Friday, September 10, 2010

Mercer convicted; ex-wife smirks;
defense attorney declines comment

by Tom Nadeau

Timothy Brian Mercer, 43, was convicted in Yuba County Superior Court Thursday of one count of lewd and lascivious conduct with a girl under 14.

The jury of six men and six women deliberated for three days. During that time they asked for five read-backs and declared themselves hung three times. It came out at one point that they were split, 8-4.

Each time they declared themselves unable to agree on a verdict, Judge Kathleen R. O’Connor ordered them back to the jury room and to continue deliberating.

The four outsiders were eventually persuaded to change their minds and Mercer was convicted as charged. The verdict was read aloud about 3 p.m.

A woman was told to leave the courtroom when she blurted out her disbelief.

Immediate incarceration ... Read more »

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Long-awaited Leary trial goes Tuesday

by Tom Nadeau

The Sacramento District Attorney and Michael Patrick Leary. were in Superior Court Wednesday to confirm that Leary’s criminal trial will proceed Tuesday as planned.

The appearance is set for 8:45 a.m. in Dept. #9 where a judge will assign a courtroom to hear the matter of People v. Leary, #09F07685.

It may take a day or two to pick a jury and the trial itself could last three to four days, defense attorney William Portanova estimated.

Leary, a former Elk Grove City Council member and Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department lieutenant, is charged with four criminal counts arising from a real estate dispute with his former live-in girlfriend, Alyc Maselli.

Maselli and the district attorney allege that Leary bilked her out of her share of a $610,000 home at 3301 Marina Cove Circle, Elk Grove.

Leary has pleaded innocent to all charges. If convicted, he could face 12 years in state prison and a fine of up to $75,000. In the meantime, he remains free on bail.

Leary has separately filed a civil counter suit claiming Maselli and ring of women notary executives have joined together to defraud him through an improper title transfer.

He filed the suit in propria persona, that is to say, on his own lonesome, rather that through an attorney.

Portanova skirted comment on Leary’s civil suit, saying his law office was not involved in the matter. It is unclear what, if any, impact this civil suit might have on Leary’s criminal proceedings.

The civil suit – Leary v. North American Title Company, et al, case #34-2010-00085705, claims that Maselli along with Abby Patneaud, Catherine Picton and “Does 1 through 15” conspired through North American Title Company to defraud him of an unspecified amount in excess of $25,000.

Leary was in court Wednesday, but left without commenting to the press.

Jury still out on Mercer verdict

by Tom Nadeau

The Yuba County jury is still out on whether Timothy Brian Mercer, 43, touched a foster child with “lewd and lascivious” intentions.

The deliberations come amid one of the Yuba County District Attorney’s more dubious prosecutions launched some 17 months based on suspicions raised by a wife with questionable motives and a Child Protective Services willing to act on them.

Mercer, a Marysville resident, is officially charged with one count of California Penal Code section 288(a), aka, “lewd and lascivious,” based on allegations leveled in April of 2009 by his now former wife, currently known as Ruth Browning.

People v. Mercer object of scrutiny ... Read more »