File photo: Andrew Goff.




Judge Gregory Elvine-Kreis has denied motions to suppress evidence and dismiss charges against Arcata rancher Ray Christie, charged with four felony counts of animal cruelty.

Deputy District Attorney Steven Steward, the prosecutor in the case, said this morning that Elvine-Kreis ruled law enforcement did not act “in bad faith” in handling evidence. Defense attorney Rick Richmond had argued that some photographs were missing and others had been stripped of data.

The judge did, however, grant a motion to continue the jury trial that was set to begin in about two weeks. A doctor verified Christie is being treated for a medical condition.

The next hearing is scheduled for May 9, when a trial date may be set.

Christie’s ranch on the Arcata Bottoms, along with other properties Christie owns or leases for grazing cattle, were raided in 2018. A jury convicted him of about 25 misdemeanor counts of dumping cow carcasses near state waters, but could not reach a verdict on the felony charges. Only one juror did not vote to convict.

According to officers who testified during the first trial, cows on some properties had no access to food or water, and some were either dead or too weak to stand up.

Christie buys sub-par cattle at the Fortuna livestock auction and attempts to rehabilitate them, a practice that does not always succeed.

Richmond appeared this morning via Zoom.