A deputy public defender’s lawsuit against Judge Gregory Elvine-Kreis won’t go to trial until next June. This afternoon Mendocino County Judge Ann Moorman set a June 7 trial date for the civil case, in which Deputy Public Defender Rory Kalin alleges the judge called him “Jew Boy” and pushed him into Shasta Lake. The alleged incident occurred during a houseboat party during Memorial Day weekend in 2019.

Eureka attorney Patrik Griego, representing Elvine-Kreis, was hoping for a trial in March because the judge “wants to see this resolved as soon as possible.” But Kalin’s new attorney, Jonathan Hornberger, said he just received the case on July 24 and can’t be ready until June or July 2021.

“We’re just getting our feet under us,” said Hornberger, whose firm is in southern California.

He replaces attorney Cyndy Day-Wilson, who according to Griego had refused repeated requests for information on the case. Griego had asked for sanctions against Day-Wilson, but he dropped that request today because the new lawyer has agreed to provide the information. “He doesn’t think we need to fight about this,” Griego said.

Through Griego, Elvine-Kreis has denied verbally or physically assaulting Kalin. Two other deputy public defenders have backed up the judge’s denial.

Kalin, however, stands by his account of being taunted and thrown into the water. He says the unwanted dip exacerbated an earlier head injury, and he now suffers from seizures, anxiety and panic attacks.

Today Moorman said she’s unsure how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected jury selection in Humboldt County.

“I’d like to think things will be back to pre-Covid era by June,” she said. “But I’m not banking on it.”

Moorman also encouraged attorneys to discuss resolving the case before trial. Kalin is on leave from his job at the Public Defender’s Office. Elvine-Kreis remains on the bench.



In other trial-setting news, drive-by murder suspect Demetrius Coleman is scheduled for trial in late September. This morning Judge Timothy Canning set a Sept. 28 trial date for Coleman, accused of shooting 26-year-old Johnny Mack Renfro to death in August 2019. Coleman is charged with murder and the special “Use a Gun and You’re Done” allegation that can mean an additional life term if the defendant is convicted of murder.

Coleman, 40, and his 23-year-old girlfriend Alma Ahumada Mendoza were arrested in North Dakota several months after Renfro was killed on a Rio Dell street. Ahumada Mendoza was charged with being an accessory to the murder, but Canning dismissed that charge after a preliminary hearing last month.

Although no motive for the killing has been established, the prosecution suspects Coleman believed Renfro was one of three men who robbed him of marijuana. Coleman allegedly followed Renfro to Rio Dell, then shot Renfro as he was standing next to his blue Jeep on Monument Drive. The shooting was captured on a neighbor’s surveillance camera, although the shooter can’t be identified in the video.

Coleman is represented by attorney Andrea Sullivan. Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Schaffer is the assigned prosecutor.



Trial will most likely be delayed for David Bernard Anderson, charged with the forcible rape, sodomy and sex-trafficking of a 16-year-old Eureka girl.

For now Anderson’s trial is set for Aug. 17, but this morning defense attorney Michael Acosta told Judge Timothy Canning he will be filing a motion to continue, along with a motion to dismiss the sex-trafficking charge. After a preliminary hearing last month, Canning said there was not enough evidence to hold Anderson to answer on the trafficking allegation. But the District Attorney’s Office has refiled the charge.

The teenager told police that during the incident when she was sexually assaulted, Anderson told her he could make a lot of money as her pimp. The girl fled Anderson’s Eureka apartment when he left to go buy her some cigarettes.

Anderson’s next hearing is set for Wednesday. He has already served prison time for sex-trafficking a teenage girl in Humboldt County.