How many trials have you completed, what are the dates of the verdicts, and what were the results?
Thank you for your inquiry regarding my trial experience. Over the past twenty years prosecuting crime, I have done countless trials, hearings, and other court matters. I have a very successful trial record based upon conviction rate. Successful prosecutIon really involves much more than just guilty verdicts. Success is presentation of the admissible evidence, supporting victims through the process including testifying, and ultimately making accurate, ethical, and persuasive arguments to the trier of fact, whether judge or jury, regarding how the evidence proves the facts meet the elements of the law alleged to have been violated. The judge or jury is then in the position to make a fair and just decision. With that in mind, I invite you to read on through a summation of my lengthy trial experience.
In 2021, I tried People vs. Scott Eden, and based upon the evidence a jury found beyond a reasonable that he is a sexually violent predator. Mr. Eden was committed to Coalinga State Hospital, a locked treatment facility for persons found to be sexually violent predators.
Also, in 2021, I tried People vs. Michael Dennis Flowers, for the rape of a young woman in her twenties. During the trial, the recent survivor and multiple prior rape and child sexual molest survivors of his also testified. The jury convicted. Mr. Flowers is serving a life sentence in prison.
In 2020, I began jury trials but favorable resolutions were reached without reaching the stage of jury deliberations.
In 2019, I tried People vs. Cory Fisher, Sr., for child molestation, felony assault, and sexual abuse & harassment of adult inmates who he was alleged to have assaulted & harassed while on duty as a Humboldt County Corrections Officer. The jury convicted on assault and multiple child sexual assault charges but not for crimes involving the alleged inmate victims. Mr. Fisher is serving a life sentence in prison.
In 2019, I tried People vs. Seng Yang, for multiple charges of sexual abuse of his daughter. The jury convicted. Yang is serving a life sentence in prison.
In 2019, I tried People vs. Chad Smith for sexual molest of his stepdaughter. After lengthy deliberations, the jury hung (10 for guilt). Smith later pled guilty to sexual molest of his stepdaughter and is serving his sentence in prison.
In 2019, I tried People vs. Elhadji Mamadou Ba, a felony sexual battery case, which the jury hung on the felony charge (most in favor of a lesser sexual battery charge). He later pled guilty and was placed on probation after serving a significant period in jail.
In 2018, I tried People vs. Everett Spillard II, a case involving multiple alleged child sexual molest victims. Jury convicted on a number of charges. Mr. Spillard is serving a life sentence in prison.
In 2018, I tried People vs. Mario Alexander, a child sexual molestation case involving multiple victims. The jury convicted. Mr. Alexander is serving a life sentence in prison.
In 2018, I tried People vs. Delbert Derryberry and he was found to be a sexually violent predator. He is committed to Coalinga State Hospital.
In 2017, I tried People vs. Moises Saldana for sexual molest of his daughter. He pled guilty after she testified. He is now serving a life sentence in prison.
In 2017, I tried, with my colleague, Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Schaffer, People vs. Brandon Bemis, for sexual molest of a little neighbor girl. The jury convicted. Mr. Bemis was sentenced to prison.
In 2017, I tried People vs. David L. Boardman, and he was found to be a sexually violent predator. He is committed to Coalinga State Hospital.
In 2016, I tried People vs. Richard Stobaugh alleging he is a sexually violent Predator. The jury found beyond a reasonable doubt that he is a sexually violent predator. Mr. Stobaugh is committed to Coalinga State Hospital.
In 2016, I tried People vs. Barry Sanford for sexual molest of an autistic boy. The jury convicted. Mr. Sanford is serving his lengthy (20+ years) prison sentence.
In 2015, I tried People vs. Steven Richards, for first degree burglary after he was caught climbing through a young woman’s upper level bedroom window with a hammer in his hand during early morning hours. After lengthy deliberations the jury hung (11 for guilt, 1 for not guilty). The juror who did not vote guilty later shared she did not want to “ruin” the life of Mr. Richards with a conviction and prison. Mr. Richards later pled guilty and was placed in the Drug Court Program as a term of his felony supervised probation.
Earlier Trials of my 20 plus years career…
My first trial was a DUI and resisting peace officer case involving an Arcata resident, Duane Willfong, who refused to comply with directives of peace officers after he was pulled over on suspicion of driving while under the influence. Mr. Willfong had prior experience with DUI investigations and refused to participate or follow basic directives such as rolling down the window of his vehicle. Defense counsel was Kenny Bareilles, and the Honorable Judge Harold Neville presided. Mr. Willfong was convicted of the resisting arrest charge, but not for the DUI. In preparation for the trial, I experienced my first formal meeting with multiple uniformed law enforcement officers to discuss the evidence, including proof challenges. This set the stage for years of working with a broad spectrum of witnesses and victims, the importance of always maintaining a compassionate professional relationship with solid boundaries, never losing sight of my duties and obligations as a prosecutor and respecting those of others, including peace officers.
Additional jury trials from the early years of my career include:
People vs. Lyle Elmer Moon. An unlawful possession of hypodermic needle charge for which then Deputy Public Defender Michael Eannarino put on a stellar “not my pants” defense for his client, who was on parole, subject to search and seizure terms, and caught with the needle in his pants pocket. The jury convicted.
People vs. Bruce A. Rambo. Indecent exposure charge for which involved a transient fellow exposing himself and making lewd comments to a Hoopa woman who was alone walking home from the Post Office. This was my first sex offense trial. The jury convicted.
Another trial I clearly recall, but do not recall the name of the defendant is a DUI trial that proceeded in December 2002, just about a month prior to Paul Gallegos was sworn into office as District Attorney and became my new boss. Mr. Gallegos was defense counsel. The jury convicted.
In 2004, I tried two defendants for stabbing a young man in the restroom at the Bayshore Mall. This was a challenging case in light of potential criminal street gang affiliations and prosecution witness intimidation issues, a defense of cross-racial ID’s (although the victim was of the same race as his assailants some of the witnesses were not), use of interpreters, and two experienced defense attorneys represented. The jury convicted. The defendants were sentenced to prison.
I was the Juvenile Justice prosecutor for approximately 13 years of my career, during which time I tried multiple burglary (first & second degree), assault with a deadly weapon, child molest, assault & battery, rape, domestic violence, felony assault, robbery, shooting at an inhabited dwelling and sexual battery cases. Although juvenile matters are court trials, the same burden of proof, beyond a reasonable doubt, applies as with adult criminal trials. Nearly all juvenile court trials resulted in adjudications (equivalent of conviction), but the real challenge was the disposition (sentencing) hearings. Unlike adult offenders, juveniles have very lengthy evidentiary disposition hearings designed to achieve the best rehabilitative outcome for the offender.
For my 20 year career, I only recall one acquittal, and I remember it quite well. It is from my early years as Juvenile Justice Prosecutor. The case involved a little girl who disclosed abuse to her mom close in time to when it happened. Her mom, sadly struggling with addiction issues, failed to take any action. However, a few months later, she took her daughter to a doctor for her well-child exam for admission into Kindergarten, and at the exam asked the doctor to examine her daughter for signs of sexual activity. Under the law this should have been reported, however it was not. Months passed with nothing happening. However, shortly before winter break, the little girl disclosed to a school employee who then made the mandated child abuse report triggering a criminal investigation. The child was interviewed by a forensic child interviewer of the Child Abuse Services Team and disclosed sexual abuse. She provided detailed information, including where in his bedroom the teenage suspect kept his “man jelly”. A search warrant was conducted and K-Y lubricant was found in the drawer just as the little girl described. She had not been to the teen’s residence since the alleged abuse occurred. Ultimately, the case went to trial. The little girl testified with great detail. At trial the doctor accepted responsibility for her failure, explained she was unaware of her mandated reporter duties having recently moved from out of state and begun practicing in California. However, ultimately the court found there was not sufficient evidence to prove the teen committed the alleged offenses and he was acquitted. I will never forget the experience. Some adults inexplicably failed the child. Lessons were learned. I will never forget the little girl…..
Thank you HC for your inquiry. Please feel free to learn more about my candidacy at my website: staceyeads4da.com.