Because potential witnesses were canceled by mistake, the preliminary hearing for alleged child molester Gary Frankland Landergen was postponed this morning until next month.


Landergen, 57, is accused of molesting three teen-age girls while he was a coach and math teacher at Fortuna High School. His preliminary hearing was reset for Dec. 7 because it was thought the defense attorney, Conflict Counsel Meagan O’Connell, was in trial today in another courtroom.

“Witnesses were called off because it was believed Ms. O’Connell was still in trial,” Deputy District Attorney Whitney Timm told Judge John Feeney this morning.

Landergen, who has been arrested twice and posted bail twice, was in court this morning with a friend. He was arrested in April after the alleged victims went to law enforcement. He posted bail of $35,000, but was taken into custody again weeks later when Judge Kelly Neel raised bail to $100,000. Landergen posted the remaining $65,000 and remains out of custody.

O’Connell said she would like the preliminary hearing held “as soon as possible.”



Another Fortuna resident, Sean Michael Allman, is scheduled for a hearing next week on whether he can receive mental health treatment instead of going to trial on charges of threatening eight members of a church youth group.


Allman is scheduled for a Nov. 28 jury trial on charges of terrorizing or obstructing the exercise of religion and making threats of death or great bodily injury. But now defense attorneys Ben Okin and Andrea Sullivan have filed a petition asking Judge Christopher Wilson to place Allman on a so-called mental health diversion.

Under that program, if a defendant successfully completes treatment charges can be dismissed.

Allman was 18 back in June 2019, when he allegedly sent threatening messages to an Episcopal youth group planning to visit then-Humboldt State University. According to testimony at his preliminary hearing, Allman was obsessed with mass shootings.

Some of his text messages contained pictures of bloody people lying on the ground.

The hearing on the mental diversion option is set for Monday. Allman is out of custody but did not attend the hearing today.

Deputy District Attorney Whitney Timm is the prosecutor.


Also today before Judge Wilson, defense attorney Owen Tipps said no report has been received from a doctor hired to re-evaluate murder suspect Austin Michael Medeiros.


Medeiros, accused of murdering a young disabled woman, was initially deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial. After undergoing treatment and taking anti-psychotic medication, his competence was declared “restored.”

Tipps disagreed with that conclusion, saying at the last court hearing that Medeiros, 28, still suffers from delusions. Tipps’s request for a second competency evaluation was granted, with a different doctor, clinical psychologist Michael Morris, appointed.

His report was due today but has not materialized.

Wilson set the next hearing for Dec. 12.

Medeiros remains in custody but was not brought down from the jail to attend court.

Deputy District Attorney Candace Myers is the prosecutor.