Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cecil rules on Hume-Conley 'chaos'

by Tom Nadeau

In a sympathetic, but bluntly-worded order, Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Thomas Cecil ruled Oct. 5 that Constance “Connie” Conley stay 100 feet away from her estranged boyfriend, Elk Grove City Council Member Patrick Hume, for one year.

However, despite Hume being the prevailing party in this highly-publicized romantic quarrel, Cecil declined to make Conley pay Hume’s legal fees, because, as Cecil put it, Hume “brought part of this chaos upon himself.”

Cecil based his decision in Hume v. Conley, #06CP01317 on testimony both gave Oct. 1 in a three-hour hearing on alleged violations of a standing court order.

From 'pleasant' to 'nasty' ... Read more »

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

More fines for those who can't pay

Two new reports show the poor are being priced out of the justice system.

And if they can't pay, where do they go? Why to jail, of course, where they rack up even more debts for the privilege of being incarcerated.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sparks in limbo; Rampone set to go;
lawyers await word from the Big Guys

by Tom Nadeau

The separate yet entwined murder trials of Sparks and Rampone were taken up in Yuba County Superior Court Monday, with the first getting postponed and the second ordered to proceed.

Defense attorney Justin Scott asked visiting Judge R.M. Smith to delay the start of People v. Sparks. The US Supreme Court is still mulling whether Dustin William Sparks can be tried for homicide despite a legal premise established decades ago.

Smith agreed and set Sparks next court date for 1:30 p.m. Nov. 11. In rescheduling the matter, Smith said he had read the Sparks writ of certiorari and was clearly intrigued. Cow county judges don’t often get to rule, even marginally, in matters before the USSC.

Estoppel-ong Cassidy rides again ... Read more »

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mum's the word on grand jury probe

by Tom Nadeau

A spokesperson for the Sacramento County Grand Jury would neither confirm nor deny whether the investigative body is looking into a rumored probe into Elk Grove City Council member Patrick Hume.

Grand Jury Coordinator Becky Castaneda responded Monday to a query left Friday asking whether it was true, or not true that Hume had drawn the attention of the citizen investigative panel.

"The policy is to make no statements," Castaneda said, pleasantly enough.

However, Hume testified in court and under oath that he had been contacted by the Elk Grove city attorney saying he was the subject of a grand jury query.

The Fair Political Practices Commission recently confirmed that it was looking into allegations concerning Hume – allegations that were brought to its attention by Linda Ford.

Talk of a possible grand jury show-and-tell session with the beleaguered Hume surfaced about that same time.

Not confirming the unconfirmable ... Read more »

Delay sought in Santana, Vasquez; documents now reveal DA plotting

by Tom Nadeau

The state Attorney General’s Office has asked the 3rd District Court of Appeals to give it 30 more days to answer the writs of mandate filed by Yuba-Sutter attorneys Jesse Santana and David Vasquez.

Meanwhile, a controversial document long missing and conspicuous for its absence from the public file in People v. Santana, Vasquez, CRF08825 has finally surfaced.

The document provides the first tangible evidence supporting suspicions that a cabal of local prosecutors conspired to lodge dubious criminal charges against Santana in order to scuttle his appointment to the Sutter County bench and snag the post for one of their own.

Names are mentioned.

Delay asked; one plot meal at Chinese lunch ... Read more »

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Juror's regret prompts re-trial bid
in controversial People v. Mercer

by Tom Nadeau

Sentencing of Timothy Brian Mercer was postponed at the last moment for one month because one of the 12 jurors who convicted him of lewd and lascivious conduct with a girl under 14 had expressed deep misgivings about her ‘guilty’ vote.

Defense attorney Chad Cameron Couchot asked for the delay to give him time to verify Juror #9’s misgivings and decide whether they provided sufficient reason to re-try the 43-year-old Mercer.

As it stands, Mercer, faces from a maximum of eight years in state prison to a minimum of five years on probation, depending on which option Yuba County Superior Court Judge Kathleen Rose O’Connor imposes in People v. Mercer, #09-281.

Whichever term O’Connor chooses, Mercer will have to register as a sex offender forever more.

Too late the phalarope?* ... Read more »