m. on Feb. 24.

Fitzgerald (wa)s charged with committing murder during the commission of a robbery, personal use of a firearm during a robbery, torture and cruelty to an animal.

Taylor was charged with murder during the commission of a robbery, committing robbery while vicariously armed, torture and cruelty to an animal. However, per a plea agreement, the charges against him were dropped, and during Fitzgerald’s preliminary hearing in October, Taylor testified against him....

“The investigation indicated that the victim was shot first in the leg. The painful character of that wound (was) intended to speed up his cooperation with the robbery,”

Prior to his sentencing, Fitzgerald’s attorney Neal Sanders and Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney Allan Dollison said an agreement was reached that his other charges, including unrelated infractions, would be dropped if Fitzgerald pleaded guilty to second degree murder.

Juan Jose Estrada-Chavez
ROBBERY KIDNAPPING AND ASSAULT - arrested in May for kidnapping and robbing a 20-year-old woman at gunpoint from Sequoia Park, pleaded guilty to two of four charges ... initially faced four charges of robbery, kidnapping, assault with a firearm and false imprisonment. The charges of false imprisonment and assault with a firearm were dropped as part of the plea.

Kelly Miller
A decorated war veteran from Eureka received a controversial sentence Thursday for a 2006 DUI car crash that left him and his girlfriend with serious injuries.

Kelly Miller, 24, was sentenced to five days in jail — the minimum allowed by law, according to Judge Dale Reinholtsen, who imposed the sentence despite objections from the victim’s parents.

Mark Christopher McClung
allegedly trying to kill his girlfriend, and he was charged with "four felonies — false imprisonment/person used as a shield; false imprisonment; threatening crime with intent to terrorize; and assault with a deadly weapon or great bodily injury force with a kitchen knife — and the misdemeanor of resisting arrest or obstructing a public officer."

All of the new charges, assault, kidnapping were dismissed and he entered a plea to 2 years for false imprisonment (shades of GARZA) to run concurrent to the older prison sentence. (Meaning it is not added on top of the old sentence.)

After Thursday’s court proceedings, (McClung's attorney Russell) Clanton said that if McClung didn’t have the 10-year probation violation prison sentence hanging over his head, Thursday’s outcome may have been different. Clanton whined that he would have gotten a more "equitable" sentence if it hadn't for that earlier 10 yr sentence that he couldn't get out of. Doesn't he mean the guy could have gotten off scott-free? As it is, he only has to serve 5 years.

Were it not for that earlier sentence, which tied Gallegos' hands, you have to wonder if this guy would be seeing any prison time.

Mongols - four men - Dustin Liebes, Eric Garcia, Eric Gunner Lundin, Brad Miller
MURDER - Members of the Mongols biker gang implicated in the shooting of a suspected Hells Angel in early November have all accepted plea agreements offered by the Humboldt County district attorney.

In the agreement offered on the third day of the preliminary hearing, three of four men admitted to participating in a criminal street gang -- an outcome that sets new precedent for prosecutors in Humboldt County, potentially easing legal efforts against gang members in the future.

Eric Gunner Lundin, the 28-year-old who shot Robert Thompson outside The Shanty in Old Town Eureka, pleaded no contest to felony charges of assault with a firearm and participating in a criminal street gang.

Lundin now faces between two and three years in prison at his sentencing Jan. 15.

Dustin Liebes, 36, and Eric Garcia, 28, both pleaded no contest to the felony charge of participation in a criminal street gang, and 26-year-old Brad Miller -- whom investigators believe was attempting to become a member of the gang -- pleaded no contest to being an accessory after the fact.

Those three men face up to one year in jail or one year probation at the Jan. 15 sentencing.

Pedro Martinez-Hernandez
SEXUAL ABUSE OF A CHILD - This was no ordinary case. Veteran prosecutors called it one of the biggest miscarriages of justice they had ever seen.

Not a traditional "molest" - this was a father forcibly raping his daughter every day for nine years, sometimes while the girl's young brother watched. This conduct started when she was five years old....

An arrest warrant issued for Martinez-Hernandez alleged continuous sexual abuse of a child, oral copulation with a minor, incest, possession of a false Social Security card, possession of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana.

Gallegos said the charges other than the continuous sexual abuse of a child were dropped....

The Humboldt County District Attorney's Office has reached an agreement with the Ferndale man who continually molested a child over the course of six or seven years.

Pedro Martinez-Hernandez, 39, entered a guilty plea Jan. 6 to one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child.

Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos prosecuted the case.

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Department said investigating deputies determined there were 1,900 counts of sexual intercourse against the minor and another 1,000 counts of similar instances, like oral copulation and fondling.

"We could charge the one count over and over again or we could charge the continuous act charge," Gallegos said.

Gallegos said the maximum prison sentence Martinez-Hernandez could receive is 16 years.

The California Penal Code states that one count of lewd or lascivious acts with a child carries a maximum penalty of eight years....

On Jan. 6, Pedro Martinez-Hernandez, 39, entered a guilty plea to one felony count of continuous sexual abuse of a child and a misdemeanor charge of providing false identification to a police officer. He was arrested outside of his home Dec. 24.

The Sheriff's Department has said that the investigating deputies determined there were more than 2,500 individual counts of sexual behavior.

Gallegos said that Martinez-Hernandez is no longer a threat to the community because he is now in prison.

"There's no one more committed to the safety of this community than me," Gallegos said....

On Friday, Gallegos said that Martinez-Hernandez was only formally charged with the two charges to which he entered guilty pleas.

In a telephone interview, Gallegos said he opted for the catch-all charge, because "if we charge someone with multiple counts, we have to show exactly when each incident took place and we have to prove each incident beyond a reasonable doubt."...

Phillip Ellebrecht
SHOOTING - Dollison said Ellebrecht was initially charged with shooting at an inhabited dwelling and the negligent discharge of a firearm, and was bound for both charges following his preliminary hearing May 16.

If convicted of his initial charges, Ellebrecht could have faced a maximum of seven years in state prison, Dollison said.

However, on July 31, Ellebrecht accepted a plea offer of the negligent discharge of a firearm, Dollison said, which carries a maximum prison exposure of three years.

Via telephone, Nicholas Zingaro said one of the 14 bullets fired into his home went through his front door, missing his head by 1 inch.

“My daughter heard the shots and flipped out,” Nicholas Zingaro said. “I grabbed her from her bunk bed and we huddled to the ground.

“She couldn’t stop crying. We had to call her best friend’s parents. She couldn’t stay at the house. She had to stay at her best friend’s house that night.”

Nicholas Zingaro said he believed the sentencing to be “light.”

“Seriously,” Nicholas Zingaro said, “it’s like a slap on the wrist.”

Ramon Roberto Klein
SEXUAL ASSAULT - A man who was accused of sexually assaulting a woman at Reggae on the River accepted a deal from the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office earlier this week and pleaded guilty to sexual battery.

Ramon Roberto Klein, 28, of Daly City, was charged with assault with intent to commit mayhem or sex crimes, unlawful sexual penetration and unlawful possession of a specified controlled substance.

Klein also had two enhancements to his charges that he has a prior strike for being convicted of making criminal threats in 2001 and serving a prior prison term.

Richard Craig Kesser (another bizarre use of a polygraph in a plea deal)
RETRIAL - Mary Kesser's body was found Nov. 26, 1991, in her N Street home with more than 30 stab wounds.

DA says plea deal a possibility in murder retrial
The retrial of two of three people convicted 15 years ago in the brutal slaying of Fortuna resident Mary Kesser may be over before it begins.

Following days of speculation within the law enforcement community, Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos confirmed late Tuesday that a plea deal is possible in the first-degree murder case of Richard Craig Kesser and Jennifer Gayle Leahy.

In response to an e-mail question about a possible negotiated settlement, Gallegos stated, “Are there proposals out there? Yes. Have we reached an agreement? No. Is it possible that we will? Yes.”

Richard Kesser and Leahy were convicted in 1992 of hiring Stephen Duane Chiara to kill Mary Kesser, Richard’s estranged wife, a charge that included special allegations of murder for financial gain and lying in wait.

Mary Kesser, 30 years old and the mother of a then-4-year-old boy, was found two nights before Thanksgiving 1991 in her N Street home stabbed 34 times in her head, chest, back, abdomen and hands, according to court documents.

Chiara was quickly arrested, and within days police followed a trail of clues back to Richard Kesser and Leahy in what investigators called a murder-for-hire plot.

Kesser cuts deal in murder case
A Fortuna man accused of hiring a hitman to kill his estranged wife in 1991 reached a plea agreement with the District Attorney's Office Wednesday that could require him to testify against his former girlfriend.

Richard Craig Kesser's retrial was scheduled to begin this week.

Under the agreement, Kesser is required to make a full statement and answer any questions regarding the death of his estranged wife, Mary Kesser. He will also have to take a polygraph test and testify “truthfully” in any trial related to her death.

Robert William Stepp Jr
A SLEW OF CHARGES - an offer on the table, no final report: Robert William Stepp Jr. - the charges and special allegations... from the two cases — consolidated in the new information/complaint filed by the District Attorney’s Office on Monday: charged with kidnapping for the purpose of carjacking; personal use of a dangerous weapon; false imprisonment; use of a deadly/dangerous weapon, a knife; committing a crime while out of custody on bail or on his own recognizance; attempted second-degree robbery; brandishing a deadly weapon in an angry/threatening manner; and unlawful possession of controlled substance paraphernalia. pled to ____?

Robin Stuart Bradshaw
MERDER - Robin Stuart Bradshaw entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors... agreeing to disclose the location of his wife's body and plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter, court records show.

According to court documents, Robin Bradshaw entered his guilty plea..., pleading to a single count of voluntary manslaughter upon a sudden quarrel or the heat of passion and making a false insurance claim. He faces a 12-year prison sentence. As a condition of the plea, Robin Bradshaw was to disclose the location of his wife's body.

Steven Daniel Hash
Cold Case - MURDER/MANSLAUGHTER - Steven Daniel Hash pleaded guilty... to manslaughter in the death of Curtis Huntzinger, a 14-year-old Blue Lake boy killed in 1990.

As members of Huntzinger's family watched, Assistant District Attorney Wes Keat read the terms of the plea agreement, which stipulated Hash will serve 11 years in prison, and pay a total of more than $9,000 in restitution fines.

Todd William Gonsalves
...Todd William Gonsalves was sentenced to three years in prison as part of a negotiated agreement.

Gonsalves pleaded guilty to a single count of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child younger than 14, with a stipulated sentence of three years in prison, of which he must serve at least 85 percent. (30 months)

In exchange, two identical charges were dropped, and sentences for unrelated misdemeanor cases will run concurrent with the three-year term.

Additionally, Gonsalves must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Going into the sentencing hearing, (the victim's mother) expressed displeasure with the handling of the case by the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office....

other reports show...A 34-year-old Eureka man who authorities have been looking for in connection with a 2006 child molestation case was returned to Humboldt County Tuesday after being arrested in Texas.

Humboldt County Sheriff's Detective Ben Nord said Todd William Gonsalves was arrested about three weeks ago by U.S. Marshals in Texas.

Gonsalves was booked into the Humboldt County Jail Tuesday on warrants out connected to 2003 cases alleging making threats and interfering with a police officer, a 2005 case alleging illegal use of a credit card and a 2006 case alleging continuous sexual abuse of a child.

Nord said the sexual abuse allegedly occurred against a single female victim over the course of three years.

Elliott Michael Walin
ASSAULT WITH A FIREARM - A judge found sufficient evidence, following an April 3 preliminary hearing, to bind Elliott Michael Walin over on being a felon in possession of a firearm, a sawed-off shotgun; being a felon in possession of ammunition; possession of a sawed-off shotgun; assault with a firearm; felon in possession of a short-barreled shotgun; and grand theft auto, with a special allegation that Walin did so with a sawed-off shotgun and another special allegation that Walin has a prior felony vehicle theft conviction.

“The defendant (pleaded) to (being) a felon in possession of ammunition, (being) a felon in possession of a weapon — a shotgun,” Dollison said, “and he admitted to having (served) three prior prison terms.

Weirdness: A motion for the protective order request, filed by the Humboldt County Public Defender’s Office, will be heard before Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Christopher Wilson on Monday.

If the request for the protective order — also known as a gag order — is granted, it will prevent trial attorneys, court officials and other trial participants from talking to media about the case....

Klein (had said) that he was still considering adding the following charges to the complaint against Walin “due to the evidence presented at Walin’s preliminary hearing”: robbery of a vehicle by force or fear with the use of a firearm and attempted murder with the use of a gun.

Jason Whitmill and Anthony Flores more
Two men involved in a street race on State Route 299 in October 2008 that caused an accident that killed a 9-year-old McKinleyville girl have accepted plea deals on the eve of their trial.

Jason Whitmill, 31, pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence causing bodily injury. Anthony Flores, 19, pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter and hit and run.

Whitmill agreed to serve 14 years and eight months in prison, and Flores agreed to serve four years, according to Ken Quigley, the father of the 9-year-old girl, Nicole Quigley....

...Ken Quigley, father of Nicole Quigley, attended nearly every court appearance by Whitmill and Flores with many family members and friends. He expressed frustration that the District Attorney's Office never discussed the plea bargain with him or his family.

”We didn't find out until yesterday afternoon, late, that this was even in the works,” Quigley said on Friday. “We're very disappointed in how this worked out.”

He blamed District Attorney Paul Gallegos for settling instead of going for a stronger sentence.

”We have the most incompetent DA in the state,” Quigley said.

A call seeking comment from Gallegos was not returned by deadline Friday.

In a press release, the DA's office stated that it was a potential technicality that led to the decision to accept the pleas.

”The case has been delayed in going to trial as the defense has appealed the issue of defendant Whitmill's blood being drawn without his consent at a time when it was unknown who the driver of the vehicle was,” the release states.

Initially, Cheri Marcelli -- Whitmill's wife -- was listed as the driver in police reports but it was later changed to Whitmill.

Neither the California Supreme Court nor the Court of Appeals has ruled on the appeal, the DA's office said.

”Given that issue, the prosecution made the decision to accept the plea,” the release states. “The murder charge was dismissed in exchange for his plea to these counts with the agreement he would waive his appeal rights and be sentenced to the maximum term for each count.”

William Joseph Lenard
FELONY CHILD MOLESTATION - William Joseph Lenard was arrested in September for 19 various felony charges of child molestation....

The defendant, William Joseph Lenard, 52, was charged with 19 (nineteen) felony counts of child molestation. He pleaded guilty to two felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14.

William Richard Churchill
Due to a plea agreement error, William Richard Churchill’s sentencing was postponed...

Churchill pleaded no contest to a plea of assault, with serious bodily injury, during a time Schwartz — the prosecutor in the case — was not available to be in court.

Schwartz said there was confusion with the Deputy DA present at the prior plea proceedings on what plea bargain was actually agreed upon by both the prosecution and defense.

Wednesday, everything was cleared up, with Churchill pleading no contest to his agreed-upon plea — aggravated assault with a deadly weapon — being a knife.

At sentencing, Churchill faces a maximum of four years in prison and a minimum of three years probation, Schwartz said.

The plea is also a strike offense, meaning if Churchill is subsequently convicted of another felony, that penalty would be doubled. A third strike is punishable with a prison term of 25 years to life....

Churchill’s case stem(med) from an altercation that occurred on Jan. 25 at The Shanty bar in Old Town, Eureka, after Churchill, 31, of Eureka, in which Matthew Fordham, 26, of Eureka, was ultimately stabbed multiple times.

Churchill’s initial charges include the attempted murder of Fordham.

Jeffrey Alan Burgess
In the Ezra Sanders murder - Burgess took a plea to first degree robbery with special allegations that include acting in concert with two or more persons and personally discharging a firearm during the commission of a felony

Lukus Larry Mace
pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter... as part of a deal that will have him face a maximum of six years in prison. Mace (testified) that he believed it was Burgess that shot Sanders at his trailer in a McKinleyville RV park at around 1 a.m. on Feb. 24, as part of an attempted robbery.

Ruben Anthony Peredia, 32, of Eureka, a plea deal with the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office.... was sentenced to serve 13 years and four months in state prison Friday, after pleading guilty to charges of voluntary manslaughter and burglary, with a special enhancement for being armed during his role in the shooting death of 30-year-old Ezra Sanders.

Tracey Joleen Williams pending?

Keyontae Lamar Taylor, 15, and Joaquin Fitzgerald, 16,

2 Teenagers Charged as Adults in Man's Slaying

March 03, 2006|From Times Staff and Wire Reports - LA TIMES
Two teenage boys accused of killing a 38-year-old homeless man near Humboldt Bay were charged as adults with murder Thursday, prosecutors said.

Keyontae Lamar Taylor, 15, and Joaquin Fitzgerald, 16, appeared before Humboldt County Superior Court Judge John T. Feeney on Thursday, but their arraignment was postponed until Tuesday.

Authorities said Taylor and Fitzgerald encountered Tracy Daniel Reynolds along the railroad tracks, and the three drank some beer together before the teens left. They allegedly returned a short time later to rob Reynolds, first shooting him once in the leg, then once in the heart.

Taylor and Fitzgerald both face charges of murder, robbery, torture and animal cruelty, which was added because the two allegedly shot cows nearby as well, according to Assistant Dist. Atty. Wes Keat.

'Please don't kill me; God, don't kill me' - Times-Standard
Oct 5, 2006 - 'Please don't kill me; God, don't kill me'
Chris Durant/The Times-Standard
POSTED: 10/05/2006 04:30:02 AM PDT0 COMMENTS
UPDATED: 10/05/2006 04:30:03 AM PDT

Boy testifies against pal about deadly day

EUREKA -- The boy who was originally charged as an adult in the killing of Tracy Daniel Reynolds had his adult charges dropped Wednesday as he took the stand in the preliminary hearing of his one-time friend.

Keyontae Lamar Taylor was the only witness Wednesday, testifying against Joaquin Fitzgerald Jr. Both boys are now 16.

The two were originally arrested the same time, within days of Reynolds' body being discovered Feb. 24 on rocks along railroad tracks between the Elk River Slough rail bridge and the Humboldt Bay Power Plant.

Taylor's attorney, Glenn Brown, sat next to him on the witness stand as he answered questions from Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads.

Taylor described when the two boys first came across Reynolds on the rocks.

”He was older, had a lot of facial hair,” Taylor said. “He was not so tall. Talkative. He just wanted someone to talk to. It seems like he'd been out there a while.”

The boys left Reynolds and continued to Fitzgerald's home in Fields Landing to get a .22-caliber rifle they planned on selling to someone.

Taylor said he met Fitzgerald's parents, who could see the rifle and also testified that Fitzgerald's mother joked about not shooting anyone with the gun.

On the way back to Eureka, along the same railroad tracks, the two boys loaded the gun and shot it numerous times, Taylor said, including shooting a cow.

Fitzgerald shot a cow eight to 10 times, dropping it. Taylor said he told Fitzgerald he had to go back and kill the cow to put it out of its misery.

”He went up, pulled the trigger, with the gun pointed in the cow's eye to kill the cow,” Taylor said.

To prove to his friends he killed the cow, he went back to it and cut off its ear, Taylor said.

Taylor said he also shot a cow from a distance but that the cow didn't move.

The boys came across Reynolds again, with Taylor sitting down asking him why he was still out there.

He said he put the rifle down and didn't see Fitzgerald grab it.

”Joaquin stepped in front of both of us with the rifle in his hand and shot into the water,” Taylor said. “He said (to Reynolds), give me everything you got in your pockets.”

Taylor tried to play it off as a joke, but Fitzgerald shot Reynolds in the shin, Taylor said.

”Joaquin kept asking him for the stuff,” Taylor said. “He (Reynolds) eventually pulled it out of his pockets and handed it to Joaquin,” Taylor said.

Fitzgerald then became mad at Reynolds for touching him and ordered him to put his hands up. Taylor said Reynolds grabbed the barrel of the gun and the two struggled with it.

”He (Reynolds) was repeating over and over, 'Please don't kill me, God, don't kill me,'” Taylor said.

The rifle went off and Reynolds grabbed his chest, rocking back and forth.

Neither Taylor nor Fitzgerald immediately spoke about what happened as they left the scene, but it was Fitzgerald who spoke about it first as they neared Eureka.

”He stated, 'That was two bodies on the gun for the day,'” Taylor said.

Over the course of the next few hours, Taylor learned Fitzgerald received a lighter, some cigarettes and about $2 from Reynolds.

At first, according to Taylor, Fitzgerald wanted him to keep quiet about the shooting.

”But he kind of bragged about it later on,” Taylor said.

Fitzgerald's attorney, Neal Sanders, asked Taylor about the condition of the rifle, which didn't have a trigger guard and was held together by a leather strap.

He also concentrated a lot of questions on how many times Taylor smoked marijuana before the killing.

Sanders is expected to continue questioning today.

'Please don't kill me; God, don't kill me' - Times-Standard
Oct 5, 2006 - Keyontae Lamar Taylor was the only witness Wednesday, testifying against Joaquin Fitzgerald Jr. Both boys are now 16. The two were ...

Criminal History Of Keyontae Lamar Taylor - Medford, OR
www.justmugshots.com › … › Medford › November 23, 2012
Keyontae Lamar Taylor was detained in Medford, Oregon on November 23rd, 2012. View the full details here.

Shasta County Mugshot http://california.arrests.org/Arrests/Keyontae_Taylor_8645819/
Full Name: Keyontae Lamar Taylor
Arresting Agency: RPD
Total Bond: $25000

Man Crashes Car and Jumps Off Bridge - KOBI-TV NBC5/KOTI
A man who tried to escape police officers crashed a stolen vehicle he was driving and then jumped into the icy waters of the Rogue River....

Fallon Wallace was heading home when she saw a commotion on Rock Point Bridge in Gold Hill about midnight. "There were 6 state troopers and there were flares everywhere," she says.

Police say a man stole his ex-girlfriends 2003 Mitsubishi Gallant, wrecked it Thursday on the bridge. Witnesses report he then jumped into the the Rogue River in an attempt to escape.

"Everything was blocked," Wallace continues.

We now know the man's name: police have been searching for Keyontae Taylor since last week when the vehicle was reported stolen. After tracking Taylor for three miles with a dog, he is now in police custody.

"I just turned around and went into Gold Hill and came back," says Wallace. Despite a wait she's just glad she found a way home.

Taylor is charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, fourth degree assault, and harassment

November 28, 2012 - Rogue River Press
Nov 28, 2012 - Keyontae Lamar Taylor was booked into the Jackson. County Jail after allegedly crashing his ex-girlfriend's car at Rock Point Bridge on.

Fugitive arrested after crashing into a bridge | MailTribune.com
www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/.../-1/...Mail Tribune
Nov 24, 2012 - Keyontae Lamar Taylor was taken into custody on charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, first-degree criminal mischief, attempt to ...

Man on the run behind bars today - KTVL 10 Medford
Nov 23, 2012 - By Jessica De NovaKTVL.comGOLD HILL, Ore.-22-year-old Keyontae Lamar Taylor escaped the scene of a c.


relating to eureka coalition for jobs

Alone, Measure T would increase dirty campaigning

My Word by Andrew Bird
POSTED: 05/19/2006 04:27:35 AM PDT0 COMMENTS
UPDATED: 05/19/2006 04:27:35 AM PDT

Measure T has a major problem: Without an accompanying legislative fix, the measure is likely to encourage more of a particularly sleazy type of campaign ad that it seeks to ban.

Measure T is the initiative that Humboldt Coalition for Community Rights qualified for the June ballot. It seeks to ban non-local companies and organizations from contributing to local campaigns.

The ballot argument for Measure T cites a series of cloak-and-dagger hit ads that targeted Chris Kerrigan in the 2004 Eureka City Council race as a reason to vote yes.

The sad fact is, because of a particularly onerous state appellate court ruling that the Legislature has failed to correct, if Measure T passes we are likely to see more of these ads in local campaigns. And local authorities would be powerless to stop them.

This is because the court ruling, which allows such campaigners to remain secret, would usurp any local law.

Late in the 2004 Eureka City Council campaign, a series of very negative ads -- slick mailbox brochures and television spots -- targeted Chris Kerrigan, blaming him for just about every problem Humboldt County faces.

The ads were signed by “Eureka Coalition for Jobs.” No individual names were signed to any of them.

I was a reporter for this newspaper at the time. We quickly learned that Eureka Coalition for Jobs was not a registered campaign committee. Next, we tracked the ads to an influential Sacramento lobbyist -- Wayne Ordos, a former executive director of the Fair Political Practices Commission, or FPPC, the state agency that enforces California campaign law.

Ordos had been paid to hire a San Francisco agency to create and place the ads. However, Ordos refused to reveal who had paid him.

Full of vim and vinegar, I demanded of Ordos how he figured he could get away with violating California's Political Reform act, the law that requires campaign committees to register with the secretary of state.

Ordos, a polite man, gave me a crash course in the current state of campaign law in California.

In 2001, an out-of-state group calling itself “American Taxpayers Alliance” started running a series of television ads sharply critical of Gov. Gray Davis. The ads blamed Davis for the state's energy crisis, and coined the term “grayouts.”

As it was a year before Davis was up for re-election, the ads did not advocate a vote for or against Davis. Nevertheless, the Davis campaign sued in an attempt to force the group to reveal its backers. A San Francisco Superior Court judge sided with the Davis campaign.

But the California Court of Appeals, 1st District, sided with the American Taxpayers Alliance, in a ruling that opined so-called “issue advocacy” ads are protected by the First Amendment and that forcing the group to reveal itself would have a chilling effect on free speech. (The Governor Gray Davis Committee v. American Taxpayers Alliance, A096658.)

Ordos used this ruling to justify keeping “Eureka Coalition for Jobs” under a cloak. To this day, the cloak has never been lifted.

Indeed, the Eureka Coalition for Jobs ads did not advise a vote for or against Kerrigan. But they were exceedingly deceitful, mendaciously accusing Kerrigan of being responsible for the North Coast's economic woes.

This newspaper filed a complaint with the FPPC, seeking to force Ordos to register “Eureka Coalition for Jobs” as a campaign committee, thereby revealing those who paid for the ads. The complaint pointed out a huge difference between Davis in 2001 and Kerrigan in 2004: Kerrigan was a candidate and the election was less than a week away when the ads first appeared.

But the FPPC sided with Ordos, refusing to act on the complaint.

Also in 2004, State Sen. Dean Florez, a Democrat from Shafter who'd had an experience similar to Kerrigan's, introduced Senate Bill 36, which sought to close this loophole.

At this newspaper's request, North Coast Assemblywoman Patty Berg signed onto the bill as principal coauthor. However, SB 36 was drafted as an “urgency” measure, which would have made it effective immediately, and it failed to muster the required two-thirds vote in the Senate last summer.

I understand what the supporters of Measure T are trying to accomplish. But without a legislative fix that has passed court muster, Measure T would encourage those who are shut out of open campaigning to hide behind a front man and sling the sleaze, like the Eureka Coalition for Jobs did against Kerrigan.

I am for more local control in local elections, too. But not at the risk of more of this most vulgar type of campaigning in Humboldt County.

Andrew Bird, a former Times-Standard reporter, is a Eureka resident.

The opinions expressed in My Word pieces do not necessarily reflect the editorial viewpoint of the Times-Standard.


NO mention of course of all Richard Salzman's groups - Alliance for Ethical Business, etc. No mention of Humboldt Watershed Council's "Fraud is not a victimless crime" ads... Richard knows how to play this game, and it is disingenuous to pretend otherwise.

"They all do it" What are you upset about?

kerrigan wins

Kerrigan exuberant 11/04/04

Bohn supporters 'shocked' at landslide loss


When the first vote returns came in a little after 8 p.m. Tuesday, Chris Kerrigan couldn't know that he had a small lead. He was sitting in council chambers with the rest of the Eureka City Council, taking a look at a first draft of some revisions to the city's architectural design standards he has been championing over the last few months.

Victorious Eureka City Council candidate Chris Kerrigan (left) prepares to thank hhis supporters while Mayor peter La Vallee stokes up the crowd at the Lost Coast Brewery.

But just over an hour later the 25-year-old was standing on a chair upstairs at the Lost Coast Brewery, ready to deliver his victory speech to a screaming crowd of about 75 of the people who contributed to what he called "the best grassroots campaign that Eureka has ever seen."

"We countered the big money, and we did it with manpower and good old grassroots democracy," he said.

Though an unknown number of absentee ballots remained to be counted, Kerrigan had racked up a convincing 59-41 percent victory at the polls.

Kerrigan said that when he went door to door in his campaign, talking with citizens, he found consistent support for the main issues of his campaign -- good jobs, smart growth and community design standards.

"Tonight, almost 60 percent of Eureka embraced that message, and we are going to continue to go forward and work for those goals," he said.

Kerrigan went on to thank challenger Rex Bohn for what he called a "spirited campaign."

His supporters, though, were clearly more interested in celebrating their candidate's strong success in what was assumed by many to be a close race.

Eureka City Council candidate Rex Bohn, left, chats with backers Willie (center) and Royal McCarthy at OH's Town House Tuesday night after election results came in.

Charlene Cutler-Ploss, a member of Eureka's Design Review Committee who went door-to-door to advocate for Kerrigan, said that she was proud that voters rejected a challenger who she thought was put forward and propped up by special interests -- the county's developers.

"We feel phenomenal," she said. "It reaffirms my belief in the electorate and in the best man winning. It shows that I'm not the only one in Eureka who feels that my vote cannot be bought."

Mayor Peter La Vallee, a strong Kerrigan supporter, said that though he was disturbed at the rising costs of running a City Council campaign in Eureka -- in the end, the two candidates raised and spent over $100,000 -- he, too, was overjoyed at the election's result.

But La Vallee had some choice words for whoever was behind the anonymous group calling themselves the Eureka Coalition for Jobs, which had put out a flurry of last-minute anti-Kerrigan ads and mailers. The mayor said that by choosing to hide their identities, backers of the ads demonstrated that they lacked the courage of their convictions.

"To the guys who did that ad, the Eureka Coalition for So-and-So?" he shouted. "Grow some balls."

It was early in the evening when a crowd of Rex Bohn's supporters at OH's Town House heard the news that their guy had been defeated -- badly. They weren't happy.

"Well, I guess Arcata runs Eureka now," said Janeth Mariante, Bohn's campaign treasurer. "This really, really sucks."

Bohn himself stepped up to the microphone at 9 p.m., delivering some of his characteristic humor. "I want to thank everybody for coming to the Virginia Bass-Jackson re-election party," he said laughing, referring to the Eureka City Councilwoman and OH's Town House owner who ran unopposed in Ward 2.

"It's been a fun ride," Bohn, 50, continued. "The voters have spoken, but that does not mean we cannot make Eureka a better place. We ran a good, clean campaign. We ran it on issues and ideas, and I'm proud of what we did."

Supervisor Roger Rodoni, in his trademark cowboy hat, shouted out, "Run again. I did!" to applause from the crowd.

Many of those at the restaurant, decorated with red and blue balloons, said they were surprised that the election was so decisive.

"I'm shocked. This is stunning," said Bohn supporter Jeff Lang. "This election broke right down party lines. People don't necessarily look on who the best candidate was. They look at what party they are. To me, man, that is the biggest atrocity of this vote."

Marian Brady, who volunteered on Bohn's campaign, agreed with Lang that the "go-clean" approach may have backfired. "We went too nice," Brady said, referring to Bohn's commitment to avoid negative campaigning. Lang said Bohn "had a folder full of dirt" on Kerrigan that he never used. He did not elaborate.

Others at the gathering included Bohn's campaign manager, Chris Crawford, Councilwoman Virginia Bass-Jackson, and Eureka City Manager David Tyson, who rebuffed a reporter with "I'm off the clock."

Sporting a "Proud to be a Bohn-Head" hat, Royal McCarthy, who said he had gotten to know Bohn through Ducks Unlimited, said he was "stunned" at the vote. "I had no idea that it would go this way, really," McCarthy said.

Bohn told the Journal that his plans for the future were uncertain. "I want to make sure that the promises made to the city of Eureka are followed through. We need to find some real jobs for our kids. I had a lot of support from the young people because they wanted to stay here. I'm not gonna stop trying to do that."

Would he make another try at politics? "Never say never," Bohn said

Just like Humboldt Watershed Council and the so-called Alliance For Ethical Business, eh, Richard?


A group calling itself Eureka Coalition for Jobs funded a last-minute burst of TV ads and mailers attacking City Councilman Chris Kerrigan, who was running for re-election. Accompanied by ominous music, the ad said that Kerrigan "promised to fight for good-paying jobs, but where are they? Our economy is shrinking, and major employers are slipping away. Wages are falling. No more empty promises. We want jobs." Kerrigan's opponent in the Ward 4 race, Rex Bohn, immediately distanced himself from the ad campaign, saying he was not behind it and had no idea who was. Why didn't the group file a campaign finance form identifying contributors? It may not have had to. According to the Fair Political Practices Commission in Sacramento, the group would qualify as an "independent expenditure committee" if it spent $1,000 or more to oppose a single candidate or ballot measure. But it gets more complicated: The ad in question must be one that "expressly advocates" the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or measure, or "unambiguously urges a particular result in an election" Kerrigan campaign advisor Richard Salzman said he believes that under the courts' interpretation of the Fair Political Practices Act the anti-Kerrigan ads would not, unfortunately, require disclosure of the funders. "Nobody with this kind of money is gonna hire an incompetent lawyer," Salzman said. The backers "know how to walk just half a step behind the line."

good ol' doggerelface, Salzman-ish gibberish


Posts Tagged ‘Eureka Coalition for Jobs’
Rose is a railer just like Captain Ahab on his whaler
August 4, 2008

In every situation Rose is a reliable corporate hailer

Salzman’s name is central in elaborate conspiricies she’ll tailor

Her grip on reality it couldnt be much frailer

It’s if she was smoking crack like Lawrence Taylor

She hopes all the trehuggers get run down by a tractor trailer

Hurrying to deliver plastic crap to her favorite WAL-MART retailer

Against Local Solutions she is an incessant railer

Bellowing like Captain Ahab from the deck of his whaler

About throwing R. Trent in the can, just like was like a drunken sailor

And hoping that he gets beat senseless by an irate jailer.

Compared to hers, his trangressions seem much paler

just minute trifles, that would blind an auto detailer

Ideological constipation that’s the affliction that ails her

Reading the latest Eureka Coalition for Jobs mailer

Made Rose so verklempt she needed to use an inhaler

It claims Richard Salzman is just like Vlad the Impaler

Tags:corporate knobjobber, crack smokers, Drunken sailors, Eureka Coalition for Jobs, Herman Melville, Ideological constipation, LT, Moby Gallegos, Obsessive neat freaks, Sadistic guards, Vlad the Impaler
Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments »

R. Trent gets outspent
July 7, 2008

There once was a fellow who called himself R. Trent

In letters to the editor he’d often vent

Right wing foibles he’d always lament

Unfortunately his name he’d sometimes misrepresent

That doesn’t invalidate the rest of his argument

To his subjects the letters caused such anguish and torment

That they called the local police to register their discontent

They said he’s committing a breach of trust with fraudulent intent

Never mind that anonymous lobbyists pumping $$$ get their assent

So that at campaign time all the liberals are sure to get outspent.

They were beside themselves with phony outrage over a non event,

Because they always need another straw bogey man to invent.

Treats minor chicanery like a seismic event.

Anyone who thinks I’m “Sarah” must be sniffing rubber cement

Tags:Barney Fife, conspiracy theories, earthquakes, Eureka Coalition for Jobs, Fake names, faux outrage, glue sniffers, Hypocrite right wingers, Shadowy Corporate lobbyists, Thin skinned, Trumped up
Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments »

More re Eureka Coalition for jobs


PL^C i or',

Eureka Times-Standard

Local Democrats want Eureka Coalition for Jobs to come clean

Oy Moyhan Vogel Ths Timus-Standard
Tuesday, November 02, 2004 -

EUREKA " The Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee Is calling for a full and open public disclosure 01" those
behind the Eureka Coalition TO;- Jobs.

The mystery group, which is being represented by Sacramento attorney and lobbyist Wayne Ordos. has launched a media
attach against Eureka City Councilman Chris Kerrlgan in the last few days before the election. Ordos has refused to disciose
his client. 01 clients. A television ad, which was paid tci by tho coalition, claims Kerrigan is reRponsiolo tor a downturn n the
local ecoromy.

On Saturday. Eureka residents also received ma.-l from the Eureka Coalition for Jobs. The mailer Quotes Times-Standard
headlines and articles out of context, and claims Kerrlgan is responsible for running pbs out of town, A local media firm.
which did not produce the mailer, estimated it cost a little mo'e than S10.000 to design, print and mail

Rsx Bohn. who is running against Kerngan Tor Eureka's 4th Ward seal. held a press conference as soon as he found out
about the 'elevlsion ad. Bohn said he was shocked by the ad. and had no idea where it came from-

This ;s not good for anyone." said Chris Crawford. chair of Friends for Rex Bohn "It certainly has no; he.ped oui campaign.
Whoever is doing this is running the ad because they know it will hurt us. or they're trying to help us EiSher way, we neither
seek npr appreciate the'r help."

noh." said he doesn't want the ad to polarize the community.

"I wish tnis ad had never showed up. because it's no! do'ng anybody any good/' he said, "1 wan1 people to vote for the
person they think could do tne best job."

The Hjnboldt County Democratic Centra! Committee :s calling for loca. political parties and action groups to dencunce the
ads and to p'ess the Fair Political Practices Commission to conduct a full investigation of the anonymous group.

'These aos are misleading, unethical and wildly inaccurate,'' said Committee Chair Patrick Riggs In a press statement. "They
represent the woist kind of negative campaigning by special interest groups afraid to let the public know v/ho they are."

in light of tho ads. the committee 's also reiterating iis endorsemen' of Kerrigan.

"I ie has worked to bring living-wage )obs to ETiureka. foi affordable housing and health caie. and to keep our local businesses
grov.'.'ng." r^iggs said- "We feel it is important to make this public statement a; this time to make sure our Democratic voters
are not misled by these sneak attack ads "

On F.'.day. KEET-TV. the North Coast's public television station, issued written requests that the ad be pulled from the air
because it contains copyrighted footage of Kerrigan at a KEET debate. Js'ing copyrighted material is in violation n* Fedo-al
Cc'nmunicaiions Commission's standards.

Also on Friday. Bob Browning, station manager of KIEM Channel 3. said his station wou!d not be pulling (he ad. Instead.
Browning said. it would be replacing the KEET footage v/ith images obtained from Co'sky Media o: Sar: Franc^co, which
placed *he ad with local television stations

On Monday. Browning said Colsky Media purchased KIEM foctage of Kerrigan to replace the KEET footage in the ad, KIEM
then re-edited the ad Re-editing is a standard service KIEM provides. Drowning said. He would not disclose how much the
station v/as paid for the re-edit, but said a premium was paid because of the short notice-

l^tIp;,/.••\v\vw.times-sIand.ird.coIn;c.da•••a^ticle..••pr^nt.••'n, 1674.127%7K2S96%7H2507829,00,html I t.-'l 5/2004

Allegations re: The Eureka Coalition For Jobs



PHONE: (707) 476-2384 FAX: (707) 445-7299

December 1, 2004

Enforcement Division

Fair Political Practices Commission

428 "r Street, Suite 620

Sacramento/ CA 95814

FAX: (916) 322-1932

Re: Election Campaign Issues In Humboldt County
To Whom It May Concern:

The election of November 2004 in Humboldt County raised questions about
disclosure requirements for entities purchasing advertising concerning issues and
candidates that appear on a local ballot.

Two entities purchased advertising for Humboldt County issues and at the same
time have refused to disclose information as to who contributed to the funding of these ads:

1. An entity named "Eureka Coalition for Jobs" purchased air time and sent a
mailer which showed Cnris Kemgan, a candidate for Eureka City Council/ in a negative
light. This advertising occurred only days before the election.

When asked by the media to disclose who purchased these ads/ the Eureka Coalition
for Jobs representative Wayne Ordos/ asserted that the Eureka Coalition for Jobs "is a
representation of a number of people in the area who are concerned about the State of the
economy/ but I am not at liberty to tell you their names." (See Eureka Times Standard
article of November 10/ 2004/ by Andrew Bird). Mr. Ordo has stated that the applied the
reasoning from Davis v. American Taxpayers Alliance, 203 Cal.App.4th 449 to conclude that
the Eureka Coalition for Jobs ads did not trigger disclosure requirements because "none
of the language in the ads or mailers advocate a voice for or against Kerrigan or his
opponent. Rex Bonn." (See Eureka Times Standard article dated November 2, 2004, by
Andrew Bird).

Attached to this letter are printed articles that appeared in the local media that
discuss the Eureka Coalition for Jobs ads.


Arcata fatal stabbing case reassigned from Firpo to Gallegos

Arcata fatal stabbing case reassigned from Firpo to Gallegos - The Times-Standard
POSTED: 03/18/2014 12:57:34 PM PDT3 COMMENTS
UPDATED: 03/18/2014 01:09:57 PM PDT

Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos said today that he has reassigned the Douglas Anderson-Jordet fatal stabbing case from Deputy District Attorney Elan Firpo to himself.

Gallegos said his decision had “nothing to do” with Firpo's handling of the case or the quality of her work, but due to the case being used for other purposes by two of Firpo's fellow candidates in the upcoming district attorney election.

”It was my own inner sense of justice for everyone involved and my disappointment that some would use this case for political purposes instead of trying to seek justice,” Gallegos said.

Firpo said she had requested Gallegos to reassign her from the case for the same reason.

”To ensure this campaign is not conflated with a political campaign and that decisions are based on evidence and the rule of the law to ensure justice for both the victims and the defendants, I have asked that the case be reassigned,” Firpo wrote in a text message.

Anderson-Jordet, a 50-year old chef and Arcata resident, was killed in the early morning hours of Nov. 25 in Arcata after an altercation with three Arcata residents, which resulted in him being fatally stabbed once in the chest. In a plea agreement with the district attorney's office, Anderson-Jordet's killer -- 35-year-old Juan Joseph Ferrer -- pleaded no contest to the charge of involuntary manslaughter, for which he would serve a maximum four-year jail sentence and pay up to $10,000 in restitution fees to Anderson-Jordet's family.

District attorney candidates Arnie Klein and Allan Dollison have both issued press releases in the last month scrutinizing the plea deal and Firpo's handling of the case.

As Gallegos is not seeking reelection, he said he should be the one to carry out the rest of the case.

”I am responsible for all of the decisions in my office and the one person that is not making a decision based on political motivations one way or another,” Gallegos said. “I am used to the hue and cry of politics.”

Gallegos reassigns Firpo from Arcata fatal stabbing case; DA will not challenge killer's plea deal - Will Houston/The Times-Standard

POSTED: 03/19/2014 02:19:30 AM PDT0 COMMENTS
UPDATED: 03/19/2014 11:00:55 AM PDT

Gallegos reassigns Firpo from Arcata fatal stabbing case; DA will not challenge killer's plea deal

Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos said in an interview Tuesday that he has reassigned the Douglas Anderson-Jordet fatal stabbing case from Deputy District Attorney Elan Firpo to himself.

Gallegos said his decision had “nothing to do” with Firpo's handling of the case or the quality of her work, but said it was because the case is being used for other purposes by two of Firpo's fellow candidates in the upcoming district attorney election.

”It was my own inner sense of justice for everyone involved and my disappointment that some would use this case for political purposes instead of trying to seek justice,” Gallegos said.

Firpo said she had requested Gallegos to reassign her from the case for the same reason.

”To ensure this campaign is not conflated with a political campaign and that decisions are based on evidence and the rule of the law to ensure justice for both the victims and the defendants, I have asked that the case be reassigned,” Firpo wrote in a text message.

Anderson-Jordet, a 50-year old chef and Arcata resident, was killed in the early morning hours of last Nov. 25 in Arcata after an altercation with three Arcata residents, which resulted in him being fatally stabbed once in the chest. In a plea agreement with the district attorney's office, Anderson-Jordet's killer -- 35-year-old Juan Joseph Ferrer -- pleaded no contest to the charge of involuntary manslaughter, for which he would serve a maximum four-year jail sentence and pay up to $10,000 in restitution fees to Anderson-Jordet's family.

Donna Johnson, Anderson-Jordet's sister, said her family has sent several emails and letters to the district attorney's office asking them to vacate the plea deal and bring Ferrer to trial.

”We have tried to work with (Firpo) and Gallegos, and he was giving us the same answer,” Johnson said. “We were told that this plea deal was the best we can get against him.”

Anderson-Jordet's brother, Donald Anderson, said he and his family “aren't happy” about the plea deal, and said that “we didn't feel like everything has been heard.”

”There has been some discrepancies about what we heard when we wrote to them and what we're being told by the district attorney's office,” Anderson said. “We were told it was one way, and now it's another.”

Gallegos said he has corresponded with the family and understands their grief, but said that he will not challenge the plea deal as “the legal system does not aspire to accomplish the individual aspirations of victims or their families.”

”My heart goes out to them,” Gallegos said. “... But our job as prosecutors is to listen and exercise compassion without sentimentality.”

As a prosecutor, Gallegos said their decisions “cannot be based on the will of the individuals,” but must be supported by “evidence proved beyond a reasonable doubt.”

”We don't represent the victims, we represent the people of the state of California,” Gallegos said.

District attorney candidates Arnie Klein and Allan Dollison have both issued press releases in the last month scrutinizing the plea deal and Firpo's handling of the case.

As Gallegos is not seeking reelection, he said he should be the one to carry out the rest of the case.

”I am responsible for all of the decisions in my office and the one person that is not making a decision based on political motivations one way or another,” Gallegos said. “I am used to the hue and cry of politics.”

Will Houston can be reached at 707-441-0504 or whouston@times-standard.com. Follow him on Twitter.com/Will_S_Houston.