Yolo County Wrongful Convictions – Free Event – TODAY AT 4 PM


Vanguard Court Watch presents a free event on local wrongful convictions.

Saturday, September 24 at 4 PM – 6 PM
Davis Community Church

We will have presentations on three wrongful convictions:

1. Ajay Dev

Can you imagine being convicted and sentenced to 378 years for a crime you did not commit? There was no physical evidence that a crime even took place. The accuser had a past history of perjury and often contradicted her own testimony. There were no corroborating witnesses. Her doctor, social worker, family and friends saw no signs of abuse yet she claimed to have been raped 3x per week for 5 years (750x). The accuser translated a pretext phone call from Nepali to English in which she claimed Ajay admitted to the crime. The defense’s translator did not agree. Yet Ajay has been in jail for over 7 years awaiting his appeal to reverse this wrongful conviction. It did not matter that Ajay was an upstanding citizen with a responsible job and no previous issues with the law. It did not matter that there was no evidence other than the word of his accuser. If Ajay can be wrongfully convicted and sentenced to 378 years, it can happen to anyone.

2. Greg Zielesch

In 2005 Officer Andy Stevens was killed in the line of duty. Brendt Volarvich now sits on death row. Gregory Zielesch is serving 50 years for alleged conspiracy. What doesn’t add up are the facts of the case. Brendt Volarvich now breaks his silence and gives the truth about the fateful day. A witness gives their account of what unfolded around them, and it doesn’t add up. What should have been separate trials, for multiple reasons, never were split.

3. Oscar Cervantes

Following presentations will be questions and answers.

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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  1. quielo

    “Brendt Volarvich now breaks his silence and gives the truth about the fateful day.” Is that a video? I presume he will not be there.


    Also is Cervantes the ” Halloween Homicides” guy?

  2. quielo

    Been reading on this. By his own admission Gregory Zielesch gave a gun to  Brendt Volarvich to kill someone named Shamberger. GZ also gave BV money to buy meth. BV, on his way to kill Shamberger, bought and used a lot of meth and was stopped by a cop. BV then shot/killed the cop. GZ filed an appeal that says he meant for BV to get high and kill a particular individual but unaccountably, after getting high, he killed someone else and irresponsibly left the job he was contracted to do unfinished.


    At least that was the basis for his appeal. So what is the news?





        1. hpierce

          Ahhh.. but an author has to create the character… and give it life… unless you believe Don Quixote was an actual person… maybe he was… I wasn’t there, so I don’t know…

  3. Delia .

    It’ll be interesting to read what q. comes up with. It’ll be interesting to read a retracton, apology, or perhaps see the innuendo removed from this media page altogether. Or will the innuendo remain in print on this page, so others quickly skimming this page will possibly get the (possibly) wrong idea?

    1. David Greenwald

      As I understand it, Rebecca Pina was the key witness and she gave different accounts at different times. Now Brent V. has issued some sort of statement contradicting her account.

    2. quielo



      Maybe you should read it if your skill set extends that far though I can tell that reading and thinking are undeveloped in your case.


      Stipulated Facts from the case:


      “On the way back to defendant’s house following the custody hearing, defendant told Volarvich that he could “take care of” Shamberger as payment for defendant having bailed Volarvich out of jail.   When Volarvich remarked that he “needed a piece,” defendant replied he “had that taken care of.”   Volarvich asked:  “[D]o you want Michelle done?”   Defendant said no.   Upon arriving at the house, the threesome again got high, and defendant gave Volarvich the .357 magnum Taurus revolver and $400 to pick up some more methamphetamine in Roseville.”

      1. question everything

        Again, that was Pinas statement, Zeilesch denied the hit for hire 76 times I believe it was. The whole case was founded around her statement which varied throughout the indictment and the trial.

      2. hpierce

        Wrongful convictions might decrease if a “witness” knows that ‘perjury’ in a wrongful conviction has to do the same “time” that was allotted to the wrongfully convicted…

        If a young lady who testified that a certain person sexually abused her, and that person is subsequently found factually innocent, (not advocating for using the standard for a “procedural” reversal) am thinking the one who perjured themself should do the same ‘time’, AND be subject to civil penalties as well…

        Just a thought…

        1. question everything

          very interesting idea. That would cause a person to hesitate perjuring themselves. What if the DA had them do it though? Reisig has been known twice to withhold evidence, I’m sure there is more times than we know of. We need to hold everyone accountable for not presenting the truth when it comes to someone’s life. The letter from Shamberger to the judge points to Rebecca stealing the gun, yet he didn’t allow the jury to see it

  4. question everything

    Here is the letter Shamberger wrote to the judge, but Mock didn’t allow the jury to see or hear it. The misspelling is because that is how it was written:

    Your honor sir;

    I fully beleave that Greg was going to be robbed by brendt and Becky

    1. Because Becky was going to make a xxx movie for greg in exchange for Brendts bail.

    2. Becky herself told me personally that they were going to rob him.

    3. But after bailing brendt out Greg found out becky had already robbed him the night before he slapped Becky around and brendt got pissed and went to rob him.

    4. Only when they got to Gregs people showed up.

    5. After cop was shot, she ran off, through gun, and made up murder for higher story.

    I beleave these to be the real facts. Becky fabricated murder for higher story to get out of being an accessory to murder.

    Plain and simple, no murder plot period!

    (Written)Doug Shamberger

    (signature) Doug Shamberger

    This letter was written by me and only me of my own free will. Period.

    (Written) Doug Shamberger

    (signature) Doug Shamberger


    That is the complete letter. Does that not put question in anyone’s mind?



  5. Tia Will

    OK, I’ll bite. Everyone here knows that I know nothing about the law anyway.

    Why would a judge not consider this letter a piece of evidence that the jury should be aware of ?

      1. question everything

        i never understood why judge mock didn’t let the letter be seen or heard. He did not testify because he had been stealing from Zielesch, and the cases of his own, some concerned zieleschs reporting thefts to the police. Shamberger had over 70 charges, 33 cases, and 3 trials going on while Zielesch trial was going on. Getting on the stand would have severely incriminated himself because the da would have taken advantage of it. He actually did end up testifying at the very end. Gregs lawyer was a dump truck. Gregs attorney ended up getting disbarred the following year because of other clients complaining about his unethical  practices. Today, he is an insurance salesman.

        1. David Greenwald

          I wasn’t there, but my guess is the reason why the letter was not admissible is that Shamberger wasn’t going to testify to authenticate it and lay foundation.

        2. quielo

          A letter is not a substitute for a refusal to testify or provide a deposition. The judge was right to throw it away. Can you image if everyone could just send through broken fragments of BS instead of testifying? That would be crazy. Do you really think there is any defendant in the world that cannot get someone to write a similar letter for them?


          The biggest problem with this case is that if Zeilesch had shot Doug Shamberger insted of the cop then all would be right with the world.

          1. David Greenwald

            It’s a foundation issue. However, the DA could have given him immunity to testify. Is the purpose of this to win the case or find out the truth?

        3. quielo

          “However, the DA could have given him immunity to testify. ” That was certainly a possibility though whether he would have taken it given his other cases is hard to know. Also the DA could be concerned that the other cases could be prejudiced by immunity in this one.


          It is always difficult when none of the witnesses have any credibility.

          1. David Greenwald

            Yes, but they are convicting someone on the testimony of a witness who doesn’t have credibility and in fact could have the accessory to the crime.

        4. quielo

          “Yes, but they are convicting someone on the testimony of a witness who doesn’t have credibility and in fact could have the accessory to the crime.” 

          It is difficult for a jury under this situation. I was not there at the trial but from reading what I have they may have discounted most of the testimony and placed the most weight on the actions which are provable.

  6. question everything

    Shamberger did take the stand at the end. The judge tried for nearly 15 mins to change shambergers mind about testifying. He did state that he wrote the letter. But still refused to allow the jury to hear it

  7. question everything

    Shamberger did take the stand, he testified he wrote the letter. Judge Mock tried for 15 minutes to talk Shamberger out of it. Shamberger still took stand and, validated every statement, it was in the penalty phase, but it should have been produced to the jury.

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