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‘Murder Is Messy’

“Murder is messy,” Judge Ron Brown commented, more to himself it seemed than to the courtroom as defense attorney Katharine Elliott tried to keep a jury from seeing the death photos…

Escareno Trial Begins

The Marcos Escareno murder trial got underway early Monday morning, November 30th, with a Native American prayer ceremony in front of the Ukiah Courthouse. Escareno is a member of the…

He Should Have Stayed In The Deli

Apologies to Mr. Jayson Kain of Albion and Minne­sota, a bi-coastal pot person whose travails were described here last week. But something got lost in translation; Mr. Kain's “appetite” for…

Weed Whackers Win One

The whisper came from behind me. “How might one have an opinion on the facts witout having heard the facts?” I looked up from jotting down Judge Henderson’s opinion to…

Give Us The Dope Or We’ll Take Your Kids

Every time a judge denies a motion to suppress evidence, the judge is saying to the cop, “Good job, your methods are perfectly legal, no room for improvement; keep up…

Judge Lehan Speaks

Note: Before I left my assignment at the Ten Mile Court in Fort Bragg I asked Judge Jonathan Lehan for an interview. The judge agreed to answer written questions in…

Getting Away With Murder

It was a perfect early afternoon in May when a young Mexican couple saw the car under the overpass with the man holding a knife to a terrified woman's throat.…

Guns, Germs & Steel

James Stephens, felon, up on charges that he was in possession of a .22 rifle and a 12 gauge shotgun, nar­rowly missed four more years in state prison because, apparently,…

La Familia In Boonville?

The Mexican drug cartel La Familia went down last week, big time, with kingpins arrested in 19 states and 750 pounds of meth seized and Michoacan, the birthplace of most…

The United Nations’ Mendo Grows

Mendocino County natives take for granted some­thing outsiders consider intoxicatingly glamorous, adventurous, and outrageously profitable — the pirate’s dream of going to Mendoland and growing a fortune in weed. The…

Court Case Updates

Aaron Vargas is the young man who shot and killed Darrell McNeil in Fort Bragg last year for what Vargas said was McNeil's predatory child molestation of not only Vargas…