Witnesses Testify on Green’s Parental Responsibility

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YoloCourt-26By Christina D. and Raya Zahdeh

Through further witness testimonies on August 23, 2016, in Department 14, defendant Samantha Green’s past commitment to prenatal care were called into question. First, seven stipulations were read to the jury, instructing them to be accepted as fact without testimony. During her pregnancy, Green had undergone six separate urine drug screening tests, from the first in June 2014 to the last in February 2015. Out of those six screens, she tested positive for THC (the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) two times, and for amphetamine/methamphetamine four times. Justice, the baby, tested positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine on February 6, 2015.

Then the prosecution called on a total of eight witnesses from various branches of Kaiser Permanente clinics to testify on their interactions and prenatal appointments with Green. Green was first in contact with Kaiser medical personnel on June 27, 2014, when she called in with suspicions of pregnancy. Over the phone call, Green admitted to using marijuana on a daily basis up to three months prior, and to anxiety, although she was never formally diagnosed. She visited the Kaiser in Davis on the same day to determine the length of the pregnancy at that point.

After her first visit, Green missed follow-up appointments in mid- to late-July, despite attempts to contact her through three voicemails and a mailed (and later returned) certified letter. Green eventually visited the Kaiser clinic in Vacaville for “what was supposed to be her second prenatal appointment” on September 24, 2014; the second visit usually falls around 11 weeks of pregnancy. The gynecologist testified that Green was not late to the appointment, but it could be considered inadequate since there typically should be 10-12 prenatal visits. Green spoke with that same doctor, who ordered a toxicology screen. Although Green denied drug use, the test came back positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine.

The next day, on September 25, 2014, Green visited Kaiser in Fair Oaks. She took an AOQ (Adult Outcomes Questionnaire) test (depression screening questionnaire) and refused medication and classes despite scoring 19, a moderate score. She also had a physical examination, was found at 21 weeks pregnant to be gestational, and was scheduled for a formal ultrasound (normally conducted at 20 weeks.) Green also elected to do a cystic fibrosis lab test, which is normally recommended if both the mother and father are white Caucasians. She was encouraged to keep her prenatal appointments.

Pregnant for 38 weeks, Green again visited Kaiser in Davis on January 20, 2015. She had not visited for the past four months, and had told the gynecologist it was because she was left with no transportation when her car broke down. Green took another drug test and tested negative for THC and amphetamine/methamphetamine. She was prescribed medication for her STD (sexually transmitted disease) condition that could present a danger to the child. She was also tested for gestational diabetes.

Green also received on the same day video counseling for mood and substance abuse during pregnancy. She was assured confidentiality unless the therapist, as a mandated reporter, suspected child or elder abuse; reports are not made if only adults are involved in drug use. Green had said there was no drug use at home and that she hadn’t used drugs for three to four months, but talked about using marijuana weekly as needed for sleep. Green denied prenatal services providing food, chemical dependency recovery, diapers, clothing, baby formula, etc. The therapist did not report to CPS (child protective services).

Green had reported that she was not taking her medication because she was not feeling well and was unable to tolerate it. However, she was strongly advised to take the medication due to her STD condition, and was given a separate prescription to help with nausea. On February 5, 2015, Green was counseled for a Caesarean section birth. She chose a C-section knowing all the risks to herself, and even though there is only a one percent to five percent chance of her STD transmission through vaginal birth. Green had not been taking her medication, having lost her bottle of pills. She also tested positive for a drug screen.

After the C-section, Green again tested positive for a drug screen on February 6, 2015, and was advised not to breastfeed. Justice was born a healthy baby despite the drugs in his system, was put in the NICU (newborn intensive care unit), and CPS was contacted. Justice was discharged on February 10, 2015 and was expected back one to two days later for a pediatrician appointment. Green missed that appointment, but visited Kaiser on February 13, 2015.

Thomas Hayes, a detective with the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, testified then as to what happened after Justice was born. On the morning of February 23, 2015, Green and her boyfriend had visited California Check Cashing Stores, Romeys Gas plaza, and a Chevron gas station, all in Woodland. Hayes had visited all three places for confirmation of Green and her boyfriend’s cars and surveillance camera video, clips of which Deputy District Attorney Robert Gorman played during the witness testimony. Hayes testified that Green was found on February 24, while her baby was found the next day. Hayes was also present for the investigative interview of Green’s boyfriend on February 25, but could not recall whether it was said that the baby was with the couple on February 23.


Afternoon Session

by Raya Zahdeh

The People v Samantha Green trial resumed on August 23, 2016, in Department 14, Judge David Rosenberg presiding. Ms. Green is being charged with second-degree murder of her infant son, Justice Rees. Public Defender Tracie Olson is representing Ms. Green, and Deputy DAs Ryan Couzens and Robert Gorman are representing the prosecution.

Detective Greg Ford of the Woodland Police Department was the first witness to give his testimony during this afternoon’s portion of the trial. Deputy Ford was on duty on February 24, 2015, when he was notified of the “missing person” report for Ms. Green and baby Justice.

During his testimony, Dep. Ford identified a man identified as “DF,” a civilian who reported the location of the white Chevy Traverse SUV that turned out to be the vehicle Ms. Green was driving before she and Justice had gone missing. DF recalled seeing a similar vehicle in the “missing person” flier, and checked the flier again to confirm that the license plates matched before reporting the vehicle to the police.

Dep. Ford responded and eventually met with DF near where he found Ms. Green’s car parked on a street in Knights Landing. There, Deputy Ford interviewed DF and took his statement in response to the police report.

Afterward, Dep. Ford stated that he quickly glanced inside the vehicle without touching it or opening any doors. He recalled seeing a child’s car seat in the back, with its front side facing the rear of the vehicle.

The next witness to take the stand was Darryl James Turner, a physician’s assistant at the Woodland Memorial Hospital.

According to the testimony that he gave, Ms. Green was one of the patients Mr. Turner saw on the morning of February 25, 2015, the day after she and baby Justice had gone missing. He stated that Ms. Green was seeking treatment because she was dehydrated and had been receiving intravenous fluids at the hospital that same morning.

Prior to receiving medical treatment, Ms. Green was found wandering around the portion of the Sacramento River located in Knights Landing before the police brought her to the Woodland hospital. At the hospital, she complained of generalized body pain and difficulty with movement of the extremities. She specifically felt pain in her wrists, ankles, and legs, and in other joints as well. Ms. Green stated that she had not fallen or experienced any trauma, but could not recall when and how the pain started. She also informed Mr. Turner that she had used methamphetamine about 10 days prior to being admitted to the hospital.

Mr. Turner stated that the results of Ms. Green’s urine toxicology test showed that she tested negative for marijuana and positive for the presence of methamphetamine. He also noted that she did not give him many details as to how she ended up in the condition she was in, other than stating that she had been sexually assaulted and had scratch marks on her skin from the bushes and thorns near the river.  After conducting a skin examination, Mr. Turner confirmed that Ms. Green had scratches all over her body, in areas such as her legs, stomach, and back. She did not appear to have any serious injury other than tenderness in joint movement, and he described her feet as being dirty and callused, indicating that she had been walking barefoot outdoors for an extensive amount of time.

Mr. Turner further stated that he was not yet aware that baby Justice had died or that Frank Rees was her husband. Ms. Green seemed most concerned about getting in contact with Frank while she was being seen at the hospital.

After various medical exams and questions, Ms. Green was diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis (the break down and release of muscle cells into the blood stream, due most commonly to exertion of muscle tissue and possibly due to hypothermia or drug abuse), poly-substance abuse, and methamphetamine abuse.

Deputy Shawn Rosner of the Placer County Sheriff’s Department was the next witness called to give testimony for the case. Deputy Rosner was assisted by Jet, his German Shepherd K-9 partner, on the day of the incident. Jet’s training is specialized in patrol protection, tracking (human and narcotic odors, footprints, etc.), and obedience.

During his witness testimony, Dep. Rosner stated that he was called out to Knights Landing and arrived at the particular location on the evening of February 24, 2015. He received a report informing him that there had been a missing two-week-old infant in that area. Upon his arrival, he noticed law enforcement vehicles, fire vehicles, and a personal vehicle (later identified as Ms. Green’s SUV) at the scene.

Eventually, Dep. Rosner signaled Jet to conduct a search of the interior and exterior of Ms. Green’s vehicle in order to obtain information and gain familiarity on various scents and odors, which the K-9 can recall for future search and detection purposes.

Afterward, Dep. Rosner gave Jet a “foot-track” search command, at which point Jet began searching and tracking any familiar scents in the nearby area. Within a few minutes, Jet showed a significant behavior change and led Dep. Rosner into an area that was heavy with vegetation and surrounded one part of the river. Although no humans (specifically, baby Justice’s body) were found, Jet did eventually lead Dep. Rosner to a baby diaper bag in the area.

The final witness to take the stand during today’s hearing was John Knapp, director of Valley Toxicology Inc. Mr. Knapp gave a shorter testimony and mainly went over the results of Ms. Green’s lab tests.

Mr. Knapp stated that on February 25, 2015, he conducted blood-alcohol and drug content lab exams for Ms. Green. The results showed that the alcohol content in her blood was zero. However, the sample contained acetone, a chemical that is not typically found in the blood under normal conditions. Mr. Knapp did not have any information as to why Ms. Green’s blood contained acetone, but he stated that this is usually caused by diabetes and less frequently by starvation or malnutrition. Other than being produced by the body, acetone may have been present in her blood due to ingestion of the chemical either intravenously or through the mouth.

The testimony is scheduled to continue on Wednesday, August 24, 2016, at 9 AM in Department 14.

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20 thoughts on “Witnesses Testify on Green’s Parental Responsibility”

  1. Tia Will

    It remains of interest to me that we have the ongoing trial of Ms.Green regarding her lack of parental responsibility, but so far not a word ( unless I have missed some) about the “parental responsibility” of the father of baby Justice.

    Ok this is me going hyperbolic so stop reading if you like. I guess it is ok with our CPS and DA and justice system in general if the father of a baby injects meth into the mother and then chooses to leave the infant in her care as long as it is because he is going off to have sex with yet another woman.  Hmmmm…as a long term health care provider…..seems about right to me !

  2. JUSTICE4BABYJ

    Did we ever take the time to consider that Justices father Frank Rees may not have administer drugs to Samantha Green, she has in fact changed her story 8times and to find her word creditable seems absurd. I personally know that Frank is still grieving the loss of his baby and he’s just looking for answers like the rest of us. Addicts are not bad people they just make poor choices, in which they suffer the consequences. Yes Frank choose infidelity that morning and for that he was wrong and I’m sure he deals with the guilt of that poor choice everyday, but Samantha is a grown women who choose to get high knowing symptoms of her methamphetamine use while caring for her infant son. No one forced her to do that it was a choice a grown women made and the actions following her intoxication are hers to take accountability for as well as the consequences of the choices she concisely made. My point is maybe we should all try not to judge and have a little compassion for Justice Rees’s family and his father Frank Rees who is doing his best to find peace while media is out to make him look bad and the fact that he still doesn’t know what happened out there in knights Landing and why his baby didn’t come home that day. I pray that Frank Rees and Justices family get the answers they need to find some peace. I pray that Justice is served and anyone who suffers from this tragedy gets closer and Justice Taliesen R Lee Rees may rest in peace.

     

  3. Tia Will

    Justice4BabyJ

    I agree with what you have written. And I feel that if we are going to consider drug use and addiction an illness, which we should, then the same consideration that is given to Frank should also be extended to Samantha. Both parents, are in my mind, equally responsible for the well being of an infant.

  4. tj

    It will be interesting to learn who purchased the drugs Samantha used.

    And I wonder why CPS thought the Rees’ house was a safe and suitable place for Samantha?   And why did CPS not check on Samantha on a regular basis?

    1. hpierce

      Frankly, and I’m not ‘Frankly’, I don’t give a damn about either parents (they can suffer as much as the law allows)… I care about Justice [yeah, double entendre].  And hope and pray there will not be another tragedy like his one.

      This child did not ‘deserve’ to die.

      To place the blame on CPS is, IMO, chicken-s__t.

  5. Tia Will

    To place the blame on CPS is, IMO, chicken-s__t.”

    To not accept responsibility for mistaken judgment and poor monitoring is likely to make another such tragedy more rather than less likely. Of course the parents are ultimately responsible, but that does not mean that others should not learn from this event.

  6. Marina Kalugin

    and who is one to believe – one meth addict over another…

    the father over the mother

    the CPS over the mother.

    I would always believe the mother…only a very few will kill the baby regardless of anything else.

    the baby never had a chance – since both parents were meth addicts..

    he likely born an addict and not to mention the physical deformities.

    does anyone expect a meth addict to not change the story 8 times?

    does anyone actually think that justice will be served by continuing on with this nonsense.

    the mother was failed and the baby was failed…  the father is a GUY   enough said…

    I hope that ms green is acquitted and gets the help she needs and deserves.

    it is not prison…though some may blossom under the discipline and free college and so on…

    but she doesn’t need to be locked up.

    She will be haunted by the fact that her baby is dead and for the mistakes she made in that regard – for  her whole life

  7. Marina Kalugin

    heck I read an article in edit the DE  that there is an 80% revolving door in CPS in Sac….

    wow….get a clue folks…the system is broken beyond belief…

    if you are a good parent, like MamaBear, you have to flee Yolo.

    if you are a meth addict you get support ….huh????

    1. MamaBear

      Haha, yep Marina- I just read your comment. Let’s wait for the person to say that I need to be investigated to make sure I am “fit”. In the kaleidoscopic minds of some people it makes sense to entertain endless possibilities of imperfect parenting by sober, sane (or at least mostly), non-violent parents whilst placing zombified drug addicts on a wait list to be investigated (too late) for their very real abuse/endangerment of their kids. Totally legit. Yuck.

       

  8. MamaBear

    I am learning that CPS is overwhelmed with files due to their entertaining frivolous erroneous reports. So in cases of meth addicts/mental cases being sent home with children- where EMERGENCY actions are probably warranted; CPS does not have time. They are too busy chasing down good parents overseas for charges like (“emotional abuse” per extended stays in France) who have offended a judge. Or else, I have heard, “investigating” parents who opt not to vaccinate or prefer homeschooling… frivolous, subjective, erroneous cases that end up being complicated and time consuming because parents from these groups will fight to keep their kids…

    Meanwhile, crackheads, meth addicts, and mental cases (who’d probably quickly release their children into custody) are being sent home with babies and children who are, in fact, in “imminent danger”.

  9. Marina Kalugin

    my dear MamaBear,   you know just how much I support you.

    I am also supporting ms. green… the facts are bearing out  (pun may be intended) that ms.green may not have been a fit mother, but she didn’t kill her baby.

    CPS is truly one of the very worst of the gov alphabet soup 3 letter organizations…. which I have seen in action recent decades…

    fortunately, I never had any personal dealings with them…my children are grown and they were not nearly as bad back some decades ago.

    I would like to see ms green acquitted and given help to help her heal….of course, she went crazy after her baby died…what mother wouldn’t…

    I also believe, that once she is well that she file a lawsuit against CPS…and perhaps it could be a class action suit and you and the others who are truly being harassed, abused, etc could participate?

    who knows….it will be a landmark case I am sure….

     

    1. MamaBear

      I will read up on the case as soon as I have some time this weekend Marina.

      Generally it is very hard for me to be sympathetic with people who kill their kids or enable/facilitate someone else killing their kids. And I have never been able to wrap my head around any regrettable actions being blamed on drugs – drugs are bad. Did no one pay attention to the safety kids’ videos??? BUT a______s are bad too, and I have at one point dated one so…

      if I have grown from the madness in my own life this far; I am trying to be more empathetic than judgmental. I agree with you that this mother’s sobriety will probably be the “greatest” vindication of her child’s death. And as mother-child bonds go, I am guessing that were the child alive and old enough to speak, she would not want her mother punished by imprisonment. Costly to taxpayers and what is the purpose?

      So as much as I despise any role this woman may have played in the death of her baby, I get it… She needs help. We can only hope upon healing she’ll have the resilience and selflessness to apply the lost life to saving others. Truly a very sad story. Heartbreaking.

      And I do believe CPS MUST be held accountable more than they seem to be for their failures. They are spreading themselves way too thin misusing their position to infringe on the rights of “good enough” parents whilst being unavailable to act swiftly on emergency situations.

      Which is why the bs witchhunts must stop. Get out of people’s personal lives so that you can do your job – rescuing seriously endangered kids. Not abducting children being raised by parents someone dislikes or disagrees with. Good grief.

      1. Marina Kalugin

        if these cases – yours and hers …truly help some others…what you and she have lived through will not be for naught…

        many on the DV do not get a clue…yet…. I hope that more innocent lives will not be lost ….to make some of these points.

        Of course, everywhere anyone listened to the news unfold on ms green… the lines were drawn very quickly…everyone was sure she murdered that baby..

        even I was sure….for a moment…then I recalled what happened to me some years ago, what happened to other family also over a decade ago..

        there is ALWAYS more to every story…

        the prosecutors do not care about truth…sometimes the defense do not either…

        follow the money, learn the truth…

  10. MamaBear

    Thank you Marina, I’ll look them up

    I just hope/pray that this jurisdiction’s damage to my family stops with the terrorism of the past 10 months rather than progressing into any one of the tragedies set up by their last goofy orders My kids do not deserve that nor do I.

    But I wont grieve yet as we’ve still got hope. What needs grieving is this little baby from the Greene case. What a horror and unforgiveable of whomever can truly be held accountable.

  11. Marina Kalugin

    yes, MamaBear….  I hear you….and be thankful that you and the cubs are in a way better country where you are safe.

    you have such a gift for writing, I hope that you are keeping all the documentation including so much which you have shared on the DV…and that you start writing it all up….time, place, form, event…

    names and dates…every document that you sent, and all involved sent you..

    after a phone interaction, write down who said what and send them  (whomever)  an email or a letter of the nature of:

    “this is a followup to our phone conversation of   xx/xx/xx  .   It is my understanding that you said   xyz…..and I didn’t understand how you could possibly think…….whatever…..

    Ask them for a confirmation that you understood it correctly or to clarify if they meant something else…

    as a result you will have a paper trail …and it will include their own words and such..

    (although it won’t stand up in any court, I would also recommend taping all further conversations.. with any stake holders…..

    an option may be to let them know in advance by saying something like   is it okay that I tape this?   so that I can make sure I understand the instructions and the reasons and so on…?”

    if they agree, then it would stand up)

    Please discuss with attorney types on this point further as I may not be up to date on this last.

    And, decide for yourself if you would rather have permission or not….an attorney can better advise on the pros/cons…….

     

     

     

  12. MamaBear

    Thank you Marina,

    Yes I made a point early on in this ordeal (when it was clear something was really wrong) not to communicate with the DA’s office unless by email. It bothered them but I had already caught them “forgetting” things they had said/I had said etc. I have never had any problems with the law before so I was really trusting initially. I am not sure what has derailed their cause to such an extent. I have records of everything.

    I also have kept witnesses onhand at every step.

    I have no desire to sue these people because I believe it would only tax the people of the community. I just want them to leave my family alone and hopefully change their ways so that no other family experiences anything like this again. Same for Ajay Dev and Nan Hui.

    Agencies like CPS need to be pouring all their energy into making sure cases like Talamantes and Greene cease happening while they are out playing henchmen for the court while being too short staffed to address truly endangered children.

    CPS or “child welfare” is supposed to be for the welfare of the child. Placing them in a foster home until the court is happy with their mother that it feels insuted by, is not about the welfare of the children. Nevermind the emperor complex at work in any authority figure who expects a mother to put someone’s career title above the safety of their kids. Get serious.

     

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