Deer Poacher Shawn Hof Jr. Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison For Shooting at Game Warden

Rhonda Parker / Tuesday, Jan. 16 @ 10:47 a.m. / Courts

A 25-year-old Fortuna man will spend 20 years in state prison for shooting at a pursuing game warden who caught him spotlighting for deer on a rural back road.


This morning Judge John Feeney sentenced Shawn Eugene Hof Jr. to eight years for assault with a firearm on a peace officer, 10 years for using a firearm during the crime, and eight months each on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, resisting an executive officer and willful discharge of a firearm in a reckless manner.

Hof also received a six-month sentence for spotlighting, but that will be served concurrently. He was given credit for 184 days served.

On Aug. 21, 2016, Hof and his close friend Thomas Wheeler were spotlighting for deer on Redwood House Road when Fish and Wildlife Warden Matthew Wells saw them and gave chase with lights and siren. Hof, standing in the back of a pickup truck, opened fire on Wells’ vehicle. He then hopped through the truck’s back window and continued firing out the passenger side window.

Wells’ vehicle was never hit. He kept up the chase until finding Wheeler’s wrecked truck, empty except for a puppy the men left behind as they fled. A gun was lying on the ground near the truck.

Hof was a fugitive for about a year before turning himself in. At his preliminary hearing, attorney Paul Gallegos offered two defenses: First, Wheeler was lying to police when he said Hof was the man with him in the truck. Secondly, if the shooter was Hof he was just trying to slow the warden down and not hurt him.

But Judge Dale Reinholtsen, who presided over the hearing, said shooting at an occupied vehicle “establishes intent to kill.”

The sentence imposed this morning was no surprise to Hof, as it was part of a plea bargain. He admitted to lesser charges in exchange for having a count of attempted murder dismissed.

He was represented this morning by Deputy Public Defender Ben McLaughlin. Deputy District Attorney Adrian Kamada, who prosecuted the case, told Judge Feeney the victim (Warden Wells) was in the courtroom audience. He did not address the court.

About 10 people attended the sentencing to support Hof.




OBITUARY: Janet Arnot, 1955-2018

LoCO Staff / Monday, Jan. 15 @ 6:45 a.m. / Obits

It is with great sadness that the family of Janet Arnot announces her passing after a difficult battle with metastatic colon carcinoma.

Janet was born to parents James (Jim) and Jane Arnot on July 2, 1955 in Scotia, nestled in the heart of Humboldt County. Janet was the oldest of three. She had two younger brothers, David and Joe Arnot. Jim and Jane would later divorce. Jim remarried to Sharon Arnot. Sharon brought three children to their union: Randy, Rodney and Sheri. Together Jim and Sharon had two more children, Marcus and Michelle. Janet’s mother Jane also remarried to Robert (Bob) Morgan who brought two children to their union: Jerry and Debbie. Together Jane and Bob had their youngest son, Michael.

Janet was raised in Eureka and Freshwater. She lived for a short period of time in San Francisco with her parents and younger brother David while their father attended law school. She fondly remembers walking herself to preschool alone. Once they returned to Eureka, Janet attended Marshall Elementary and Zane Middle School, and graduated from Eureka High School in 1973.

Janet attended College of the Redwoods for general education, with an emphasis in physical education and music. Janet also attended Humboldt State University for speech communications and finance. Janet lived for a short period of time in Healdsburg in the late ‘70s.

Growing up, Janet spent a lot of her early years with both sets of grandparents. Her father Jim’s parents, Jocko and Lucille Arnot, had nicknamed her “Jeanette” (a name she would later save for her first daughter). They spent a lot of time instilling in her a passion for values. They owned Humboldt Land Title Company, a business she would later be very involved with. She was taught all about business, the importance of family and personal integrity.

Janet invested much of her youth in her maternal grandparents (John and Sylvia Beidleman’s) bakery, the Cherry Blossom, on F Street in Eureka. She also worked in their restaurant, The Annex, on E Street in Eureka. Janet spent 12 years in the food service industry. She worked several jobs, including busser, hostess, cocktail waitress, prep cook, assistant chef and delivery. Janet’s grandparents would later divorce. John remarried and had twin girls, Janet’s aunts Paula and Pamela.

Janet was close with her family. As a child Janet and her brother David were inseparable. Janet had a select group of very close friends, one of them being Matt Tomich, a lifelong friend she met in school. They shared a love for Star Wars, Star Trek, music and cruising. They watched the Original Star Wars in Theatre nine times. They spent many times cruising in her ‘68 Plymouth Barracuda formula S in the mid-‘70s. Janet had a streak for adventure and enjoyed keeping people on their toes. Janet once locked her Drama teacher in the basement at Eureka High Auditorium as a joke.

Janet was quite the performer. She was a self-taught pianist. Her skill set was limitless — she could play anything from Bach to Beethoven to The Beatles. She enjoyed dance very much and danced several styles, one of them being ballroom dance. She was a founding member of the North Coast Amateur Ballroom Dancers’ Association. Janet was also a talented ballerina. She danced for Redwood Concert Ballet. She served as secretary on the board of directors for five years. She danced her last Nutcracker ballet in December of 1984.

Janet was an avid lover of food and wine and spent many good times at Napa wineries in the company of her friends. Janet loved entertaining and could cook or bake anything, from teddy bear bread to Thanksgiving dinner.

Janet was working as a cocktail waitress at the Captain’s Galley when she met an intriguing fellow — David Sovereign. Janet would see David after his shift. He was working for a local trucking company. David and Janet started dating. A few years later, they got married, on April 14, 1985. David had three boys from a previous marriage, Craig, David Jr. (Andy) and Roy. Janet and David had their first son, James, in 1985. Jimmy quickly became the center of their world and did everything with them. Together they ran their own business – “David Sovereign Trucking.” In 1988 they had their second son, Phillip. In 1990 they had their third and final child, their daughter, Jeanette.

David, Janet and their three kids lived for a short period of time in 1991 in a village called Klawock. It was on Prince of Wales Island in Alaska. Their son Phil was a toddler at the time and didn’t believe bedtime came until the sun went down. It was summer time and 2 a.m. was not bedtime, though Phil thought it was.

David and Janet would later divorce, but remain close. Janet raised her kids in Ridgewood Heights. They lived in a three-bedroom house on a hillside. It was a split-level home with surrounding decks. The home was adjacent to the forest. They had a lot of local wildlife on the property. It was not uncommon to find a mountain lion taking a rest on the back deck, or find a mother bear in the garage with her cubs close behind. Janet raised her kids with a piano in the living room, and a superb sound system right next to it. Janet made sure to share her passions with her children. She taught all of them the importance of doing for one’s self. She taught them when asking for help, to ask yourself first. Janet made the holidays and family celebrations the highlight of her children’s childhoods.

Janet managed to always have her kids in the same summer camps, T-ball teams, BMX racing group and volunteer opportunities, despite their age difference. Janet would say her greatest accomplishment in life was her children. There were many times they all geared up in their windbreaker outfits and took their bikes for a ride on the neighborhood BMX track.

Aside from being a very invested mother, Janet gave a lot of herself to her Community. Janet was a volunteer for 25 years at North Coast Children’s Services, and served as an Executive Board member for 8 years. She volunteered for Timber Heritage Association, Campfire, and Pal Camp in Freshwater. She was part of several local organizations: Humboldt County Real Estate Investors Group, California foundation for Independent Living Centers, Whole Access (Redwood City), California Redwood Chorales, Humboldt/Del Norte Head Start Policy Council, North Coast Employer Advisory Council, Redwood Gun Club where she was a Range Master, the Elks Lodge, the Moose Lodge and the Eagles Lodge where Janet served as the secretary for several years. Janet was always widening her horizon, and had a yearning to remain curious and welcoming of new things to learn. She also attended several seminars over the years.

Janet was executive director for a local non-profit, Humboldt Access Project, from 1995 to 2000. During her time there she traveled for training and networking purposes. She went to Washington D.C. a few times and shook hands with President Clinton. During Janet’s career at Humboldt Access she teamed up with Phyllis Cangemi from Whole Access in Redwood City California and pioneered making Northern California Parks more accessible to people with disabilities. Janet and Phyllis teamed up to make trails at Prairie Creek accessible. One night, Phyllis was receiving an award in the Bay Area for her success in making her community more accessible. Phyllis had invited Janet and her kids to the event and got an opportunity to meet Bob Dole.

Later, Janet trained out of the area to become an insurance agent for Combined Insurance. During training in Sacramento, she made a dear friend – Susan Stuart. She then went to work for Aflac insurance. Janet was a landlord for a local residential property for 10 years. Her many job ventures that followed were in sales at Eureka Broadcasting, Cooking for Wellness, Shred Aware and Redwood Electronics. Janet also worked for American Star Security for a few years in between sales jobs.

Janet’s three children all graduated high school in Eureka and continued their education. Janet cared about education and financial Independence so she donated a financial course to her children’s school.

Her son James married his wife, Krystal, in 2012. Her son Phillip married his wife, Jessica, in 2012. Her daughter, Jeanette, married her husband Brandon in 2017.

Janet found love again with Wayne Sovereign in the mid-2000s. They spent several seasons hunting and camping together. They made several friendships at Buck Camp and took their dog, Ginger, with them on all hunting excursions.

Janet loved having fun and made time for it whenever possible. Some of her favorite pastimes include wine, camping, driving, hunting, going to the shooting range, drawing/sketching, singing, reading, knitting, watching movies, telling stories of her wild days, and spending time with her kids and life partner Wayne, influencing youths’ curiosity, and teaching in all facets. She loved to travel. She spent time in Mexico and once celebrated her birthday there. Janet was a strong, smart, independent person. She hiked the Marble Mountains alone. She came face to face with a bear and they both ran in the opposite direction. She enjoyed collecting depression glass with her mother, Jane. Janet loved singing and playing piano with her father, Jim.

Many people can tell you that when they were in need, Janet was there. Whether they were struggling to make their business thrive, needed advice or their spouse had just passed. Janet was extremely intuitive and knew when to speak up or lend an ear. She gave a home to so many people when they needed it most. She gave with her heart and her spirit. Her family and her community are going to feel an extreme absence from her passing. Many local businesses and organizations have had a strong connection with Janet for several years.

Janet had a passion for animals. In her teen years she had horses and other farm animals. She had a rooster she loved dearly. She owned a wonderful Saint Bernard named Heidi. She owned several cats over the years – Pinky, Vivian and Grabee, to name a few. Janet had a connection with animals that most people do not possess. Janet had to lay to rest her dog of 10 years, Ginger Arnot, in November of 2017. Janet had a life-saving surgery in December of 2016. Immediately following that surgery, Ginger became Janet’s watchdog, allowing family to feel that they had someone they could trust to watch over Janet in their absence.

In recent years Janet has welcomed into the world her grandchildren, Nicoli Arnot McCloskey in July 2011 and Arabella McCloskey in April 2014. During Janet’s battle with colon cancer, she made her grandkids a main part of her focus and comfort. She made every effort to stay healthy and live as long as possible for them.

Janet leaves behind her life partner, Wayne Sovereign; stepfather Robert Morgan; stepmother Sharon Arnot; sons James Arnot (Krystal) and Phillip Arnot (Jessica); daughter Jeanette McCloskey (Brandon); stepson Roy Sovereign; brothers David Arnot (Kathy), Joe Arnot (Terry), Randy Adkins, Rodney Adkins (Susan), Marcus Melton-Steers; sisters Sheri Burke (Mike), Michelle Arnot, Nancy Arnot and Crystal Arnot; grandkids Makal Sjoquist, Anthony Sjoquist, Craig Sovereign, Timothy Byars, Nicoli Arnot-McCloskey, Arabella McCloskey; six great-grandkids; uncle Phil Arnot (Sally); aunts: Paula Forestier and Pamela Ford; several nieces and nephews, greatnieces and nephews; and cousins Steven Arnot (Andrea) and Michael Arnot (Jenny).

Janet was preceded in death by her father, Jim Arnot; her mother, Jane Morgan; her grandparents, Jocko and Lucille Arnot and John and Sylvia Beidleman; her ex-husband, David Sovereign; her stepsons, Craig and David Jr. Sovereign; her granddaughter Scierra Sovereign.

Janet had made great friendships in her time at Humboldt Access Project and in her later years. Two friendships that lasted since Humboldt Access are with Maeve Gannon, a former employee, and Darcie Seal, a volunteer from the board. Janet had a dear friend who preceded her in death — Susan Stuart. Janet leaves behind a long time friend and fellow officer from the Eagles Lodge, Fern Powell. Lastly, Janet leaves behind a close friend and neighbor, Jacque McKinnon.

During Janet’s battle with cancer she received significant support from her partner, Wayne; daughter, Jeanette; and niece, Victoria. There will not be a day that goes by that those who knew Janet will go on without needing her in some way. She was a breath of fresh air, a warm embrace and the silence during the golden hours of the day.

The Family of Janet Arnot will be facilitating a service in her honor on Saturday, Feb. 3., 2018, at 1 p.m., at the Eureka First United Methodist Church. It is located at 520 Del Norte Street in Eureka. A reception for friends and family will follow at the church.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Janet Arnot’s family. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.

Sneaker Waves, High Surf Forecast for Humboldt Beaches Today

John Ross Ferrara / Sunday, Jan. 14 @ 9:58 a.m. / Ocean

Eureka’s National Weather Service office:

Beach conditions will become hazardous on Sunday due to sneaker waves and large surf.

Be careful since there will be long periods of small wave activity that will make the ocean look deceivingly small. Larger waves could occur at intervals that take as long as 20 minutes! Then rapidly building surf will crash over rocks, jetties, and outcroppings. Always, if visiting the beach stay much farther away from the water.

Large and hazardous surf will develop Sunday evening. Breakers around 20 feet are expected on west and northwest beaches. Harbor entrances will also become treacherous, especially during ebb.

Large surf is expected again Monday night with breakers hitting 22 ft. Hazardous surf will possible again on Thursday.

GROWING OLD UNGRACEFULLY: Cemeteries of the World

Barry Evans / Sunday, Jan. 14 @ 8:11 a.m. / Growing Old Ungracefully

Paula Schulz. Tarantino fans will recognize the name. Who is she…or rather who isn’t she? Paula Schulz is the name of the grave in which Uma Thurman, aka “The Bride” in Tarantino’s Kill Bill 2, was to have died after being buried alive in a cemetery (supposedly outside Barstow, California). That was the plan, but the entomber (played by one of my all-time favorite character actors and QT regular Michael Madsen) underestimated her martial arts training. To see how she escapes from a wooden coffin six feet under, you’ll have to watch the movie. Not for the faint-hearted.

Cemeteries and movies are a natural pairing. Where would any of these been without their cemetery scenes? The Godfather, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (final 3-way gunfight!), Easy Rider, Rocky, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Saving Private Ryan, countless horror/slasher/vampire flicks, and—of course—Pet Sematary.

Cemeteries to me are what art galleries, bars and bird-watching trails are to others. I’m drawn to them, have been since I can remember. I’ve spent hours in cemeteries in every continent, save Antartica (not known for its graveyards). Christian, Moslem, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu. Large, small. Horizontal and vertical (as in, cliff faces). Kempt and unkempt. (Louisa and I had a favorite outside Pescadero that we would visit on our cycle excursions from Palo Alto—it was as wild and wooly as they came, until someone decided the dear departed deserved tidiness, and cut down every last scrap of vegetation.) We can’t pass a graveyard without stopping, wandering through rows of stones beset by crosses and crescent moons and Stars of David. We read the names, dates, homilies. Stare at the photographs (a common feature on gravestones in many countries). I to imagine myself dead, wanting to give some urgency and tang to my life.

Walking into a cemetery, the thought usually comes, “There are just so many dead people!” Have you heard the one about there being more people now alive than have ever died? Don’t believe it. The Population Reference Bureau, which keeps tabs on present-day populations and does its best to estimate past populations, reckons that about 107 billion people have ever lived. Meaning that there are (were?) about 15 dead people for everyone now living.

I’ll include some photos here, including: For poignancy, the cemetery in Vietnam close to the 17th parallel, the dividing line between the old North and South Vietnam, where the victims of this country’s futile attempts to cut off the Ho Chi Minh Trail are memorialized by over ten thousand stones laid out in five huge petals, as a flower. For remoteness, check the monks’ tiny graveyard on Skellig Michael, the rocky island ten miles off the coast of Ireland which recently did duty as Ahch-To (whence Luke Skywalker had holed up in the most recent pair of Star Wars movies). For endurance, here are 2500-year-old stone sarcophagi along the “Lycian Way” in southwest Turkey. For economy, the Jewish cemetery in Prague, where bodies have been lain one on top of one another for centuries due to space limitations, and even then the stones are practically touching. And for sheer exuberance, Mexican cemeteries, some with little houses (complete with electric light), others with birthday balloons, ribbons and fresh cut flowers testifying to the belief that the dead are still around, to be honored and celebrated even more than when they lived. Especially, of course, on Day of the Dead.

I’ll never end up in a cemetery—I’m signed up with Gunther von Hagens’ Institute of Plastination; if all goes well, my flensed and artificially colored body (or some parts thereof) will help inform future medical students. Until then, the cemeteries of the world are on my bucket list, the places where, ironically, I feel most alive.

Lycian sarcophagi near Fethiye, Turkey (all photos Barry Evans).

Lycian rock-cut tombs near Myra, Turkey.

Valle de Bravo, Mexico.

Troung Son military cemetery, DMZ, Vietnam.

Jewish Cemetery, old quarter, Prague, Czech Republic.

Barisal, Bangladesh.

Skellig Michael monastery cemetery, Ireland.

Stones with photos, Volterra, Italy.

Miniature houses in cemetery near Xalapa, Mexico.

DEAD RECKONING: We Are All So Much More Than the Sum of Our Parts

James Faulk / Sunday, Jan. 14 @ 7:56 a.m. / Dead Reckoning

Jennifer. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, will you please stop and say that name? Quietly enough that only you can hear it.

I started this column when I was working at a cemetery. People came in weeping, contracting with an entity represented by me to bury their loved ones. Their eyes and cheeks were hollow with grief. They shuffled in, holding hands, propping one another up, anxious to get it over with, eager to get all the details just perfect, distraught but also almost universally polite.

As if they were sorry to disturb me. And, by extension, the dead who slept all around me.

Dead Reckoning.

How does one reckon with death?

Let’s consider the semantics. According to my Pocket Webster’s, to reckon is to consider, or calculate –- so a reckoning of the dead is a calculation of those who have died.

A dead reckoning, though, is really something very different. It’s a nautical term for pinpointing your position by estimating the direction and distance traveled rather than by using landmarks, astronomical observations, or GPS.

So yeah, I’ve spent my ink in this space opening old wounds about my addled and alcoholic father, my stillborn brother, those dead delivered years ago in lacquered boxes to Sunrise Cemetery, Grandpa Boyd, Grandma Catherine, and traumas that were best left dead in the dirt. Often those soiled bandages became the very pages I’ve delivered to this space, the whole process an act of cathartic renewal.

I’d accepted that people knew me in an uncomfortable way given my past, so I was free of shame. Each name I scrawled on my inventory of the dead seemed to lift a burden from me. By writing about the dead -– dead people, dead moments, the dead selves I’d left behind like so many snakeskins ditched in the alleys of Eureka next to the Free Meal, under bushes outside the filthy DMV building, I inexorably exhumed myself, one spadesful of grief at a time.

Yet I’m no more equipped now to deal with actual loss than I’ve ever been.

I learned yesterday that I lost someone dear to me, and my family. Though we’d drifted apart over the years, when we were kids, I absolutely worshipped the ground she and her sister walked upon. They were Gods.

Jennifer. She was in her 40s.

Those moments as a kid, playing upstairs at their house, they would dress me up, spin me around, apply gaudy makeup and tell me that I would have made the prettiest girl in the family. These were happy moments, some of the purest experiences of joy I’ve ever had.

At her best, Jennifer was vibrant, buoyant life, her laughter loud and uplifting enough to lift the house off its foundations. The sparkle in her eyes was later the twinkle in yours. She was infectious in her love of family, sweet and sometimes mischievous in disposition, witty, catty in all the right ways, louder than the loudest voluble Pollocks. It really feels like she represented the best of our family, and she’s gone.

When I’m faced with this kind of grief, my brain shorts out. I find myself thinking the same thoughts over and over again. I fear for my wife, and my mother. My kids, of course. Remarkably, since I feel healthy, I don’t have that much concern for my own health though I do need to continue on many of the changes I’ve started this last year.

More exercise. Get off the e-cigarette. Lose even more weight.

But that’s not really it. I dwell on the impermanence of the vehicles we’re all driving. It’s not actually health as much as it is mortality. No matter what your engine will break down. Your transmission gears will grind away. The tires, like your head, will go bald.

Many believe that in the grand scheme of The Great Video Game Designer, we’re all just soap bubbles and he’s a big pricker. I’m not sure what I believe in this moment.

Jennifer was damn near my own age. We were issued our feet, hands, and gall bladders at pretty near the same year. For some reason that hasn’t yet been explained, something of hers just stopped working: The warranty was up. Order came down. Time ran out.

The gavel dropped out of nowhere like a piano in a field of peonies. Its dissonant arguments were too loud for anything else to be heard. Saying her name just now helped to affirm her spirit, lift her up and send her along. It was a prayer. Maybe a spell. It felt right, so I asked you to do it.

I knew her and loved her deeply. She was so much more than whatever defective organ killed her. We’re all so much more than the sum of our parts, right?

Aren’t we?


James Faulk is a writer living in Eureka. He can be reach at

Hero Dog Alerts Slumbering Little Fairfield Householder to Kitchen Blaze, Saves Day

Hank Sims / Saturday, Jan. 13 @ 5:57 p.m. / Fire

From Humboldt Bay Fire:

At 6:26 AM this morning, Humboldt Bay Fire responded to a call for a Structure Fire in the 4100 block of Little Fairfield Street in Eureka. As the first arriving Fire Engine pulled up to the single-family home, they observed light smoke coming from the front door with a female resident on the front lawn suffering from mild smoke inhalation.

Firefighters geared up to attack the fire and made entry into the home. Once inside, they encountered a male resident in the kitchen attempting to extinguish a small fire on the stove. Firefighters escorted the male resident to safety, finished extinguishing the fire, and checked to ensure the fire had not spread into the attic.

After a quick knockdown of the fire, fire crews observed that the home had no working smoke detectors. The resident stated he had been cooking food on the stove that morning and fallen asleep. The next thing he remembered was being awakened by the family dog and seeing smoke in the house. Both residents of the home suffered from mild smoke inhalation but denied the need for additional medical attention. If not for the family dog alerting the residents, this incident could have had a much different outcome. Damage to personal belongings and the home are estimated to be $5000.

Humboldt Bay Fire would like to remind you that smoke detectors that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in saving lives. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke detectors to give you time to get out.

Tagger Run Amok: Swath of Businesses, Public Property Stained Orange Along Eureka’s 4th Street

John Ross Ferrara / Saturday, Jan. 13 @ noon / Crime

Graffiti outside The North Coast Veterans Resource Center. Photos by John Ferrara.

If you’ve traveled down Eureka’s 4th Street this morning, you probably noticed the fresh coat of orange graffiti sprayed across its many businesses and bus stops last night.

About a dozen businesses and unrented buildings were defaced with the same tagger mark last night. Redwood Capital Bank, Humboldt Republic Clothing, Demello McAuley McReynolds & Holland LLP, Lost Coast Brewery, New Troy Cleaners, Dick Taylor Chocolate, Cruz Plumbing, Humboldt Countertop Surfacing are among the businesses that were hit.

A member of the North Coast Veterans Resource Center, which was also sprayed last night, told the Outpost this morning that the graffiti rampage happened sometime overnight. The veteran, who chose to remain nameless, added that security cameras were recently installed outside the building and that the veterans are hopeful the person responsible for the graffiti will be caught.

There’s no word yet if an official police report has been filed over the incident.

We will update when we have more information.