A tentative settlement has been reached in the case of Joshua Seth Strange, who faces the possibility of life in prison if he chooses a jury trial and is convicted of sexually molesting a 9-year-old girl.

“We have a resolution,” Deputy Public Defender Luke Brownfield said after a private hearing this afternoon before Judge Christopher Wilson. Brownfield said the proposed deal won’t be finalized until Sept. 10, when Strange is scheduled for another hearing.

Brownfield declined to specify the terms of the settlement. At a hearing last month, Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads said the prosecution has offered Strange a 12-year prison term if he pleads guilty to continuous sexual abuse of a child.

The 44-year-old Strange was arrested at his Hoopa-area home in August 2018 and charged with two counts of oral copulation or sexual penetration of a child under 10, a crime that carries a prison term of 15 years to life. He also is charged with two counts of sexually molesting a child under 14.

Strange, a well-known fisheries biologist and river-restoration expert, remains in custody. If the proposed deal falls through, he is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 11.




In other court news, defense attorney Russ Clanton has filed a motion to dismiss the case against Hector Godoy-Standley, one of five people charged with a murder and carjacking near Manila in December 2016.

Judge Christopher Wilson is expected to hear arguments on the motion on Sept. 23. Clanton has filed other motions that will be heard the same day.

Godoy-Standley, now 24, allegedly participated in the carjacking that ended with 20-year-old Tyson Eduardo Claros shot dead. He has been diagnosed as developmentally disabled but was found competent to stand trial.

Three co-defendants are scheduled for trial in late February. They are alleged shooter Brandon James Mitchell, 25, Tamara Nicole Thomson, 21, and Cesar Octavio Valenzuela, 26. Mitchell and Thomson will be tried together, while Valenzuela will have a separate trial.

Godoy-Standley’s former girlfriend, Catherine Suzanne Lynn Fode — also the mother of Mitchell’s young daughter, has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and agreed to testify against the others. The 21-year-old Fode won’t be sentenced until after she testifies.

According to previous court testimony, Fode and Mitchell believed Claros molested their then 3-year-old daughter. That allegation was investigated, but Claros was never charged.




The jury trial is looming for Jeffrey Cody Miller and Ed Jesse Ramos, both facing charges related to the March 23 killing and butchering of a pet pig in Arcata.

Miller and Ramos are scheduled for trial Sept. 16, though because some legal issues are unresolved it’s unclear whether the trial will proceed on that date.

Miller, 32, allegedly shot Princess the Pig while he was watching over her at the request of an Arcata police officer. The pig had escaped from her pen on Park Avenue and was wandering the neighborhood. The killing and butchering occurred at Ramos’ residence on Shirley Boulevard.

After Princess was shot in the head, she was butchered and packaged for eating. Ramos, 58, allegedly kept 25 pounds of pork and is charged with grand theft and possession of stolen property. An animal cruelty charge was dismissed.

Miller is charged with animal cruelty, grand theft, possession of stolen property and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He wasn’t tracked down until May, when he was booked on drug charges.

Ramos is not in custody and failed to show up for a hearing this morning. Deputy Public Defender Casey Russo, representing Ramos, said he believed there had been a misunderstanding about the court date.

“He’s not here but I don’t believe it’s intentional,” Russo told Judge Christopher Wilson.

Wilson issued a $25,000 bench warrant, but it will be held unless Ramos doesn’t appear for the next court hearing on Sept.9.