A few weeks ago, the Vanguard reported on the alleged treatment of Lyle Nooner, who is in custody at the Yolo County Jail awaiting trial on a variety of drug and weapons charges. During the course of his stay, he and his attorney, Michelle Spaulding, allege that he has received physical abuse at the hands of jail staff, specifically corrections officers.
The Vanguard was contacted this past weekend by Ms. Spaulding, who informed the publication that jail staff was not allowing her to visit Mr. Nooner as she attempted to prepare for trial, claiming he was refusing a visit.
On Saturday, Sheriff Ed Prieto told the Vanguard that Mr. Nooner was refusing to get dressed and insisting that he receive help. The Vanguard was informed he was evaluated by medical staff who believe he is capable of dressing himself.
The Vanguard was forwarded a letter dated July 16 from Sheriff Prieto’s secretary which states, “All allegations regarding the treatment and complaints regarding inmate Lyle Nooner are being investigated, however at this time in the investigation none of these allegations have been able to be found valid.”
Ms. Spaulding, who is getting conflicting stories from jail staff, is concerned about the well-being of her client. She is also skeptical of claims that he is refusing to see legal counsel and others.
She has taken steps to legally remedy this with a notice of order to show cause set for Thursday morning at 8:30 in Department 10 before Judge Janene Beronio.
In her statement of facts she notes that on five dates, either she or paralegal Christen Rogers have been denied professional attorney visitation with the defendant.
On July 13, 2018, Christen Rogers was denied access to the defendant. Ms. Spaulding writes: “She was kept waiting in the attorney visit room for over an hour and then told by YCSD Sergeant Winneker that the defendant had refused the visit.”
On July 13, 2018, Michelle Spaulding was denied access to the defendant. Ms. Spaulding writes in her motion: “She was kept waiting in the attorney visit room for over an hour before being told by YCSD Sergeant Winneker first that the defendant refused the visit and then that the defendant would not comply with the correctional deputies’ directions. She left the jail and waited in the parking lot for the defendant to be made available.”
On July 14, 2018, in the early hours of the morning Michelle Spaulding called and spoke with YCSD Sergeant Winneker “who advised her that she would not be allowed to visit the defendant and could not tell her when she might be able to visit.”
Later on July 14, Michelle Spaulding arrived at the jail to visit the defendant. “She was kept waiting in the attorney visit room for over an hour before being told by YCSD Deputy Cuevas that the defendant had refused the visit. When challenged about this alleged refusal, Deputy Cuevas said that the defendant could not dress himself, the correctional deputies could not help him to dress, even though he had asked for help, and so they could not bring him out.”
Later on July 14, 2018, “Michelle Spaulding managed to speak by telephone with the defendant. He told her that he had not been advised by the correctional deputies that she was at the jail to visit him on July 13, 2018. He told her that on July 13, 2018, and again on July 14, the correctional deputies had insisted that before he could meet with his attorney he had to get into a jump suit, that they were aware that he could not get into the jump suit without assistance because of an injured leg, and had denied him that assistance, and hence the cancellation of the attorney visit. Defendant has never been made to wear this jumpsuit previous to July 13, 2018, because of his inability to wear it over his leg.”
On July 15, 2018, Christen Rogers arrived at the jail to visit the defendant and “was denied access because it was past regular hours, and she ‘technically (isn’t) an attorney.’”
Ms. Spaulding points out in her motion that the paralegal was authorized on July 12 to visit the defendant.
Finally, on July 16, 2018, Christen Rogers went to the jail to visit the defendant. “She was denied a contact visit and told that only a non-contact visit would be possible. She was then told by Deputy Wilson that the defendant had rejected the visit because it would be conducted in a non-confidential attorney/client privileged setting.”
On June 25, the Vanguard reported that Mr. Nooner, 58, was originally arraigned on December 30, 2016, on a five-count felony complaint including possession for sale of meth and heroin, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Two of the counts were dismissed based on lack of Yolo County jurisdiction.
According to his attorney, he had received roughly five significant beatings during the 16 months or so he has been at the Yolo County Jail, most of them because he talked back to a guard. And she has reported that his health has deteriorated to the point where he can no longer walk unassisted and his hand has permanent damage.
—David M. Greenwald reporting