Eyster: No New Evidence in Burrell Case

by Tim Stelloh, April 22, 2010

Jeff Burrell, the Ukiah High School teacher arrested two years ago in a high profile marijuana cultivation and possession case, was finally charged by the DA's office two months ago. Yet Burrell's attorney, David Eyster--also a DA candidate--says that so far, Lintott's office hasn't offered a shred of new evidence to warrant the charges, which arrived in Burrell's mailbox February 25.

"I don't see that there's been any real work done on the case since December of '08," Eyster said.

Burrell--along with contractor Steve Laino--were arrested for operating a commercial-style pot grow at a warehouse facility in Ukiah in April 2008. Laino initially told Ukiah Police that he and Burrell ran the grow together and split the proceeds 50-50, but within 48 hours Laino had signed a sworn statement saying he was the only one involved.

Eyster said that fingerprint samples taken from grow lights and from a notebook found at the the facility don't match Burrell.

Burrell was scheduled for arraignment Tuesday, but the hearing was delayed until June 1. Eyster said he's planning to file a motion to have the charges dismissed.

Prosecutor Daniel McConnell did not return a phone call seeking comment.

For the politics of The People v. Burrell, click here.

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