Friday, October 22, 2010

Star closing arguments in Siavii;
jury begins deliberating Monday

by Tom Nadeau

The jury heard two persuasive closing arguments Thursday in People v. Poe Blue Siavii, #08F07611 and was expected to begin deliberating Monday whether the Samoan defendant was guilty of first degree murder under special circumstances.

If convicted, Siavii could be sentenced to life in prison for May 5, 2008 killing of Joshua Kalb, 27, at the Elkhorn Boulevard Park ‘n’ Ride lot off Highway 99.

The jury must decide which one is telling the truth: Siavii, an admitted mover and shaker in the Sacramento bulk drug trade, or Steven Riddick, Siavii’s trusted money “mule” in the exchange of pounds of methamphetamine for hundreds of thousands of dollars from dope distributors in Oahu, Hawaii.

Sacramento Deputy District Attorney Chris Ore presented ample evidence that Kalb had been killed, that money was the root of the that evil-doing and how, when and where the murder took place.

Defense attorney Kyle Knapp disputed little or nothing of those allegations. What he did dispute, however, was that his client Siavii was the shooter.

The case hinges on how one spins the mass of evidence presented and various witnesses’ statements, some of them made in the Samoan language, which, it turns out, is open to differing interpretations.

It's all in how you look at it ... Read more »

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Telecom experts testify in Siavii trial

by Tom Nadeau

Experts in telecommunications technology and the vagaries of telephone tower reception and transmission highlighted testimony Wednesday in the trial of Poe Blue Siavii, a Samoan defendant accused of killing fellow drug dealer.

Last word was that the jury will hear closing arguments in People v. Poe Blue Siavii, #08F07611 and then begin to deliberate their decision.

Perhaps the highlight of the day’s testimony came during the vetting of defense telecommunications expert Robert L. Beegle III of DeltaPhase Inc. in Rescue, Calif.

As the witness attempted to explain what he does in identifying quality aspects of phone signal transmissions, Deputy District Attorney Chris Ore interrupted him.

“Can you hear me now? Is that what you do,” Ore said, referring to the famous cell phone commercial.

“That’s me,” Beegle said, chuckling.

Telecom details followed ... Read more »

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jury expected to get Siavii case today

by Tom Nadeau

Defendant Poe Blue Siavii went through two days of soul-exposing testimony and grueling cross-examination before concluding his time on the stand in his Sacramento trial for special circumstances murder.

The jury is likely to hear the few remaining defense witnesses today and hear closing arguments from both sides before they begin to deliberate in the matter of People v. Siavii, #08F07611.

Ore hammers away ... Read more »

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Siavii takes stand in exotic murder trial

by Tom Nadeau

The defendant’s argument in the Sacramento County Superior Court matter of People v. Poe Blue Siavii, #08F07611, boils down to a classic “two-dude defense,”i.e., “It wasn’t me, it was the other dude who did it.”

Whether that floats with the jury of eight women and four men should soon be known, since closing arguments are expected to begin today in this seemingly simple, yet actually quite exotic murder trial involving handsome Samoan woman witnesses and disputed translations of monitored phone calls conducted in the Samoan language

Arrested Sept. 12, 2008, Siavii is accused of murder with the special circumstance of lying in wait. Siavii has pleaded innocent, but, if convicted, he faces a possible term of life in prison without parole.

Deputy District Attorney Chris Ore summed up the prosecution’s basic contention in his 23-page trial brief:
On May 5, 2008, Joshua Kalb was shot at point blank in the back of the head and killed while sitting in his car at a Park and Ride in north Sacramento, near the airport, Joshua Kalb was 27 years old and was a freely admitted high level drug deal. The murder was related to the drug dealing activity of Mr. Kalb. Defendant Siavii was ultimately identified as the slayer … through cell phone activity, eyewitness accounts, and DNA evidence.
Exotic traffic ... Read more »

Monday, October 18, 2010

Judge lays down rules for Rampone trial

by Tom Nadeau

Visiting Judge R.M. Smith laid out the ground rules today for the coming Yuba County Superior Court trial of Angelic Louise Rampone, who is charged with the first-degree murder in connection with the death of two men in Olivehurst in 2005.

Smith’s first order of business was to hear Deputy District Attorney Michael Byrne announce that he was dropping the special circumstances allegations.

That means Rampone, who has pleaded innocent to all charges, now faces two possible life prison terms without parole, if she is convicted.

Smith then instructed Byrne and defense attorney Roberto Marquez as to how he wanted to conduct the trial business.

Trial pace will be brisk ... Read more »

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sparks cops a plea; Rampone goes to trial

by Tom Nadeau

Dustin William Sparks entered a surprise plea of guilty to two lesser counts of voluntary manslaughter in Yuba County Superior Court Friday in exchange for the prosecution dropping two first degree murder charges.

Under the terms of the negotiated plea in People v. Sparks the defendant faces up to 13 years in state prison. Visiting Judge R.M. Smith postponed Sparks sentencing until Jan. 3, 2011.

This bizarre move by Sparks came even as the defense awaited word from the US Supreme Court whether it will consider his writ of certiorari arguing he was wrongfully charged with first degree after the actual shooter in the 2005 double murder was convicted of two counts of voluntary manslaughter and was serving a term in state prison.

And it gets even more bizarre … Read more »