Crime

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Court Doc: Mom is Suspect in Fortuna Hit and Run; Showed Signs of Intoxication

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 4:42 PM

Marcia Maelinda Kitchen, who also calls herself Marci Marz. - FACEBOOK
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  • Marcia Maelinda Kitchen, who also calls herself Marci Marz.
An initial CHP investigation indicated the mother of one of two teenage girls who died after a July 12 hit and run crash was the driver and that she showed signs of intoxication shortly after the collision, according to a search warrant affidavit.

“At that point, however, there was no evidence establishing her as the driver of the Jeep and a chemical test to determine her level of intoxication was not sought,” states the document, which was made public today.

Described as one of two “parties of interest” by the CHP, the investigation also indicated Marcia “Marci” Kitchen “concealed the Jeep behind her residence immediately after the collision and has since made attempts to dissuade her son from providing a statement to law enforcement,” according to the document.


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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Attorneys: Fortuna Mom Standing by to Surrender in Fatal Hit and Run Case

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 8:56 PM

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Just hours after the California Highway Patrol sent out a press release asking for the public’s assistance in locating a Fortuna woman named a person of interest in last week’s hit and run crash that left two teenage girls dead — including her own daughter — her attorneys sent a letter to the CHP maintaining that she is standing by, ready to surrender when asked.

“I am troubled by the nature of CHP’s continuing press releases that state that [Marcia] Kitchen is ‘in hiding’ and, especially now, that … CHP has asked for the public’s aid to find/contact her (and Josh Pearlston),” reads the letter, penned by local attorney Ben Okin on behalf of he and Patrik Griego. “This misinformation has the potential of misleading the public and unnecessarily endangering people. … We have consistently indicated that if you desired to arrest Ms. Kitchen … we would make her immediately available for arrest. I am also aware that you had in person contacts with Josh Pearlston just yesterday and chose not to detain or arrest him.”

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UPDATE: CHP Seeking Persons of Interest in Fortuna Hit and Run

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 3:52 PM

Marcia Maelinda Kitchen, who also calls herself Marci Marz. - FACEBOOK
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  • Marcia Maelinda Kitchen, who also calls herself Marci Marz.
The California Highway Patrol has released the names of two persons of interest in last week’s fatal hit-and-run. Marcia Maelinda Kitchen, mother of one of the deceased, and Joshua Wren Pearlston, her boyfriend, are both being sought for questioning.

Kitchen is the registered owner of the Jeep involved in the collision. The CHP say they have made multiple attempts to contact the couple but they “have not made themselves to investigators and their whereabouts are unknown.”

In its press release, the CHP confirmed that Kitchen’s attorney, Benjamin Okin, made contact with law enforcement after the Jeep’s discovery. The 2015 grey Jeep Wrangler was found behind a gate in a fenced backyard in Kitchen’s home, just down the road from where her 14-year old daughter and her daughter’s friend were struck and killed.

Previously:

The California Highway Patrol has located the grey Jeep believed to have been involved in a hit and run accident Tuesday night that left two teenage girls dead. The vehicle was found behind a closed fence in the backyard of the residence of one of the victim’s families when police served a search warrant on the property yesterday afternoon.

CHP officer Cy May said a suspect has been identified as the potential driver in the case but remains at large, whereabouts unknown. May said CHP is not releasing the identity of the suspect at this time, and declined to comment on whether the suspect is related to one of the victims. CHP is also declining to release the identities or ages of the victims at this time.

Eureka Attorney Ben Okin, reached by phone this morning, said he is representing the suspect in the case and that, through him, she made contact with police yesterday. "We made contact with law enforcement," Okin said. "They didn't know who she was. We made contact with them. ... As far as I know, at the time we made contact on the driver's behalf, law enforcement didn't have any information on the identity of the driver. That (call) is what led to them being able to serve the search warrant. It wasn't something they discovered, as far as I know."

"We offered to turn the driver in," Okin continued, "but law enforcement wants to do some more investigation before they make a formal arrest."

Okin declined to identify his client, saying he's "leaving it to law enforcement to decide the appropriate time to do that" as their investigation moves forward.

The accident occurred around 9:15 p.m. Tuesday, when a southbound vehicle on Eel River Drive hit two young teenagers who were skateboarding northbound in the southbound lane. The vehicle then fled the scene, reportedly heading eastbound on Drake Hill Road, according to CHP's initial press release. The vehicle CHP found and seized yesterday was in a backyard on Becker Lane, which is off Eel River Drive, south from Drake Hill Road and about a mile from the accident scene.

May said it was a combination of community tips and investigators in the field that led CHP to the Becker Lane residence. He said nobody was at the home when police arrived, but officers were able to obtain a search warrant for the property in order to seize the vehicle, which was found behind a closed fence in the backyard and had damage matching wreckage found at the accident scene.

“It’s still an active investigation and we’re still putting the pieces together,” May said, adding that he’s grateful to community members who have stepped forward to aid the investigation, both in reporting the initial crash and then helping investigators locate the vehicle involved.

Editor's note: This story was updated from a previous version to more accurately reflect where the Jeep was found on the Becker Lane property.
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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Teenage Girls Killed in Fortuna Hit and Run, Driver of Jeep Wrangler Wanted

Posted By on Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 9:55 AM

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The California Highway Patrol has issued an alert to be on the look out for a newer model light grey Jeep Wrangler that struck and killed two teenage girls in Fortuna last night. The girls were skateboarding northbound on the southbound lane of Eel River Drive, just south of Kenmar Road when they were struck by the vehicle. The Jeep was last seen headed east on Drake Hill Road. Investigators are using some pieces of the vehicle left at the scene to find more information. One of the girls was pronounced dead at the scene, around 9:16 p.m., and another succumbed to her injuries at 6:30 a.m. after being flown to Oakland Children's Hospital.

According to the press release, "the suspect vehicle should have moderate to major front end and driver side damage. Any information leading to the identity of a suspect and/or location of the vehicle should be referred to the Humboldt CHP office at 822-5981 during business hours or the Humboldt Communications Center at 268-2000 after business hours."


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Friday, July 8, 2016

Speak Up, Speak Out, Write In

Posted By on Fri, Jul 8, 2016 at 2:06 PM

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Almost every day of the past week has brought news of a fresh tragedy. Alton Sterling, shot and killed by officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Philando Castile, in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, shot and killed by a police officer during a traffic stop. Five officers killed, and another seven wounded, by a sniper during an otherwise peaceful protest on the streets of Dallas, Texas. One woman, Jennifer Rooney, killed and three other commuters injured after a gunman opened fire on a highway in Tennessee.

Police shootings, the Black Lives Matter movement, the safety of law enforcement, gun violence, racial tension, public safety — we know that these are not just national issues, but issues that affect our lives here in Humboldt County. So we are turning the mic over to you, our readers, and asking you to contribute your voices to this discussion. Your frustration, grief, support and solutions are all welcome in a special section of next week's edition of the Journal. Please email your response, up to 300 words, to letters@northcoastjournal.com, by midnight of Sunday, July 10. Please include your contact information (it will remain private, but we always include writers' full names.)
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Friday, July 1, 2016

(UPDATED) Arrest Made in Fatal Shooting of 19-Year-Old

Posted By on Fri, Jul 1, 2016 at 11:01 AM

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  • Robison
UPDATE:
The Eureka Police Department has identified the victim in Thursday’s fatal shooting as Rhianna McKenzie, 19, of Eureka.

Police still haven’t released a motive for the slaying, but some posts to the Facebook page of the alleged killer, Maxx Carson Robison, indicate he was going through some emotional turmoil in the days leading up to the shooting.

On Monday, he posted a picture of a break-up note from his girlfriend, writing that he’d woken up to find it. “I love you very much more than words can describe but I can’t watch you do this anymore or go through it,” the note reads. According to Robison’s Facebook status, the girlfriend was not the victim in Thursday’s shooting.

On Tuesday, Robison posted his apologies for a live video he put up Monday, saying “I don’t condone drinking and driving. I was mentally unstable and emotionally breaking …” On Wednesday, less than 24 hours before the shooting, he posted at 4:33 a.m. “Can’t sleep due to being clean and sober anybody awake? Don’t worry I’ll still be able to work just fine mayor,” he wrote.

Robison was also featured in this 2011 Journal story, which profiled a hip-hop group of which he was a member.

PREVIOUSLY:
Eureka Police have arrested a 20-year-old Eureka man on suspicion of murder in connection with the shooting of a 19-year-old Eureka woman early yesterday morning.

Humboldt County jail booking sheets show Maxx Carson Robison was booked on suspicion of murder at 7:41 a.m. yesterday, less than five hours after shots rang out near the intersections of McCullens Avenue and Iowa Street in Eureka.

According to EPD, officers responded to a shots fired call shortly after 3 a.m. Thursday. An officer arrived on scene just in time to see a vehicle fleeing the area at high speed. The driver refused to pull over and a pursuit ensued, ultimately ending when the vehicle pulled into the St. Joseph Hospital parking lot. Officers then learned there was a female gunshot victim inside the vehicle, and she was rushed into the hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

When officers returned to the scene of the shooting, in the 1500 block of McCullens Avenue, they found numerous shell casings. Upon further investigation, officers zeroed in on Robison, who had had been detained after being picked up by officers in an unrelated case. During the investigation, officers seized a shotgun and a “high-powered semi-automatic rifle,” and now believe the rifle was used in the shooting.

According to Humboldt County Superior Court records, Robison has no prior criminal record in Humboldt County.

Police are withholding the identity of the 19-year-old until her family can be notified. EPD asks anyone with information about the shooting to call detective John Gordon at 441-4300.

See the full EPD press release below:

On June 30, 2016, at approximately 3:04 a.m., officers from the Eureka Police Department responded to reports of shots fired near the intersection of Iowa and McCullens.

As the first officer arrived to investigate, he noticed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed with obvious gunshot damage to the body of the vehicle. The officer attempted an enforcement stop on the vehicle, but the driver failed to yield. Officers pursued the vehicle at speeds between 70 and 80 miles per hour. The pursuit ended when the vehicle pulled into the St. Joseph Hospital parking lot.

Officers learned there was a female gunshot victim in the vehicle. The female was rushed into the emergency room where lifesaving efforts were initiated. The male driver of the vehicle was detained and cooperated with officers. The male stated that the incident occurred in the 1500 block of McCullens Avenue. Officers responded to that vicinity and located the crime scene. The scene was secured and detectives responded to take over the investigation.

The female gunshot victim, 19 of Eureka, succumbed to her injuries. Her identity is being withheld until the next of kin are notified.

While investigating the homicide, an unrelated call for service was dispatched to EPD officers. The suspect from the unrelated call was detained and taken into custody on unrelated charges. As the homicide investigation progressed, detectives discovered enough probable cause to connect this male suspect with the homicide and he was subsequently arrested for murder. The identity of the suspect will be released tomorrow.
During the investigation into the homicide suspect, two firearms were located and seized. One firearm was a shotgun and the other was a high powered semi-automatic rifle. The rifle is believed to be the weapon used in the homicide.

Anyone who may have witnessed any of the events that occurred early this morning are asked to contact Detective John Gordon at (707) 441-4300.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Bayside Man Killed in Early Morning Crash

Posted By on Mon, Jun 27, 2016 at 11:01 AM

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A 37-year-old Bayside man was killed early this morning in a single car accident in McKinleyville.

Dahmay Shiday was driving his gray 2006 Subaru westbound on Murray Road in McKinleyville at about 2 a.m. at a high rate of speed when he attempted to turn right onto the northbound U.S. Highway 101 on-ramp and lost control. The Subaru became airborne, according to a California Highway Patrol press release, before colliding with a tree on the embankment.

Emergency personnel had to use the jaws of life to extract Shiday from the wreckage before he was transported to Mad River Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:15 a.m.  

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Eureka Woman Released after Thursday's Manslaughter Arrest, Victim Identified

Posted By on Wed, Jun 22, 2016 at 11:52 AM

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A 21-year-old Eureka woman arrested last week on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter has been released from jail after no charges were filed against her in the case.

The California Highway Patrol arrested Adryan Nicole Pollock shortly after after 6 p.m. on June 16, after she’d allegedly lost control of the 2008 Dodge pickup she was driving on State Route 299. The vehicle rolled over, ejecting a hitchhiker passenger — Hugh Grant Jr. 78, of Klamath — who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. Grant suffered fatal injuries while Pollock and four other passengers — her husband, a friend and her two young children — were uninjured. (The initial CHP press release spelled Pollock’s first name Adrian.)

DUI is not believed to have been a factor in the crash, according to CHP.

Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming said her office hasn’t filed charges against Pollock in the case because it still hasn’t received any reports from CHP, prompting the jail to release Pollock under California Penal Code 825, which prohibits jails from holding arrestees for more than 48 hours unless charges are filed against them.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Let Your Kids Drink and Pick Up the Tab...For EPD

Posted By on Wed, Jun 15, 2016 at 3:10 PM

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It’s high school graduation time, and the kids are ready to cut loose. They’re going to drink anyway, you reason, so shouldn’t they be doing it in the safety of your home? NO, says the Eureka Police Department. Thanks to a social host liability law, passed by the Eureka City Council in 2014, you could be fined a  minimum of $250 for serving minors in your home. And if the cops have to come back for the same problem within a year, they’ll ask you to pick up the tab for their services on top of subsequent charges of $500 for the second offense, and $1,000 for a third time.

The ordinance came in response to what Humboldt Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention called “alarming rates of underage drinking along with related risk behaviors and consequences.” According to the 2014 California Healthy Kids Survey, most high school-aged children in Humboldt County were drinking in private homes, with and without the knowledge of their parents or guardians. The survey also reported that in 2013, 17 percent of ninth graders and 30 percent of 11th graders reported binge drinking within a 30 day period. Over half of all 11th graders reported that they had obtained alcohol from adults in their friends’ homes.


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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Missing Blue Lake Man Now Wanted for Child Sexual Assault

Posted By on Wed, Jun 8, 2016 at 3:14 PM

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A Blue Lake man who went missing just over a week ago is now wanted for alleged repeated sexual abuse of a 9-year-old. 

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office announced last week that the wife of 68-year-old Roy Alan Gibbs reported him missing on May 30 after he went for a walk and didn't return. The sheriff's office has asked the public to look for Gibbs, but warns not to try to apprehend him as he may be armed.

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