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.
- Hoopa Man Arrested on Child Molestation Charges Today, Sheriff’s Office Says
- Judge Postpones Arraignment of Accused Child Molester While Defendant Sorts Out Legal Counsel
- Local Fisheries Biologist Pleads Not Guilty to Molestation Charges
- Court Sets Hearing Date in Hoopa-Area Child Molestation Case
- TODAY in COURT: Tsarnas Released on Bail; Attempted-Murder Suspect Pitches Fit in Court
- Child Sex Abuse Suspect Offered 12-Year Sentence for Guilty Plea
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.
- 20-Year-Old Shot Dead in Manila Early This Morning; Victim Found Lying in the Middle of Highway 255
- This Morning’s Manila Homicide Victim ID’d by Sheriff’s Office
- More Details Emerge in Manila Murder Conspiracy as Three Suspects Appear in Court
- INVESTIGATORS: Manila Murder Conspiracy Driven By Belief That Victim Had Sexually Abused Suspects’ Daughter
- One of ‘Manila Five’ Murder Plot Suspects Deemed Mentally Incompetent, Will Not Stand Trial
- Once Suspected in Manila Murder Plot, Hector Godoy-Standley Instead Referred to Facility Serving the Developmentally Disabled
- Alleged Murder Plot Participant Stuck in Legal Limbo, as Regional Center for Developmentally Disabled Adults Declines to Serve Him
- Defendant in Manila Murder Case Has Criminal Proceedings Against Him Suspended, Will Be Committed to a State Hospital
- Defendants in 2016 Manila Murder Plot to be Tried Separately, Judge Rules
- ‘Manila Five’ Suspect Flips: Fode Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter, Agrees to Testify Against Former Codefendants in Roadside Murder
- Psychiatrists Deem Manila Murder Plot Suspect Competent to Stand Trial, After All; Defense Will Challenge the Finding
- California Mental Hospital Inefficiencies Leave Two Humboldt Murder Suspects in Limbo
- Judge Frustrated by Delays for Manila Murder Suspect’s Competency Hearing
- Reams of ‘Jail Mail’ to Sort Through in 2016 Manila Murder Plot Case; Two of the Five Suspects Will Be Tried Together
- March Trial Set For Manila Murder Suspects
- ‘MANILA FIVE’ CASE: New Legislation Means That Most of the Alleged Participants Likely Won’t Stand Trial for Murder
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.
- A Pet Pig Got Loose in Arcata. Hours Later, Someone Slaughtered Her
- Police Arrest Suspect in Slaughter of Pet Pig Earlier This Year
- First Suspect in Arcata Pet Pig Slaughter Appears in Court; Miller Arraigned on Charges of Animal Cruelty, Grand Theft
- Accused Arcata Pig Killer Will Stand Trial; Defense Argues Suspect Believed He Had Right to Slaughter ‘Princess’
- ‘Well, We Waited,’ Accused Arcata Pig Killer Told APD Officer Upon Being Discovered Next to Pile of Freshly Butchered Meat
- Animal Cruelty Charges Dropped Against Co-Defendant in Arcata Pig Slaughter Case; Will Go to Trial for Grand Theft, Possession of Stolen Property