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Michael Meese's life will be celebrated in a memorial service scheduled for Saturday, December 12, 2009, in Santa Rosa. Courtesy photo.
 

 

 

 


KELSEYVILLE – Lives are a series of moments – many of them small, but some that are so significant that they become defining for individuals.


On a day in late 1993, as Michael Meese – then a sergeant with the Petaluma Police Department – walked with murder suspect Richard Allen Davis through a field near Cloverdale, he was about to find himself up against one such defining moment.


Meese would play a key role in solving the October 1993 abduction and murder of 12-year-old Polly Klaas, a young girl whose story encapsulated every parent's worst nightmare and led to passage of the state's “Three Strikes” law. Davis led Meese and other investigators to the girl's body in that Cloverdale field.


In his diary of Davis' 1996 trial, Polly Klaas' father, Marc, wrote, “Of all the players involved in this crime, three are particularly significant; Polly the victim, Davis the killer and Meese the cop.”


Marc Klaas recounted how that, two weeks after his daughter's kidnapping, Meese “put his arm around my shoulder, looked deep into my eyes and said, 'I'll get her for you Marc. I'll find her and I'll bring her home.'”


Meese would do just that. His doggedness in following the case would lead to a confession from Davis, later convicted of the girl's murder and sentenced to death.


When he died Nov. 23 in Kelseyville after being diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer 35 days earlier, Meese was eulogized across the nation for his work to bring Davis to justice.


But, as Meese's wife, Michelle, will tell you, Michael Meese's career and life went far beyond that day and that investigation.


“There's so much more to the man than the Polly Klaas case,” she said.


And that life – which saw travel, humor, many friendships and love of NASCAR – will be commemorated this Saturday, Dec. 12, at a memorial service beginning at 1 p.m. in the Burbank Auditorium on the Santa Rosa Junior College Campus, 1501 Mendocino Ave.


The community is welcome.


“We expect a huge crowd,” Michelle said Wednesday evening. “My husband touched a lot of peoples' lives.”


Several speakers will celebrate Michael Meese at the Saturday service, including Marc Klaas, who became friends with Meese and would go on to become a force in advocating for legislation to protect children and crime victims.


Also to speak are family, former colleagues and one of Meese's students from the Santa Rosa Junior College administration of justice program, where he became a full-time instructor in 2008. Michelle said that her husband told her following his diagnosis about how much he would miss his students.


A reception will follow at the college's art gallery, where there will be an open microphone. “I think I'm going to learn some things about my husband I may not know,” Michelle said.


She said she's received many messages from people whose lives her husband touched, including crime victims who knew him as a sympathetic police officer who listened to them and tried to help.


Meese was born in Detroit and raised in Libertyville, Ill. He dropped out of high school and joined the Army at age 17.


Despite leaving school early, Meese loved learning, according to his wife. He would get his GED and an associate's degree while in the Army. In 1993 received his bachelor's degree from St. Mary's College. While the Klaas trial was under way, he was working on his master's degree in public administration, which he received from the University of San Francisco in 1996.


He was always reading, and became an expert in military and war history. Michelle said he could look at a ship, tell you its weight and other specifics.


Meese also was studying for his PhD, but he withdrew from that program when he learned of his cancer.


He began his law enforcement career in 1981when he joined the Petaluma Police Department, where he would spend the next 15 years.


In 1996, when the Klaas case was over, Meese joined the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office staff as an investigator. He later would take a job as assistant chief of the University of Nevada Reno Police Force before returning to Northern California to be chief of the Hopland Rancheria of Public Safety in Mendocino County.


Meese cared deeply about the tribal community, said his wife, who was told by one of his colleagues that he had done a lot of important work in the area of tribal law.


The couple met during the Klaas case, many years before they were married. Both also had ended up moving to Reno at about the same time, and shared a fence in their neighborhood. Beginning as friends, they later began dating, and when he accepted the job in Hopland, Michelle said she chose to follow him back to California.


When he was coming back to work in Hopland, a friend suggested Meese check out Lake County as a place to live. Michelle's parents retired on Cobb, so she was familiar with the county.


The couple were raising his granddaughter, Victoria. “What a wonderful place to raise your children,” said Michelle. “Lake County is a special place.”


The couple would get married at sunset on July 4, 2005, overlooking Clear Lake. “It was really quite beautiful,” Michelle said.


Their marriage wasn't a long one, but she said it was a quality union, and she'd trade that quality for quantity any day.


He loved cooking, she loved baking – and he loved eating the baking, she said – and they enjoyed taking trips in their fifth wheel travel trailer.


About his many cases he often was silent, said his wife. “He kept a lot of that private.”


He did talk about the Klaas case, however. She said he often received requests to discuss it.


Meese also kept all of his case files and materials. “He never wanted to get rid of it until Richard Allen Davis is put to death,” she said.


At one point he asked her to scan all of the case photos he had, and she noted an eerie resemblance between a picture of Davis' mother and the young victim. Davis has accused his mother of severely abusing he and his siblings.


The case came back into sharp focus earlier this year, when Davis appealed his death sentence to the California Supreme Court.


Davis' counsel argued several grounds for overturning the conviction, from prosecutorial misconduct to an allegation that Meese had not told Davis of his right to have an attorney present before he admitted killing the girl in a videotaped confession.


However, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction, dismissing the suggestion that Meese had erred.


Here in Lake County, Meese's life went on. Michelle said he put 100 percent into everything, including his work as president of the Buckingham water district board, where he was trying to help improve the way the district did business, which gained him some opponents in the community.


He had been feeling ill since late summer, and when his skin became jaundiced he went to see the doctor. On Oct. 19, he was diagnosed with advanced cancer, with a tumor found to be blocking his liver's bile duct.


Chemotherapy followed, and there was some hope for a little time, although Michelle noted, “We were realists.”


Meese would end up having just over a month left. At one point he turned to his wife and asked her if she thought anyone would come to his funeral, a concern which caught her off guard.


In the time he had, he was able to tell his friends and colleagues about his diagnosis. The accolades, notes and messages that resulted were overwhelming, Michelle said. The fact that he got to hear and read them in life was a gift.


She said he would cry after reading each of the letters and messages he received and afterward would say, “I had no idea.”


Even his opponents in the water district were quick to share their condolences, she said.


Meese also was a huge NASCAR fan, and he got to watch the last race of the season just before he died, Michelle said.


In addition to Michelle, Michael Meese leaves behind sisters Mindy Beers and Marilyn Rasco; his sons, Todd and his wife Sheri Meese of Hidden Valley Lake, and Frank Meese of Reno, Nev.; grandchildren, Victoria Meese, Jolon Cisneros, Tiyanna Meese, Ceceilia Meese and Kendra Meese; and a great many friends, colleagues and admirers.


The family has asked that, instead of flowers, contributions be made to the college fund for Victoria Meese or to the Debra D. Meese Scholarship Fund through the SRJC Foundation, 1501 Mendocino Ave, Santa Rosa CA 95401.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

LAKE COUNTY – After a second night of temperatures dipping into the teens around Lake County – with numerous reports of ruptured water lines – the possibility of snow is returning, along with a series of storms bringing much-needed rain, according to forecasters.


An arctic blast moved into Lake County on Sunday afternoon and dropped scattered snow flurries before quickly moving out, leaving much colder air in its wake. The National Weather Service in Sacramento said that cold weather will continue through Wednesday.


The agency also issued a freeze warning that will remain in effect until 9 a.m. Wednesday.


The National Weather Service predicted that Wednesday's high temperature will be near 40, with clouds moving in overnight. Lows are expected to drop back into the mid- to upper-20s, and another freeze warning is likely to be issued.


Chances of precipitation will increase on Thursday, with a 40-percent chance of rain and snow increasing to a 50 percent chance of rain overnight, with temperatures forecast to remain above freezing, the National Weather Service reported.


Rain should continue through Saturday, with daytime highs near 40 on Friday, and the mid-40s by Saturday, the forecast said.


Temperatures will slowly warm up with partial clearing on Sunday. Forecaster predict that rain will return and continue through Tuesday.


E-mail Terre Logsdon at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

CLEARLAKE OAKS – An aggressive effort by firefighters saved a large home from destruction in a fire that occurred over the weekend.


Northshore Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Pat Brown reported that district firefighters responded to an out-of-control fire in a fireplace at an Old Long Valley Road home at 2:50 p.m. Saturday.


Brown said the first unit on scene reported heavy smoke showing from a two story home with exterior flames from the roof and chimney. Dispatch was increased to a full structure dispatch.


With smoke down to the floor of the second floor and flames from two walls on the first floor, Brown said firefighters began an interior fire attack. They pulled ceilings and walls while multiple chain saws opened up the exterior of walls and roof area.


Northshore Fire resources sent to the scene included one battalion chief, three engines and the newly acquired water tender, Brown said.. Mutual aid was requested from Lake County fire with one engine and one water tender responding. A total of 16 personnel fought the blaze.


Brown said firefighters placed salvage covers in the living room and kitchen area. The exterior wood chimney had to be pulled from the roof which also was done by crews from Northshore and Lake County firefighters.


He estimated total damage to the large home was $40,000.


Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

UPPER LAKE – The US Department of Agriculture's Forest Service is offering a $2,500 reward for information about government property stolen late last month.


The Mendocino National Forest reported that over the recent Thanksgiving holiday, between the late hours of Nov. 25 and the early morning hours of Nov. 27, several buildings on the Upper Lake Ranger District compound of the Mendocino National Forest, located on Elk Mountain Road in Upper Lake, were burglarized and a large amount of government property was stolen and other property was damaged.


Among the items stolen were several laptop computers, a desktop computer, and an assortment of electronic equipment including, cameras and several televisions – including two new flat screens.


Also stolen was a significant amount of wildland firefighting equipment, including several Stihl chainsaws, a motorized water pump, a Bendix-King mobile vehicle radio, two Bendix-King brand handheld radios, and an assortment of wildland firefighter gear including Petzl brand headlamps, ESS brand fireman goggles, reflective cold-weather blankets, cases of MRE’s (military-style meals), a flare gun with .22 caliber blanks and a Miller brand MIG welder, officials reported.


In addition several of the buildings were ransacked and damaged, according to the report.


The Forest Service is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person(s) involved in this theft of government property.


Anyone with information is asked to contact the U.S. Forest Service, Law Enforcement and Investigations Office at Upper Lake at 707-275-1420 or contact Det. Steve Brooks of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office at 707-262-4200.


Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

LAKE COUNTY – This week Congressman Mike Thompson launched the 14th annual Toys for Kids Drive in Lake County.


“The generosity of Lake County residents and businesses the past 13 years has been heartwarming,” said Thompson, who kicked off the drive on Monday.


The effort has provided thousands of children in the community with Christmas gifts, Thompson said.


He credited the ongoing success of the Toys for Kids Drive to hundreds of individuals and businesses who contribute toys, money, and time to wrap and distribute gifts.


This year, Toys for Kids is partnering with a number of local businesses and public agencies in the annual Christmas toy drive.


Partner groups include Lake Transit Authority, Lake Family Resource Center, Lake County Office of Education-Healthy Family and Healthy Start programs, Hidden Valley Lake Community Services District, Wal-Mart of Clearlake and Pacific Gas and Electric Co.


Toy donations may be dropped off at the following locations:


  • Clearlake: Best Western El Grande Inn, 15135 Lakeshore Drive;

  • Middletown and Hidden Valley Lake: Hidden Valley Lake Community Services District Office, 19400 Hartmann Road;

  • Lakeport: Lake County Office of Education, 1152 S. Main St.


Monetary donations can be sent to Toys for Kids, c/o Brad Onorato, P.O. Box 6742, Napa, CA 94581. Nonprofit tax identification numbers are: state of California ID No. 2456994, federal No. 30-0142588.


Toys for Kids is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization overseen by a board of directors composed of county residents.


Board members include Mel Aust and Tami Ipsen, Hidden Valley Lake; Anna Ocon, Clearlake; Peggy McCloud, Lakeport; Bob Minenna, Lower Lake; Margaret Walker-Stimmel, Kelseyville; Dorrie Walker, Lower Lake.


For more information call 707-695-4670.


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MENDOCINO COUNTY – Officials in Mendocino County are investigating the death of a jail inmate which occurred over the weekend.


The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office reported that William Haley, 50, of Ukiah died while being booked into the county jail on Sunday morning.


Haley, who had been stabbed in an incident Saturday, was arrested after he allegedly assaulted a Ukiah Police Department officer who was investigating the stabbing incident, according to the report.


Following the stabbing, Haley was taken to Ukiah Valley Medical Center for treatment of the stab wound to his arm and was medically cleared before being transported to the Mendocino County Jail.


Haley, who sheriff's officials reported was intoxicated, was cared for throughout the night by jail medical staff for the stab wound.


On Sunday morning shortly before 9 a.m., Haley became unresponsive while going through the booking process.


Corrections personnel and jail medical staff assessed Haley, summoned the Ukiah Fire Department and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation.


Fire department personnel arrived and transported Haley to Ukiah Valley Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.


The incident is being investigated by the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office-Detectives Unit, Mendocino County Sheriff's Coroner and the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office.


Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

TALMAGE – Authorities are investigating the murder of a Talmage man, who was shot to death early Wednesday morning.


Capt. Kurt Smallcomb of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office reported that Michael Anthony Hunter, 24, was found fatally wounded at a residence located at 2475 Mill Creek Road in Talmage just after 3 a.m. Wednesday.


The Mendocino County Sheriffs Dispatch Center received a 911 telephone call from a female caller regarding a physical disturbance at the location, Smallcomb said.


Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies, California Highway Patrol officers and emergency medical services proceeded to the residence and located a male gunshot victim on the living room floor.


Medical aide was started and the victim was subsequently transported to Ukiah Valley Medical Center where Hunter died of the gunshot wounds he received during the assault, according to Smallcomb.


Sheriff's detectives and Mendocino County District Attorney investigators are continuing the investigation, including talking to other victims and witnesses in establishing the suspect or suspects responsible for this incident, Smallcomb noted.


Anyone with information regarding Hunter's death is asked to telephone 707-467-9159. Callers can remain anonymous.


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WILLITS – Authorities arrested a Willits man Monday on a variety of charges after he allegedly was spotted brandishing a fake gun at motorists, which resulted in a temporary shutdown of Highway 101.


Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies arrested Jeremiah Daniel Heilig Monday afternoon, according to a report from sheriff's Capt. Kurt Smallcomb.


At about 4 p.m. Monday deputies and Willits Police officer responded to the area of Highway 101 and Holland's Lane, where Smallcomb said a motorist had reported that a man dressed in camouflage was standing in a roadside ditch pointing a handgun at passing motorists.


When the deputies arrived on the scene they saw Heilig alongside the highway, allegedly holding an object which appeared to be a handgun, Smallcomb said. Heilig allegedly refused to comply with deputies commands to remain still and leave his hands in view.


After a brief struggle Heilig was taken into custody, Smallcomb said.


Highway 101 was closed for several minutes until it was confirmed that the suspect did not possess an operational firearm. Smallcomb said the gun Heilig had pointed at passing motorists was found to be made of plastic.


Heilig appeared to be confused and offered no explanation for pointing the imitation firearm at motorists, according to Smallcomb's reported. Deputies also found allegedly found Heilig in possession of an illegal "shank" type stabbing device.


Smallcomb said Heilig was arrested for possession of a dirk or dagger, which is a felony, and also was also charged with violation of probation and resisting arrest, and brandishing an imitation firearm. He was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked on the charges.


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MIDDLETOWN – Federal officials have released a preliminary report outlining the circumstances in a fatal midair collision on Nov. 28 that claimed the life of two area pilots.


The National Transportation Safety Board released the findings late Friday.


The crash, at Crazy Creek Air Adventures in Middletown, killed Hidden Valley Lake pilot Robert Sean Boylan, 44, and Harold Harvey Chouinard, 63, of Cotati, as Lake County News has reported.


The report, completed last week by aviation accident investigator Eliott Simpson, explained that Chouinard's Schleicher ASW-27 glider and the Piper PA-25-235 tow plane piloted by Boylan collided at about 11:15 a.m. Nov. 28 during the landing approach at the Crazy Creek gliderport.


The two aircraft had departed to begin their flights only about 10 minutes before the crash, with Boylan towing Chouinard, Simpson's report stated.


Witnesses at the scene observed Boylan release Chouinard's glider about six miles west of the airport at an altitude of about 3,000 feet, the report explained.


After the release, Boylan turned back toward the airport, with Chouinard flying north along an adjacent ridgeline before turning southeast toward the airport, the report said.


“According to witnesses, both aircraft entered the downwind leg of the northwest runway about the same time, with the glider on the right downwind and the airplane on the left downwind,” the report stated. “The witnesses observed both aircraft continue on the downwind, and turn onto their respective base legs about the same time. As the aircraft simultaneously turned to final they collided.”


The report added, “The witnesses reported that neither aircraft performed any abrupt or evasive maneuvers prior to the collision.”


The wind at the site was reported to be between 25 and 35 knots from the north, Simpson noted.


Simpson's investigation – which had run close to two days at the crash site – found that both the glider and plane came to rest about 1,300 feet east of the approach end of the runway.


The report said that the airplane was located 40 feet north of the runway centerline, with the glider located 400 feet to the southwest. The debris path consisted of outboard sections of the glider’s right wing, and a three-foot section of the airplane's right wing tip.


A 2-foot-long section of the glider’s right wing tip was located with the main wreckage of the airplane, adjacent to the right wing leading edge, Simpson reported.


Simpson told Lake County News last week that it could take several months for the National Transportation Safety Board to issue a final report on the crash's probable cause.


According to NTSB records, there have been 20 fatal air crashes in Lake County since 1962.


In those 20 crashes, 40 people have died. Four crashes in the Lakeport area accounted for a total of 14 deaths, the most of any area in the county.


The worst crash in terms of loss of life occurred on Sept. 29, 1990, near Lakeport, when a Lockheed PV-2 nose-dived into Clear Lake after a low pass – estimated at about 50 feet over the lake – over a gathering of seaplanes.


The plane stalled and went into the lake, killing the pilot and seven passengers.


The board's final ruling on that crash's probable cause was that the pilot failed to maintain air speed while pulling up from the low pass.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

LAKE COUNTY – Tuesday proved a big day for several local charitable organizations, as the Lake County Wine Alliance handed out the proceeds of the 2009 Wine Auction.


The board of directors of the Lake County Wine Alliance distributed $57,200 to 18 nonprofit organizations, agencies and high schools from the proceeds of the 10th annual Lake County Wine Auction held in September.


Since it began a decade ago, the Wine Auction has been one of the county's premier fundraising events.

With this latest distribution of funds, the Lake County Wine Alliance has contributed $770,202 in proceeds from the Wine Auction since its initial event in 2000.


Proceeds include ticket sales, donations from sponsorships, live and silent auction income, and sales of special edition, fine art posters by acclaimed local artist John R. Clarke.


Gathering at the Saw Shop Gallery Bistro in Kelseyville, more than 50 representatives of the beneficiaries celebrated the opportunity to receive these funds that will augment budgets that have been severely impacted during the recent economic downturn.


Each category in the designated areas of support, the arts, health and community was allocated $17,500 to be shared amongst the recipients.


Recipients included the following:


  • Arts: The Allegro Scholarship Program received $2,500; $15,000 to the fine arts programs at the five Lake County high schools was shared with $3,000 each to Clear Lake, Kelseyville, Lower Lake, Middletown and Upper Lake high schools.

  • Health: Each recipient in this category received $2,500 – Lake County Hunger Task Force, St. Helena Hospital Clearlake mammography fund, and the five senior centers with Meals on Wheels programs – Highlands Senior Service Center, Lakeport Senior Activity Center, Live Oak Seniors, Lucerne Alpine Senior Center and Middletown Senior Center.

  • Community: The Stitch & Give Knitters were given $1,000; the Lake County Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America received $5,000; People Services Inc. and the Senior Law Project Inc., each received $5,750.


Additional contributions at the Wine Auction raised $4,700 to benefit the Ely Stage Stop and Country Museum restoration project of the Lake County Historical Society.


Applications for funding from the 2010 Lake County Wine Auction, to be held on Saturday, Oct. 16, are available online at www.winealliance.org or from Judy Luchsinger, chair of the beneficiaries committee, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Applications must be postmarked by March 5, 2010.


Members of the Wine Alliance board are Margaret Walker-Stimmel, president; Marie Beery, vice president; Pamela Shine-Duncan, secretary; Rob Roumiguiere, treasurer; and Kaj Ahlmann, Judy Luchsinger, Wilda Shock, and Janet Thompson.


The charter of the Wine Alliance directs its efforts to foster the arts, benefit health services, and support the community, while promoting Lake County as a premier grape growing and fine wine region.


The Lake County Wine Alliance may be contacted by phone, 866-279-WINE, or by mail to P.O. Box 530, Kelseyville 95451.


Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

LAKEPORT – On Monday a judge ruled that a Hidden Valley Lake man will stand trial for one charge in connection with an alleged July rape, but two other significant charges were dropped.


Judge Richard Martin ruled that 26-year-old John Wesley Dunn Jr. would be tried for a charge of rape while using alcohol to prevent resisting.


However, Martin found there wasn't sufficient evidence to warrant Dunn's prosecution on two other counts – kidnap with the intent to rape and assault with the intent to commit a crime.


The kidnap charge alone carried a maximum life sentence, said Dunn's defense attorney, Stephen Carter. The remaining charge carries a maximum eight-year prison sentence.


“I'm very optimistic about the way the case is progressing and we're very eager to get the case to jury trial,” Carter said Monday.


Dunn, who has no previous criminal history, was arrested in August for allegedly raping a 25-year-old female acquaintance who he had driven home following a night of dancing and drinking.


He had been held in the Lake County Jail for three weeks on $350,000 bail before a lengthy bail hearing during which Carter put on more than 15 witnesses who attested to Dunn's character. Judge Arthur Mann ordered Dunn released on his own recognizance at the end of the hearing, as Lake County News has reported.


Dunn's preliminary hearing began late Friday morning and ran the remainder of the day, forcing the court to reschedule for this Friday the preliminary hearing for Joshua Wandry and Deborah James in the beating, shooting and hogtying of Ronald Greiner in October. The need for rescheduling resulted from Carter representing both Dunn and Wandry.


The hearing continued for nearly two more hours Monday morning, with Carter and prosecutor Ed Borg arguing the points of the case before Martin's ruling.


On Friday, Borg had called sheriff's Det. Mike Curran, who interviewed the alleged victim.


The woman, who had been told by a doctor to reduce her alcohol consumption due to an ulcer, said she had a total of five drinks that night.


She went with family and friends to Twin Pine Casino, something they commonly did on Fridays, for drinks and dancing.


While she was there the woman saw Dunn, with whom she was acquainted. She told investigators he was interested in her romantically, but she wasn't interested as she dating someone else.


She told investigators that Dunn bought her and a friend some drinks, and she asked him to dance with her, which he did several times.


According to Curran's testimony, the young woman didn't remember leaving the casino or much else about the latter part of the evening – including the fact that she had trouble walking and had fallen down – only that she woke up the next morning and discovered that she was missing her underwear and had physical discomfort.


Sheriff's Det. John Drewrey, who worked the case with Curran, presented information from the sexual assault exam performed on the victim by a St. Helena Hospital Clearlake doctor.


The doctor observed multiple bruises over the woman's body, including her right thigh, groin, foot and ankle, with superficial scratches found sporadically over her body. The bruises were found to be consistent with the time frame of the events the woman gave investigators.


Drewrey said the doctor stated that he couldn't give a definitive answer about what caused the injuries, but that they were consistent with sexual assault.


The victim, using Drewrey's cell phone, made two “pretext” calls to Dunn to ask him about the evening.


During the first call, the woman asked Dunn if they had sex, which he confirmed that they did. In a second call, he said they had sex in his car after he pulled off the road while driving her home.


Drewrey also reported speaking with a friend of the alleged victim who said she was “falling down drunk” and had slurred speed at the end of the evening.


Dunn told Drewrey during an interview that the woman had come up to him at the bar, grabbed him by the shirt and asked him to drive her home. He asked if she was sure that she wanted to go, she said yes, and they left.


Surveillance video of the two – which Borg showed at the end of the day Friday – showed them walking out of the casino with their arms around each other. Dunn had told detectives that he was trying to help her walk, and at one point picked her up while helping her to his car.


Dunn told detectives that, on the drive home in his 1998 Ford Mustang, the young woman tried to get on top of him. He pulled over behind a former restaurant location and they had sex in the vehicle there.


Afterward, he took her back to her home, where her sister was babysitting the woman's young daughter, whose birthday it had been that night. The young woman vomited when the got to her house, and then Dunn helped put her on the couch before leaving.


Borg said Dunn is set for arraignment on the single charge on Jan. 19. 2010.


“It will not go to trial very soon,” Borg told Lake County News on Monday.


He estimated that, due to the number of cases currently on the court calendar, the case won't come to trial until April or May at the earliest.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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T. Watts at the KPFZ microphone. Courtesy photo.

 

 

Some of you know that my pre-formative years were spent growing up in a mildly astonishing suburban enclave known as Kelly Hill, nestled then in an unincorporated portion of Hayward in southern Alameda County.


There were a couple of venues in the vicinity of my neighborhood that were actually teenager friendly. One was the I.D.E.S. Hall in downtown Hayward. Amazingly, promoters were able to book some fairly big names for our teenaged concert going pleasure. The house band at the I.D.E.S. Hall was a very funky assemblage of cats who called themselves the Spyders.


The cool thing about them was, if the radio played a new James Brown release on Tuesday, the Spyders had it down by the I.D.E.S. Hall gig on Saturday. They were that good. My memory tells me that somehow they evolved into Tower Of Power. Actually they were a prime influence on Tower Of Power as evidenced by a lingering Internet page devoted to the memory of the Spyders which is referenced here:


The "Spyders"


Bill Oxford, Vance Johnson's uncle, brought the "Spyders" to the Bay Area all the way from Harrison, Ark., early in 1964. Vance joined the band as their first Bay Area drummer, and later, lead singer and front man. The "Spyders" were at first a top 40 cover band during the "British Invasion," and later became a pure "Soul" band, gaining some recognition as a "Tower of Power" influence


Both Vance and his uncle left the "Spyders" late in 1965, and moved to Spokane, Wash., where they started new musical pursuits. The "Spyders" quickly replaced them and got very "funky." The band went on to record and tour successfully for another three years, until the draft decimated the group, and they dissolved late in 1968. (End of reference).


My fellowettes, fellows and I saw and even met some cool folks at the I.D.E.S. I remember a handbill that advertised “Bob & Earl.” They were an R&B duo that had a smash dance hit entitled Harlem Shuffle. Also on the bill was another dance groover, one Jackie Lee who had a hit dance single called The Duck. In the week before the concert, we were like, wow, two acts for the price of one. I think the price of admission was somewhere around three or four bucks. Imagine our chagrin when we found out that Earl and Jackie Lee were the same guy performing under two different names since he was contracted to two different record labels. Do the math. It was one and a half for the price of two!


It was still exciting. We saw Bob fall off the stage during the performance of Harlem Shuffle. In my first witnessing of the age old adage, the show must go on, the valiant Spyders kept on jammin’, didn’t miss a beat. Earl (or Jackie Lee as it were) was heard to implore to Bob, “Come on Bobby, get up!” Get up he did, they performance was completed, musicians, singers and crowd nonplussed.


Afterwards, somehow a few of us ended up being invited backstage to meet Bob, Earl and Jackie. They were nice guys. I was privileged also to peer into Jackie’s travel kit. I was proud to learn that we both used the same stiff pomade which for noncommercial purposes will not be revealed here. (Begins with an M).


The legendary Mississippi born bluesman Muddy Waters also appeared at the I.D.E.S hall. Didn’t get to meet him, but I do remember he let a pre-hippy harmonica player from my high school sit in with the band, thus cementing for all time evidence that the blues was all right.


One of my homeys from Kelly Hill was/is a handsome fellow who was always high on the chicks' to do list. We called him JB. His popularity even extended into the show biz realm.


I remember when the legendary Shirelles came to the I.D.E.S. Hall, somebody smuggled him backstage and a kiss was stolen. Either he stole a kiss from a Shirelle or vice versa. I was so envious. The first record I ever bought was “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” by the Shirelles, written by Carole King.


Another artist named Little Helen (who was to eventually evolve into the Gospel artist Helen Baylor), had a hit entitled “The Richest Girl In The World,” also played the I.D.E.S. Hall. Again JB busted slob with a star. He still holds the Kelly Hill record. Scratch that, now that I think about it, the Kelly Hill record holder is Larry Graham of Sly & The Family Stone and Graham Central Station!


Bumping up a notch on the concert Richter scale was the legendary night club, Frenchy’s. It stayed open until 6 a.m.


Through some weird loophole in the law, it was actually legal for 16-year-olds to attend. Something to do with the fact that they served free breakfast from 2 a.m. until 6 a.m.


We saw many great acts there as well B.B. King, Tower Of Power, Cold Blood, Leon’s Creation, The Loading Zone. Sly & The Family Stone played there many weekends on end. This was when Sly was razor-sharp hungry, melding sanctified elements from the Church Of God In Christ with funky Jazz and Pop stylings. Pure genius.


Some of you may remember a hit song by the Soul Survivors entitled Expressway To Your Heart. The song started out with the sounds of real car horns. Something like, “bahh bah bah bah bah, daww daw daw daw daw.” Well, Sly recreated those car horns with his horn section of Cynthia Robinson and Jerry Martini.


Just to give you an idea of how sharp that was, I recently read a review of a reformed Soul Survivors show, written by my colleague Bob Davis of www.Soul-Patrol.com . Bob Gave the Soul Survivors a superior review. I couldn’t resist emailing him the trick question, “So did they use real horns for the car horn part on 'Expressway To Your Heart'?”


His response was, “what are you talking about? They used real car horns on the original record.” I then told him, “yeah, but 40 years ago Sly took that song to another level!”


Well my CyberSoulFolks, the clock on the wall tells me that the deadline approacheth. Join me in a later excursion where I promise to reveal more excursions of the CyberSoulKind.


Keep prayin’, keep thinkin’ those kind thoughts.

 

T. Watts is a writer, radio host and music critic. Visit his Web site at www.teewatts.biz .

 

Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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