Court Watch Coverage: Ellis May Face Trial Again, Marsh Granted Access to Family

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Yolo-Count-Court-Room-600By Kaiti Curry

Kevin Ellis, a man recently convicted of molesting two preadolescent boys, may be facing trial again since one of the jurors assigned to his trial spoke about the case to an unauthorized person. Depending on what was said between the juror and the other person, there may be grounds for a mistrial. Consequently, Joseph Gocke for the defense will be filing a motion for a new trial by January 3, 2014. The people will file their motion simultaneously. Gocke, has made numerous attempts to contact the juror, but he has been unsuccessful. Jeff Gormon, for the people, plans to subpoena both the juror and the neighbor he or she talked to to question them. An evidentiary hears will be help January 10, 2014.

Marsh Granted More Access to Family

By Kaiti Curry

At a status conference on Friday December 6th, Daniel Marsh, the 16 year old boy charged with a double homicide, was granted more access to his family. Judge Mock authorized Marsh another contact visit with each of his parents in addition to one non-contact visit wish his sister so long as the juvenile detention center approves.

Another status conference will be held the beginning of January 2014 to assign another judge to the case. Judge Fall, to whom the case was originally assigned, has be recused.

Jonas on Trial For Possession

By Kaiti Curry

Cheryl Jonas, was arrested on January 12, 2013 and now faces a jury of her peers for transporting and selling a controlled substance, and possession of a controlled substance, both of which are felony charges. On Thursday morning, December the 5th, the jury heard from the Officer Raymond, the arresting officer.

Jonas was arrested after being pulled over when a patrol car saw her driving down the wrong side of the street. Though the defendant offered Officer Raymond an apology and an explanation, he was suspicious of her behavior. She would not make eye contact with him, was stuttering, and looked frequently at her right leg. Between the drivers seat and the center console, roughly two inches of a plastic bag peaked up, which Officer Raymond, believed contained drugs.

He called for a second patrol car which also brought a K9 unit. Once the second officer arrived, they asked Jonas and the passenger to get out of the car. Both were patted down, though no drugs were found on their persons. However, Jonas would not consent to a blood test, saying that it would just show drugs in her system and she admitted to using methamphetamine twice a week. Jonas explained to him that she snorts methamphetamine and that it “hurts like hell,” officer Raymond said.

Officer Raymond also explained that Jonas did however consent to her car being searched. In the plastic bag that had prompted officer Raymond to search the car, was methamphetamine. Afterwards, the K9 unit was sent through the car, he explained. On cross examination, Raymond explained that he did not find any paraphernalia or residue of methamphetamine in the vehicle. Ms. Jonas was arrested anyways based on the finding of methamphetamine in the plastic bag. Though, officer Raymond did not cite her for driving on the wrong side of the street. By the end of his shift at 2am, on Jan 13, 2013, officer Raymond had written, filed, and gotten his report approved.

On Friday morning December 6th, the jurors heard closing arguments. The defense attacked the validity of the officer’s testimony. “How can the discrepancies between the officers report, the video, and his testimony be reconciled?” the defense asked. The officer’s report, the defense attorney argues, lacks key details in his report. Furthermore, it does not make sense to rely on the officers testimony that the defendant snorts meth. Why didn’t the officer ask the defendant to write down her statement or why did he record it, the defense questioned.

The people responded by explaining that technology malfunctions all the time leaving juries to depend on police officers’s word alone. Furthermore, trials have been conducted long before microphones and patrol car cameras were invented. Additionally, the discrepancies are not as big a deal as the defense makes them out to be. Officer Raymond is honest, she says. Raymond was willing to admit when he doesn’t know something or if he doesn’t remember something she points out.

If a verdict is not reached by the end of the day Friday, December 6th, the jurors will be back the following Monday.

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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