NOBODY'S TALKING but something fairly big is up between the feds and the Mendo Sheriff's Department. Stay tuned.
ON OCTOBER 26, 2012, deputies responded to the Mendocino Coast District Hospital where they contacted Tonya Scheurich and Andrew Jacobsen. Both reported that they had been kidnapped, held against their will and assaulted at 22190 Rivers End Road. Scheurich and Jacobsen told deputies that they had been at that location when they were assaulted by James Lawson and/or Rachelle Sutherland with an unknown weapon(s). After being assaulted they were taken inside the residence at that location, restrained and interrogated for numerous hours. During that interrogation, both were either tormented, terrorized and/or threatened with death. At one point Scheurich and Jacobsen were freed from their restraints and were able to flee the location. Both fled to safety and law enforcement was notified. Both Scheurich and Jacobsen had visible injuries consistent with an injury caused by a blunt object. Deputies later proceeded to the scene and recovered a weapon believed to be used during the assault.
At about 2100 hours, deputies located and arrested Sutherland at 29700 Highway 20. Sutherland was ultimately transported to and lodged at the Mendocino County Jail where she was booked on the listed charges. On 10/27/2012 at about 2050 hours, deputies located and arrested Lawson at 21600 Bald Hill Road. Lawson was ultimately transported to and lodged at the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked on the listed charges. Both Lawson’s and Sutherland’s bail was set at $100,000. Mendocino Sheriff’s Press Release:
KYM KEMP of the Lost Coast Outpost and the Mendo Sheriff's Department expand on yesterday's reports of the body found near Piercy. Lt. Greg Van Patten of the Mendocino Sheriff’s Office says that it is “too early for us to tell who this might be. Tomorrow is the earliest we can get an anthropologist here…The anthropologist will do a body recovery…The remains will be taken to Chico….There an inventory of the bones will be done and a reconstruction….They usually examine the bones for any trauma or injury. That can take weeks.” He said that if there is flesh remaining then the whole process could take longer.
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KYM KEMP interviewed the people who found the corpse: For years a local family has taken kayaks up the Eel River from their home near Piercy. “We have an area near where we live that we kayak to and go mushroom hunting,” explained the woman who prefers to remain anonymous. “For the last three or four years a sneaker was sticking out of the ground in the forest nearby where we go mushroom hunting. We joked that there was a body attached. My daughter who is 8 now played by there.” But, they didn’t really believe that the sneaker was anything other than “river trash.”
HOWEVER, yesterday, the man of the family and the daughter kayaked over and found not one but two sneakers exposed side by side with their toes sticking up. The woman explained that this seemed more likely to contain a body and so the man decided to investigate. “[My husband] kind of pulled it out and there was a sock and he dumped it out and there were bones.”
THE FATHER and daughter immediately left the area, kayaked home, and called the woman. Even though he had seen the bones, the woman said that her husband was still unsure about whether this was real.
SO WHEN THE WOMAN got home at dusk the parents headed back. To save time, they didn’t launch the boats. Instead, they waded through waist high water. “We crossed the river with our headlamps and a camera and dug up enough to determine there was a leg bone attached.”
THE FAMILY didn’t want to call the Mendocino Sheriff on the flimsy fact they had found a pair of shoes. They wanted to make sure they were not mistaken. As the woman said, “I just knew I had to get a picture. You want to be sure you are giving them accurate information. My husband says he still can’t believe it.”
THEY WAITED until 7am to call law enforcement because “we knew there was nothing the police could do at night to recover skeletal remains across the river.”
A DEPUTY and a detective are on the scene now. The woman explained that the two “have borrowed our kayaks” and gone to the scene.
THE FAMILY who found the body a mere two days before Halloween is struggling to find balance. On the one hand says the woman, “We have chickens and ducks and bunnies. They die. We’ve explored death in the last couple of years. Death—when you live on a farm, is part of life.” This, she believes, has helped her daughter cope. On the other hand, she says, “Last night, [our daughter] didn’t want to watch a scary Halloween movie. She wanted to watch Glee.” It didn’t seem the time for something frightening.
THIS MORNING, the woman says that when she awoke, “My eyes popped open and I just kept seeing the feet.” Nonetheless, she doesn’t feel afraid of the area. “[A]s freaky as finding a skeleton two days before Halloween is — we feel like there is some closure for his family possible here. If it were my son I would want that.”
WHO IS THIS WOMAN? A reader convincingly writes that the “Pixie” we think is also Jacqueline Audet doesn't seem to be the Pixie from Boone, Wautaga County, North Carolina, daughter of Pamela Ward Audet, age 48 (dob 1964). “At www.Ancestry.com the only Jacqueline I could find who matched the approximate age of 22 is ‘Jacqueline Therese Audet’ dob 12 April 1991 at Los Angeles, CA. Maybe her booking record in Ukiah will show if the birthdate is a match, if the kid has been sober enough to remember it. Turns out Jaqueline Nicole Audet aka “Pixie” was booked with her date of birth as January 17, 1990. It's possible her parents might have been living in California at the time. Pamela Ward Audet may also be known as Pamela K. Audet. 1637 Little Laurel Rd., Boone, NC 28607-7487. Found a North Carolina divorce record showing a Pamela Audet divorced a Michael Audet on 21 February 1998 when the kid would have been almost seven.”
A FEMALE CALLER DEMANDED, a barely concealed accusation of dirty old man-ism in her voice, “What's with your obsession with that Goldilocks woman? Why don't you leave her alone?”
PUT IT THIS WAY: It's more about the rest of us than it is about her. Most of us know that the political duopoly agrees with the Big Lie that there isn't money to get people off the streets who are unwilling or unable to help themselves. Used to be we found the money for the required state hospital system. A young person could not have committed public suicide. We think Ms. Audet is a dramatic example of a very young person committing public suicide. It shouldn't be tolerated.
MONDAY, WE HEARD that Pixie was headed for Boonville following her release from the Low Gap Hilton, although it's long past time for local judges to keep her inside for longer stretches during which she might have enough time to unpickle her brain. Ms. Audet, as previously reported, was picked up stone drunk on the Mendocino Headlands back on October 18 along with a Mr. Donald Jordan, age 49, Pixie's road dog. Ms. Audet, 22, is a drop-fall drunk. She was already sighted sauntering down Low Gap Road last Tuesday, Oct. 23 in the company of Mr. Jordan and a Mr. Lamont Jones, all three drop-fall dipsos. Pixie was probably separated from alcohol for all of four plus days, the length of her latest stay at Low Gap's mandatory drop-in center.
MS. AUDET AND MR. JORDAN, whom she refers to as “babe,” were soon rousted for illegal camping and trespassing last Sunday night in the Ukiah area, but were told to move along without being cited or arrested. Cops mostly don't want to haul chronic inebriants off to jail since it ties them up for an hour or so going through the booking process. The chronics only get arrested when they have to be arrested because there's no other option to their publicly offensive behavior. Of course if everyone guilty of publicly obnoxious behavior were arrested, our streets would be deserted.
OUR SOURCES say that Pixie and Mr. Jordan feel libeled by our reports of their various encounters with law enforcement and their periodic public sightings. They say they're planning to return to the Mendocino Coast by way of Boonville in order to pay the AVA a visit.
THE PHONE STARTS ringing about 5pm. “She's here! Pixie's in Boonville!” Three calls later confirm that our louche celebrity is indeed in town. I grab my tape recorder and head out the door, eager to at last talk to Goldie, er Pixie, face-to-face. A caller had said she and lover boy were on Mountain View Road. “I guess they're hitchhiking to Point Arena or somewhere. She's carrying a big brown bundle, he's got a back pack, and they've got a big dog, white with brown spots.” I drove up Mountain View. No Pixie and LB. I drove back down Mountain View. No sign!
TUESDAY MORNING a Boonville guy hustles through the door. “She's out in front of Lemons, right now!” With a cannibal-looking dude? I ask. “That's him, and that's her!” In 12 hours they'd managed to get from Boonville to Philo.
SCOTT STEPHENS, 25 of Manila, HumCo, was attacked by a shark Tuesday morning near the entrance to Humboldt Bay. He said he punched the beast in the head until it released him. More than 100 staples were required to seal Stehpens' multiple gashes. Stephens said his attacker was “a young great white shark” that pulled him underwater. “I opened my eyes underwater and punched the shark on the side of the head until it released me,” Stephens said. “I saw a lot of blood.” Doctors say Stephens suffered at least seven deep lacerations, but none of his vital organs were damaged during the attack. He is listed in fair condition after undergoing surgery Tuesday at St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka.
UPDATE: The Mendocino County District Attorney's Office released Kristin Wright, the woman who was ripped off during a marijuana transaction gone bad, from custody without filing charges against her.
COMMENT OF THE DAY: “Sometimes, you get people talking and there's a lot of low content-to-word ratio.” — Jim Harbaugh, head coach, SF 49ers
PSYCHIATRIST TESTIFIES Norbury was sane when he killed Andrews. By Tiffany Revelle
Finishing up the sanity phase of the murder trial for Billy Norbury, psychiatrist Dr. Donald Apostle told the court Tuesday that while Norbury may have been mentally ill, he didn't meet the legal definition of insanity the night he shot Jamal Andrews. The jury last week convicted Norbury, 34, of first-degree murder and a special allegation that he used a 30-30 Winchester rifle to shoot and kill Andrews, 30, his Redwood Valley neighbor, on the night of Jan. 24. “I felt he was sane on the night of January 24, 2012,” Apostle said, asked for his conclusions after having talked to Norbury for about two hours and having read thick binders of police, jail and investigative reports, including statements from Norbury's family members. “Insane is not an adjective, and it's not a diagnosis,” he said, explaining his reasoning. “It's a legal concept.” Apostle was called to the witness stand by Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster, who is prosecuting the case. Norbury in July changed his not-guilty plea to one of not guilty by reason of insanity (commonly called an NGI plea). His Ukiah defense attorney, Al Kubanis, has the burden of proving to the jury that it was more likely than not that Norbury was legally insane when he shot Andrews. Insanity is a legal term under state law meaning that because of a mental defect or disorder, the defendant didn't understand the nature or quality of the act, or was incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong. “I think he did know the nature and quality of what he did, and he did know the wrongfulness of his actions,” Apostle said on the witness stand Tuesday. Norbury faces 50 years to life in prison for the killing. If he is found not guilty by reason of insanity, Norbury could instead serve his sentence at a mental health facility, where, Eyster has noted, he could at some point qualify for an outpatient program and live in the community. Apostle described Norbury's mental disorder as a “paranoid, persecutory delusionary system,” aggravated by “severe substance abuse” that in turn led to insomnia that fed into hallucinations and possibly schizophrenia. Even so, Apostle said again, “That's not insanity … A diagnosis itself is not equal to insanity.” Previous testimony and video footage showing Norbury's whereabouts in the five hours before the shooting indicate he had about nine alcoholic drinks, and a blood-alcohol level that Apostle estimated could have been as high as 0.18%. “The alcohol probably tipped him over the edge,” Apostle said, adding later during Kubanis' cross-examination that the drinks likely “loosened his inhibitions” enough to do the act. “He was paranoid to begin with, but that does not fit the legal definition of insanity.” Pressed by Kubanis about another expert's opinion that Norbury could have had a blood-alcohol level as high as 0.22% the night of the shooting, Apostle described his experience in the US Navy with a four-star general who had a 0.25 blood-alcohol level but was “totally sober” because of his high tolerance. Norbury had been drinking since he was a teenager, according to prior testimony. Apostle said Norbury “was able to drive a truck, he was able to aim a gun, he was able to make an escape” the night of the killing. Apostle said he found Norbury “extremely willful, to the degree that he's stonewalling.” Norbury denied “from the second he was apprehended” that he shot Andrews, Apostle said, and “people might think he had a blackout (but) I don't think he did.” Apostle also described Norbury in general terms as “self-centered” and “adamant in terms of his ability to out-wit people.” Asked about testimony from Norbury's father that his son at one point hadn't slept in four days, Apostle said nicotine and alcohol use contribute to insomnia, and test subjects in a sleep laboratory had started to hallucinate after going without sleep for four days. He described Norbury's substance abuse and paranoia, combined with the added stress of losing his family in a divorce and moving twice, as “the perfect storm.” During cross-examination, Kubanis asked Apostle about testimony from Norbury's father that his son had said on one sleepless night, “I am chosen; God gives signs of the end times.” “If someone thinks they are the chosen one, isn't that the most monumental of delusions?” Kubanis asked. “Not necessarily,” Apostle answered. “Some people think they have cancer.” He described the statement as a “grandiose delusion” in the category of someone thinking he or she is the smartest person in the world, and others like it. Asked for his level of certainty about his conclusion, Apostle said, “It appears to me beyond a reasonable doubt that (Norbury) was sane.” The jury retired to decide the sanity matter on Wednesday after Eyster and Kubanis made their closing arguments. (Courtesy, The Ukiah Daily Journal.)
NORBURY SANE! The jury was only out for an hour Wednesday afternoon before they came back with the verdict that Billy Norbury was sane when he murdered his Redwood Valley neighbor, Jamal Andrews, 30. Norbury had already been found guilty of murder, but the jury also had to decide if he was sane after three days of testimony from a psychologist, a psychiatrist and family members. Norbury, 34, faces a prison sentence of 50-years-to-life in prison when he’s sentenced Nov. 30.
THE GIANTS OUTSTANDING closing pitcher Sergio Romo sports an amusing t-shirt as the confetti rains down on him on the Market Street Parade. The Shirt has become something of an internet sensation already. Romo was raised in Brawley, Calif., a small farming community about 20 miles north of the Mexican border. His parents, who met in Brawley, were born in Mexico. Romo, like many kids from that part of Mexico over the years, would cross the Mexican border on weekends to compete in adult leagues in the city of Mexicali where he became an intense baseball fan and developed a strong connection to the Mexicali area and the other players, a few of whom made it to the bigs like Romo eventually did. According to SoCal papers the kids and adult players in Mexicali remember Romo, whose pitching was critical to the Giants successful season this year, as the child who used to tag along with his father on weekends to Mexicali.