Crime

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

McKinley Statue Vandalized

Posted By on Tue, Oct 16, 2018 at 11:32 AM

The statue of President McKinley was doused with an unknown substance. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • The statue of President McKinley was doused with an unknown substance.
The statue of President William McKinley was doused overnight or early this morning with some sort of liquid that left a greenish patina discoloration down the front and back of the figure.

The Mad River Union reports the vandalism was discovered by a city worker and has been reported to the Arcata Police Department. The sergeant on the case was not immediately available for comment.

This, of course, is not the first time the bronze has been marred. Back in April of 2003, someone snapped off its thumb but it was later returned.

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Teen Stabbing Suspect to Be Tried as Juvenile Under Bill Signed by Brown

Posted By on Sun, Oct 14, 2018 at 10:20 AM

gavel.jpg
The murder case against a 15-year-old accused of fatally stabbing another teenage boy in the Ocean View Cemetery on Aug. 9 will continue in the juvenile court system after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law last week that prohibits charging individuals as adults if they were younger than 16 at the time of the accused crime.

As reported by the Lost Coast Outpost, a hearing had been scheduled for next week on whether the teen suspect, who is charged with murder, should be tried as an adult in the death of 16-year-old Brandon Brocious. His mother Lorna Leen is also charged with murder and both have pleaded not guilty. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 7.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit filed in the case and obtained by the Journal, Brocious was stabbed during a confrontation with the suspect and his mother over a stolen cell phone. During the argument, Leen reportedly held back a teenage girl who was with Brocious while her son stabbed him.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Suspected Coke Dealer Fails to Appear in Court

Posted By on Tue, Sep 25, 2018 at 1:02 PM

Drugs and money seized by the drug task force. - HCDTF
  • HCDTF
  • Drugs and money seized by the drug task force.
A $200,000 arrest warrant was issued this morning for Ariel Arguelles-Sosa after he failed to show at a bail review hearing requested by the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office to raise concerns about whether his bail was procured from drug money, according to a media report.

Arguelles-Sosa was arrested Aug. 30 in what officials described as “one of the largest Humboldt County cocaine seizures in recent history” after special agents with the Humboldt County Drug Task Forced served search warrants at his Arcata home and business.
Ariel Arguelles-Sosa
  • Ariel Arguelles-Sosa

The task force reported finding just under three pounds of suspected cocaine, two ounces of methamphetamine, and four ounces of heroin at his Ponderosa Way residence, along with $65,000 in cash and two vehicles “believed to be the proceeds of narcotics sales,” according to an earlier news release.

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Friday, September 21, 2018

APD Re-Investigating Every Lead in Lawson Case, According to Memo

Posted By on Fri, Sep 21, 2018 at 2:20 PM

David Josiah Lawson - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • David Josiah Lawson
The city of Arcata has hired the nonprofit Police Foundation to review the Arcata Police Department’s controversial response to the April 15, 2017, stabbing death of Humboldt State University sophomore David Josiah Lawson at an off-campus party.

According to a Sept. 10 memo to the city council from City Manager Karen Diemer that was released by the city today, the foundation was hired to “review the police department’s response and to make recommendations for improving major criminal events, including response to, and investigation of, catastrophic, multiple-victim and/or multiple-witness incidents in the future.” The foundation has completed an “in-town” review of case materials and spent a week conducting interviews in the region for a “response analysis.” Diemer says she expects the foundation’s final report before the end of the year.

The foundation’s website states its mission is to “advance policing through innovation and science.” It bills itself as the “oldest nationally known, nonprofit, nonpartisan and non-membership-driven organization dedicated to improving America’s most noble profession — policing.”

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Sunday, September 16, 2018

Dozens Gather to Remember Josiah Lawson at Beach Vigil

Posted By on Sun, Sep 16, 2018 at 12:32 PM

Vigil attendees joined hands in a circle to remember David Josiah Lawson. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • Vigil attendees joined hands in a circle to remember David Josiah Lawson.
Approximately 30 people gathered in Manila yesterday to celebrate the life of David Josiah Lawson, the Humboldt State University sophomore fatally stabbed at an off-campus party April 15, 2017.

Seventeen months later Lawson's killing remains unsolved.

Saturday's vigil was led by Lawson's mother, Charmaine Lawson, and was held at his favorite local beach, near the Manila Community Center. Attendees joined hands and shared memories before tossing roses into the surf.

For the most recent update on Lawson's still unsolved homicide, read past coverage here. And check out photographer Mark McKenna's slideshow below with images of the vigil.


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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Students Rally, Plan Vigil for #JusticeforJosiah

Posted By on Thu, Sep 13, 2018 at 9:45 AM

Meg Stofsky holds handbills for a Justice for Josiah vigil happening this weekend at the Manila Community Center. - PHOTO BY MARK MCKENNA
  • Photo by Mark McKenna
  • Meg Stofsky holds handbills for a Justice for Josiah vigil happening this weekend at the Manila Community Center.
A few dozen people gathered on the Humboldt State University quad yesterday as a part of a rally to bring attention to diversity and inclusion issues, standing in solidarity with the mother of slain HSU sophomore David Josiah Lawson as she addressed the California State University Board of Trustees in Southern California.

The HSU rally, dubbed Diversity is not Inclusion, saw a string of speakers address the crowd on issues of race and equity, with many calling attention back to Lawson's still unsolved homicide.

Lawson was fatally stabbed at an off-campus party April 15, 2017, and the unsolved case has become a rallying point for students of color who say they don't feel safe in the local community. About a month ago, on Aug. 16, Interim Arcata Police Chief Richard Ehle said he hoped to conclude the investigation into Lawson's death and forward a case onto the Humboldt County District Attorney's Office in six to eight weeks.

Before the CSU Board of Trustees, Charmaine Lawson called for the resignation of HSU President Lisa Rossbacher, saying she "needs to step it up or she needs to go," according to a report in the Times-Standard. HSU professor Renee Byrd also addressed the board, according to the report, and called on Rossbacher to take a more active role in protecting students of color at the university.

Meanwhile, a local vigil is scheduled for Saturday to commemorate the 17-month anniversary of Lawson's death. The vigil will be held at the Manila Community Center at 3 p.m. to celebrate Lawson's life at "his favorite beach spot," according to a Facebook post, which also states Charmaine Lawson is expected to attend. The vigil is "family and pet friendly," according to the post, and will include a cookout with hamburgers and hotdogs. There will also be ride-sharing opportunities provided. For more information, see the Facebook page here.

Check out local photographer Mark McKenna's slideshow from yesterday's rally below.


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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Kitchen Makes Brief Court Appearance, Being Jailed in Isolation for her Safety

Posted By on Tue, Sep 4, 2018 at 11:50 AM

Marci Kitchen - HCSO
  • HCSO
  • Marci Kitchen
Marci Kitchen — who voluntarily surrendered her bail bond yesterday and was booked into the Humboldt County jail — appeared briefly in court this morning before returning to the jail, where she is being held in isolation for her safety.

After Kitchen left the courtroom, Judge Kaleb Cockrum indicated that she is now being held without bail until her sentencing, which is scheduled for Sept. 18. Kitchen’s attorney, Interim Conflict Counsel Meagan O’Connell, indicated to the court that her client intends to read a statement at the time of her sentencing, which would constitute the first time she has made a public comment since hitting and killing two 14-year-old girls — one of them her daughter — while driving drunk shortly after dusk July 12, 2016, on Eel River Drive.

As we reported yesterday, Kitchen voluntarily surrendered her bail bond and committed herself to the Humboldt County jail yesterday afternoon. Max Hadley, who the court recently appointed to be Kitchen’s mitigation specialist, told the Journal that Kitchen made the decision in an effort to “take responsibility.”

Kitchen pleaded guilty as charged in the case on Aug. 20, admitting to two counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, one count of driving under the influence causing an injury and one count of fleeing the scene of an injury crash, as well as seven special allegations. When sentenced on Sept. 18, prosecutors believe she faces a maximum penalty of 11 years in state prison, though she is also eligible to receive probation.

Hadley told the Journal after this morning’s hearing that Kitchen is being held in isolation at the jail because jail staff fears for her safety.

“She did not make that request and we did not make it for her,” Hadley said. “But I think there’s good reason for them to do that.”

During this morning’s hearing, Cockrum also granted a pair of requests from local media to take video footage and photographs of Kitchen’s sentencing hearing. Cockrum also reportedly said he would inquire about broadcasting the sentencing hearing in Supervisors Chambers on the courthouse’s first floor in anticipation that a larger crowd may attend the hearing than the courtroom can accommodate.
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Monday, September 3, 2018

Kitchen Surrenders, Won't Contest Being Jailed Until Sentencing in Manslaughter Case

Posted By on Mon, Sep 3, 2018 at 7:50 PM

Marci Kitchen - FACEBOOK
  • Facebook
  • Marci Kitchen
Marci Kitchen voluntarily surrendered her bail bond and turned herself into the Humboldt County jail today and, according to her court appointed mitigation specialist, will not contest prosecutors’ efforts to keep her behind bars until she is sentenced later this month on charges of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

Humboldt County jail staff said that Kitchen was booked into the jail today. Reached this evening, Max Hadley, who the court recently appointed to be Kitchen's mitigation specialist, confirmed that Kitchen had voluntarily surrendered her bond in an effort to "take responsibility."

Kitchen pleaded guilty as charged in the case Aug. 20, admitting that she was driving drunk when she struck and killed two 14-year-old girls, one of whom was her daughter, on Eel River Drive shortly after dusk July 12, 2016, and fled the scene. She had remained free after posting $750,000 bail in the case but is due in court tomorrow morning for a custody hearing at which prosecutors are expected to argue that she should be held in jail until her sentencing hearing, when she faces a maximum sentence of up to 11 years in state prison, according to prosecutors, but could be released on probation.

Hadley said Kitchen made the decision to voluntarily surrender her bond.

“She decided she was going to do what she has wanted to do all along, which was take responsibility for this and start serving her time now,” Hadley said. “Her lawyers never would let her talk about this case or take responsibility because they felt the case could be litigated, so she was never able to do this because her lawyers advised against it.”

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Sunday, September 2, 2018

Sac Bee Looks at Rural Policing and a Kettenpom Couple's Terrifying Ordeal

Posted By and on Sun, Sep 2, 2018 at 11:00 AM

gund.png
Rural residents know that a 911 call to law enforcement may result in an hours long wait for a response. On Wednesday, the Sacramento Bee posted the culmination of several months of research into the problem.

Leading the article is the story of how in March of 2011 a Trinity County couple, Jim and Norma Gund, had their throats slashed by a murderer when they responded to a request from a Trinity County Sheriff Cpl. Ron Whitman to check on their neighbor who had called 911 for help. Whitman was almost 100 miles away in Weaverville.

According to the Bee’s story, “[T]he drive — through rugged forest and over steep passes — would take almost three hours.”


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Friday, August 31, 2018

Teen Arrested After 1.5 Pounds of Heroin Found in Hidden Car Compartment

Posted By on Fri, Aug 31, 2018 at 12:34 PM

Heroin found in a hidden compartment of a car. - HCDTF
  • HCDTF
  • Heroin found in a hidden compartment of a car.
A 17-year-old boy who law enforcement officials believe was “employed by a drug trafficking organization” was arrested earlier this week after Humboldt County Drug Task Force agents reported finding 1.5 pounds of heroin in a hidden compartment of the car he was driving.

According to a release, the agents were conducting an investigation Tuesday at a residence on the 5200 block of Cummings Road in Eureka when the teen was seen parking in the driveway.

He was contacted by the agents and detained while an investigator from the district attorney’s office and a K9 were called to the scene. The dog alerted law enforcement to narcotics in the vehicle and a search yielded the false compartment with the heroin inside, according to the release.

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