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Mendocino County Today: June 20, 2012



Darryl Cherney with his newborn baby, with Kay Rudin and “La Tigressa" admiring.

SAN FRANCISCO'S Planning Commission and the SF Police Department say that medical marijuana dispensaries are not the crime magnets the feds claim they are. But dispensary-related crime, and instances of this crime near children, are exactly why local United States Attorney Melinda Haag has closed some ten state-legal Bay Area cannabis dispensaries since October of 2011. Haag has presented no data along with her claims, and a recent study conducted by UCLA researchers won't help her either. Based on crime trends in Sacramento in 2009, the study found “no observed … associations between the density of medical marijuana dispensaries and either violent or property crime rates,” and further found that dispensary security measures like door guards and security cameras may be crime deterrents. Crime predictions are often based on the “routine activity theory,” the study says. According to this theory, crime will occur when several conditions are met: “The presence of a motivated offender; a suitable target defined by its value, visibility, access, and/or likelihood of low resistance to crime; and the absence of guardians against crime.” Researchers Nancy Kepple and Bridget Freisthler looked at other crime-causing variables including employment, young men, and vacant housing. They crunched the numbers and found no discernible link.


MARVIN DOUGLAS JOHNSON, Jr., 33, and Simon Thornton, 23, of Willits, were convicted Friday for their involvement in the fatal shooting of Joseph E. Litteral at Bushay campgrounds at Lake Mendocino last July. Litteral, 40, and Brandon Haggett, 21 (who survived the gunshot), were also beaten with an aluminum baseball attack.



Two other men men, William Hale Crocker, 31, and Arone (sic) Joseph Schnebly, 36, are believed to have done the shooting, but Johnson and Thornton were among a group of Willits men who'd driven to the campground at Lake Mendocino to confront another group of homeless persons, also from Willits.



Litterall was shot when he jumped in front of Haggett to spare Haggett a fatal bullet, a bullet that turned out to be fatal to Litteral. Johnson claimed he'd merely driven the other three men to the campground that night so he could talk to his estranged wife. The jury was out for about eight hours before coming back with the guilty verdicts. Johnson and Thornton will be sentenced June 29 at 9am. Crocker and Schnebly are awaiting trial for their roles in Litteral's death.

U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL, ERIC HOLDER, said Thursday that the federal crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries is justified because the dispensers “took advantage” of the state laws allowing them. The Obama Administration had promised to leave the dispensaries alone but, Holder claimed, but large-scale grows and affiliated dispensaries have “come up with ways in which they are taking advantage of these state laws and going beyond that which the states have authorized.” We've often heard rumors that Mendo dispensaries were selling a lot of dope, er, medicine, out their back doors but have never had confirmation. The federal crackdown, of course, means prices for pot, presently hovering around $600 a pound, will rise as the government resumes its crucial role as inadvertent price supporter.

ANITA JACKSON, 26, of Laytonville died Friday morning shortly before 11 in a single-car crash on Highway 101 a few miles south of Laytonville. The CHP said Ms. Jackson was southbound when her Ford Ranger pickup left the road and struck an embankment. Her daughter, Tara Slichter, 2, suffered minor injuries. Both mother and daughter had been wearing restraints. The little girl was airlifted to UC Davis Medical Center where she is listed as in good condition.

MARK SPRINKLE WRITES from Chino State Prison:


       This is an open letter to the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, especially John Pinches, because of his article in the May 9, 2012 AVA and Dan “Buzz” Hamburg (my former teacher), and on behalf of every taxpayer, and Mendocino County Grand Jury.

       Mr. Pinches, I have been imprisoned for lies of inappropriate touching to 13-year-olds who stripped naked while I was driving. I have never touched anyone inappropriately, ever, but the lies told handed me a life-sentence. When people who are supposed to be truthful end up lying, or get others to lie for them simply to obtain a conviction, such actions are deeply wrong. Would you not agree?

       I was arrested in 1995 for inappropriately touching Natasha Bailey and Christy Mayfield. Subsequent to that, District Attorney Beth Norman told the Ukiah mewspaper that I had a previous arrest and conviction for child molestation. This is a complete lie. Ms. Norman knew my past and knew that I had never had an arrest for anything like that, but she got the paper to print it nevertheless.

       At my first preliminary hearing, Ms. Norman convinced a friend of mine, Richard McCormick, to attend the hearing and state that I had threatened him. He was coerced into saying this in order to have his wife Kathy’s bail lowered in order to have her released from custody. This was yet another lie orchestrated by Ms. Norman.

       I would ask that questions be asked of investigator Rick Iverson or attorney Patricia Littlefield or the DA’s own investigator, Ken Hillard, to confirm that these allegations never took place  — but said allegations were enough to have me jailed. As for the truth, it should be known from police reports that Richard McCormick was arrested for chasing me around with a loaded and concealed .357 hand gun.

       There have been instances of lies fabricated by my former vindictive ex-girlfriend and the DA that had me jailed for lies — they worked. There was another published incident of a bomb at Montgomery Ward’s in Ukiah and yes, DA Norman went to her lead reporter who believes every word as fact the DA says or wants printed for any excuse to bolster a case. I have no problem when the truth is published, but when falsehoods are reported as fact, and they know it, then a pattern is established in their lives and behavior. A person is only as good as their word.

       At my most recent parole hearing, I was given a five-year denial because a new person in the DA’s office, Paul Sequiera, appeared and stated that at the time of my conviction in 1996, I attempted to get a “jailhouse informant,” Noble Caps, to kill Beth Norman. It was only another lie, but it worked. I have no idea who this informant even is. But Ms. Norman used this falsehood as an excuse not to attend my Board hearing on the grounds that she was afraid of me.

       I want everyone to know that I have never harmed a woman in my life, nor have I ever been arrested for assault. (There was one occasion when I myself was assaulted.) When a person such as Ms. Norman is exposed as an habitual liar, they begin losing the thread of their lies, and they must exert tremendous effort to hide the truth forever or be exposed.

       Ms. Norman informed the Anderson Valley Advertiser, in an article about Mendocino County v. Sprinkle, Case number C12367, that it was one of the most difficult cases she had ever tried because she “did not know who was telling the truth.”

       Just what kind of statement is that from a prosecutor?

       Well, I know the truth and that will never change because I am innocent of the charges brought against me. I fear that no one will see the facts for what they are. If I were who they claim me to be I could easily have run amok like several of Mendocino County’s more notorious citizens: Richard Allen Davis, Tree Frog Jones, Richard Dean, the Willits teacher Mr. Clinton Smith, and the County Clerk Dan Garcia. Some of these perpetrators received county jail time or three years in state prison because they were friends of the DA’s office. But should not the punishment fit the crime? Well, I have been wrongly convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for supposedly touching two (frankly) floozies who premeditatedly lied, and were encouraged to lie.

       Beth Norman knows as well as I do that the lies keep coming in order for a few people who, for personal reasons, feel Mark Sprinkle must die in prison. To be honest, I feel as though I was forcibly retired at the age of 35 with full (if unpleasant) benefits. There are a large number of old men in here with me who feel the same way. For all of you taxpayers who continue to pay for this miscarriage of justice, my incarceration to date has cost you well over $1 million with no end in sight simply to satisfy a couple of vindictive women from my past. I have also heard about DA Sequiera’s comfort and pleasure at a very nice Bed & Breakfast in the foothills to produce lies at my most recent Board hearing. There are tax dollars hard at work; Mendocino County has abundant funding to pay for a little revenge.

       That’s enough for today from the State Retirement Home. Thank you, Bruce Anderson, for the mighty A.A. Peace to all.

PS. For Noble Caps, the jailhouse informant for the DA: For you to be telling lies to Beth Norman is beyond a lot of people. And all for a possible lighter sentence? But is that benefit really worth it to be known as a notorious liar and rat? And don’t bother denying anything. The Mendocino County District Attorney’s office has laced your name in documentation proving you are one of their informants, just not a truthful one. Live with the real truth, Noble.

Peace, Mark Sprinkle – K-24619

P.O. Box 368-A-JH-136L

Chino, CA 91708

One Comment

  1. wizeup June 16, 2012

    $600 a pound? If that’s true where can I find some?

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