Thursday Morning News for May 30th, 2013
A 40-year-old Hopland man convicted of murder nearly three years ago is back in Court to determine if he's entitled to a retrial after a doctor recanted his testimony about the alleged murder weapon.
Timothy Elliott of was convicted of second-degree murder in the stabbing of Samuel Billy, both members of the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians.
Elliott is due in court June 21 for a hearing to decide whether Public Defender Linda Thompson, who defended him, erred in failing to ask for a hearing to exclude the 1.65-inch knife the doctor testified could have been used to inflict the fatal, 6-inch stab wound.
Dr Jason Trent, later, said : " If I was told at trial that the knife blade was 1.65 inches long, I probably would have testified that this knife could not cause a six-inch deep wound."
Judge Ann Moorman said that she wanted to hear from Trent and see the knife.
Moorman will first need to decide whether Thompson erred in her defense, and if so, whether the trial would have otherwise had a different outcome.
Elliott was sentenced to 16 years to life in prison .
A pair of bills that would enhance the legal standing of medical marijuana providers have advanced in the Legislature. Two of the Legislature's leading Democrats are backing the bills which would create new regulations and protections for medical marijuana providers within state law. The California Police Chief's Association has pledged to oppose the bills.
San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano's bill passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Friday. It would establish a Division of Medical Marijuana Regulation within the state's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The new bureaucracy would have power to set standards for growing, transporting and selling medical marijuana. The bill, A.B. 473 can now be considered by the entire Assembly.
The second bill, from Senate President pro tem Darrell Steinberg, would give marijuana collectives that operate according to the state Attorney General's guidelines immunity from prosecution for selling or possessing marijuana. The bill would also allow dispensary operators and employees to receive "reasonable compensation."
Steinberg's bill, S.B. 439, passed a Senate floor vote on Monday over opposition from the chamber's Republican minority. A hearing date has yet be scheduled.
Mendocino County Supervisor Dan Hamburg said Tuesday he intends to sue the county, seeking to overturn its decision to deny his family a permit to bury his wife on their rural property.
Hamburg said he filed paperwork with the county’s health department specifically stating Carrie Hamburg had been buried at their Boonville Road home, in keeping with her long-held wishes and the explicit instructions outlined in a codicil to her will signed a week before her March 5 death.
But in a sign she anticipated the legal questions it would raise, Carrie Ham
burg demanded her family bury her before attempting to resolve any objections, according to the Feb. 26 document.
Hamburg and his family also knew, even as they filed an application for county approval of the home burial plan, that it would be rejected.
California is one of just two U.S. states that prohibit burials outside of cemeteries. Violations are a misdemeanor under the California Health and Safety Code.
Complex State regulations permit Californians with the land and substantial financial resources to obtain certification for a family cemetery.
Despite Humboldt Police Chief Mike Downey's statement that Shane Miller has probably killed himself, Shasta County Officials are now offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of triple murderer Miller.
Community members are asked to call 445-7251 or the tip line at 268-2539 if they see anything suspicious . Tip information can be reported anonymously at scsecretwitness.com.