Crime

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

UPDATED: Sheriff's Office: Father Sought in Eureka Child Abduction Case

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 9:48 AM

Anthony Lux and Allison Shirey - HUMBOLDT COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
  • Humboldt County Sheriff's Office
  • Anthony Lux and Allison Shirey
Update:

Anthony Lux returned his 4-year daughter, Alison Shirey, to her legal guardian last night. Lux and his daughter were the subject of a three day search after he took her from her guardian's home Sunday night.

According to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office, Lux stated he had received advice that he had the legal right to remove his daughter from the home. Selena Zorilla-Mendoza, the HCSO public information officer, said there were no plans to press charges against Lux at this time.

From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at about 10:50 p.m. Anthony Lux met with Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies to return his daughter, Allison Shirey. Lux spoke with Investigators and stated he had received advice that there were no court orders in regards to Allison’s guardianship and he had legal rights to remove Allison from the home. Lux agreed to return Allison after speaking with Investigators after realizing his actions were unlawful and plans on pursuing custody of his daughter.

Deputies returned Allison to her guardian and was removed from the missing persons system. Allison was in good health and good spirits.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the public and media for their assistance in attempting to locate this child.

Previously:

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office is searching for 4-year-old Eureka girl who was reportedly taken by her father on Sunday night without permission.

Anthony Lux, 31, was given a ride to St. Joseph Hospital from a Hillside Court residence where he was last seen with Allison Shirey but did not check in and has not been seen since then, according to a sheriff's office release.

The girl's legal guardian, who has temporary custody of Allison, was in another part of the home when Lux left with his daughter, officials said.

Read the full sheriff's office release below:
On Sunday, November 27, 2016 at about 7 p.m. Humboldt County Deputy Sheriffs responded to the 4100 block of Hillside Ct. in Eureka for a reported child abduction by parent. The reporting party told deputies when she was in another part of her residence, Anthony Lux (31) unexpectedly left with his daughter, 4 year old Allison Shirey. The reporting party provided court documentation stating she has temporary physical and legal custody of Allison. Lux did not have permission to take Allison from the residence.
It was later discovered Lux received a ride from the residence on Hillside Ct. to St. Joseph’s Hospital. Lux did not check into the hospital and has not been seen since. Lux has connections in Alderpoint, Eureka, McKinleyville, Montegue (Siskyou County) and Chico (Butte County). Lux’s whereabouts are unknown at this time.
Anthony Lux is a white male adult, 5’8”, 160 lbs, with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing an olive colored pea coat, black pants, and black shoes.
Allison Shirey is a 4 year old girl, 3’ tall, 50 lbs, with blue eyes and brown hair. She was last seen wearing pink pants with owls on them and a white shirt with blue and pink flowers.
A Be-On-the-Lookout (BOLO) was issued for Lux. Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

Editor's note: The original version of this story incorrectly identified the relationship between Allison Shirey and her legal guardian. The Journal regrets the error.
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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Murder Arrest in Hoopa

Posted By on Sat, Nov 26, 2016 at 12:10 PM

Lorence  Emmanuel Bailey's booking photo.
  • Lorence Emmanuel Bailey's booking photo.
In the early hours the day after Thanksgiving, Humboldt County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a call at a home in Hoopa Valley and found wounded woman who died at the scene. Deputies have arrested Lorence Emmanuel Bailey for her murder and his bail is set at $1,000,000.

This is Humboldt County's 20th homicide of the year.

Read the full press release below.


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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

DA: No Evidence Juveniles Had Means to Pull Off Bomb Plot

Posted By on Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 4:50 PM

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The Humboldt County District Attorney’s office has decided not to pursue criminal charges against two 15-year-olds accused of plotting the bombing of a Fortuna High School assembly.

“To date, the investigation has yielded no evidence that either juvenile had the means to create an item that could be a hazard — one individual possessed approximately 2 grams ([less than] .1 ounces) of sulfur, a readily available legal product with a variety of uses,” a press release from the office states. “Further, there is insufficient evidence to indicate the two juveniles conspired to commit an attack.”

Both findings are in direct conflict with statements from Fortuna Police Chief Bill Dobberstein on Nov. 11, the day after police thwarted the alleged plot. The chief told the Journal and other media outlets that one of the juveniles was found to be in possession of “several components for making some kind of toxic chemical gas explosion devices” but were missing a “key ingredient” that police believed was stashed somewhere on campus. Dobberstein said it appeared the students were planning on making multiple explosive devices with a substance akin to homemade mustard gas, or sulfur mustard, to detonate them at an all-school assembly that day.

Further, Dobberstein said it appeared the students had been planning a “mass casualty event” for some time and targeting “when there was going to be a large gathering of students and teachers in one place.”

The Fortuna Police Department also issued a press release this afternoon, stating that it has been made aware of the DA’s Office’s decision and will continue to follow up on any new leads in the case.

See past Journal coverage of the incident here, and find the press releases from the DA’s Office and Fortuna PD copied below.

From Fortuna PD:
Fortuna High School Threats case update
The Fortuna Police Department has been made aware that the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office will not be bringing charges at this time against the two 15 year-old boys arrested on November 10, 2016 at Fortuna High School.
The Fortuna Police Department has worked tirelessly over the last 6 days investigating this case with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of investigation. We have followed every lead and conducted multiple searches in regards to this case. The safety of the students and citizens of Fortuna never wavered and was a paramount concern during this investigation.
Although no charges will be filed at this time, the Fortuna Police Department will continue to follow up on any new information related to this case.


From the DA's Office:
DA Perspective on Potential Threat to Public Safety at Fortuna High
Office of the District Attorney - Maggie Fleming, District Attorney
NEW RELEASE
November 16, 2016
This press release provides current information from the Humboldt County District Attorney’s perspective on the potential threat to public safety at Fortuna High School last Thursday.
Based on statements by students, Fortuna High School staff and the Fortuna Police Department responded immediately to a potential threat and took appropriate action. The ensuing investigation resulted in the FBI and Fortuna Police Department serving search warrants on the homes and computer devices of the two juveniles suspected of plotting an attack at an assembly. To date the investigation has yielded no evidence that either juvenile had the means to create an item that could be a health hazard – one individual possessed approximately 2 grams ([less than] 0.1 ounces) of sulfur, a readily available legal product with a variety of uses. Further, there is insufficient evidence to indicate the two juveniles conspired to commit an attack.
The FBI and Fortuna Police Department continue to investigate the case, but at this point the evidence does not support filing of state criminal charges against the two individuals involved.


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Saturday, November 12, 2016

UPDATED: Police Chief: Fortuna High School Narrowly Escaped 'Terrible Tragedy'

Posted By on Sat, Nov 12, 2016 at 7:23 PM

fortuna-police-department.jpg
UPDATE:
The Fortuna Police Department sent out a press release this evening stating that it has investigated additional reports of violent social media threats since Thursday and found them not to be credible.

Since officials thwarted two students’ alleged plans to set off numerous homemade chemical bombs during an all-school assembly Thursday, FPD has been working with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office on the case, according to a press release. Additionally, there will be a “strong law enforcement presence” at the school Monday as a precaution and to help “allay any fears that students, staff and parents may have following Thursday’s arrests.

See the full press release copied at the bottom of this post.

PREVIOUSLY:
According to Police Chief Bill Dobberstein, three short hours is all that stood between Fortuna High School and tragedy.

Fortuna police announced last night that they had arrested two male 15-year-old students at the school who had been planning a “mass casualty event” to take place during an all-school rally on campus yesterday afternoon.

“It could have been a terrible tragedy if that rally would have taken place,” Dobberstein told the Journal this morning. “The whole school was going to be there for this thing.”

The police chief said word of the plot — which the suspects had been planning for some time — came to school administrators’ attention around noon yesterday. Dobberstein said one of the suspects in the case had apparently texted a friend, telling him or her to “basically stay out of the gym during the rally.” The friend then told another student, who told another student, who told his or her mother, who called another mother who ultimately called the school and made them aware of the warning, according to Dobberstein.

Fortuna High School Principal Clinton Duey was then able to trace the origins of the warning back to one of the suspects, and brought him into his office. Duey was able to get the other suspect's name, Dobberstein said, and brought him into the office as well, holding both suspects there while he called police.

Dobberstein said his department was notified of the situation at about 1:15 p.m. and responded immediately to the school. “It was literally about an hour before the school was scheduled to go to the rally,” Dobberstein said.

The chief said officers searched the students and, in one of their backpacks, found “several components for making some kind of toxic chemical gas explosion devices.” The students were missing a “key ingredient,” Dobberstein said, but police believe they had the missing chemical stashed somewhere on campus, based on witness statements and messages found on the suspects’ phones, tablets or computers. It appears the suspects were planning on making multiple explosive devices with a substance akin to homemade mustard gas, or sulfur mustard, a chemical agent that causes severe burning of the skin, eyes and respiratory system.

“Absolutely more than one,” the chief said. “They had enough material to definitely make more than one.”

Dobberstein said investigators will be serving search warrants today, including one to gain access to “electronic messaging devices” used by the suspects. But the chief said that based on what police have accessed thus far, it appears the suspects may have been planning a mass casualty event for some time and targeting “when there was going to be a large gathering of students and teachers in one place.”

So far, police don’t have any reason to believe anyone else was involved in the plot, Dobberstein said, but can’t rule out the possibility. Both suspects were arrested yesterday and booked into juvenile hall.

As to a motive for the thwarted attack, Dobberstein said many have been “thrown around, but we couldn’t say with certainty what the motive was at all.” The chief said he doesn’t believe either of the suspects had a lot of prior police contact, but otherwise wouldn’t comment on the boys. He also said it doesn't appear either of the suspects had access to other weapons.

Fortuna High School administrators didn't immediately respond to messages this morning.

The case remains under investigation by the Fortuna Police and the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office, and police ask anyone with information to contact the police department at 725-7550.

Dobberstein commended the response of students and parents who relayed information, and of administrators who quickly identified and detained the suspects.

See the full press release from FPD copied below:

Fortuna Police Investigate threat to Fortuna High School

On November 10, 2016 at about 1:15 PM the Fortuna Police Department responded to the Fortuna High School for a report of a threat to student safety.

Officers contacted two 15 year-old students that had been detained by high school staff. Officers learned the two juveniles were communicating with each other, planning a mass casualty event that was to take place at a rally at FUHS later in the afternoon. Officers located some components for making an explosive device, however incomplete, in the possession of one of the juveniles. Evidence and items located on the juveniles indicated the threat was very serious in nature.

The two juveniles were taken into police custody and later transported to Juvenile Hall. The Fortuna Police Department is working this investigation with investigators from the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office. This is a very active investigation with multiple locations being searched.

The Fortuna Police Department asks the public for any information and assistance in this case. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Fortuna Police Department at (707) 725-7550.

From FPD Saturday:

Fortuna High School threats case update

The Fortuna Police Department is continuing our investigation on the threats reported to us on Thursday afternoon, involving two students who reportedly had the intention to commit an act, or acts of mass violence at Fortuna High School’s Pep Rally, scheduled for that afternoon.

Both individuals were arrested, and found to have items in their possession which lent credibility to those threats.

We have also become aware of further allegations of planned violence on social media by other individuals. These allegations and reports are being taken very seriously and have been followed up by investigating officers. These allegations have been found to not be credible.

However, our department continues to work closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Attorney’s office on this investigation.

As an added precaution, there will be a strong law enforcement presence at the High School on Monday to help allay any fears that students, staff and parents may have following Thursday’s arrests.

As more information becomes available to us as result of this investigation, we will provide pertinent facts to help dispel any unfounded rumors being circulated on social media and by other means.

We ask that citizens call the department, at 725-7550, with any information that they may have regarding Thursday’s incident, or any rumors regarding any threats to students or other citizens.


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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Update: No Injuries in Hoopa Officer-Involved Shooting

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2016 at 10:13 AM

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UPDATE: No one was injured during an officer-involved shooting in Hoopa after a sheriff’s deputy shot at a suspect who reportedly fired at law enforcement several times from his residence during an early morning stand off yesterday.

Eric Michael Matilton, 31, is facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon, willful discharge of a firearm in a grossly negligent manner, and violation of probation, according to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. He bail was set at $50,000.

The full release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office is posted below.

On Thursday, October 27, 2016 at about 3:30 a.m. Humboldt County Deputy Sheriffs were dispatched to Hwy 96 near Boozer Ln. in Hoopa for a report of a subject having some type of mental issue and shooting from his residence.
Upon arrival, deputies attempted to get the subject to exit the residence using a public address (PA) system. Dispatchers were in contact with the suspect via telephone and relayed to deputies the suspect wanted to see a patrol vehicle with overhead lights on before he would come out. Deputies moved a patrol vehicle within sight of the residence and took cover nearby due to shots being fired from the residence. The suspect still refused to exit the residence.
While deputies were on scene, more shots were fired from the residence by the suspect. The suspect then exited the residence with a firearm and walked down the driveway. The suspect fired a bullet in the direction of deputies and retreated back into the residence. The suspect again exited the residence with a firearm and walked toward the staged patrol vehicle pointing the firearm in the direction of where the deputies and bystanders were located. Fearing for the safety of those on scene, a deputy fired shots at the suspect. The suspect was uninjured. Shortly thereafter the suspect was apprehended. No one was injured during this incident.

The suspect was identified as 31 year old Eric Michael Matilton, of Hoopa.

Matilton was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, willful discharge of a firearm in a grossly negligent manner, and violation of probation. He was taken to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked on the above listed charges. His bail was set at 50,000.

PREVIOUS

A man who “confronted deputies” responding to reports he was shooting from his Hoopa residence early this morning was arrested following an officer-involved shooting at the scene.

Few details on the incident, including whether anyone was injured, are being released by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at this time. An upcoming press release will have more information, according to the sheriff’s office.

Release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office:


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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Aid Worker Kidnapped in Niger Reportedly from McKinleyville

Posted By on Sat, Oct 15, 2016 at 12:30 PM

Jeff Woodke. - REDWOOD COAST SCHOOL OF MISSIONS
  • Redwood Coast School of Missions
  • Jeff Woodke.
2nd UPDATE:
In a statement sent to the Journal, North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman indicated he’s working with the State Department to facilitate kidnaped missionary Jeff Woodke’s safe return home.

“My thoughts are with Jeff Woodke and his loved ones during this extremely trying time,” Huffman said of the 55-year-old McKinlyville man who was abducted in West Africa on Friday night. “It is devastating to see my constituent who has spent his life dedicated to humanitarian service be victimized in this way. I am working with State Department officials and will do everything in my power to ensure Jeff’s swift and safe return home.”

1st UPDATE:
Reuters is reporting that Niger Interior Minister Mohamed Bazoum has confirmed the identity of the American kidnapped last night as 55-year-old Jeffery Woodke of McKinleyville.

Additionally, Bazoum issued a statement offering some additional detail about the attack, including that an armed man on a motorcycle arrived at Woodke's home in Abalak and opened fire on an armed guard before a Toyota truck returned to abduct Woodke.

"These criminals are now heading towards Mali. Our forces are on their trial," Bazoum says in the statement, according to Reuters.

Read the full report here.

The New York Times also now has a report up, which can be found here.

PREVIOUSLY:
Multiple news reports are identifying the Christian American aid worker kidnapped by armed gunmen in Niger yesterday as a 55-year-old Mckinleyville man.

Britain’s Daily Mail and CBN News, a Christian online reporting outlet, have both identified the man as Jeff Woodke, a Humboldt State University alum who works for the Redwood Coast School of Missions run through Arcata First Baptist Church. According to the Redwood Coast School of Missions website, Woodke has “committed the past 25 years of his life to a ministry he founded in Niger amongst a number of unreached people groups.”

According to multiple accounts, gunmen stormed the home of a longtime American aid worker in the the West African city of Abalak, killed a bodyguard and a local police officer in a shootout and then fled with a kidnapped American toward Mali. CNN reported that witnesses say the worker was forced to strip down to his underwear before being put into a 4x4 vehicle, noting that “such measures are often taken by kidnappers to avoid hostages being tracked.”

CNN further reported that "authorities are taking all necessary measures to locate the American and his abductors, including imposing a heavy military presence between Abalak and the border with Mali, said the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly."

Radio France Internationale reported the victim had worked in the area since the 1990s with Youth with a Mission, which bills itself as a “global movement of Christians … dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world.” The group reports that it works in more than 1,100 locations spread across 180 countries — including Abalak, Niger — with a staff of more than 18,000.

It’s unclear who is responsible for the kidnapping and the U.S. State Department has so far said publicly only that it is aware of reports of a kidnapping of a U.S. citizen in Niger. Attempts to reach North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman and Arcata First Baptist Church were not immediately successful this morning.

A short bio on Redwood Coast School of Missions indicates missionary work in Niger has been a huge part of his life’s work.

“Jeff’s passion in providing humanitarian aid to those who are amongst the poorest in the world, coupled with his desire to see God’s kingdom advanced in a largely Muslim world has played a large part in the life and ministry of (Arcata First Baptist Church),” the site says.

On her Facebook page, Christian author Cheryl Ford indicated she was a 15-year member of the same Humboldt County church as Woodke and that her family went to Niger under his leadership a couple of times.

“One had to marvel at the man,” she wrote. “My world kind of stopped yesterday over this news.”

Ford also quoted Tracy Rickstrew, who worked at Arcata First Baptist Church and whom Ford identifies as a “former Niger team missionary,” as follows: “Our friend and director when we worked in Niger, Africa was kidnapped yesterday. Please pray for him and his family. I know his heart would not be for his own life, but for God’s glory in all of this. He is tough and his faith is resolute and we know that there is nowhere on earth that he can go where the Spirit of God is not already with him.”

Back in June of 2014, Woodke was a guest speaker at the Arcata First Baptist Church. Watch the video below:


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Monday, October 10, 2016

Sheriff's Office Investigating County's 19th Homicide

Posted By on Mon, Oct 10, 2016 at 4:55 PM

cover-badge_.jpg
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is investigating another homicide, after a 23-year-old was stabbed to death in Weott on Friday night.

The homicide is the 19th recorded in the county so far this year, and comes in the midst of the county’s single grisliest annual homicide total in at least 30 years. It also puts the county on pace to record nearly 25 homicides this year.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a disturbance in the 400 block of Newton Road in Weott at about 10:40 p.m. Friday. While en route, deputies were advised that one of the subjects, a 23-year-old male, had been stabbed and driven to a local hospital, where he later died.

An investigation determined there was a physical altercation that led to the stabbing, according to the press release.

See the full release from the Sheriff’s Office copied below:


Homicide Investigation - Case 201605035
On Friday, October 7, 2016 at about 10:39 p.m. Humboldt County Deputies received a report of a disturbance on the 400 block of Newton Rd, Weott. While en route, Deputies were told one of the subjects, a 23 year old male, had been stabbed and driven to a local hospital. Deputies arrived at the Newton Rd residence to investigate the incident. Deputies determined there was a physical altercation between two males which resulted in the 23 year old male getting stabbed.
The 23 year old involved party was later pronounced deceased at the hospital.
Detectives were called to the crime scene and are investigating this incident.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.


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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Fortuna Police Investigating Apparent Murder-Suicide

Posted By on Sun, Oct 9, 2016 at 10:42 AM

fortuna-police-department.jpg
UPDATE:
The Fortuna Police Department has identified the deceased as 50-year-old Steve Sisson and 81-year-old Jerry Sisson. No motive has yet been identified in the case.

PREVIOUSLY:
The Fortuna Police Department is investigating what it believes to be a murder-suicide that claimed the lives of a father and his son.

Police were called to a report of two unresponsive males at a home in the 1000 block of Emerald Lane yesterday afternoon and arrived to an 81-year-old Fortuna man and his son, 50, of Hydesville, dead of gunshot wounds. Police believed the son killed his father before turning the gun on himself.

Authorities aren't yet releasing names of the deceased. See the full press release from the Fortuna Police Department copied below.


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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Volunteer Fire Captain Killed in Fortuna Shooting

Posted By on Tue, Sep 27, 2016 at 11:08 AM

Timothy Smith - FACEBOOK
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  • Timothy Smith
The Fortuna Police Department today identified the victim of yesterday’s fatal shooting as Timothy Thomas Smith, a Fortuna resident and captain with the city’s volunteer fire department. He was 42.

According to a police department release, an autopsy has been scheduled for later this week.

“He has set the example for the department’s motto ‘Always Ready – Always Willing,’” Fire Chief Lon Winburn said in a February 2015 Humboldt Beacon article after Smith was awarded the department’s Firefighter of the Year honor. “This award is presented to someone whose actions has gone well beyond the call of duty and deserves to be recognized by his/her peers. … Smith was selected for his dedication and commitment to the department.”

The suspect, Jon David Goldberg, was arrested Monday night with the assistance of the Humboldt County SWAT team. Police said the shooting is believed to be related to a personal dispute between the two men.

Release from the Fortuna Police Department:

On 9/26/2016 at about 7 PM The Humboldt County SWAT team assisted by officers from the Fortuna Police Department served a Ramey arrest warrant at a residence located at 32950 Highway 36. Officers located Jon David Goldberg, age 36, inside the residence and arrested Goldberg for murder in connection to the Fortuna Police Department murder investigation.
Goldberg will be booked into the Humboldt County Jail for 187 PC, Murder.

The Fortuna Police Department wants to thank the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department, Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office and the California Highway Patrol for their assistance in this case.

Earlier release: On 9/26/2016 at about 12:45 PM officers from the Fortuna Police Department responded to the 3100 block of Rohnerville Rd. for a report of a shooting victim.

Upon arrival, officers located a deceased 42 year-old male lying in front of a residence. The subject died of multiple gunshot wounds. .

Officers learned through witness statements that the suspect (shooter) and victim knew each other and that the suspect had arrived at the victim’s residence on Rohnerville Rd. and engaged in a brief argument.

The suspect then shot the victim several times at point blank range and fled in a white Dodge minivan; heading east on Rohnerville Rd. It is believed that the shooting is the result of a personal dispute between the two parties.

This is an ongoing and very active investigation. More information will be released soon.

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

UPDATE: Court Document Indicates Kitchen was 'Extremely Intoxicated'

Posted By on Thu, Sep 15, 2016 at 11:37 AM

Marcia Kitchen's booking photo.
  • Marcia Kitchen's booking photo.
2nd UPDATE:
Marcia "Marci" Kitchen pleaded not guilty to both charges facing her this afternoon and denied all special allegations during a brief arraignment. She's next scheduled to appear in court Sept. 29, with a hearing set Oct. 6 to determine if there is enough evidence to hold her to stand trial in the case.

UPDATE:
According to a criminal complaint filed by the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office, Marcia “Marci” Kitchen has been charged with one count of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence and one count of DUI causing injury. She also faces special allegations related to there being multiple victims and her fleeing the scene of the crash.

A statement of probable cause compiled by DA investigator Adam Jager in order to get a warrant for Kitchen’s arrest sheds additional light on the case. According to the document, Kitchen was seen returning to her residence minutes after the collision in her gray Jeep Wrangler, which police later found concealed behind a fence in her backyard less than two miles from the crash scene on Eel River Drive. “Within 10 minutes,” Kitchen returned to the scene of the crash, where multiple officers observed that she was “extremely intoxicated,” according to the document.

“During the lengthy investigation, it was determined that Marcia Kitchen was in fact the driver of the Jeep when it struck the two pedestrians, one being her daughter,” Jager’s statement reads. “This is based on the following facts: The vehicle is registered to her, it was located concealed at her residence, the Jeep’s driver’s seat was adjusted for someone of her stature, there is physical evidence that confirms the Jeep is in fact what struck the victims and Kitchen made statements to friends and family after the collision that she is the one who was driving her Jeep when the pedestrians were struck.”

Kitchen is scheduled to be arraigned in the case this afternoon and is free after posting $750,000 bail.


PREVIOUSLY:
Marcia Maelinda Kitchen, who also calls herself Marci Marz. - FACEBOOK
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  • Marcia Maelinda Kitchen, who also calls herself Marci Marz.
Marcia "Marci" Kitchen, a Fortuna woman suspected of being the driver in a July hit and run crash that killed her daughter and another teenage girl, was booked into the Humboldt County jail Wednesday on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. She was released after posting bail, according to the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office's online booking sheet.

Kitchen has been the focus of a two-months-long investigation by the California Highway Patrol since the days following July 12, when her 14-year-old daughter Kiya Kitchen and her friend, Faith Tsarnas, also 14, were struck and killed while riding skateboards on Eel River Drive just after 9 p.m.

Kitchen posted bail at 9:18 p.m., according to the booking sheet, on a warrant issued by the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office for a suspected violation of penal code section 191.5(b), vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. Kitchen's attorney, Ben Okin, said she surrendered to authorities as he repeatedly said she would in the event a warrant was issued for her arrest.

For background on the case, see past Journal coverage here. We'll update this post with additional information as we get it.

Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office (Note: the press release incorrectly states one of the charges facing Kitchen, as she was charged with vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence):

On behalf of the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is providing the following information in regards to the arrest of Marcia Maelinda Kitchen, dob 8/27/1977, from Fortuna.
On Wednesday, September 14th Kitchen self-surrendered to the DA’s Office on a Ramey warrant. Kitchen was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility at 8:09 p.m. for the following charges: gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence and causing bodily injury to another person, fleeing a crime scene, causing great bodily injury in commission of a felony, and for causing bodily injury or death to more than one victim while driving. Her bail was set at $750,000 and was posted at 9:18 p.m. Kitchen will be arraigned today, September 15th at 1:30 p.m. at the Humboldt County Superior Court.
Any further information regarding this case should be directed to the Humboldt County District Attorney.

Editor's note: This post was updated from a previous version to correct an error regarding the penal code section Kitchen is alleged to have violated and the time she posted bail.
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