AM News Tuesday 7.22.13
Friday, the Lake County DA's Office dismissed drug and human trafficking
charges against two men so that the US Attorney's Office could take over
the drug aspect of the prosecution.
Ryan Balletto, 30, of Lakeport, ., and Patrick Pearmain, 25, of Clearlake,
were arrested May 1 on marijuana cultivation and weapons charges.
Later, both men were charged with human trafficking, statutory rape, false
imprisonment, and annoying or molesting a child relating to a teenage girl
who allegedly had been kept at the grow site.
But all of the drug, human trafficking and sex-related charges were dropped without prejudice. That's because the US
Attorney's Office is taking over the drug. “It originally was a federal
investigation that started the whole thing,” DA Anderson said .
He said federal officials are expected to come and transfer Balletto and
Pearmain to federal custody in the Bay Area on Monday.
Family and friends of a Ukiah woman who died under suspicious circum-stances have launched a web page and petition drive devoted to promoting prosecution of Susan Keegan;s nearly three-year-old homicide.
The petition on the website, justice4susan.com, urges the DA's Office to
“exercise the authority vested in you and make an arrest.”
DA David Eyster said. “This office has not and will not prosecute any
individual solely because of outside pressure brought to bear by any particular special interest group,”
Law officers found Keegan, a local actor, singer, and teacher , dead Nov. 11, 2010. Her husband of 32 years, Dr. Peter Keegan, had phoned police.,
saying he’d found her, unconscious and bleeding from an apparent fall. The couple were separated but continued to live together.
Two years later, in August 2012, law enforcement officials declared that a continuing investigation had determined it was a homicide.
Susan Keegan died from inhaling vomit, the result of blunt force trauma to
Those pushing for resolution of the case say the Sheriff’s Office mishandled the case early on. Investigators did not challenge Peter Keegan’s statements and did not initially treat the house as a crime scene. After Susan Keegan’s death, officials released her body to her husband, who had her cremated.
Results of DNA tests collected at the home in January are pending.
Lake County's sheriff Frank Rivero has asked an appellate court to overturn a judge's ruling requiring him to personally pay legal bills he's incurred in fighting a determination that he lied about a 2008 shooting.
Sheriff Frank Rivero filed the appeal with the First District Court of Appeals
against a May decision by Mendocino Judge Richard Henderson, who
clarified a 2012 ruling requiring the board to hire outside counsel for Rivero,
that it did not cover anything after the decision was made by the DA's Office.
In February, DA Don Anderson found there was evidence to support the
conclusion that Rivero had lied to investigators and Anderson placed Rivero
on a list of “Brady” officers with credibility issues.
Following that, the county's supervisors put payment of all of Rivero's
$56,000 legal bills on hold until there was a clarification from the judge.
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will consider a budget transfer of
$10,000 in order to hire an outside law firm to represent the county in the
case going forward. Also at 9:30 a.m., the board will get another update
from staff on the Lakeside Heights Subdivision in north Lakeport, where
earlier this month 41 homeowners in the subdivision filed tort claims against the county, alleging that leaks in the water and sewer system led to the landslide and associated home damage.
Stay Tuned for Corporations & Democracy; @ 1:00 PM
When Toni Rizzo and Tom Wodetzki look at the loss of MCTV,and explore
ideas and options for continuing community access TV on the Coast.