AM News Thursday, 8.8.13
In what could be a precedent-setting case, Mendocino Superior Court Judge Ann Moorman will rule next week on whether a Ukiah woman accused of driving drunk through her
neighbors' fence and into their house should also face a felony charge of
assault with a deadly weapon.
During a daylong preliminary hearing Tuesday, Moorman said she would
need to review cases cited by both the prosecution and defense before
ruling on the felony assault charge.
Prosecuting attorney Matt Hubley upped the otherwise misdemeanor DUI
case to the felony level with the assault charge on the premise that Rainville has had at least two prior DUI convictions since 2005, and had been advised during court proceedings that driving under the influence is dangerous to human life. That knowledge, he said, supports a charge of assault, which is the intent to commit battery.
The judge and both attorneys acknowledged that there were no known cases on record where a DUI case became an assault-with-a-deadly-weapon case on that premise.
Rainville's blood-alcohol level about an hour after the accident was 0.25, more than three times the legal limit and in other DUI's, her blood-alcohol levels had been 0.36 for one incident and 0.29 for the other.
Moorman will render her decision on the assault charge and the other charges against Rainville Aug. 13.
A California appellate court has affirmed a Humboldt Superior Court judge's ruling that essentially says that police officers can use their discretion in
determining if there is probable cause to believe a pot grow falls outside the bounds of state medical marijuana laws. If they do suspect a grow or a
possessed amount of processed marijuana is illegal, the officers can
destroy it, and, even if the officers are wrong, you won't be compensated for the uprooted crop.
In 2008 Roscoe Littlefield, three of his family and Jeffrey Libertini were
growing about 200 marijuana plants at two garden sites. The gardens had medical four marijuana recommendations posted, and allowed the usage of up to two ounces of marijuana a day.
When the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office busted the grow , they estimated that the plants would yield about 1,500 pounds.
Lt. Wayne Hanson gave the go ahead to cut the garden down. Most of the marijuana was destroyed, except a small amount for evidence.
When no arrests followed the raid, the Littlefields sued the county, seeking between $683,724 and $1.3 million for pain and suffering and the
replacement value of their destroyed marijuana.
When Humboldt Judge Christopher Wilson heard the case and threw out the Littlefields' case, they filed an appeal and the appellant court sided with
Wilson,. Specifically, the court found that officers can consider the presence of firearms at the grow, the size of the grow and the nature of patient
recommendations posted when deciding whether they think a grow may be illegal.
The deadline for placing a recall measure on the Nov. 5 ballot against Lake County Sheriff Frank Rivero came and went Tuesday without enough
signatures. But If sufficient signatures are gathered by Aug. 15, a special
election would be held in about three to five months. While the recall group had hoped to avoid a special election, it will be worth the $90,000 cost to
get rid of Rivero, they said.
Antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan plans to run next year for California
governor on the Peace and Freedom Party platform.
Sheehan is expected to announce her candidacy "probably in a couple of
The Peace and Freedom Party website quoted Sheehan as saying she
wants to run "primarily because I believe that California should be leading
the nation in peace, education, health care, sustainable/renewable energy and democracy."
Stay tuned for Give & Take @ 9:00 AM with host by Michael Kisslinger.