Apr 28, 2016

Brian Swan release continue d until Judge Hinrichs is back

An OR/Bail hearing was scheduled for Brian Swan this afternoon. Visiting Judge Bob McNatt was subbing in today for Judge Joyce Hinrichs.

Apr 26, 2016

Devil's Playground, Tip Top Club, rape threats; a love triangle, victim claiming he asked to be shot and more at preliminary hearing for Humboldt Hill shooting suspect

HCSO Investigator Greg Musson was the only witness to testify at the preliminary hearing for Brian Swan this morning.

On April 8, 2016, Mr. Musson said he received a call at home, "12 minutes after midnight. I was informed there had been a shooting incident." He called HCSO Detective Todd Fulton to respond at the alleged crime scene, as a second investigator.

The property where the alleged shooting ocurred is on Aspen Way, at the top of the Hill, near the Tip Top Club. When Investigator Musson got to that location, there were other officers present who had initially responded to the call and there were also civilian witnesses.

Investigator Musson was first directed to a female witness, Kirsten Kierney, who he learned later was the mother of 4 year old girl at the house. The child's father is the defendant, He was also directed to another female witness, Charlene Hughes, who was the great grandmother and was holding the child.. The name of the child is not being used in this post due to the age.

After being briefed by Sgt. Sam Williams and Deputy Hill, Investigator Musson took a full statement from Hughes. She said she was asleep and "at approximately 11:30 awoke to a large sound. She thought it was the dogs making a ruckus."

Hughes told Investigator Musson that she heard Swan come down with the child and with a long gun. He told her to call 911 "because he had shot Bob." She called 911.

Investigator Musson then spoke with Kierney, who was "somewhat girlfriend of Swan and also of Robert Babb."

Kierney was not home at the time of the alleged shooting. She saw law enforcement lights on top of the hill and went up to the house. She had been with the alleged victim, Babb earlier that evening.

Kierney told Investigator Musson she was not sure what had happened at the time of the shooting; instead she told him about what happened earlier that evening.

Investigator Musson interviewed Robert Babb aka Robert Waters on April 14 at the ICU Unit at St. Joseph's hospital.

"Mr. Babb said he and Ms. Kierney were in his vehicle in Eureka and they had gotten into an argument. Whether she wanted to be with Swan or Babb. She denied being with Swan. Babb did not believe her. She told Babb, 'why don't you go up to the house' and talk to Swan. Babb said the front door was unlocked. He did not knock and walked into the house. He stepped over a baby gate onto a landing.He saw Swan dozing off on a couch. He told Swan we need to talk about the relationship. Swan responded he did not want to talk and Swan told him to get out of the house. Babb kept saying he wanted to talk. Then Swan went into another room and came back with a shotgun. Swan told him again, to get out."

Investigator Musson said that "Babb told him, 'It was my fault; I told him to shot me and he did."

Deputy Hill told Investigator Musson that he saw "a baseball sized hole and liver hanging out." Investigator Musson said, "there was a lot of blood on the scene where the shooting took place." He said he was "surprised the victim survived."

A Charles Daly brand 12 gauge pump action shotgun was recovered from the alleged crime scene.

On April 9, Investigator Musson interviewed the defendant. "Mr. Swan and his 4 year old daughter were in the living room. She wanted to play on the laptop. Around 11:30, both began to doze off."

The child heard something and said woke up and said "hello. Usually, she would say hello and the name of a person. That made Mr. Swan think it was a stranger."

"Mr. Swan saw Babb standing by the baby gate. He retrieved a knife near the couch and told Babb, 'Get the hell out of here.' Babb said, 'We need to talk.' Mr. Swan said that he responded, 'At this time of the  night, we have nothing to talk about.' Babb said something to the effect of 'What are you going to do? Stab me?' Mr. Swan felt Babb was not taking him seriously so he retrieved the gun from a cabinet and told Babb to leave. Mr. Swan said Babb told him, 'You know I am crazy; you pointing a gun at me? I'm going to do something. ' That's when Mr. Swan shot Babb; he was standing about five feet away and he shot him in the chest." 

Babb fell down, Swan said he took his daughter down and told Hughes to call the "cops. I shot Bob; he's an intruder."

Investigator Musson said that Swan told him that Babb "was not taking him seriously. He felt belittled, at least 3 or 4 times."  After the last time, he asked Babb to leave, Swan told Investigator Musson, "he was a little scared."

Swan did not tell Investigator Musson that Babb had a weapon. He told Investigator Musson that two weeks prior to this incident, a car had been vandalized and he believed Babb did it. Swan said he told Babb "unless you have money, we have nothing to talk about."

Investigator Musson did not get medical records but based on his conversation with Babb and his mother, it was Investigator Musson's understanding that "part of the kidney and liver were removed subsequent to the surgery."

During cross examination, Conflict Counsel's Mr. David Lee, who represents Swan, asked Investigator Musson if Swan had known Babb "years prior." Investigator Musson said Swan did.

Swan told Investigator Musson that Babb had "a history of domestic violence and threats." He also mentioned an alleged domestic violence incident against Kierney. This was confirmed by Kierney and she told Investigator Musson that "her eardrums had been broken."

Kierney also told Musson that Babb had threatened to burn the house down and take her to Devil's playground and that he "would allow his friends to do bad things to her, rape type things."

Babbs had mentioned to Kierney that he had killed people in the past. This is something Swan was aware of. Kierney 

Originally Babb could not "remember a lot", said Investigator Musson. While he was being questioned, Babb told Investigator Musson, "you are starting to piss me off." Investigator Musson responded that he was not clairvoyant and that he was asking Babb to tell him about the incident.

Babb admitted he was asked to leave several times by Swan; Investigator Musson said that Babb told him he advanced at Swan and that is when Swan pulled the trigger. A knife was recovered in the living room.

Hughes told Investigator Musson that Swan was living in the house with her permission. Both Swan and Hughes said the front door was unlocked but a side door may have been unlocked, they could not remember. Kierney said she did not give Babb permission to enter the house; she may have given Babb Swan's cellphone.

Judge Timothy Cissna said that the burden of proof at a preliminary hearing was not the same as it was at a jury trial. He said he looked at CALCRIM jury instruction 3475, right to object to trespassing. Judge Cissn read part of that instruction and defined reasonable force as it is in that instruction. He also looked at 3476, right to personal property as well as 505 self defense.

There was discussion that with Babb having no weapon, was the amount of force used by Swan reasonable. Both attorneys gave their input.

Judge Cissna's final ruling was that there was "sufficient evidence to hold" Swan to the charges at the preliminary hearing.

Apr 26, 2016

Humboldt Hill shooting suspect, Brian Swan, held to answer on all charges after preliminary hearing today

A preliminary hearing was scheduled this morning for Brian Swan.

Yesterday, an intervention hearing was held but his  supervised release report from probation was not in, that was not addressed this morning

Deputy District Attorney David Christiansen is prosecuting the case. Swan is being represented by Conflict Counsel's Mr. David Lee.

After the preliminary hearing, Swan was held to answer on Count 1 and for both special allegations by Judge Timothy Cissna.

Mr. Lee asked Judge Cissna to lower bail for Swan's next court appearance. Judge Cissna denied that request today. He said Judge Hinrichs had set the bail and scheduled an OR/Bail hearing in Courtroom 5 at 2 p.m. on April 28.

Arraignment on information for jury trial is scheduled for May 11 at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 5.

Other than court staff, the Judge, the attorneys and HCSO Investigator Greg Musson, I was the only one in the courtroom.

Apr 21, 2016

Preliminary hearing next week for suspect in alleged Humboldt Hill assault

Brian Swan was arraigned on April 13. He is charged with a felony. Count 1 is assault with a firearm. There are two special allegations: personally using a firearm, a shotgun in the commission and attempted commission of the assault and personally inflicting great bodily injury in the commission of the crime.

The alleged victim is Robert Alan Babb.

Judge Joyce Hinrichs denied OR/Bail on April 15.

An intervention hearing and another OR/Bail hearing is scheduled on April 25 at 3 p.m.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 26.

Deputy District Attorney Roger Rees is prosecuting the case. Conflict Counsel's office has been appointed for Swan.

Apr 9, 2016

Brian Swan arrested in Humboldt Hill for alleged attempted homicide

On Friday, April 8th, 2016, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call for service on the 6000 block of Aspen Way, in the Humboldt Hill area of Eureka, Ca.  The caller reported that a male subject had been shot inside the residence.  It was further reported the shooter was still on scene.

Deputies arrived on scene moments later and established a perimeter around the residence.  Deputies attempted to call the suspect out of the residence numerous times.  However, the suspect did not immediately comply with orders to come out.  Deputies continued their efforts, and eventually the suspect exited the residence and was taken into custody.  The suspect was identified as 34 year old, Brian Swan, of Eureka, Ca.

Deputies secured the scene and located a single gunshot victim in the residence.  Medical personnel were staged and brought in immediately after the scene was secured.

The victim was taken to the hospital for medical treatment, and is in critical condition.

The suspect was taken to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and booked for attempted homicide.

This case is currently being investigated by Humboldt County Sheriff’s Detectives.

Live streaming today of Dungeness Crab Season hearing at State Capitol

Senator Mike McGuire, chairman of the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture, will convene a special hearing on April 28 at the State Capitol to receive updates on the Dungeness crab season, disaster declaration and lessons learned from the historic crab season closure this year.
“This year’s crab season delay was devastating for California’s fisheries and there are many lessons to be learned from the historic closures. We are also taking a close look at ocean conditions, how they are changing, and the ongoing impacts, which are even greater in coastal towns that depend on a healthy crab harvest for their livelihood,” Senator McGuire said. “This hearing will provide an important opportunity to hear first-hand from fisheries and ocean experts about what worked, what we can improve upon and what we can do differently.”
The hearing – California’s Crab Season and Domoic Acid: Lessons Learned – will feature testimony from fisheries and ocean experts who will discuss both the historic crab season delay and what we can improve and do differently in the future. Scientists will also provide testimony on current ocean conditions, the West Coast Algae Bloom and Domoic Acid, now and into the future.
The hearing will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 28 at the State Capitol in Room 112. The hearing will be streamed live at www.senate.ca.gov. The public is welcome to attend.
The list of speakers includes (partial list):
  • Charlton Bonham - Director, California Department of Fish and Wildlife 
  • Eric Sklar - President, California Fish and Game Commission
  • Dr. William Sydeman - Senior Scientist, Farallon Institute for Advanced Ecosystem Research
  • Dr. Raphael Kudela - Lynn Professor of Ocean Health, University of California Santa Cruz
  • Deborah Halberstadt - OPC Executive Director/Deputy Secretary for Oceans and Coastal Policy, California Natural Resources Agency
  • Patrick Kennelly - Chief, Food Safety Section, California Department of Public Health
  • Dr. Craig Shuman - Marine Region Manager, California Department of Fish and Wildlife   
  • Rachelle Fisher - Administrative Team, California Dungeness Crab Task Force
  • Tim Sloane – Executive Director, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations
  • Mike Lucas - President, North Coast Fisheries, Inc.
  • Dr. Jeff Boehm - Executive Director, The Marine Mammal Center

For more information about the Fisheries Forum visit the Committee web site at: http://fisheries.legislature.ca.gov/.

No crabs for you Humboldt! Domoic test level still unsafe

I just spoke with Humboldt County Fifth District Supervisor Ryan Sundberg who was just informed about the domoic acid levels for Humboldt County.

One crab tested at 54; failed the test.

Supervisor Sundberg said, "No crab fishing this year out of Trinidad. "

These are links with information:




Humboldt residents march for Immigrant Families in Eureka May 1st, call for end to ICE raids and deportations

WHAT: North Coast residents march on International Workers’ Day May 1, 2016 to celebrate immigrant workers, and march in solidarity for the cancellation of Sun Valley worker’s deportation orders, and stand united with migrants worldwide. 

March begins at 1 pm on Sunday, May 1, 2016 at Sacred Heart Church, 2065 Myrtle Avenue, Eureka. Marchers will proceed down Myrtle Ave. to 3rd and D Streets.

Eureka, CA, April 27, 2016-- In September 2008, ICE agents raided Sun Valley Farms in Arcata, arresting approximately 23 people and placing some in deportation proceedings. In a September 4, 2008 articleEureka’s Times-Standard interviewed one of the employees present, said “some of her co-workers were very frightened they'd be taken away even though they are legal. The whole experience was terrifying, she said.” The remaining seven workers have for the past 8 years fought their cases in U.S. Immigration Court and are currently in the last phases of their appeals process.
“We are families who came here to work. We contribute to our community and pay taxes. For humanitarian reasons, I ask the federal government to not separate me from my children, who are U.S. citizen,” said one of the workers facing deportation.
“My daughter was three months old when her father was taken. I ask that the deportation order be removed and our family reunited” says the wife of one of the Sun Valley workers.
Non-immigrant Humboldt and Del Norte County residents will join their immigrant neighbors in a show of support. One supporter, Leila Roberts of Eureka, reflected, “The neighbors on my block are from Mexico, India, and Samoa, as well as Eureka born and bred. I love that.” She added, “You hear all the time how unfair and confusing our immigration system is. My undocumented neighbors deserve to feel safe and welcome. We can all find compassion for the terrible bureaucratic wasteland they’re trapped in. Comprehensive immigration reform is coming. Until then, live and let live, for goodness’ sake.”

Press conference begins at 2:30 pm in front of the offices of ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) at 317 D Street, Eureka
MORE DETAILS:  Facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/176058422787952

Some of PALCO Marsh's finest, not on Peter Martin's choice of plaintiff's list

Between April 06, 2016 and April 20, 2016, the Eureka Police Department POP unit, the Humboldt County Drug Task Force, and DEA conducted an undercover “buy” operation in the Palco marsh.  The sting was implemented on five separate days during that period and each time someone associated with or living in the Palco marsh sold heroin to police operators.  

After the undercover sting was over, warrants for possession of heroin for sale were written for multiple individuals.  To date, Tracy Adams Jr. (26), Martin Crossnoe (49), Philip Myers (26), Larry Gibson (29), and Brian Keffer (39) have been arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for possession of heroin for sale.  Additional warrant(s) may be sought in the future.

Chief Mills said, “If you think you have sold heroin to an undercover officer or police informant, we are looking for you. You know who you are.” Additional arrest(s) will be made on or before May 2, 2016.

Ryan Sibbald, Resident Agent in Charge for DEA covering Humboldt County said, “The DEA is here to work in partnership with and support the Eureka Police Department’s effort to stop those intent on trafficking heroin and methamphetamine.” There will be future operations in joint partnership between the DEA and local law enforcement.

The April 13, 2016 search warrant of a tent in the Palco marsh and the April 19, 2016 search warrant in the Murphy’s Market parking lot were part of this ongoing investigation, dubbed the “Party’s Over.”    

Palco Marsh evacuation will result in road closures between May 2 and 6

On March 18, 2016 the City set a date of May 2, 2016 for individuals camping in the Palco
Marsh to leave the area. The City has been working local service providers to coordinate efforts
to assist those camping in the marsh to obtain temporary housing, bus tickets back to family, or
other services such as treatment options for drug or alcohol abuse. In March of 2016 there were
180 individuals living in the marsh area. As of today, 113 individuals remain illegally camped in
the area from Palco Marsh north to West Del Norte Street.
Beginning on May 2nd through at least May 6th 2016, the waterfront greenbelt areas
between Truesdale and West Del Norte Streets west of Broadway will be completely closed
to all pedestrian bicycle, or vehicle traffic. This closure is due to the planned police
enforcement and property maintenance operation being conducted during that period.
Unauthorized person(s) entering this police operational area will be subject to arrest upon entry.
Any illegal campers still remaining in the Palco Marsh area will be subject to arrest. All
entrances to the area will be monitored and entry restricted.
All remaining illegal campers in the marsh are urged to seek services or temporary housing from
one of the many service options. A service fair will be held on Friday, April 29th from 9 am until
Noon at the parking lot behind the Bayshore Mall. An additional special fair will be held at the
foot of West Del Norte Street on May 2, 2016 from 8 am until 5 pm.
Camping in any City park or greenbelt is prohibited. Anyone who notices camping in a City
greenbelt or park should contact the Eureka Police Department. EPD and City staff will respond
to calls for camping within the City of Eureka as time allows.

Coffee with the Captains, motorcycles and great breakfast

Coffee with the Captains at the Black Lightning Motorcycle Cafe this morning.

Gunshots reported near Russian River Bridge, female injured

On 04-03-2016 at 9:49 PM the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to a report of gunshots in the area of the Russian River Bridge on Talmage Road in Ukiah, California.

Upon arrival Deputies located an adult female who was located with a gunshot wound to her upper arm. The adult female stated she was laying down in her camp when she heard 15 or more gunshots being fired from the pear orchard above her. The adult female indicated she then realized she had been shot in the upper arm.

The adult female tried to walk out of the area but laid back down and yelled for help when someone called for emergency services.

The adult female was subsequently flown out of county by air ambulance for medical treatment.

The adult female was unable to give a description of any suspect(s) but the investigation into the incident is still under investigation.

City of Eureka says Parcel 4 is zoned Coastal Dependent Industrial

This morning, I got the following email from Kristin Goetz:

The land known as Parcel 4 is currently zoned MC (Coastal Dependent Industrial) and has a land use designation of CDI (Coastal Dependent Industrial).

As an additional note, Redwood Region Audubon Society has an open space easement over the property.

Kristen M. Goetz | Senior Planner
Community Development Division
Development Services Department

Apr 27, 2016

Trail does not conflict with industrial zoning? A 2011 article on development near Palco Marsh


I just found this article doing some other research on PALCO marsh.

I have asked the City of Eureka for a comment and update but they won't get that message until tomorrow, so I will update or do another post.