Crime

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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Monday, September 12, 2016

Hoopa Killing Leaves County on Pace for Record 23 Homicides

Posted By on Mon, Sep 12, 2016 at 2:15 PM

Source: Humboldt County Coroner's Office. - MILES EGGLESTON
  • Miles Eggleston
  • Source: Humboldt County Coroner's Office.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has launched a homicide investigation after a fight in Hoopa turned deadly Friday night, meaning the county has matched a grisly, 30-year-old record with more than three months remaining in the year.

Deputies were called to a residence on Shoemaker Road at about 9 p.m. Friday to a report of a physical altercation. Medical personnel were first on scene and arrived to find an unresponsive male, later identified as 26-year-old Omar Thunder Dean IV, of Hoopa. He died a short time later and the sheriff’s office is treating his death as a homicide.

Dean’s death marks the county’s 16th homicide of the year, according to data provided by the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office and a Journal review of local media reports. After recording 16 homicides in 2014, the most in the county’s 30-year modern record keeping history, there were 15 homicides in Humboldt last year.

Defined as the killing of one human being by another, it’s important to note that the term homicide does not indicate intent or criminality. As such, fatal car crashes in which someone is at fault — like when an allegedly drunk driver hit and killed a pedestrian in Arcata on Sept. 4 — and officer-involved shootings that may ultimately be deemed justified and acts of self-defense are included in the county’s homicide totals.

With eight homicides since Aug. 1, the county is now on pace to record 23 killings this year.

2016 Homicide Victims:
1) Hugh Duggins
2) Arthur Ruiz III
3) Rodger Alan Yale
4) Unidentified skeletal remains
5) Rhianna McKenzie
6) Faith Tsarnas
7) Kiya Kitchen
8) Brials McCutcheon
9) Dana Hudson
10) Stephanie Gawboy
11) David Alan Fulton
12) Jane Doe (infant)
13) Identity not yet released
14) Identity not yet released
15) Alan Edward Gradwohl
16) Omar Thunder Dean IV

The full press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:
Homicide Investigation - Case 201604554
On Friday, September 9, 2016 at about 9:00 p.m. Humboldt County Deputy Sheriffs responded to a residence on Shoemaker Rd in Hoopa for a report of a physical altercation. Emergency medical personnel were first to arrive on scene and located an unresponsive male. Shortly thereafter, the unresponsive male was pronounced deceased by medical personnel. Deputies, Detectives, and a Coroner arrived on scene to investigate. This case is currently being investigated as a homicide.
The decedent has been identified as 36 year old Hoopa resident Omar Thunder Dean, IV.
An autopsy has been scheduled for Saturday, September 17th.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Musson at (707) 268-3643.

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Pride Parades in the Face of Violence, Mounting Tensions

Posted By and on Sat, Sep 10, 2016 at 3:52 PM

Parade marchers prepare to roll out from C Street. - JENNIFER FUMIKO-CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko-Cahill
  • Parade marchers prepare to roll out from C Street.
Humboldt Pride got underway in Halvorsen Park this morning but a shadow of violence hung over the event.

“Our hearts are heavy after hearing of the violent acts against members of our community,” a post on the Humboldt Pride Facebook page read. “In light of tehse events, we have increased security at (today’s) parade and festival.”

Yesterday morning, someone with a BB gun took aim at two homes associated with active members of the LGBTQ community, shooting out at least two windows, according to Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills. No injuries were reported and EPD isn’t treating the shootings as hate crimes at this point, Mills said, despite the fact that it’s Pride weekend locally.

Part of the reason for that, apparently, is that there’s growing speculation the shootings came as part of an escalating feud within Humboldt Pride and the local LGBTQ community.

Discontent had already been brewing when an anonymous open letter signed “32 Queers” arrived in the email inboxes and Facebook feeds of community members and media outlets on Aug. 21. The letter expressed frustration with the current Humboldt Pride board of directors and claimed its members had excluded and ignored input from the community, particularly those who are transgender, disabled, people of color, under 21 and sober.

A sprayed and graffitied Humboldt Pride poster in Old Town. - JENNIFER FUMIKO-CAHILL
  • Jennifer Fumiko-Cahill
  • A sprayed and graffitied Humboldt Pride poster in Old Town.
In response, and amid a flurry of online speculation and vandalized posters advertising today’s event, Humboldt Pride and other community members have organized a moderated open forum for Sept. 23 in Humboldt State University's Great Hall to discuss grievances and potential solutions.

However, more defaced posters have appeared around Eureka, and Arcata Main Street's storage unit, which it shares with Humboldt Pride, was damaged by vandals, its locks and moving parts glued shut. Then, the BB shootings yesterday further heightened already existing tensions.

According to a post on the Humboldt Pride Facebook page, Friday’s shootings targeted someone suspected of being a Pride “dissenter.”

At the foot of C Street, where the crowd of Pride paraders gathered this morning, the disappointment over yesterday’s violence was evident.

“Our hearts are broken that anybody was targeted and we’re doing everything possible to make this a safe and supportive space,” said Fuscia Rae, a Humboldt Pride board member. “The queer community constantly deals with the threat of violence; to have to deal with that the day before Pride ... It's just a really, really, really interesting coincidence.”

Others lamented reports that this was an act of LGBTQ-on-LGBTQ violence.

“We end up taking our safe spaces away from each other,” said Anita Lemonparty. “That it’s coincidental, I don’t even entertain that notion.”

Mills said that while the shootings occurred yesterday morning, they weren’t reported to EPD until last night. He said there are currently no suspects and the investigation is ongoing. Meanwhile, Mills said the parade "went well."

As the parade neared this morning, some took the opportunity to call for unity. “If we don’t support each other, nobody else will,” said drag performer Nova Six.

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Friday, September 9, 2016

Prelim Set in Infanticide Case

Posted By on Fri, Sep 9, 2016 at 10:32 AM

A selfie with Misztal and her baby, posted Aug. 5. - FACEBOOK
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  • A selfie with Misztal and her baby, posted Aug. 5.
The mother of a baby girl who died after being taken to Mad River Hospital with what police described as severe skull fractures remains in jail on $1 million bail after pleading not guilty to causing the injuries that led to her daughter’s death.

District Attorney Maggie Fleming said in an email to the Journal that a Sept. 14 preliminary hearing has been set for Ewa Misztal, a 28-year-old Polish national.

Misztal was living in an Arcata apartment on the 400 block of Union Street with her 7-week-old daughter, whose name has not been released by authorities, when the injuries occurred.

Arcata Police Department Detective Sgt. Todd Dokweiler said a neighbor called 911 around 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 27 after Misztal went to them for help because the child was not breathing.

Dokweiler said an officer administered CPR to the baby in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, but the department was notified about 30 minutes later that the child had not survived.

“There were skull fractures found and they were fairly significant,” he said. “So, in our investigation, that would be suspicious in nature for a child of that age.”


Continue reading »

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Thursday, September 8, 2016

CHP to Hand Off Fortuna Hit and Run Case to DA 'Soon'

Posted By on Thu, Sep 8, 2016 at 12:26 PM

Marcia Maelinda Kitchen, who also calls herself Marci Marz. - FACEBOOK
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  • Marcia Maelinda Kitchen, who also calls herself Marci Marz.
Two months after two 14-year-old girls were killed in a single-car hit and run crash in Fortuna, the California Highway Patrol is finalizing its report for the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office to weigh filing criminal charges in the case.

Officer Cy May said the preliminary report is finished and currently being reviewed by CHP sergeants and an accident investigation review officer.

“We are in the final phases of the review process and buttoning it up,” May said, adding that the review is designed to find any unanswered questions in the report or holes in the investigation. If something is found, May said further investigation could be warranted but he expects the report to be forwarded to the DA’s office "very soon."

The case has gripped the local community since the two girls were struck while skateboarding on Eel River Drive just after 9 p.m. on July 12. Faith Tsarnas died at the scene and Kiya Kitchen succumbed to her injuries the next day in an Oakland hospital.

While the CHP has only publicly identified Kiya’s mother Marcia “Marci” Kitchen as a person of interest in the case, an affidavit in support of a search warrant in the case indicates CHP investigators believe she was driving the gray Jeep Wrangler that struck and killed the two girls and that she showed signs of intoxication shortly after the collision. Investigators ultimately located Kitchen’s Jeep in her fenced backyard, with damage that matched debris found at the scene of the deadly crash.

The CHP has also identified Joshua Pearlston as a person of interest in the case. A witness who arrived on scene moments after the crash and called 911 told a dispatcher that he’d seen the Jeep idling in the road with a female driver before it drove off.

Ben Okin, a local attorney representing Kitchen, said his client remains in contact with him and is ready to surrender to authorities if or when they secure a warrant for her arrest. “If they let us know that they’re issuing a warrant for her arrest, we will make her as immediately available as possible,” he said. “Nothing has changed in that regard.”

May said this investigation and the current review have taken longer than is typical because CHP is being as methodical and detailed as possible given the high-profile and grave nature of the case. But he indicated some movement is expected soon.

“We’re in the final leg of the race,” he said.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

DA: CHP Officer Acted in Self-Defense

Posted By on Wed, Sep 7, 2016 at 4:51 PM

Killian Shane O'Quinn - EPD
  • EPD
  • Killian Shane O'Quinn
A District Attorney’s Office review found a California Highway Patrol officer acted in self-defense when he fatally shot a man after a routine traffic stop turned into an exchange of gunfire on a Eureka street last November.

In a news release today, District Attorney Maggie Fleming said she has spoken with the family of Killian O’Quinn, who was 20 and allegedly initiated the deadly exchange, about her decision.

Officer Stephen Curtis, who was wounded in the Q Street shoot out on Nov. 1, was lauded by Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills in the following days for his discipline during the tense incident.

That included attempting to disarm O’Quinn before exchanging fire, holding the four occupants of the suspect’s car at gunpoint while waiting for backup, and politely directing citizens away from the scene despite being shot himself.

O’Quinn’s toxicology report showed the 20-year-old had a blood-alcohol level of 0.18, more than twice the legal driving limit, and oxycodone in his system at the time of the shooting.

From the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office:

Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming has completed her review of the investigation into the law enforcement officer-involved shooting that resulted in the death of Mr. Killian O’Quinn on November 1, 2015.

The following summary is based on the District Attorney’s review of the Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) report, all recorded statements and audio/video recordings obtained during the course of the investigation, as well as autopsy and toxicology reports.

On November 1, 2015, California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer Stephen Curtis was on duty in a marked patrol vehicle, wearing his full uniform. At 4:24 pm he was parked on the west side of Highway 255 south of New Navy Base Road, near Samoa, monitoring traffic. A driver pulled up to the patrol car to alert the officer of a green vehicle passing across double-yellow lines and running other vehicles off the road. Officer Curtis then began a search for the vehicle by travelling towards Eureka over the Samoa Bridge. His patrol car Mobile Video Audio Recorder (MVAR) provides information from this point.

At 4:26 pm Officer Curtis caught up to the vehicle, a green Chevy Impala, and began narrating his observations including his reason for a traffic stop. He activated his overhead emergency lights and the Impala signaled to make a right turn onto 4th Street (US101 South). Officer Curtis stated that he can see five occupants in the Impala. The Impala then turned right onto Q Street and pulled over to the curb.

Officer Curtis approached the left side of the vehicle and spoke to the driver, later identified as Killian O’Quinn. The Officer asked, “How’s it going?” and explained the reason for the stop, stating he had a report of “driving like crazy” near the mill. Officer Curtis asked for O’Quinn’s license, registration and insurance. Officer Curtis continued to ask questions and occasionally repeated what is said by O’Quinn.

After a pause he again asked for registration and insurance and suggested it might be in the glove box since it is supposed to be in the car. After again not receiving the requested documents, Officer Curtis asked who owned the vehicle. He then asked questions related to O’Quinn’s statements about staying at a hotel. The Officer then said, “No one’s got ID?”

After standing at the driver’s door for about two minutes the Officer told the driver to step outside and instructed O’Quinn to “Get your hands where I can see them, don’t even think about bolting dude.”

After a slight pause, Officer Curtis asked, “Are you thinking about something?” to which O’Quinn replied, “I’m just thinking about how f—-ed my life is.” The Officer then said, “It’s not, you got pulled over, so there’s beer in the car, I’m not interested about that right now. I want to talk to you outside though.” Officer Curtis followed that directive by telling O’Quinn, “Come on out. You got 3 seconds. Come on, I’m a nice guy.”

As O’Quinn exited the vehicle a struggle began and Officer Curtis attempted to push O’Quinn onto the rear of the Impala. During the struggle a gun (later identified as a Springfield .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol) is visible in O’Quinn’s right hand. Officer Curtis told O’Quinn to, “let go of the gun” and reached for his own firearm after he was unsuccessful in disarming O’Quinn. O’Quinn crossed his own body with the gun and fired two rounds under his left arm, striking Officer Curtis, who was behind him. While being shot, Officer Curtis distanced himself from O’Quinn and fired several rounds at him with his CHP-issued Smith & Wesson .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol.

As O’Quinn fell to the ground near the left rear of the Impala, Officer Curtis moved to a position near the right rear of the vehicle. Officer Curtis’ attention was drawn away from O’Quinn when a passenger began to open a right side passenger door of the Impala. During that time, the video shows O’Quinn leaning up and pointing his firearm in Officer Curtis’ direction. Officer Curtis then fired several more rounds at O’Quinn while transitioning to a different position of cover and O’Quinn fired a final round at Officer Curtis. Officer Curtis then twice told O’Quinn to “drop the gun” and O’Quinn finally drops the gun. The last shot was fired at 4:31 pm. When people in the neighborhood start to come to the scene Officer Curtis is heard saying, “Stay back please.” Officer Curtis also transmitted a message to CHP Dispatch, advising that he had been shot but was not down and that he had four passengers in the car at gunpoint.

The first emergency units (Eureka PD, Humboldt Bay Fire, City Ambulance) arrived at 4:36. Eureka PD Officers removed the four passengers (3 men and 1 woman) from the Impala, who were later interviewed by members of the CIRT. Paramedics with Humboldt Bay Fire and City Ambulance, provided on-scene medical care to O’Quinn (including CPR) and Officer Curtis. Both were ultimately transported to St. Joseph Hospital for treatment. At one point during his medical care, O’Quinn vomited. Medical staff noted the heavy odor of alcohol. At approximately 5:10 pm, the treating physician pronounced O’Quinn deceased. Officer Curtis’ medical treatment included the removal of a bullet from his upper right thigh.

The description of the incident by all four passengers and a witness who lived in the neighborhood coincided with the recording. Passengers also made clear that O’Quinn had been driving recklessly. At one point a passenger offered O’Quinn money to drive “normally.” The front passenger stated he initially thought O’Quinn was hiding a beer in his lap and later realized it was a gun. Several passengers gave the opinion that the officer acted appropriately; one stated, “The officer’s life was in danger even before he knew it.”

Evidence collected at the scene included the firearm used by O’Quinn and spent .45 caliber shell casings indicating he had fired three rounds at Officer Curtis. It was later determined that one round entered Officer Curtis’ body, lodging in his upper right thigh and another passed through his uniform without striking him. The investigation determined that Officer Curtis fired a total of 11 rounds at O’Quinn.

Dr. Mark Super conducted the autopsy of Killian O’Quinn on November 4, 2015. He determined the cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds. According to the toxicology report, O’Quinn’s blood alcohol was 0.18 (more than double the level for an impaired driver) and he also had oxycodone (0.06 mg/liter) in his system.

From all the evidence and witness statements, the District Attorney finds the shooting was a justifiable homicide under Penal Code section 196(2) which states: Homicide is justifiable when committed by public officers and those acting by their command in their aid and assistance, (2) when necessarily committed in overcoming actual resistance to the execution of some legal process, or in the discharge of any other legal duty. Faced with a clearly lethal threat, Officer Curtis fired his weapon in self-defense.

District Attorney Maggie Fleming has advised Killian O’Quinn’s family of her decision.



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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Three Homicide Victims over Weekend

Posted By on Tue, Sep 6, 2016 at 5:15 PM

cover-badge_.jpg
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is investigating three homicide cases this week after two men were discovered dead at a large marijuana grow operation near Hyampom and an August robbery victim died of his gunshot wounds over the holiday weekend.

Deputies were called out to the Hyampom scene by the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday, which was determined to be just within the Humboldt County limits.

“We’re still investigating the incident and the investigation, at this point, leads us to multiple assailants,” sheriff’s office Public Information Officer Selena Zorrilla-Mendoza said.

The sheriff’s office also identified Dana Hudson, 44, as the victim of an armed robbery in Willow Creek in August. He died Monday from “multiple complications from gunshot wounds,” according to a news release.

From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:


On Sunday, September 4, 2016 at approximately 11:30 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a report from the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) regarding a double homicide. Deputies responded to the incident location, a residence on US Forest Service Road 3N14 South Fork Mountain in Hyampom.

Deputies met with TCSO Deputies and were told two male adults were deceased in the residence.

Deputies located several living structures and large marijuana grow sites throughout the property. HCSO Detectives responded to investigate the homicides. The investigation at this time indicates multiple assailants. Additional suspect information will be released accordingly.

The Drug Enforcement Unit obtained a search warrant for the marijuana grows on site. The search warrant was served and revealed another marijuana grow on a neighboring property. A search warrant was obtained for the neighboring property and served on Monday, September 5th.

Autopsies will be performed on Tuesday, September 6th. Names of the victims will be released after next of kin has been notified.

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Peterson at 707-268-3663 or the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251.

From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On Monday, September 5, 2016 the victim from the armed robbery shooting passed away. The victim has been identified as 44 year old Dana Hudson. Hudson died from multiple complications from gunshot wounds.

This case is now being investigated as a homicide.

Previous press release: On 08-12-2016 at 11:50 a.m. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to a report of an armed robbery that just occurred off Sabretooth Road, Willow Creek. It was reported to the Sheriff’s Office that approximately 2- 3 male suspects took the victim’s yellow pickup truck. While deputies were responding to the scene they received information that a male victim had been shot.

The male victim is currently being airlifted to an out of the area hospital. At this time unknown condition on the male victim. Sheriff Deputies are currently securing the scene. Detectives have been called out to take over the investigation

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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Monday, September 5, 2016

Pedestrian Killed in Alleged DUI Crash

Posted By on Mon, Sep 5, 2016 at 9:27 AM



A 24-year-old Arcata man is behind bars after an alleged DUI accident left a pedestrian dead yesterday evening.

According to Arcata police, officers responded to a report of the crash around 7:15 p.m. and arrived at 14th and H streets to find a 55-year-old man dying in the street. The vehicle allegedly involved in the accident was parked on H Street, according to the release, and the driver was identified as 24-year-old Robert Willard Bergeson III.

Officers determined Bergeson was under the influence of alcohol, according to the press release, and arrested him on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI causing injury.

The victim’s name is behind withheld until officials can notify family of his death. The collision remains under investigation and APD asks anyone with information to contact the Arcata Police Department at 822-2428.

See the full APD press release copied below:

On September 4, 2016 at about 7:15 PM, the Arcata Police Department received a 9-1-1 telephone call regarding a vehicle versus pedestrian traffic collision at the intersection of 14th Street and H Street.
Upon APD’s arrival, a 55 year-old male pedestrian was located on H Street with injuries sustained as a result of being stuck by a vehicle. Life-saving efforts were attempted, but the male victim was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The motor vehicle involved in the collision with the pedestrian was located parked on H Street. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Robert Willard Bergeson III, 24 years old of Arcata. Bergeson was determined to be under the influence of alcoholic and was arrested.
The identity of the victim will be release by the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office once next of kin notifications have been made.
Bergeson was booked into the Humboldt County Jail for the following violations:
1 Penal Code 191.5(a) Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated
2 Vehicle Code 23153(a)(b) Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs Causing injury.
The traffic collision is under investigation and anyone that may have witnessed the collision or has information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Arcata Police Department at 822-2428.


Editor's note: This post was updated from a previous version that included an incorrect Google map of the location of the accident.
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Friday, September 2, 2016

Arcata Woman Arrested for Assault, Death of Child

Posted By on Fri, Sep 2, 2016 at 11:21 AM

apd.jpg
Arcata police arrested Ewa Misztal, a 28-year-old Polish national, for the death and alleged assault of her 2-month-old daughter. According to Arcata Police Sgt. Todd Dockweiler, officers responded to a  call of an "unresponsive child" on the 400 block of Union Street at around 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 27.

"The child was transported to Mad River, where she was ultimately pronounced deceased," said Dockweiler. "During the subsequent investigation, details were discovered that led officers to ultimately make an arrest of the child’s mother and she was booked into the Humboldt County jail that afternoon."

Deputy District Attorney Brie Bennett confirmed Misztal is currently in custody and facing one count of Penal Code 273ab (assault on a child causing death). Misztal faces 25 years to life in state prison if convicted.
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