Friday, May 16, 2014

Squee! thing (Or, Leave the Babies Be!)

Posted By on Fri, May 16, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Taken from a safe distance. - LINDA STANSBERRY
  • Linda Stansberry
  • Taken from a safe distance.

Look at this little guy all nestled down in the grass like we can't see him! We were hiking through the hills outside of Ettersburg when we almost stepped on him, he was so still and quiet. He's not going to move until his mom comes back. The doe pushed him down into the grass and ran the opposite direction to distract us, a common tactic when new fawns are too wobbly to run with the herd. Fawns have a very faint smell when they're young, and their dappled markings give them natural camouflage against predators, who only see in black and white.

Spring means baby season, so please be careful. Keep an eye on your dogs so they won't bother newborns or hatchlings. If you find a little guy like this fawn, just leave him be. He doesn't need rescuing. His momma will come back and she'll do a much better job raising him than you would. 
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , ,

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Prosecutors Weighing Death Penalty in Murder Case

Posted By on Thu, May 15, 2014 at 2:23 PM

A picture from Michael Youravish's Facebook page.
  • A picture from Michael Youravish's Facebook page.
The Humboldt County District Attorney's Office is still in the process of deciding whether to pursue the death penalty against a 22-year-old man accused of brutally stabbing a man to death in a wooded area outside of McKinleyville last year.

Police arrested Michael Raymond Youravish June 19, 2013, hours after finding the body of Forrest Croft Lovejoy, 33, dead of multiple stab wounds to the neck, chest and abdomen on a foot trail north of C Avenue in McKinleyville. Youravish has pleaded not guilty to a single charge of murder and denied a special allegation that he laid in wait.

A superior court judge ruled Wednesday that there is sufficient evidence to hold Youravish to stand trial on the murder charge, and prosecuting Deputy District Attorney Zachary Curtis said today that his office is still deciding whether to pursue capital punishment in the case.

During a two-day preliminary hearing this week, new details about the case emerged, including that Youravish allegedly had someone take a video recording of the attack with his cell phone and bragged about the killing.

Ricky Madonia, a friend of Youravish’s, testified Wednesday that he, Youravish and Lovejoy had been hanging out at a McKinleyville bar and that Youravish appeared drunk when they left. He said the three of them then went into the woods near McKinleyville to look for some marijuana plants they believed were planted out there. Ricky Madonia said he was playing Angry Birds on his phone as they walked single-file down a trail, with Youravish in front, Lovejoy in the middle and him bringing up the rear. He said they’d been walking for several minutes with Lovejoy and Youravish talking about the marijuana plants when Youravish turned suddenly and stabbed Lovejoy in the stomach, unprovoked.

“Forrest collapsed and Michael just repeatedly stabbed him,” Ricky Madonia testified. He said Youravish then threw him his phone and told him to videotape what he was doing. Ricky Madonia testified he was scared and in shock, and dropped his phone and began filming with Youravish’s as his friend continually stabbed Lovejoy.

“How many times?” Curtis asked.

“I couldn’t count,” Ricky Madonia said. “A lot.”

Curtis asked if Lovejoy was saying anything during the attack, and Ricky Madonia answered: “Forrest was saying that he believed in Jesus.”

He testified that he fled after the killing but Youravish came to his family’s home a short time later, asking why he’d run and calling him names. Ricky Madonia said he and Youravish then got into an argument when Youravish tried to tell his family what he’d done and show them the recording of the killing.

Tara Madonia, Ricky’s sister, testified that earlier that day she’d been roused from her home by loud voices and came outside to find Lovejoy, Youravish and another man talking in the street. She said they weren’t arguing or anything, but that Youravish was clearly angry and repeatedly made statements about how he was going to “gut a chomo,” which she said was slang for a child molester.

Mouthing “I’m sorry” to Youravish at one point during her testimony, Tara Madonia cried as she described how Youravish came into her home to calm down and cleanup that afternoon. But she said he remained animated, and took a knife from her kitchen before leaving. She said she was worried and called her brother to come talk to his friend.
Clad in an orange jumpsuit with his long black hair slicked back, Youravish showed little emotion during the hearing but could be seen smirking several times during the testimony.

Curtis called David Little to the stand Thursday, and Little testified that he was dating one of Youravish’s sisters at the time of Lovejoy’s killing, and that he and Youravish were becoming close. Little said he’d told Youravish about his troubled past, and how he’d done time in 2004 after a conviction for assault with a deadly weapon and robbery but had since worked to clean up his life. So, Little testified that he thought Youravish was lying one day in mid-June 2012 when he boastfully told him that he’d killed someone.

“He didn’t seem like that type of kid,” Little said. “I figured he was blowing smoke.”

But a day or two later, Little said he agreed to drive Youravish up to a house in McKinlevyille to get a change of clothes. When they found nobody home, Little said the pair decided to walk Little’s dog in the woods nearby. After walking for about five minutes, Little said his dog started acting really strange. “He showed an aggressive side of him that I’d never seen before,” Little said. “He started growling and stuff.” A bit further down the path, Little said, he was shocked when they came across Lovejoy’s body. Little said Youravish asked him to help move the body but he refused and left the area with his dog.

On his way out of the courtroom Thursday, Little stopped and looked at a couple sitting in the back row. “Are you the family?” he asked. The man and woman tearfully nodded and Little — a large, hulking man — leaned over and hugged them both. “I’m sorry for your loss,” he said.

At the hearing’s conclusion, Humboldt County Superior Court Judge John Feeney found Curtis presented enough evidence to warrant a trial in the case.

If prosecutors opt to seek the death penalty in the case, it will be the second time they've decided to pursue the state's most serious punishment in recent months, as the office decided to pursue capital punishment against Jason Anthony Warren, who stands accused of killing two people in 2012. For more information on that case, Humboldt's first death penalty case in decades, see past Journal coverage here, but note that Warren's trial has been postponed. To see how candidates to become Humboldt's next DA feel about capital punishment, read the Journal's "Crime Fighters" story.

In the wake of his death, friends and family remembered Lovejoy as a kind, trusting man with a big heart who left behind a young daughter. An obituary that ran in the Times-Standard noted “he was fraught with struggles most of his short life” but that he “proved continual rejection could be overcome.” 
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , ,

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Harbor Commissioner to Stand Trial in Poaching Case

Posted By on Wed, May 14, 2014 at 4:41 PM

A superior court judge ruled today that there is sufficient evidence to hold Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District Commissioner Aaron Newman to stand trial on poaching and perjury charges.

Newman was arrested June 8 and has pleaded not guilty to a total of eight charges in the case, which alleges that he lied and used illegal tags in 2009 and 2012 to sidestep state limits on abalone and deer harvests.

After hearing testimony from California Fish and Wildlife Warden Matthew Wells, Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Marilyn Miles found prosecuting Deputy District Attorney Christa McKimmy presented enough evidence to warrant holding Newman to stand trial on a total of eight charges, including two felony counts of perjury. In her argument in favor of holding Newman for trial, McKimmy told the court that Newman’s charged conduct appears to be part of a pattern of behavior to circumvent legal restrictions designed to protect California’s natural resources.

“It’s systematic,” McKimmy told the court.

Abalone fishing is tightly regulated in California. To legally harvest the mollusks, one is required to first acquire a permit, known as an abalone report card, which comes with 24 tags. When an abalone is harvested, state law requires that it must be immediately marked with one of the tags, limiting a person to catching no more than two dozen abalone in a single season.

According to court records in Newman’s case, prosecutors allege he filed a sworn affidavit with Fish and Wildlife in 2009 claiming to have lost his report card after harvesting only three abalone when he’d, in fact, already harvested 21 of the mollusks. Additionally, the documents allege this was a pattern of behavior for the harbor commissioner, noting he’d filed a total of 11 affidavits between 2003 and 2012 claiming to have lost his abalone report cards during the season.

“Without the use of the abalone replacement affidavits, a person would have only been issued 10 abalone report cards, one per year, and a total of 240 abalone tags, 24 per year,” Wells wrote in his declaration in support of Newman’s arrest. “During this time period, Newman was issued 201 more abalone tags than normally would have been issued.”

Wells goes on to state that suspicion about Newman’s activities arose after Fort Bragg Game Warden Don Powers conducted an analysis of all 184 duplicate abalone cards issued in California between 2002 and 2011 and found Newman received 10 of them. No one else in the state received more than two duplicate cards over the same time period, according to the document.

Newman also stands accused of similarly trying to work around deer harvest regulations. Prosecutors allege he submitted documents on Sept. 10, 2012 claiming he lost his 2012 B-Zone deer tag before using it and was issued a duplicate. However, Wells reported finding the original tag while serving a search warrant on Newman’s home and that it had been filled out to record that Newman had killed a 4-point buck on Sept. 2, 2012. Wells also reported finding time-stamped digital photos in Newman’s home showing him posing with a 4-point buck on Sept. 2 and Sept. 3, 2012.

Newman’s attorney, Manny Daskal, argued today that prosecutors presented no evidence indicating his client intended to game the system or knowingly made false statements, noting that Newman would have worked to destroy evidence if he had any criminal intent. Miles, however, found prosecutors met their burden of proof to bring the case to trial.

In addition to serving as a harbor commissioner, Newman works as a commercial fisherman locally and has held a number of high-profile posts, including president of the Humboldt Fisherman’s Marketing Association, board member for the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, advisor to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission and chairman of the California Salmon Council.

He is due back in court July 8 to be rearraigned in the case.  
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Park Service: Burl Poacher Pinched

Posted By on Wed, May 14, 2014 at 9:53 AM

The aftermath of burl poaching. - REDWOOD NATIONAL AND STATE PARKS
  • Redwood National and State Parks
  • The aftermath of burl poaching.
An Orick man was arrested recently on suspicion of hacking burl out of redwood trees on public land a year ago and selling them to a nearby burl souvenir shop.

Danny E. Garcia is facing charges of grand theft, vandalism and receiving stolen property stemming from the discovery of a badly damaged tree in Redwood National and State Parks in April 2013. Investigators are seeking charges against a second, unnamed suspect who’s currently serving time.

An anonymous tip led rangers to a shop in Del Norte County, according to a press release, where they discovered burls that matched those carved out of the tree. Rangers determined that Garcia sold the burls to the shop, which is “not currently under investigation in this matter,” according to the release.

Burl poaching has been a problem for some time, leading the park service to close traffic through the park at night and garnering attention from the New York Times.

Here’s the full release:

National Park Service and California State Parks Law Enforcement Park Rangers and Investigators working cooperatively have concluded a year-long investigation leading to the arrest and charges of felony Grand Theft (CA PC 487(a)), Vandalism (CA PC 594(a)), and Receiving Stolen Property (CA PC 496(a)) against Danny E. Garcia of Orick, California for the poaching of old growth redwood burls from the park. Charges are pending against another individual who is currently serving time for unassociated charges.

On April 19, 2013, a researcher in the park discovered cuts on an old growth redwood tree within Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP) in the Redwood Creek drainage. Park rangers responded and discovered a 10-foot diameter, old-growth redwood tree that had been badly damaged by the removal of several large burls. The burls cut from the tree were massive, the largest cut measuring approximately 8.3 feet at the base, 8.2 feet in height, and 1.7 feet deep (approximately 115 cubic feet).

An anonymous tip led to the discovery of the burls at a local shop. Park Rangers matched the size and shape of the cut burls in the shop with those taken from the old-growth redwood tree at the poaching site. Investigation by NPS Law Enforcement Rangers indicated that Garcia had been in possession of the burls taken from the site, and then sold them to the shop in Del Norte County. The burl shop is not currently under investigation in this matter.

The case is being prosecuted in California District Court in Eureka, California.

Redwood National and State Parks contains 133,000 acres of federal and state land in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, California. Nearly 39% of the remaining old-growth redwood forest in the world is found within RNSP. The parks have experienced an increase in the illegal cutting and theft of old-growth coast redwood burls in recent years.

Burl poaching involves the cutting of burls from both live and dead trees, felling of living old-growth redwood trees to access burls from higher up the stem, and the cutting of down logs for ornamental furniture, veneer, and souvenirs. This uncontrolled and illegitimate harvesting of burls directly threatens individual old-growth redwoods, the prime resource of RNSP, a designated World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve, and includes related impacts to the surrounding ecosystem, threatened and endangered species, and the parks’ scenic values.

Park law enforcement rangers are currently conducting several investigations in Humboldt County and Del Norte County regarding theft and damage to redwood trees inside RNSP. Anyone with information regarding the theft of redwood burl or wood from RNSP may call the park’s Law Enforcement Tip Line at 707-465-7353.

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , ,

Monday, May 12, 2014

McKinleyville Man Facing 8 Life Sentences Granted Mistrial

Posted By on Mon, May 12, 2014 at 12:43 PM

  • Drew Hyland
A McKinleyville man was sitting in the proverbial executioner’s chair last week when the power went out.

Timothy Floyd Littlefield was facing eight life sentences in state prison without the possibility of parole stemming from convictions on 11 child molestation charges when he stood before Humboldt County Superior Court Judge John Feeney last week at a sentencing hearing. Instead of sentencing Littlefield to serve 188 years to life, as he said was his intent, Feeney declared a mistrial in the case, finding juror misconduct in the months-long trial that wrapped in September.

“In all my years as a laywer, I have never seen anything like this,” Littlefield’s attorney, Russell Clanton said. “It was a great day for justice.”

It's the second time Littlefield’s case had ended in a mistrial, after jurors deadlocked at 11-1 in favor of convicting him on all counts in 2012. This time, jurors deliberated for just three hours, returning guilty verdicts on all 11 charges.

Police arrested Littlefield in February 2009 on allegations of repeatedly molesting Jane Doe, who was an 8-year-old family member of his at the time of the offenses. Prosecutors argued during both trials that Littlefield kept the girl in isolation and threatened her to keep quiet as he molested her in secret for more than a year. Clanton argued at the trials that Jane Doe, her mother and another witness concocted the allegations to get back at Littlefield for abusing his wife.

Littlefield appeared crushed at the jury verdict in September, when he collapsed onto counsel table, sobbing, as the court clerk rattled off the guilty verdicts to all counts. In the wake of the conviction, Clanton has worked extensively to try to get the verdicts vacated, filing a number of motions, including one alleging that advocacy groups were texting witnesses in the case from the courtroom as the trial was proceeding. Feeney denied the motions until the topic of juror misconduct came up last week.

Clanton said he and a defense investigator have been feverishly working the case in recent months looking to get Littlefield — who he maintains is innocent — a chance at another trial. “When you have that kind of conviction, it has to be Sherman’s march to the sea,” he said. “You can’t leave anything. We looked at every possible issue we could possibly look at, and interviewed as many jurors as we could possibly talk to.”

One of those jurors, Clanton said, told his investigator that he simply felt the defense didn’t prove Littlefield was not guilty during the trial. “I almost fell out of my chair,” Clanton said. Knowing the criminal justice system places the burden of proof on the prosecution in all cases, and that he, Feeney and the prosecutor, District Attorney Paul Gallegos, had all gone to lengths to explain that to the jurors, Clanton said he then had the juror sign a sworn declaration saying he felt the defense didn’t prove its case.

Gallegos said the juror, when called to the stand at the sentencing hearing, told the court that he knew it was, in fact, the prosecution who had the burden of proving its case. But the declaration was ultimately enough for Feeney to declare a mistrial, saying he couldn’t send a man to prison for life with this potential juror misconduct hanging over the case, according to Clanton.

Gallegos said he will, “of course,” be retrying the case and Feeney set a new trial date for June 30. (Unconfirmed rumors that the case was headed for a retrial were first reported on John Chiv's blog Friday). Littlefield’s bail has been set at $500,000. He was still in custody as of Monday morning, according to jail staff, but Clanton said he expects his client to post bail.

The alleged victim in the case is now a teenager, and Gallegos said he feels terrible that she will be put through another trial and asked to testify again. She’s been dealing with Littlefield’s criminal case now, Gallegos said, for five years.
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , ,

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Revolving Door

Posted By on Sun, May 11, 2014 at 8:26 AM


If you just got out of prison, chances are you’re going back — and soon — according to a recent study by the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The study — which analyzed recidivism rates of prisoners released in 30 states between 2005 and 2010 — found that about two-thirds of people released from state prisons are arrested for a new crime within three years. Seventy-five percent of those released from prison are arrested again within five years of their release.

More than a third of the prisoners arrested within five years of their release were picked up within the first six months after their release, according to the study.

Those imprisoned for committing property offenses were most likely to reoffend, according to the study, with 82.1 percent arrested again within five years of their release. For violent offenders, that number dropped to 71.3 percent. Older prisoners are also less likely to reoffend, the study found, as 69.2 percent of prisoners who were 40 or older were arrested again within five years of their release as opposed to 84.1 percent of inmates who were 24 or younger at the time of their release.

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , ,

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Del Norte School Board Extends ACLU Settlement

Posted By on Sat, May 10, 2014 at 1:12 PM

  • Thinkstock
The Del Norte County Unified School District Board voted unanimously this week to extend its settlement agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, which stemmed from a lawsuit brought against the district alleging a pattern of racial discrimination against Native American students.

The district has made progress under the settlement agreement adopted in 2009, all sides agree, working to develop and implement curriculum teaching the history of the Yurok Tribe, forming the American Indian Education Advisory Council and reducing the numbers of suspensions and expulsions. Additionally, the district has largely complied with the terms of a monitoring program put in place with the settlement.

However, there’s more work to be done. From the board’s staff report: “The district has been unable to fully develop, implement and monitor the implementation of curricula that teaches about the history and culture of the Yurok Tribe for grades 5, 8, 11 and 12. Despite the reduction in suspensions and expulsions, more could be done, including continuing to reduce all forms of exclusionary discipline and reducing the racial disparities in that exclusionary discipline.”

The vote extends the settlement agreement through August 2017.

“By extending our agreement, district officials have strengthened their commitment to ensuring in future years that Native American students have equal opportunities to achieve education success,” Jory Steele, managing attorney and director of education equity for the ACLU of Northern California, said in a press release. “We are confident that the district, along with community members and tribal leaders, will improve the educational outcomes for all the district’s students.”

It’s likely administrators in Eureka are keeping a close eye on the situation in Del Norte as the ACLU brought a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Eureka City Schools District in December, alleging that Native American and black students are subjected to unchecked, systemic racial and sexual discrimination from students and staff and that minority students suffer unequal discipline. You can read more about the case against Eureka City Schools here.
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Friday, May 9, 2014

Fur Flies at 12th DA Debate

Posted By on Fri, May 9, 2014 at 3:27 PM

The gloves came off at the Humboldt Center for Constitutional Rights' district attorney debate Thursday night. - KACI POOR, DEVELOPMENT AND OUTREACH DIRECTOR FOR THE HUMBOLDT CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS
  • Kaci Poor, development and outreach director for the Humboldt Center for Constitutional Rights
  • The gloves came off at the Humboldt Center for Constitutional Rights' district attorney debate Thursday night.
Humboldt County’s field of district attorney candidates sat down last night for what was their 12th debate in the race and, boy, things escalated quickly. The gloves came off, the nails came out and the fur flew.

Held at Humboldt State University and put on by the nonprofit Humboldt Center for Constitutional Rights, the forum saw the candidates field questions from a panel of local media focused on the topics of Constitutional law, free speech rights and public access. (Full disclosure: this reporter was one of the panelists.) But there was often a noticeable disconnect between the focus of panelists’ questions and that of candidates’ responses, as the DA hopefuls often spent large portions of their two-minute responses attacking each other, questioning their foes’ ethics, experience, honesty and qualifications. There were allegations and counter allegations, with a few allegations of false accusations sprinkled in.

Folks who like their politics to resemble cage matches will likely enjoy the spectacle, which is now preserved on the website of the event's cosponsor, KHUM. And for those who prefer a more civilized, issues-focused discussion, there are plenty of enlightening tidbits to be found between barbs.

But if candidates trading insults with opponents awkwardly sitting just a few feet away is too much for your sensibilities, you can find the Journal’s past coverage of the race here.

The candidates — Allan Dollison, Elan Firpo, Maggie Fleming and Arnie Klein — are slated to square off one more time before Election Day, with a debate scheduled for May 28 in Rio Dell. 
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Council Meeting Prayers OK with SCOTUS

Posted By on Fri, May 9, 2014 at 9:54 AM


Despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this week upholding a town in upstate New York’s right to open its public meetings with a prayer, a local attorney is moving forward with his case alleging the Eureka City Council violated the law when doing the same.

Eureka attorney Peter Martin brought the suit last year on behalf of resident Carole Beaton, alleging that the city violated the California Constitution by repeatedly opening meetings with nondenominational prayers and by allowing Mayor Frank Jager to use his title and office to promote a “mayor’s prayer breakfast” on city property. Martin said he doesn’t foresee any impact from the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent 5-4 decision.

“(Beaton’s) suit is based on the California constitutional provisions separating church and state, which are somewhat different than the federal provisions,” Martin said. “I don’t think this carries a lot of weight for our case.”

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision stemmed from the small town of Greece, N.Y., which had a chaplain of the month program under which a rotating group of clergy would offer prayers to open government meetings. According to a lower court ruling, the chaplains were almost always Christian and sometimes used sectarian language.

Writing the majority decision in the case, Justice Anthony Kennedy said such opening prayers are more ceremonial than religious, noting they are meant to “lend gravity to the occasion and reflect the values long part of the nation’s heritage.”

Martin said Beaton’s case against the city is proceeding, noting that parties are currently awaiting a ruling from Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Bruce Watson on whether Martin can depose Eureka Police Chief Andrew Mills about his role in a “Peace Officers Prayer Breakfast” Attorneys representing the city have argued that questioning Mills amounts to a fishing expedition unrelated to the case before the court, while Martin believes Mills’ conduct is intrinsically related to that of the mayor and the case, and therefore warrants exploration.

Watson has offered no timeline as to when he will issue a ruling.
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , ,

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

UPDATE: Deputy Shot in Shelter Cove, Suspect in Custody

Posted By on Tue, May 6, 2014 at 6:04 PM

William Lloyd Nelson
  • William Lloyd Nelson
The man accused of shooting a sheriff's deputy in Shelter Cove on Tuesday was arrested early this morning at the property where the shootout occurred. The deputy has been released from the hospital. 

Sheriff's office press release:

On 05-07-2014, at approximately 3:30 a.m., 55 year old William Lloyd Nelson, was taken into custody at the Kelly Lane property. Nelson was arrested for attempted murder of a police officer and using a firearm in the commission of a felony. Nelson was not injured. He was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked. His bail was set at two million dollars.

A Humboldt County Superior Court Search Warrant was obtained and served on the Kelly road residence and property. The Humboldt County Critical Incident Response Team, consisting of Humboldt County Sheriff’s Detectives, California Department of Justice, Humboldt County District Attorney’s Investigators, Eureka Police Detectives and Arcata Police Detectives are still on scene continuing with the investigation.

The deputy who was shot has been released from the hospital and is recovering from his injuries.

Humboldt County Sheriff Michael Downey will be holding a news conference to further discuss the incident at 2 p.m. today, 05-07-2014, in the Humboldt County Correctional Facility Conference room. 


A Humboldt County Sheriff's Deputy was shot in the chest today while serving an eviction notice in Shelter Cove, but is expected expected to survive thanks to his bullet-proof vest.

The deputy and his partner returned fire at the suspect as they fled the residence, but it is unknown whether they hit the suspect, who has been identified as 55-year-old William Lloyd Nelson. Sheriff's Lt. Steve Knight said the wounded deputy was transported to a local hospital where he is being checked out. "If the vest wasn't on, it sounds like he wouldn't be with us," Knight said. "It would have been bad."

The Sheriff's Office SWAT and Critical Incident Response teams are currently staging in the area, Knight said, with crisis negotiators and mental health professionals standing by. Knight said he doesn't know if the teams have attempted to make contact with the suspect as of yet.

It's believed the suspect is alone in the residence, Knight said, but that has yet to be confirmed, as officers' immediate concern was retreating to safety and then securing the surrounding area.

Nelson was arrested in 2009 after he allegedly shot a high-powered rifle at a radio tower in Shelter Cove, causing an estimated $100,000 in damage. Police reported recovering some 25 shell casings from the scene, according to a report in the Redwood Times, which also notes that Nelson was on probation at the time.

In May 2011, Nelson was sentenced to serve 336 days in county jail, three years in prison and three years probation after being convicted of felony vandalism, shooting at an unoccupied vehicle, discharging a firearm in a negligent manner and possessing a firearm within 10 years of a felony conviction.

Read the full Sheriff's Office press release below:

On 05-06-2014, at approximately 2:45 p.m., a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputy and a Sergeant arrived at a residence on Kelly Lane, Shelter Cove to serve a court order civil eviction. When deputies arrived at the residence the suspect and homeowner, who has been identified as William Lloyd Nelson, 55 years old, shot at the officers with a firearm. Nelson shot one of the deputies in the chest. Both deputies returned fire while fleeing from the residence. It is unknown whether the deputies struck Nelson when they returned fire. The deputies immediately radioed for assistance.

Additional deputies, California Highway Patrol Officers (C.H.P.), the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office S.W.A.T. Team, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Crisis Response Team (Negotiators) and medical personnel responded to the scene. The Humboldt County Critical Incident Response Team (C.I.R.T) was activated and also responded to the scene to assist. The C.I.R.T. consists of investigators from local law enforcement agencies.

The deputy who was shot was airlifted by a California Highway Patrol Helicopter to a local hospital. The deputy’s ballistic vest is credited with saving his life.

Residents in the area have been asked to shelter in place. Reverse 911 was initiated to area residences.

Shelter Cove Road at Willow Glenn, and Shelter Cove Road at Toth Road are both closed at this time. Nelsons condition and location is unknown at this time. He is believed to be in the residence.

William Lloyd Nelson is described as 55 years old, white male, 6’0” tall, 165 lbs, blue eyes, blondish strawberry colored hair.

The investigation is continuing.

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , ,

Recent Comments

Care2 Take Action?


Facebook | Twitter

© 2021 North Coast Journal

Website powered by Foundation