The mother of murdered Arcata resident Trevor Mark Harrison will get back the nearly $7,000 that police seized after her son was killed, but she must wait for her marijuana bud and other property.
On Wednesday Judge Dale Reinholtsen partially granted a motion by Kay Haug’s attorney, Kathleen Bryson, to return property held since Harrison was killed in Haug’s home more than two years ago. Haug will receive $6,787 in cash that was stored in various containers in her Eastern Avenue residence.
But Reinholtsen declined to order other property returned to Haug, including more than 20 pounds of once-fresh marijuana bud. The judge agreed with Deputy District Attorney Roger Rees that the evidence should not be returned now because the case against convicted murderer Billy Joe Giddings is not over. Giddings has not yet been sentenced and could still appeal his conviction.
In addition to the cash and packaged-for-sale marijuana, Arcata police have been storing cellphones, laptop computers, a backpack, a purse and other items belonging to Haug and others.
Last month a jury convicted Giddings of second-degree murder for shooting the 38-year-old Harrison to death while his mother was looking at marijuana for sale. Witnesses testified during trial that Giddings shot Harrison as he was trying to keep co-defendant Robert Louis Huntzinger out of the house.
Giddings, testifying in his own defense, said he only fired because Harrison had a gun in his hand. One juror said after the trial that the jury believed it was possible Harrison was armed. Three eyewitnesses swore he wasn’t. But Haug admitted at trial that after her son was shot, she disposed of a handgun she was keeping for protection.
Harrison lived in Sunny Brae and was just visiting his mother the night he was shot. A single .25-caliber bullet passed straight through his heart.
As for Huntzinger, jurors acquitted him of all charges. But he remains jailed on three other cases alleging drug possession and vandalism, and the District Attorney’s Office is seeking to consolidate the cases and have his bail raised.
Giddings is scheduled for sentencing in August and faces up to life in state prison.