Wednesday, 24 July 2024


WILLITS – On Sunday officials arrested a Willits man who allegedly attempted to kill his girlfriend and assaulted a Willits Police officer during his arrest.

Shawn Sherrill, 42, was arrested on charges of attempted murder, spousal assault, assault on a peace officer, making terrorist threats and resisting arrest, according to Capt. Kurt Smallcomb of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.

Shortly before midnight on Sunday Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a location off of Birch Street in Willits regarding a domestic violence report, Smallcomb said. Upon arrival deputies contacted a female adult who advised her live-in boyfriend, Shawn Sherrill had assaulted her.

Smallcomb said deputies found evidence of the assault to include blunt force trauma to the woman's nose, eyes and chin. Also in the residence was the woman's 4-year-old child. Further investigation revealed that while Sherrill was choking the female he said that he wanted her to die.

The victim stated Sherrill had come home intoxicated and had knocked the door to the residence in. Upon entry into the home, he grabbed her, punched and choked her, Smallcomb said. The woman told deputies that Sherrill had run into the woods upon learning law enforcement had been contacted.

Deputies investigated the assault and left the location, taking positions around the apartment awaiting the return of the suspect, according to Smallcomb. A short time later, Sherrill returned to the apartment and got into a vehicle.

Smallcomb said deputies contacted Sherrill, who advised he wished to fight them rather than be arrested. Sherrill then ran into the apartment securing the door behind him. Officers from the Willits Police Department were summoned to the location to assist while Sherrill was inside the apartment.

Sherrill exited the apartment and took a defensive stance. Smallcomb said Sherrill assaulted one officer while being placed under arrest. Deputies were able to overpower Sherrill and placed him into handcuffs.

Smallcomb said Sherrill was transported and booked into the Mendocino County Jail, where his bail was set at $200,000.

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VACAVILLE – A man convicted of conspiring to kill a young crime victim has been denied parole.

On Jan. 13, the Board of Parole Hearings denied parole for Robert Alvie Jones, 42, a former Kelseyville resident, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff, who attended the lifer hearing at California State Prison-Solano in Vacaville to argue against Jones' release.

Jones was convicted of conspiracy to commit second degree murder and sentenced to 15 years to life on July 3, 1995.

He also was sentenced to an additional three years and eight months on two other cases for burglary and possession of stolen property.

Superior Court Judge Robert L. Crone Jr. sentenced Jones to an aggregate term of 18 years and eight months to life.

According to investigation reports by the Lake County District Attorney’s Office and Probation Department, Jones was housed in the Lake County Jail in December 1994 with other inmates, including Karl McNabb.

McNabb was awaiting trial on several counts of using force and violence to commit lewd and lascivious acts on a female child under 14 years of age, and allegedly wanted someone to get rid of the victim because of the potential prison sentence he was facing.

According to information from an informant who contacted law enforcement, Jones had entered into an agreement with McNabb to scare off or kill McNabb’s minor victim in exchange for payment of $1,500.

Jones bailed out of jail in February, and on March 8, 1995, Jones set the victim’s car on fire using four and a half gallons of gasoline.

On March 10, 1995, District Attorney's Office Investigators Gary Hill and Bob McDonald met with the informant who disclosed the agreement.

The informant advised investigators that Jones had asked for a throwaway gun to use, and Jones had been told a guy named “Gene” would get in touch with him to provide a gun and payment.

The district attorney's investigators then set up an undercover agent to pose as “Gene.” On March 15, 1995, the undercover investigator met with Jones in the Kmart parking lot in Lakeport, provided an unloaded gun and $1,500 cash to Jones, and arrested Jones after he accepted the gun and cash.

McNabb later was convicted of several of the sexual assault charges and sentenced to 31 years in prison.

At Jones' sentencing and again at the parole hearing on Jan. 13, Jones claimed that when he set the car on fire he did not know it belonged to McNabb’s molest victim, and he claimed that when he accepted the gun and cash he had no intention of killing anyone, he was simply trying to rip off McNabb for the money.

Jones’ history indicated he had a serious drug addiction to methamphetamine for at least nine years prior to the conspiracy conviction, along with a significant and escalating criminal history.

At the Jan. 13 hearing the parole commissioners agreed with Hinchcliff’s argument that Jones still presented an unreasonable risk of danger to the public if released at this time.

The commissioners also agreed with Hinchcliff that Jones' conduct while in prison and lack of any significant drug abuse treatment, along with an unfavorable psychiatric report and the seriousness of the crime, did not make Jones an acceptable risk for parole.

They found that, under all of the circumstances, it was unreasonable to expect Jones would be ready for parole for at least 10 years.

His parole bid therefore was denied for 10 years and his next chance for parole, unless there is a significant positive change in his circumstances, will not be until the year 2020.

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LAKE COUNTY – The Lower Lake, Upper Lake and Kelseyville congregations of the United Methodist Church are raising funds to support the United Methodist Committee on Relief's (UMCOR) efforts in Haiti.

A 7.0 earthquake that occurred last Tuesday, followed by dozens of aftershocks, have left Haiti devastated.

The death toll is estimated by Reuters to be as high as 200,000, with countless Haitians left homeless and injured.

Numerous international aid organizations are sending personnel and resources and raising funds, and US officials are working to get relief to the Haitians.

The UMCOR, the not-for-profit global humanitarian aid organization of the United Methodist Church, works in more than 80 countries worldwide, including the United States. Its mission is to alleviate human suffering – whether caused by war, conflict or natural disaster, with open hearts and minds to all people.

Every dollar given to UMCOR goes to the designated program; administrative costs are born by general funds of the church.

Gifts to support UMCOR's Haiti Relief efforts can be made online at the UMCOR Web site, , by specifying Haiti Emergency, UMCOR Advance #418325. Checks can be made to UMCOR with Advance #418325 Haiti Emergency in the memo line and mailed to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087.

In addition to special collections from church members, each church will accept funds from the community as well.

There are seven United Methodist churches in Lake County located in Upper Lake, Clearlake Oaks, Clearlake, Lower Lake, Middletown, Kelseyville and as part of the United Christian Parish in Lakeport. The Kelseyville Church will have a collection jar available at the thrift shop each Monday.

Checks can be dropped off or mailed to any local United Methodist Church or can be placed in the church's offering plate (make check payable to the local church with UMCOR Advance #418325 Haiti Emergency noted in the memo line).

For more about the UMCOR visit .

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LAKE COUNTY – With a strong El Nino reaching its peak in the eastern Pacific, a series of storms will continue to bring rain and strong winds to Lake County Tuesday and throughout the week, with officials urging local residents to prepare for the weather.

A National Aeronautics and Space Administration advisory warned that even more rainfall could arrive next week as part of a warmer series of systems, which officials warn could mean greater potential for serious flooding given the massive volume of snow expected this week.

NASA's advisory stated that the next two to three weeks “are likely to be more active across California than any other 2-3 week period in recent memory.”

Riding on a strong 230 mile per hour jet stream that includes a lower-level jet stream around 4,000 feet, these storms will continue to slam into Lake County and all of California over the next two weeks, according to Western Coastal and Marine Geology U.S. Geological Survey Pacific Science Center (USGS) in Santa Cruz.

As the temperatures drop throughout the day Tuesday, snow levels are expected to fall to the 3,000 to 4,000 foot level, according to the USGS, and combined with the low-level jet stream with strong winds, storm conditions may be treacherous.

The National Weather Services in Sacramento reported that Lake County can expect 5 to 12 inches of rain this week, with 2 to 6 feet of snow expected over the 5,000-foot elevation mark.

The strongest storm of this series is expected overnight Wednesday into Thursday; higher elevations of the county, including Cobb, can expect a mix of rain and snow with high winds, forecasters said.

Tuesday's high temperature will reach the low 40s early in the day as a colder storm system moves in,with overnight lows in the mid- to upper-30s, the National Weather Service reported.

Forecasters said temperatures will remain near 40 degrees through Friday, when the storms are expected to taper off, with skies partially clearing on Saturday.

Minor flooding could be experienced in flood-prone areas by Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

On Monday, the Lake County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services issued a public service advisory warning of more storms to come and the possibility of significantly more water by the middle of this week.

Pointing to the NASA advisory, sheriff's Capt. James Bauman said the county can expect by mid week to see water levels rise significantly, with swiftly moving water in small rivers and streams in our area. That could lead to minor flooding in creeks, streams and low-lying areas.

In preparation for the incoming storm systems, Bauman said the Office of Emergency Services has developed staffing patterns to serve the County Emergency Operations Center if needed.

He said Lake County Public Works and Caltrans have pre-positioned resources to respond in the event of localized flooding. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. also is ready to respond to power outages if needed; the company's outage line iss 800-743-5002.

Bauman urged motorists to use extreme caution on the roadways, particularly when standing water or water running across the roadway is encountered. He said to remember that water may be deeper or running more swiftly than it appears and negotiating such conditions can be very dangerous.

Those with travel or outdoor plans this week should closely monitor conditions by first checking or the NOAA weather radio for the latest weather information, Bauman said.

The Lake County Office of Emergency services does not provide sandbags or sand. However, Bauman provided a list of local businesses that, as of Monday, had sandbags and sand on hand.

Sandbags available:

Rainbow Agricultural Services

1975 Argonaut Road, Lakeport

Telephone: 707-279-0550

Piedmont Lumber

2465 South Main St., Lakeport

Telephone: 707-263-8400

Kelseyville Lumber and Supply Co.

3895 Main St., Kelseyville

Telephone: 707-279-4297

Lake Builders Supply Co.

3694 East Highway 20, Nice

Telephone: 707-274-6607

Mendo Mill and Lumber Co.

5255 Old Highway 53, Clearlake

Telephone: 707-994-1014

Four Corners Building Supply

14975 Olympic Drive, Clearlake

Telephone: 707-994-6277

Sand on hand:

R.B. Peters

78 Soda Bay Road, Lakeport

Telephone: 707-263-3678

Piedmont Lumber

2465 South Main St., Lakeport

Telephone: 707-263-8400

Kelseyville Lumber and Supply Co.

3895 Main St., Kelseyville

Telephone: 707-279-4297

Pivniska Trucking Inc.

85 West Highway 20, Upper Lake

Telephone: 707-275-3203

Layne Paving and Trucking

3700 Old Highway 53, Clearlake

Telephone: 707-994-6324

Clear Lake Lava

14572 East Highway 20, Clearlake Oaks

Telephone: 707-998-1115


For up-to-the-minute weather information, please follow the “Forecast” link on the Lake County News home page.

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 and on Facebook at .

KELSEYVILLE – This past week, the Corvettes of Lake County voted selected the charity they will support this year, and the one they unanimously chose was the Barbara LaForge Memorial, which benefits Lake Family Resource Center's domestic violence shelter.

During the monthly Corvettes of Lake County meeting last Tuesday night at Guido's Pizza in Kelseyville, all club members raised their hands to pass a motion to select this year's charity of choice.

Club President Larry Durnil brought the meeting to order and the members swiftly determined their support for the fund and its principal beneficiary, Freedom House, Lake Family Resource Center's facility to house and protect Lake County residents who fall victim to abuse.

Gail Salituri, a member of the Corvette club and founder of the LaForge Memorial, suggested Lake Family Resource Center last November as she was looking for support from her fellow members and friends.

She started the fund in memory of her friend and fellow businesswoman, Barbara LaForge, who was murdered in her downtown frame shop in October 2002.

“Although the amount of funds which will be donated is still undetermined, we do have a date of presentation at our annual Run To The Lake event in May that brings in as many as 100 Corvette enthusiasts to enjoy and discover our community,” said Durnil.

Salituri said she thought the club's members were heroes for supporting those in need by assisting the Lake Family Resource Center. The new, nonconfidential shelter is located at 5350 Main St., Kelseyville.

“I believe the members of the Corvettes of Lake County all realized the heartfelt joy it brought to me personally as I watched each hand raise,” said Salituri.

The Corvettes of Lake County was organized in 2002 and the club is a member of the Western States Corvette Council. Salituri said the club has been very generous to various charities in the Lake County community.

“Words cannot begin to express how proud I am of our Corvette organization,” said Salituri. “There is a lot more to these Vettsters then meets the eye. They are aware and cautious of our community and have always supported local charities and now have committed to sponsor a very worthy cause, the Barbara LaForge Memorial Fund.”

To date, the LaForge Memorial Fund has raised $3,800 through auctions and raffles of artwork at Inspirations Gallery in Lakeport.

Community members can contribute to the LaForge Memorial Fund at any Westamerica Bank branch, or contact Sheri Salituri at Inspirations Gallery, 165 Main St., telephone 707-263-4366. Visit Gail Salituri's Web site at to see other supporters, winners and news.

For more information on the Corvettes of Lake County please check out their Web site at .

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Nobody gets a choice about these things in life but most people are born either good looking, intelligent or talented. A lucky few get to be two out of the three, but rarely does a person get to be all three, like Padma Lakshmi.

Not only is Padma Lakshmi good looking, she’s downright gorgeous, so much so that she could read the book of Leviticus in a dull monotone and it would still get a million hits on YouTube.

It’s the same with the wine called Meritage. Most wines are what the grapes make them.

For example, Cabernet Sauvignon grapes will give you a Cabernet Sauvignon wine. It may be a wonderful Cabernet Sauvignon but it doesn’t get to choose to be anything else. It can’t make itself better than a Cabernet Sauvignon; the grape has a certain potential and it can’t exceed that potential. No matter how much you want you can’t have a (natural) Cabernet Sauvignon with certain features.

Not so with Meritage. Like a Rosé, Meritage isn’t a grape varietal but a style of blending wine in the Bordeaux fashion.

This means that the winemaker can blend different types of grapes to make the most perfect wine possible. The winemaker can take the potential of the grape and exceed it by adding another type of grape.

Many people believe that blended wines are the pinnacle of the winemaker's art. This is where the creativity and expertise of a winemaker can be fully tried and expressed.

Meritage, the proprietary name for this Bordeaux style of wine, was created:

1. As a way to not infringe on the Bordeaux region’s trademarks; and

2. As a rebellion against the federal government which in 1985 regulated that any wine that contains less than 75 percent of a single grape variety was to be labeled as “table wine.”

The ignominious title “table wine” most likely caused the winemakers who fashioned these classic Bordeaux blends to pout and stomp their feet and start The Meritage Association in 1988. It has since been renamed The Meritage Alliance.

The word Meritage was created from combining “Merit” and “Heritage.” Don’t try to fancy it up by saying “Meri-TAHJZ”; it simply rhymes with heritage.

Padma Lakshmi’s name isn’t really difficult to pronounce either. Yes, like Meritage it might look intimidating at first, but it isn’t complicated at all. Don’t make it more difficult than it is.

Padma Lakshmi isn’t the type of celebrity that is instantly recognized by everybody, nor is Meritage a type of wine that everyone can recognize on a menu, but both of them are skyrocketing in popularity.

There are about 200 different Meritages on the market made in America in the past year. Red Meritage is by far the most common but White Meritage can be made.

Meritage has strict guidelines in order to claim its pedigree. It cannot contain more than 90 percent of any single grape, and the grapes must all be “noble” Bordeaux origination.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carmenere, Merlot, Malbec, and Petite Verdot are candidates for red Meritage. Muscadelle du Bordelais, Sauvignon Blanc, and Semillon can be blended for a white Meritage.

Padma Lakshmi’s heritage is Brahmin (Indian) and her full name, Padma Parvati Lakshmi, contains names that are each sacred in Hindu mythology. Noble grapes look a little blue collar after that.

The original vision for Meritage wines was that they would be crafted in smaller batches of 25,000 cases or less but recent agreements with Robert Mondavi Private Selections, Sterling Vineyards and Costco have allowed for mass marketing and turned this objective into less of a requirement and more of “guideline.”

Similarly, Padma Lakshmi, this elegant and refined woman, now has her own line of spices on a home shopping network show. Both Meritage and Padma Lakshmi seem to be lessened a little with these volume marketing turns.

There are more than 240 wineries producing Meritage in over seven countries. Padma Lakshmi speaks five languages.

Descriptors that you might find in a Meritage can be … unfortunately I can’t give you a definitive list of every flavor descriptor like I usual do since every Meritage will be unique in its blend of grape varietals, whether it be red or white. You will get different flavors, aromas and assets from each grape.

For instance, Cabernet Franc isn’t the most flavorful grape but it is known and appreciated by many winemakers for the rich color and nose that it imparts to a wine. There are other grapes that will contribute deep flavors but not great colors.

A winemaker can then take the rich flavors of a Cabernet Sauvignon and blend it with a Cabernet Franc to improve the color and therefore make a superior wine to the original two grapes. Sauvignon Blanc can be a harsh acidic wine at times but blending it with a Semillon can smooth it out while a Muscadelle can sweeten it up.

Similarly, Padma Lakshmi can’t be described in a single category: actress, author, chef, jewelry designer, model, television show host and soon-to-be mother. Talk about driven! I feel successful if I clean my pantry or finish a column.

Padma Lakshmi has written two cookbooks, “Easy Exotic” and “Tangy Tart Hot and Sweet,” both of which are very good (she’s won awards). I own them both, and as much as I might like it to be the titles are not double-entendres. If you are a fan of “Top Chef” you may notice she makes unintentional double-entendres often.

I had to giggle when reading “Tangy Tart” because at one point she says substituting an ingredient in a recipe would be “lovely.” If you watch “Top Chef” you’ll be familiar with the fact that Padma Lakshmi uses the word “lovely” about as often as Michael Ruhlman uses the word “craft” in his books (just a little inside humor for the foodies out there).

Personally, I’m dying to make her tangerine peel pickle recipe. I just purchased all of the spices required.

A short time ago I took my wife out to the Langtry Estate & Vineyard and asked to sample their Meritage.

After she tasted the wine she looked at me and said “Wow, you hit it out of the park with this one, this is definitely Padma. Dark and sultry, complex … this is so good.”

Langtry/Guenoc also has a red “Proprietary Blend” that is very good and follows the Bordeaux style.

Lake County only has two licensed Meritages, but I’ve included some very similar Bordeaux style blends that all use the “noble grapes” in this list.

Lake County Meritage/Bordeaux style blends / (grapes)

Beaver Creek Vineyards “Red Wine” Bordeaux style blend. (Merlot, Petite Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon)

Ceago Vinegarden “Winemakers Blend” Bordeaux style blend. (Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec)

Dharmapalan Vineyards Meritage (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot)

Fortress Vineyards “Novateur” White Bordeaux style blend. (Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc)

Guenoc/Langtry Estate Wines Meritage (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc)

Six Sigma Ranch “Cuvee Pique Nique” Bordeaux style blend. (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc)

Ross A. Christensen is an award-winning gardener and gourmet cook. He is the author of "Sushi A to Z, The Ultimate Guide" and is currently working on a new book. He has been a public speaker for many years and enjoys being involved in the community. Follow him on Twitter, .

LAKE COUNTY – Stormy conditions on Monday hammered the North Coast and Lake County, where there were numerous reports of downed trees, rock slides, power outages and vehicle collisions.

Western Weather Group reported rain levels approaching 2 inches on Monday for many areas of Lake County, with Middletown nearing 3 inches and one weather station in the Red Hills area between Kelseyville and Lower Lake showing approximately 3.55 inches.

US Geological Survey stream gauges showed the levels in area streams and creeks jumped thanks to the recent storms.

Clear Lake was reported to be at 1.23 feet Rumsey late Monday, up from less than 0.80 feet Rumsey earlier in the week.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services warned that there could be instances of flooding later in the week. But that problem already had started Monday afternoon, when the CHP reported water over the roadway on Highway 20 just west of Lucerne.

One area that was hit particularly hard by Monday's storms was Cobb.

Cobb resident Roger Kinney said they were experiencing gusting winds and power outages, along with several small hailstorms.

They also had several thunderstorms, Kinney said, with the thunder and lightning getting so close at one point that it was shaking his house.

Around the rest of the county, there were numerous instances of trees that were down and blocking roadways and downed power lines.

Shortly before 2 p.m. officials reported downed power lines blocking both lanes on Bottle Rock Road north of Sulphur Creek, with South Lake County Fire Protection District and the California Highway Patrol responding.

Rock slides and boulders rolling onto area roads because of the saturated earth also were an issue.

One CHP report made shortly before 1 p.m. on Highway 29 near Lower Lake said there were rocks in the roadway “about the size of basketballs.”

Numerous car collisions – most without injuries – were reported Monday, with most appearing to be due to the wet conditions.

A crash that occurred at around 6 p.m. on Highway 29 just south of Spruce Grove Road resulted when a Ford Explorer hit a boulder that had gone into the roadway, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Monday evening, icy conditions were reported on Highway 53, and similar icy conditions on Highway 29 at Red Hills Road caused a vehicle to go off the roadway at around 9 p.m. No injuries were reported.

On Monday evening, a retaining wall on Beryl Way in Clearlake Oaks collapsed due to excessive water, which pushed cinder blocks from the wall into the road, according to the CHP.

The county's road department reported that Berle Way was scheduled to be closed until Tuesday morning because of the wall failure.

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 and on Facebook at .

LUCERNE – The Lucerne Alpine Senior Center is closed temporarily in anticipation of needed repaired.

Lee Tyree, the center's executive director, said the center closed last Tuesday, Jan. 15. She said she expects it to be closed for a few weeks, with a date for reopening not yet set.

Tyree said center staff found some mildew in a broom closet this past week.

When a repair company came out to look at the closet, they found a hot water pipe had sprung a leak, and soaked the broom closet and the dish room's walls over the course of last weekend, Tyree said.

An expert came to take air samples, and found that there was no harmful mold. Now, Tyree said she's taking bids to get the walls replaced.

“We have to take the plaster down and get it cleaned up,” she said.

Wanting to take every precaution to keep local seniors safe, Tyree decided to close the center, although she and her assistant director remain on duty to answer phones.

She needed to be able to keep Meals on Wheels going, so she turned to the Northshore Fire Protection District.

Fire Chief Jim Robbins gave the center permission to use the commercial kitchen at the fire station in Lucerne, where the meals for Meals on Wheels are being prepared, said Tyree.

“I just can't praise him enough for helping us out,” Tyree said of Robbins.

Anyone needing to reach the center can still call during weekdays and reach the front desk at 707-274-8779.

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 and on Facebook at .

LAKEPORT – A preliminary hearing for two suspects allegedly involved in the October shooting and hogtying of a Lakeport man has been rescheduled to February.

Joshua Isaac Wandrey Sr., 35, and Deborah Ann James, 47, were in court Friday for a preliminary hearing on charges that they were involved in the Oct. 20 attack on 49-year-old Ronald Greiner, who told officials that his attackers tried to steal his medical marijuana, as Lake County News has reported.

Wandrey is charged with premeditated attempted murder, aggravated mayhem, torture, home invasion robbery in concert with another, first degree burglary with a person at home, assault with a firearm, assault with a blunt force object, assault likely to cause great bodily injury and serious battery, and special allegations of use of a firearm, according to court records. James is charged with attempted murder, robbery and burglary.

District Attorney Jon Hopkins also filed new charges against Wandrey and James, alleging they are members of the Misfits motorcycle gang, along with co-defendant, Thomas Loyd Dudney, 59.

Defense attorneys Stephen Carter and Komnith Moth, representing Wandrey and James, respectively, entered not guilty to all charges, including the new allegations.

Judge Richard Martin decided to grant the request for a continuance from Moth, who said he wasn't prepared to move forward with the preliminary hearing after receiving 700 pages of discovery evidence that morning from Hopkins. He said Hopkins had told him Thursday that the materials were coming.

“I'm protesting the late discovery in this case, your honor,” said Moth.

He said that at the last appearance in December he also received late discovery, which at that time was about 50 pages.

Some of the new information came from a warrant search of James' house, Moth said.

Carter said he picked up approximately 982 pages of new discovery from Hopkins Friday morning, and thought it was “odd” that the District Attorney's Office would pass on so much discovery right before the preliminary hearing was set to begin.

Following a quick review of the information, Carter said he found a lot of duplication of materials he had previously received, including police reports. The final 347 pages had to do with the alleged gang violations, which he said appeared to do mostly with Dudney, who already has had his preliminary hearing and been ordered to stand trial.

Judge Martin asked what materials specifically related to Dudney. Carter said that material included a packet of information that he said Hopkins had received Dec. 1 and which had been sitting in his office ever since.

He said the amended complaint, which included the gang allegations, wasn't filed in a proper manner, and he alleged that Hopkins was building a delay into the case and didn't want the preliminary hearing held Friday.

“I think it's unacceptable to have this sort of discovery literally dumped on the defense the day before the preliminary hearing,” said Carter, who opposed the amended complaint with the additional charges and objected to delaying the preliminary hearing.

Martin asked if any of the discovery evidence indicated that Wandrey was associated with, or a member of, a criminal street gang. “I haven't seen any in there,” said Carter.

Hopkins told the court that some of the discovery was late due to one of his staffers being out ill. He said he didn't feel the information he received about Dudney – which came from officials in Sonoma, San Joaquin and Tulare counties – was a part of the case against Wandrey and James, but decided out of “an abundance of caution” that he should make the evidence available to Carter and Moth.

Phone records that his office is receiving are helping to create the connection between the defendants in order to move forward on the gang allegations, said Hopkins.

Martin asked him when he got evidence relating to the gang enhancement charge he filed. Hopkins said he received a stack of reports this week and began going through it.

“They're pretty serious charges and I wanted to make sure we had what we need to prove them,” he said.

Carter said the allegation that Wandrey is associated with the Misfits motorcycle gang in Sonoma County is not new to the discovery. “We don't admit that by any stretch,” said Carter, who added that the evidence is “weak.”

Martin told Carter that he made a very effective argument, but said it shouldn't have come as a surprise to him that the evidence or the charges were coming.

Carter said he wasn't surprised, but pointed out that last week Martin had expressed serious concern about the District Attorney's Office putting out 80 pages of discovery late in another case. He said it caused him grave concern when individuals' rights to time in a preliminary hearing are toyed with in such a way.

“I don't want this to turn into a personal battle between you and Mr. Hopkins,” said Martin.

Martin explained that the previous week he had chewed out someone else in Hopkins' office over the late discovery issue, but the situation with Hopkins appeared to be different.

“It's not personal, it's professional,” Carter said about his concerns in the case, which he said were based on his duty to Wandrey.

“I'm not questioning what your duty is,” said Martin, adding that when one party or another makes a comment about the other side, it becomes personal and isn't appropriate.

Moth said he agreed with Carter's position, and reiterated his request for a continuance.

Martin, in ruling on the amended complaint, found that they were “very serious charges,” and they create challenges from both the standpoints of sentencing and the difficulty of the trial. The defense needs to determine the best defense to set forth and the sooner the better, he said.

During the hearing, Martin also told the two sides that they needed to get together to work out some of their concerns. “It's not my job to help either side with the case.”

Martin found good cause for the discovery being presented as it was.

Carter said it still hadn't been explained what documents had led Hopkins to file the additional charges. “I'll be happy to show them to him,” said Hopkins.

Martin said he wasn't going to spend the day holding the hearing – which lasted close to 40 minutes – and he said if that evidence doesn't exist in the documents they can take it up later and he can sanction Hopkins.

“Now that takes us to the next step,” which was determining whether to proceed with the preliminary hearing, said Martin.

With Moth saying he wasn't ready to proceed because he needed to study the information that came from the search of James' home, Martin said it seemed to be a waste of resources to do two separate preliminary hearings. He found good cause to push the hearing back based on Moth's concerns.

Carter remained opposed. “I think I've made my arguments very clear,” he said.

Martin granted Moth's request, and ruled that Wandrey's hearing also would be rescheduled over Carter's objection. Wandrey waived time to allow the hearing to be rescheduled.

The preliminary hearing was continued to 9 a.m. Feb. 19 in Martin's Department 1 courtroom. A pre-preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. Feb. 5 will be held for the purposes of getting the two sides together so they can sort their issues out, Martin said.

“All I'm asking is a mere communication between the parties so we can avoid these types of problems,” he said.

Carter also asked the court to correct the spelling of Wandrey's last name, which previously had been given as Wandry. It also was noted that his full name was Joshua Isaac Wandrey Sr. Hopkins asked that the name be changed in the record.

On Friday, the Lake County Sheriff's Office reported that two more people were arrested in the case. Joseph Henri Deshetres, 62, of Santa Rosa and Cheryl Ann Reese, 56, of Lakeport were both booked on felony charges of preventing or dissuading a witness with threats.

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 and on Facebook at .

SACRAMENTO – Sutter Health has announced that it will make the largest disaster-relief donation in the history of the health care system, contributing $1.25 million to help the victims of the powerful earthquake in Haiti.

The Northern California network of doctors, not-for-profit hospitals and other health care service providers also will provide critical medical supplies and trained medical personnel to the support the relief effort.

“We find it difficult to comprehend the staggering human tragedy that continues to unfold in Haiti following Tuesday’s powerful earthquake. Devastating events such as this compel us to look beyond our local Northern California communities to the overwhelming needs of our global community,” said Patrick Fry, Sutter Health president and CEO.

Since 2005, the network has donated $850,000 to support relief efforts around the world.

“We have a long history of coming to the aid of those impacted by natural disaster,” said Fry. “Our organization’s donation is a testament to generous nature of our employees, who also have offered their own time, money and expertise to help the people of Haiti.”

The Sutter Health network’s donation includes:

– $1 million: Sutter Health provides these funds to Doctors Without Borders to support health care treatment for earthquake victims.

– Critical medical supplies: The Sutter Health network is collecting much-needed supplies from its facilities and partnering with the MedShare to transport these resources to Haiti.

– $250,000: Sutter Health makes this donation to MedShare to help support expenses for shipping of critical medical supplies to Haiti.

– Medical volunteers: In the days ahead, Sutter-affiliated hospitals and physicians will work together to send trained medical personnel to Haiti.

"The next several days, weeks and months will likely be overwhelming for the people of Haiti,” added Fry. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone impacted by this devastating natural disaster.”

The Sutter Health network selected MedShare because the organization brings needed supplies to worldwide disasters and impoverished hospitals 365 days a year. Supporting the health infrastructure is an important mission of Sutter Health.

The Sutter Health network selected Doctors Without Borders because this international medical humanitarian organization provides aid in nearly 60 countries, and it already has at least 1,000 people working in Haiti. Doctors Without Borders commits to bringing quality medical care to people caught in crisis regardless of race, religion or political affiliation.

Sutter Health physicians and hospitals share a common commitment to creating healthier communities through programs and services that respond to community needs. In 2008, the network invested $599 million in these programs, as well as in charity care.

Visit Sutter Health online at or .

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LAKE COUNTY – Some of the county's most talented and hardworking students are gearing up for Lake County’s 30th annual Academic Decathlon.

The academic challenge will be held on Saturday, Feb. 6, at Upper Lake Union High School’s Multi-Purpose Room.

The portion of the competition open to the public begins at 4 p.m.

Upper Lake High School, last year’s winning team, went on to compete in the state competition in Sacramento. The state competition for 2010 also will be held in Sacramento from March 12 through 15.

The decathlon is designed to rigorously test academic skills.

The theme for 2009-2010 is “French Revolution.”

The teams consist of three divisions – Honor, Varsity and Scholastic.

Coaches for this year’s event are Nancy Harby, Lower Lake High School; Ryan Callen, Middletown High School; and Anna Sabalone and Steve Harness, Upper Lake High School.

Sponsored by the Lake County Office of Education, the competition this year will match the following teams:

  • Lower Lake High School, Team 1: Justin Harrison (H), Elizabeth Perkins (H), Alyssa McCosker (H), Joe Riggs (S), Corey Cherrington (S), Victoria Hanners (S), Kenneth Cates (V), Spence Hadden (V), Carina Ruedas (V); alternate includes Stephen Whitcomb.

  • Lower Lake High School, Team 2: Teodora Toshich (H), Bianey Madrigal (H), Cesar Ruiz (H), Sean Grant (S), Carla Martinez (S), Leslie Sweeden (S), Gerald Skinner (V), Samantha Weatherly (V), Shawn McAlister (V).

  • Middletown High School: Nick Speridon III (H), Seamus O’Herlihy (H), Jolon Cisneros (H), Donald Albright (S), Terry Marley (S), Haley Tallman (V), Melinda Dixon (V) Nicole Lawrence (V), Julia Rebolledo (V); alternate includes Breeann McKnight.

  • Upper Lake High School: Courtney Havrilla (H), Laura Wold (H), Justine Moran (H), Ian Weber (S), Roy Hankins (S), Devin Hoyt (S), Ben Mullin (V), Tiffany Criss (V), Cameron Beighle (V); alternates include Yessica Ayala, Jose Ruiz Olguin, Megan Morgan and Sean Gay.

“The decathletes began preparing for this event in May of 2009 and have been heavily involved in team study groups since September, when the last of the study materials were sent to the schools,” said Academic Decathlon Coordinator Robin Totorica.

The first portion of the competition is the essay, which was administered to students on Friday. The second portion of the competition is the interview, speech and impromptu, which is scheduled for Jan. 27 through 29 at the Lake County Office of Education in Lakeport.

On Saturday, Feb. 6, the students will compete in seven written tests, consisting of language/literature, arts, social science, math, music, economics and a written portion of the super quiz.

“The event is free and open to the public and this year should be another exciting evening filled with lots of anticipation. Please come and support your school/team,” Totorica said.

The super quiz relay and awards ceremony will begin at 4 p.m. Feb. 6 at Upper Lake Union High School’s gymnasium and will feature entertainment by Upper Lake High School students.

Dave Geck, Lake County Superintendent of Schools, will welcome the participants. Patrick Iaccino, Upper Lake Union High School District Superintendent/Principal will host the super quiz event.

School officials presenting awards to their students at the awards ceremony are Jeff Dixon, principal at Lower Lake High; Bill Roderick, principal at Middletown High; and Pat Iaccino, district superintendent/principal at Upper Lake Union High School.

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LAKEPORT – Officials have made two additional arrests in a case involving a man who was attacked and shot at his Lakeport home in October.

Joseph Henri Deshetres, 62, of Santa Rosa and Cheryl Ann Reese, 56, of Lakeport were both arrested on Wednesday in connection with the Oct. 20 break-in at the S. Main Street home of 49-year-old Ronald Greiner, according to Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office.

Deshetres and Reese are charged with threatening witnesses in the case, Bauman reported.

Greiner was beaten, shot and hogtied by his assailants, who he told investigators had broken into his home to steal his medical marijuana, as Lake County News has reported.

On Wednesday, the Lake County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit executed two more arrest warrants and three more search warrants in Santa Rosa as a result of the ongoing investigation into the attempted murder of Greiner, Bauman said.

Members of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department and the Santa Rosa Police Department assisted with the execution of the warrants.

Bauman said the warrant teams converged on two homes and a business in Santa Rosa during the Wednesday searches.

Reese was arrested at her place of business, Rod Buntjer Bail Bonds on West College Avenue, and a search warrant was executed on the business, Bauman said. Deshetres was arrested at his home on Gloria Drive and a search warrant was executed there as well.

A third search warrant was served at another, undisclosed residence in Santa Rosa, but no other arrests were made, according to Bauman's report.

Following execution of the three search warrants, both Reese and Deshetres were eventually transported to the Lake County Jail where they were both booked on Thursday afternoon on felony charges of preventing or dissuading a witness with threats, Bauman said.

Other suspects arrested in the case so far include Thomas Loyd Dudney, 59, of Fulton, a validated member of the Misfits motorcycle gang, who has remained in custody since his Oct. 20 arrest; Joshua Isaac Wandrey Sr., 35, of Rohnert Park; and Deborah Ann James, 47, of Windsor.

Dudney allegedly had been conspiring with other members and associates of the Misfits residing in the Santa Rosa area to threaten and intimidate key witnesses in the case, Bauman said.

Bauman said both Deshetres and Reese remain in the Lake County Jail on the no-bail warrants for their alleged involvement with Dudney and the Greiner case.

More arrests are anticipated as the ongoing investigation continues, according to Bauman.


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