Friday, 03 February 2023

News

LAKE COUNTY – Senior centers in Lucerne and Lakeport have announced personnel changes.


JJ Jackson, who was executive director of the Lucerne Center, has moved to that position in Lakeport, replacing Marilyn Johnson.


Jackson said he will be temporary for two months while the center follows government guidelines for hiring, which include advertising the position. His assistant is Sarah Tansey.


In Lucerne, Lee Tyree, who was assistant director at the Clearlake Oaks Senior Center, has become executive director. She had formerly worked at the Lucerne center's outreach office.


Shirley Darnell is now director of Meals on Wheels at the Lucerne center and Debbie DiAndrea, has moved from pre-event coordinator to director of the outreach office.


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NICE – Authorities have arrested a Ukiah man and two female juveniles in connection with an alleged drive-by shooting Saturday.


Sheriff Rod Mitchell confirmed Sunday afternoon that a drive-by shooting had taken place Saturday night, but added that no one was injured.


Roberto Garcia, 20, was arrested early Sunday morning on felony counts of discharging a firearm from a vehicle, shooting at an unoccupied dwelling/vehicle and vandalism with property damage, according to Lake County Jail records.


“I can also confirm that two juveniles, both female, are in custody in relation to this offense,” said Mitchell.


Mitchell added, “We are not comfortable discussing motive publicly at this stage of the investigation.”


A “be on the lookout” for the suspects was issued across law enforcement radio frequencies about 11:18 p.m. Saturday in response to the shooting.


Mitchell said more information would be released Monday.


Garcia, whose occupation is listed as a server, remained in jail on $30,000 bail Sunday.


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LAKEPORT – Contra Costa, San Diego or Los Angeles counties – those are the three choices for a new venue for a controversial trial, but during a Friday hearing the prosecution and defense couldn't agree on any of the three.


On Friday morning District Attorney Jon Hopkins and San Francisco defense attorney Stuart Hanlon had disparate views of where the trial of 23-year-old San Franciscan Renato Hughes should be moved.


In November Hanlon won a change of venue request for Hughes after months of attempts to do that in appeals to the state's appellate and supreme courts.


Hughes is accused under provocative act theory of the deaths of two friends allegedly taking part with him in December 2005 home robbery.


It wasn't until a jury actually was seated in November that retired Alameda Superior Court Judge William McKinstry decided to grant Hanlon's change of venue request, citing his concern over the number of potential jurors who had been dismissed for various reason.


The Judicial Council of California's Administrative Office of the Courts is responsible for choosing possible venues when a change is granted, which isn't often, as Brad Campbell, the Administrative Office of the Courts' supervising analyst, told Lake County News last month.


A report Campbell submitted to Judge Arthur Mann last month said the office contacted the superior courts of Alameda, Fresno, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and San Joaquin to look for a suitable new venue.


Campbell wrote in the report that factors considered in looking for a new venue included ethnic diversity, transportation, availability of appropriate court facilities and support staff, and ability to accommodate the media.


Los Angeles and San Diego were available to accommodate Hughes' trial without undue burden, said Campbell. Fresno County indicated it could host the trial after March 1, but it would require a judge and staff.


During the brief hearing Friday morning, which lasted about 20 minutes in Judge Mann's Department 3 courtroom, Mann revealed that on Thursday Contra Costa County was added to the list.


“Contra Costa can now handle this case in late March or early April,” said Mann.


Hughes was present at the hearing, sitting beside Hanlon in a black- and white-striped Lake County Jail uniform.


For Hanlon, who has a teenage son and wants to be able to return home from court every night, Contra Costa was the best choice.


Not so for Hopkins, who argued that Hanlon's “publicity moves” have saturated Bay Area counties, including Contra Costa.


Hopkins cited TV and radio shows, and numerous articles by the area newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle in his argument. He added that Hanlon has used a group based in Richmond – located in Contra Costa County – to protest the case on the courthouse steps.


Contra Costa, Hopkins stated, “would be a county this case could not go to without a full survey and analysis of how it would affect people.”


Neither was Los Angeles an ideal choice, according to Hopkins, who called it a “logistical nightmare” that would significantly increase costs for the trial, including housing of witnesses.


Of the three, San Diego is the best choice, said Hopkins, thanks to the courthouse's close proximity to the airport, making it easy to transport witnesses in and out.


Responding to Hopkins' concerns about publicity in Contra Costa County, Hanlon said, “He didn't mind all the media when it was in Lake County.”


Contra Costa is close, said Hanlon, and therefore more convenient for everyone involved.


“Either Los Angeles or San Diego is incredibly expensive,” Hanlon said.


Another concern for Hanlon is San Diego's black population, which he said is below the state average – a number that Hanlon did not specify.


Hanlon said he didn't believe a survey would find that Contra Costa County residents knew much about the Hughes case.


Hopkins replied that the court had records of all the Bay Area media coverage. The Lake County publicity for the case, he said, was far less than that witnessed by the Bay Area.


“This issue with the publicity in the Bay Area is widespread,” said Hopkins.


Hopkins said he was disappointed that the Administrative Office of the Courts didn't contact Sacramento County to gauge its superior court's availability. Sacramento, he said, has a “well-balanced diversity,” and hasn't had the Bay Area media to influence it.


He also addressed Hanlon's comments about a certain black population level being a factor for choosing a venue. “Mr. Hanlon seems to think there's some support for his position.”


Only seven California counties exceed the state average for black population figures, said Hopkins.


According to Hopkins, Hanlon took a petition to the state Supreme Court asking them to consider race in addition to other factors in determining a change of venue. “The Supreme Court denied that petition,” he said.


Hopkins asked Mann's court to contact Sacramento County's presiding judge to ask that they consider making their court available for the case.


Both Hopkins and Hanlon indicated their desire to further argue their cases for specific venues.


Mann asked what evidence Hopkins planned to present against moving the trial to Contra Costa. Hopkins indicated he would submit copies of radio and television broadcasts, in addition to copies of stories published by Bay Area publications which Hopkins said were already in the court's possession.


Mann gave Hopkins a Jan. 17 deadline to submit those materials in preparation for the next hearing.


The case will return to Mann's courtroom on Jan. 22, at which time defense and prosecution will present their cases to Mann, who must ultimately decide where Hughes' trial should move.


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SPRING VALLEY – Another drive-by shooting was reported in the county late Monday afternoon, with deputies arresting a man on charges of shooting into a vehicle.


Clearlake Oaks resident Gerardo Castillo, 42, was arrested by Lake County Sheriff's deputies on several felony charges, including shooting at an unoccupied vehicle, conspiracy to commit a crime, and a felon or addict in possession of a firearm.


Authorities received a report of shots fired from in the area of Cache Creek Road in Spring Valley just after 4 p.m.


Three male suspects in a green and silver extended cab Ford Ranger pickup reportedly shot at a vehicle, according to a radio report.


The men were reported to be heading for an address on New Long Valley Road, according to radio reports.


Chief Deputy Russell Perdock of the Lake County Sheriff's Office said deputies were on scene at about 5:30 p.m. to investigate the incident.


Perdock said investigators were not yet certain of what exactly had happened or if it was actually a drive-by shooting as originally reported.


Later Monday night, Lake County Jail records showed that Castillo, who works as a pear packer, had been taken into custody just after 6:30 p.m.


Other charges against him included felony willful discharge of a firearm in a grossly negligent manner and felony vandalism. He is being held on $80,000 bail.


Also in custody was 18-year-old Gerardo Antonio Castillo, also of Clearlake Oaks, who was arrested just after 5 p.m. He is being held on felony charges of conspiracy to commit a crime and being an accessory, with bail set at $50,000.


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LAKE COUNTY – Most of the county's residents had power restored to them by Sunday following outages that resulted from powerful winter storms that arrived late last week.


Overall, it was another day of more mile weather on Sunday, although forecasters continue to predict more rain this week.


That break in the weather proved important to Pacific Gas and Electric power crews.


On Sunday afternoon PG&E reported that most of the power outages in the county had been resolved.


PG&E spokesperson Jana Schuering said about 70 people were still out of power in Clearlake Sunday evening, with about 100 other customers between Clearlake and Hopland also believed to still be out of power.


Schuering said crews planned to work through the night to restore the power supply to those customers.


About 5,500 residents in Mendocino County – most of them along the coast – were still out of power Sunday night, Schuering said.


Since the storms hit Friday, about 2 million PG&E customers from Eureka to Bakersfield have lost power, the company reported. Of those, 1.9 million have had power restored.


As of Sunday, PG&E reported that the storms had damaged 527 miles of power line, 567 poles, 536 transformers and 696 crossarms throughout the company's coverage area.


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THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED WITH A COMPANY RESPONSE. 

 

CLEARLAKE OAKS – A Lower Lake woman is facing felony charges for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from her employer.


Michelle Lynn Davis, 23, was arrested Jan. 2 by Lake County Sheriff's Detective Corey Paulich, according to jail records.


Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff said a felony warrant was issued for Davis, who then turned herself in.


“She's been charged with embezzlement and with a special allegation that the amount embezzled was over $150,000,” Hinchcliff said.


Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Cecil Brown said Davis is accused of taking the money from her employer, Shannon Ranches of Clearlake Oaks.


Brown said Davis had been with Shannon Ranches, a vineyard management consulting business, for five years. The occupation listed on her booking sheet is bookkeeper.


The investigation was triggered, said Brown, when the company noticed suspicious uses of business checks and a credit card.


Hinchcliff said he couldn't discuss the specifics of the case, which is so new that it has yet to be assigned to a deputy district attorney. Davis also has not yet appeared in court for arraignment, he added.


Davis' case constitutes one of the larger embezzlement prosecutions the District Attorney's Office has dealt with recently, said Hinchcliff.


If convicted, Davis could face up to five years in prison, Hinchcliff said.


Shannon Ranches, owned by Clay and Margarita Shannon, was a precursor to the couple's Shannon Ridge Vineyards and Winery, which has won both praise and awards for its wines, produced from winegrapes grown in Clearlake Oaks.


The Shannons also have become known for their generosity to community causes. They have assisted in Clearlake Oaks improvement projects, and last month volunteered one of their trucks to transport flooring materials from Southern California to the Clearlake Skate Park so the park can be repaired and reopened.


A company representative said they could offer no comment at this time.


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KELSEYVILLE – The Chi Council for the Clear Lake Hitch will serve as this year’s host to the Lake County watershed groups for a celebration of their activities and achievements.


The annual “Year in Review” will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 9, at 6 p.m., at the Presbyterian Church of Kelseyville, Church and Third streets.


The evening will shine a spotlight on the events and accomplishments of the various watershed groups throughout the county’s Upper Cache Creek Watershed, and also the two local Resource Conservation Districts.


The West Lake Resource Conservation District (RCD) will be announcing the recipient of their “2007 Partner of the Year” award. Last year’s well-deserved award was given to the U.S. Forest Service, Mendocino National Forest, under the direction of Blaine Baker.


Peter Windrem, chair for the Chi Council, will give a presentation about the Clear Lake Hitch and the activities of this group. The Robinson Rancheria Environmental Department will also be on hand to discuss their work regarding this species, and show a video on migration activity.


New this year will be the presentation of the Volunteer of the Year award. Sponsored by the Upper Cache Creek Watershed Alliance, the award will recognize an outstanding volunteer from each of the active watershed groups.


Greg Dills, watershed coordinator for the East Lake and West Lake RCDs, will present highlights of the accomplishments made during 2007. The presentation will cover conservation activities throughout the county, and is the highlight of the evening. It provides a wonderful opportunity for the community to see what these groups do. Be sure to mark this great event on your calendar for 2008!


All stewardships, coordinated resource management and planning groups (CRMPs) and watershed councils are invited to attend, and are being asked to assist with refreshments. The groups are also encouraged to bring materials that they’d like to display or share with others.


Natural resource partners, public agencies, tribes, neighbors, friends, and everyone interested in the health of the local watersheds are welcome and encouraged to attend the event.


Anyone desiring more information or those interested in helping with refreshments should contact Linda Juntunen at 263-4180, Extension 16.


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Cobb resident Roger Kinney, who lives at an elevation of 3,000 feet, photographed the snow on Cobb that fell Saturday. Pictured is a firefighter; Kinney said the fire department came to check on everyone to make sure they were OK.

 


LAKE COUNTY – Snow fell in parts of Lake County Saturday, but overall there was a slight break in the severe winter weather, with forecasters calling for more rain over the next several days.


Snow covered Cobb and the Lake Pillsbury areas, and dusted the tops of the hills along the Northshore, but there was a window of clearer weather Saturday, before rains began to return in the evening.


Meanwhile, Pacific Gas and Electric's workers were still struggling to repair damage and restore electricity to customers around the state, including Lake County.


PG&E spokesperson Susan Simon said Saturday evening that approximately 1,151 Lake County residents remained out of power in four outages, with the largest in Kelseyville.


Simon had no information on when those customers could expect to have their power restored.


Statewide, PG&E reported that its crews have been working around the clock since Friday morning to restore power and repair damage from the storms.


Across its service region, stretching from Bakersfield to Eureka, 450 miles of power line, 469 power poles, 409 transformers and 525 crossarms, have been damaged, according to PG&E.


The company reported that the storms caused 1.9 million customers to lose power. Of those, 1.6 million had power restored by late Saturday. Fifty-five thousand Bay Area customers still lacked power.


The North Coast and Sierra Nevada were among the hardest hit areas, PG&E reported.


The National Weather Service predicts rain through the rest of the weekend and into early next week in Lake County, with chances of continued showers through next Saturday.


Northern areas of the county, including Lake Pillsbury, remain under a winter storm warning, with snow expected to continue through Monday. From Tuesday through Saturday, showers are predicted.


Caltrans reported Saturday night that all state highways in Lake County remained open with no restrictions.


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Lenny Matthews of Lucerne took this picture of snow along the way to Lake Pillsbury Saturday.
 

 

 

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Cobb resident Robert Lynch captured this picture of damage left behind by Cobb's heavy rains.

 

 

LAKE COUNTY – The worst weather predictions came true Friday, as high winds and heavy rains battered the county, with downed power lines and flooding closing roadways.


And, while in some areas waters were starting to recede and rainfall was lessening, the National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for northern Lake County – which includes the Lake Pillsbury area – through 4 a.m. Saturday.


Weather Underground reported Friday that between Thursday and Friday morning Cobb had received 8.3 inches of rain, with just under 4 inches falling in Lower Lake, 1.92 inches in Lakeport and about six-tenths of an inch in Clearlake Oaks.


The US Geological Survey's stream gauges showed Kelsey, Cache and Putah creeks running so high they were almost off the charts.


Clear Lake also has begun to rise, according to the survey's measurements. The lake water along the Northshore Friday had turned brown due to runoff.


Wind gusts of as high as 40 miles per hours were expected in areas of the county, according to Weather Underground.


High winds and wet weather contributed to fallen power lines and trees around the county, said Lake County Roads Superintendent Steve Stangland.


Downed power lines, in turn, resulted in power outages.


Thousands of customers around the North Coast were out of power Friday, said Pacific Gas and Electric spokesperson Jana Schuering.


Shortly before 12:30 p.m. Schuering said 55,000 customers remained out of power, through 509 separate outages, in the North Coast region, which includes Lake, Sonoma and Mendocino counties.


The outages were so numerous that Schuering said she was unable to separate out just which ones were in Lake County.


In Clearlake, that city's Public Works Department reported all streets were open Friday afternoon.


The City of Lakeport's Public Works Department reported one street closure – on North Street, between Ninth and 10th – Friday afternoon, due to water. Water that had partially covered some city streets, including some close to downtown, had receded by afternoon.


County Public Works, which includes the Roads Department, is issuing county road updates every half hour because of fast-changing conditions, said Stangland. The updates can be found at the county's Web site, www.co.lake.ca.us.


“We're opening roads almost just as fast as they've been getting closed,” said Stangland.


Water had covered Lakeshore Boulevard at Lyons Creek near Lakeport, Witter Springs Road near Upper Lake and the new bridge on Perini Road at Siegler Canyon Road near Lower Lake, but Stangland said the roadways reopened once the water receded.


Road crews were working around the clock to keep on top of the situation, said Stangland. “It's going to be a continuous thing.”


In some cases where roads remained closed due to downed power lines, it was because road crews were waiting for PG&E to respond. “We won't even touch the tree if it has lines in it,”he said.


Crews hadn't had to help respond so far to accidents, Stangland said.


The California Highway Patrol reported numerous road hazards in Lake and Mendocino counties Friday, many appearing to be weather-related.


Caltrans had no road or lane closures in Lake County on Friday afternoon, said Caltrans District 1 spokesman, Phil Frisbie Jr.


“Currently, there's a lot going on in Mendocino County,” said Frisbie. “Lake County looks pretty calm right now, relatively.”


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

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Creeks and streams around the county rose due to the rains and runoff. Photo by Harold LaBonte.
 

 

 

 

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Some streets in Lakeport were partially flooded on Friday. Waters later receded. Photo by Harold LaBonte.

 

 

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NICE – Sheriff's officials are reporting that three individuals arrested in connection to an alleged Saturday night drive-by shooting are suspected of being gang members.


Authorities also are on the lookout for other possible suspects related to the incident.


The Lake County Sheriff's Office issued a report Monday afternoon that details the arrest of 20-year-old Roberto Garcia and two female juveniles, all of Ukiah, in connection to the Saturday night incident. The shooting took place in Nice, as Lake County News has reported.


Sgt. Brian Martin of the sheriff's Investigation Division reported that Mendocino County Sheriffs arrested Garcia and the two girls early Sunday morning before turning them over to Lake County.


Martin said the arrests stemmed from a late night drive-by shooting in the 3600 block of Lakeview

Drive in Nice.


The three are suspected of participating in the shooting, using a small caliber firearm, reported Martin. They allegedly shot out the window of an unoccupied vehicle and left several bullet holes in the car.


Martin reported that no injuries were reported as a result of the shooting.


Deputy Frank Walsh, who Martin said led the investigation, identified the three suspects as being occupants of a late model Lexus sedan that was spotted in the area at the time of the shooting.


Garcia was arrested for felony vandalism, discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle and participating in a criminal street gang, Martin reported. He remains in the Lake County Jail, with his bail now listed at $41,000, according to jail records.


Martin said the names of the females are not being released due to their age.


Sheriff's investigators are exploring the motivations for the shooting and looking at the possibility that other suspects were involved in the crime, Martin reported.


Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Sgt. Jim Samples, supervisor of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Gang Unit, at 262-4200.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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January's skies at 9 p.m. Jan. 15.

 

LAKE COUNTY – If you hear dogs barking on a cold January night, they just might be two hunting dogs alerting their master, Orion, to the presence of a rabbit.

But we’re getting ahead of our story. Let’s start at the beginning.

In January, the winter skies are dominated by what may be the most beautiful of all constellations, Orion the Hunter.

Look at our January star chart – Orion is below Mars, which is now fading from its December brightness as it begins to move away from the earth.

Orion is framed by four bright stars that represent his shoulders and feet. There are three stars in a line in the middle of Orion – they represent his belt.

In Greek mythology, Orion was a great hunter who boasted he would eventually kill all of the wild animals on earth.

This boast angered Gaia, the earth goddess, so she sent a scorpion named Scorpius to kill Orion. Scorpius was successful, stinging Orion on the heel.

To commemorate the Orion versus Scorpius main event, both were placed in the night sky. To prevent them from fighting, Orion was placed in the winter sky, while Scorpius was placed in the summer sky.

Below Orion’s belt is a magnificent object that can be seen through a telescope – it’s called The Great Orion nebula, and it looks like the picture below.

 

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The Orion nebula, courtesy of Astro Cruise.



The Orion nebula is a huge cloud of dust and gas. New stars are born here, and we sometimes refer to this object as being a star nursery. Through a telescope of any size it is beautiful to behold.

Every great hunter should have some hunting dogs. Orion is no exception. Look at the star chart and locate Canis Major and Canis Minor. Those names are Latin for “Big Dog” and “Little Dog.” Canis Major has the brightest star in the sky, Sirius.

Sirius is sometimes called the “Dog Star,” for obvious reasons. In addition to being the brightest star, Sirius is also a double star. A tiny star rotates around Sirius like our planets rotate around the sun. This star is called “The Pup.”

The following photograph shows the Dog Star and Pup.

 

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Sirius and Companion, courtesy of NASA.

 

 

We mentioned the two dogs barking at a rabbit. That would be Lepus the Hare on our star chart. Lepus is a faint constellation originally cataloged by the ancient Greek mathematician-astronomer, Ptolemy.

On our star chart, you will note the bright full moon will light up the night sky on Jan. 15.

Keep that in mind, because in February we’ll talk about the eclipse of the moon that will happen at the end of that month.

For more information about astronomy and local astronomy-related events, visit the Taylor Observatory Web site at www.taylorobservatory.org.

On Jan. 12, starting at 8 p.m., the observatory will be open to the public. The life cycle of stars will be the featured topic.

John Zimmerman has been an amateur astronomer for 50 years. He is a member of the Taylor Observatory staff, where, among his many duties, he helps create planetarium shows.

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LAKEPORT – A judge ruled Thursday that a case charging a California Highway Patrol sergeant with felony theft and elder abuse lacked sufficient evidence for prosecution.


Lake County Superior Court Judge Arthur Mann concluded that Timothy Poindexter of Kelseyville couldn't be held to answer for the case based on the evidence against him, according to statements from the District Attorney's Office and Poindexter's defense team.


“Obviously, we're very happy,” said Judy Conard, one of Poindexter's attorneys in the case.


Poindexter's lead attorney, Jamie Thistlethwaite of Santa Rosa, couldn't be reached late Thursday for comment.


The ruling followed a preliminary hearing that stretched across several days, said Deputy District Attorney Joyce Campbell.


The District Attorney's Office charged Poindexter, 48, last June, alleging that between October 2004 and June 2007 he had taken advantage of an elderly Finley couple during a real estate transaction.


Poindexter pleaded not guilty to the charges in a June 8, 2007 court appearance, as Lake County News has reported.


“The primary question was whether or not the defendant had tricked the elderly victim out of some farming equipment by saying it went along with real estate that was sold,” said Campbell.


Poindexter purchased an 18.7-acre property with a pear orchard on Finley Road East from the couple, paying $300,000, according to court documents obtained by Lake County News. Escrow on the property closed in 2005.


No Realtor was involved in the sale, according to the investigation, with Poindexter taking care of the paperwork.


Campbell said Thursday that a paragraph of the real estate contract added farm equipment valued at more than $25,000 that the couple said they had not originally agreed to include in the property sale.


The older man who sold Poindexter the property was adamant that he had not filled in the portion of the contract for the farm equipment, said Campbell. She added that the disputed paragraph had a handwritten alteration, which only was initialed by Poindexter and not the elderly seller.


In addition, the escrow officer testified in court that it was clear to her that the equipment was not included, Campbell said.


The case also had alleged that Poindexter had gained the older man's trust by visiting his home while in uniform, and while driving his CHP patrol car. “The elderly victim was indeed very impressed with him and there developed a relationship of trust,” said Campbell.


The investigative documents revealed that the men had gotten along at first, with Poindexter agreeing to allow the couple to store some of their belongings and equipment there. However, the older man alleged that his access to his belongings was blocked by Poindexter, who stacked his own property around those items.


Later, the men engaged attorneys who exchanged numerous letters either demanding the elderly couples' access to their belongings or that the couple refrain from returning to Poindexter's property.


Conard said Mann, who took an hour to finalize his ruling following the end of testimony in the hearing, provided a “very thorough” decision on the matter.


“Mr. Poindexter had a reasonable belief that the property in question does in fact belong to him,” she said, and it was a point with which she said Mann agreed.


What should be stressed, Conard added, is that Poindexter did not abuse his power in any way. “He has a claim to title.”


The case was a complex one, said Campbell, with many critical aspects to it.


She said that the elderly male victim – now in his 90s, and a World War II veteran – was “rock solid” as a witness, but on the stand he was forgetful of some details, which she suggested influenced the case's outcome.


Issues of memory and forgetfulness make elder financial abuse cases especially difficult to handle, said Campbell, who is retired but works on a part-time basis with the District Attorney's Office on cases involving seniors.


Keeping that in mind, Campbell said prosecutors work hard to make sure they can corroborate all the evidence in elder abuse cases. They thought they had done so in this case as well, she added.


Conard stated that the case ultimately should have been taken up in civil – not criminal – proceedings.


The case's turn in criminal court isn't entirely over, however.


“It is a felony so our office does have the option to refile if we feel it's the right thing to do,” said Campbell.


She added that the District Attorney's Office has not yet made a decision on whether it will pursue the case further.


Meanwhile, Poindexter's future in the CHP is still not clear.


After he was charged, the CHP placed Poindexter, a 26-year CHP veteran, on administrative leave, the CHP reported.


That's where Poindexter remains today, Fran Clader, a spokesperson for CHP's Sacramento headquarters, said Thursday. “His current status is, he's on administrative time off.”


Clader said Poindexter will remain on administrative leave “pending the completion of an internal investigation” by CHP.


She could not comment on whether Poindexter was seeking reinstatement.


Clader added that, because of the Peace Officer Bill of Rights, the CHP can't share the eventual outcome of that internal investigation.


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