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WILKINSON APPEARS IN COURT JKB 3/22/12

  • 22 YEAR OLD KENNETH WILKINSON MADE HIS FIRST APPEARANCE IN COURT YESTERDAY, FOUR DAYS AFTER BEING ARRESTED IN THE DEATH OF HIS GRANDFATHER, 84 YEAR OLD RICHARD WILKINSON.

HE WAS FORMALLY CHARGED WITH MURDER AND A SPECIAL ALLEGATION OF TORTURE. ACCORDING TO QUOTE, RELIABLE SOURCES, UNQUOTE, THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL REPORTED THAT WILKINSON ALLEGEDLY KILLED HIS GRANDFATHER AND DRAGGED HIM BEHIND A PICK UP TRUCK FOR NEARLY SIX MILES TO A REMOTE LOCATION WHERE HE DUMPED HIS BODY OVER THE SIDE OF A STEEP EMBANKMENT, POSSIBLY IN A DRUG INDUCED PSYCHOSIS. IN COURT YESTERDAY, WILKINSON WAS GRANTED A PUBLIC DEFENDER WHO IN TURN STATED SHE WILL NEED A WEEK TO PREPARE FOR HIS ARRAIGNMENT THAT WAS SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 29TH.

MORE SEX ABUSE ALLEGATIONS BEING INVESTIGATED JKB 3/22/12

  • THE MENDOCINO COUNTY SHERIFFS DEPARTMENT IS CONTINUING TO INVESTIGATE MORE ALLEGED CASES OF SEXUAL ABUSE INVOLVING 68 YEAR OLD RICHARD KRUSE, WHO WAS CONVICTED TUESDAY OF MOLESTING OF A 7 YEAR OLD GIRL 4 YEARS AGO.

DURING HIS TRIAL, 40 YEAR SARA PETERSON TESTIFIED THAT KRUSE HAD SEXUALLY ABUSED HER WHEN SHE WAS A YOUNG GIRL AND HER FAMILY WERE NEIGHBORS OF KRUSE. AUTHORITIES SAY THERE MAY BE AS MANY AS SIX OTHER MOLESTATION CASES HE HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN, BUT HAVE NOT BEEN PROSECUTED BECAUSE OF LACK OF EVIDENCE. KRUSE COULD FACE UP TO 10 YEARS IN STATE PRISON FOR HIS CONVICTION TUESDAY. HIS WIFE, 59 YEAR OLD DEBRA KRUSE WAS ARRESTED MARCH 15TH ON CHARGES OF ATTEMPTING TO INTIMIDATE OR DISSUADE A VICTIM OR WITNESS FROM TESTIFYING. ACCORDING TO POLICE, SHE ALLEGEDLY MADE HARASSING PHONE CALLS TO THE MOTHER OF SARA PETERSON.

TODDLER KILLING TRIAL CONTINUES JKB 3/22/12

  • TESTIMONY CONTINUED YESTERDAY IN THE TRAIL OF TWO CLEARLAKE OAKS MEN ACCUSED FOR FIRING INTO A GROUP OF PEOPLE GATHERED FOR A BAR BE QUE AND KILLING A 4 YEAR OLD BOY.

22 YEAR OLD PAUL BRADEN AND 24 YEAR OLD ORLANDO LOPEZ HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH MORE THAN 15 FELONIES AND 30 SPECIAL ALLEGATIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE SHOOTING JUNE 18TH THAT KILLED 4 YEAR OLD SKYLAR RAPP AND INJURED 5 OTHERS INCLUDING SKYLARS MOTHER. BOTH MEN HAVE DENIED ANY WRONGDOING AND BLAMED THE SHOOTING ON A THIRD SUSPECT, 29 YEAR OLD KEVIN STONE. STONE PLEADED GUILTY TO THREE LESSER CHARGES IN NOVEMBER AND IS EXPECTED TO TESTIFY AGAINST BRADEN AND LOPEZ. BOTH MEN ARE STANDING TRAIL IN THE SAME COURT ROOM, BUT ARE BEING REPRESENTED BY SEPARATE ATTORNEYS AND EACH HAS A DIFFERENT JURY.

NEW TRAIL IN WRONGFUL DEATH SUIT DENIED JKB 3/22/12

  • THE CITY OF EUREKAS REQUEST FOR A NEW TRAIL IN A WRONGFUL DEATH CASE IN WHICH A EUREKA MAN DIED AFTER BEING VICIOUSLY BEATEN WHILE BEING TAKEN INTO CUSTODY, WAS DENIED BY A FEDERAL JUDGE YESTERDAY.

A FEDERAL JURY RULED IN SEPTEMBER THAT EUREKA POLICE OFFICERS USED EXCESSIVE FORCE AGAINST 26 YEAR OLD MARTIN FREDRICK COTTON II DURING AN ARREST FOR PUBLIC INTOXICATION AND FIGHTING ON AUGUST 9TH OF 2007. THEY AWARDED COTTONS FATHER AND YOUNG DAUGHTER $4.5 MILLION IN TOTAL DAMAGES. THE CITY OF EUREKA SOUGHT TO HAVE THE JUDGMENT STAYED AND REQUESTED A NEW TRIAL IN THE CASE. IN A 41 PAGE RULING AND SUMMARY OF THE CASE, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE SANDRA BROWN ARMSTRONG DENIED THE REQUEST, SAYING THE VERDICT WAS SUPPORTED BY THE EVIDENCE, AND THAT IF THE CITY WISHES TO APPEAL THE VERDICT, THEY MUST FIRST POST A BOND OF $5.7 MILLION DOLLAR. THE CITY HAS NOT YET RESPONDED.

ASSISTANT CHIEF POSITION CREATED AT L.C. PROBATION JKB 3/22/12

  • DUE TO NEW STATE PRISON REALIGNMENT LAWS, THE LAKE COUNTY PROBATION AND PAROLE DEPARTMENT RE-CREATED THE POSITION OF ASSISTANT CHIEF.

THAT POSITION WAS FILLED ON FRIDAY BY FORMER LAKE COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE CAPTAIN ROB HOWE. THE LAKE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS IS CONSIDERING A REQUEST BY THE PROBATION AND PAROLE DEPARTMENT TO MOVE OPERATIONS FROM A FORMER BANK BUILDING IN LOWER LAKE TO THE FORMER SOCIAL SERVICES BUILDING IN CLEARLAKE.

CITY COUNCIL PASSES ON PALACE HOTEL DECISION JKB 3/22/12

  • THE UKIAH CITY COUNCIL VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO POSTPONE A DECISION TO ORDER THE OWNER OF THE PALACE HOTEL TO TAKE ACTION TO REPAIR OR TEAR DOWN THE BUILDING, OR LOSE THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO SO AT THEIR MEETING LAST NIGHT.

THE OWNER , ELADIA LAINES MADE ANN 11TH HOUR PLEA TO STAY THE ORDER THAT COULD LEAD TO ABATEMENT OF THE BUILDING, WITH HER PICKING UP THE COST. LAINES CLAIMED SHE HAS VERY SERIOUS INTEREST BY INVESTORS INTERESTED IN RENOVATING THE DILAPIDATED HOTEL, AND HAD WORKED WITH LOCAL ARCHITECT BOB AXT IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A $2.6 MILLION DOLLAR REHABILITATION PLAN. STATING THE CHANCE OF PRESERVATION WOULD BE BETTER IF LEFT IN PRIVATE OWNERSHIP, THE COUNCIL AGREED TO HOLD OFF ON THE DECISION TO TAKE OWNERSHIP OF THE BUILDING THROUGH EMINENT DOMAIN. THE COUNCIL DECLARED THE BUILDING A PUBLIC NUISANCE LAST MONTH, SETTING THE STAGE FOR POSSIBLE SEIZURE AND DEMOLITION OF THE HOTEL.

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