Vanguard Court Watch Articles of the Week

  1. YouTuber ‘Meet Kevin’ Paffrath Fails to Get Alias on Ballot; Judge Rules ‘Meet Kevin’ is a ‘Brand’ and Can’t be on Governor Recall Ballot – By Alexander Ramirez


SACRAMENTO, CA – YouTuber Kevin “Meet Kevin” Paffrath was in Sacramento County court versus Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber to attempt to argue for his alias – “Meet Kevin” – to be listed on the recall ballot for California governor 2021.


Since the petitioner listed in this court case is, “Meet Kevin Paffrath for California Governor 2021,” arguments over whether or not the petitioner is an elector or a committee arose and whether the petition is available for writ of mandate.


The case opened with Paffrath’s attorney, Matthew Hoesly, arguing the petitioner is the party of interest, and therefore the petition should be able to proceed. To suit the court, he suggested making an amendment to the petition to allow it to proceed and fit with the time constraints of the election.


This amendment would also allow Paffrath to attend and represent himself in court.


Whether or not the court has jurisdiction to attend to this matter, it did agree to hear oral arguments on the matter and will rule the same with or without jurisdiction. Although the court added that its current stance on the petition is that “Meet Kevin” is considered a registered trademark per the petitioner’s own words and violates ballot regulations.


He said Paffrath included “Meet Kevin” as a name on the ballot and not as a ballot designation.

Hoesly also argued there’s a difference between a brand and a nickname, but everyone can have a brand. He used Larry King and Donald Trump as an example of this.


Click here to read the rest of this article.


  1. Woman Facing Charges for Playing Country Music in Apartment – Judge Refuses

to Dismiss Case and Transfer Matter to Another Court – By Stephanie Boulos


WOODLAND, CA – Surprisingly, Yolo County Superior Court Dept. 8 Judge Peter Williams denied defendant Christina Melendez’s motion to dismiss her case this week—the misdemeanor for playing country music on a summer day last year.


What was supposed to be a pretrial turned into being a motion to dismiss when Deputy Public Defender Katy Rogers requested the case be tossed in the public interest.


Judge Williams asked the PD, “I have to be honest with you Ms. Rogers, what, other than it’s a small matter, what are the grounds for just dismissing it?”


The public defender responded by citing Penal Code section 1385, the furtherance of justice: “I think the fact that she has already spent time in jail for an infraction that the maximum fine is $250 dollars, that she would be entitled to credit towards that time.”


Rogers continued on by saying that at this point having a court trial for this infraction would just be excessive and cited another penal code that requires the balancing of the rights of the defendant and the interest of the people.


When the public defender began to cite the pointless cost of the court trial, the judge immediately cut her off and questioned how the cost of the court trial for this case would be different than how every other infraction is treated in court.

Click here to read the rest of this article.


  1. Victim Survives Being Shot 13 Times in Own Home – Testifies at Preliminary

Hearing for Alleged Shooter – By Lois Yoo


ALAMEDA, CA – A victim testified here in Alameda County Superior Court last week that he was shot a total of 13 times in the middle of making dinner in his trailer home, and that Daniel Louis Araiza, at his preliminary hearing here, is the one who shot him.


On Dec. 7, 2020, Araiza allegedly shot the victim four times in his right arm, two in his left arm, six in his left leg, and once in his buttock or hip area, and is charged with 11 counts that include inflicting great bodily injury, use of a firearm, and attempted murder.


The victim stated that Araiza “arrived, he put his hood on, and started shooting. Bam, bam, bam.” The victim identified the shooter as a Latino man with black hair, a skinny build, and a height of 5’ 5” or 5’ 6″.


The shooter was not wearing a pandemic face mask and did not put his jacket hood on until he got to the crime scene, said the victim who claimed he had a clear view of the shooter’s face. The victim raised his arms up and then covered his chest area to protect himself.


Defense Attorney Rico Tagliaferri accused the victim of sharing that information about putting his arms up to his chest for the very first time to the prosecutor and an officer in an interview right before the hearing.

Click here to read the rest of this article.


  1. Lack of Black Jurors, Implicit Racial Bias Focus in Jury Selection – By Ned Meiners


SAN FRANCISCO, CA – In San Francisco County Superior Court, Dept. 21, Wednesday, Public Defender Kleigh Hathaway’s client, Duane West, who is African American, is accused of sexual assault—but none of the 24 jurors under questioning at the hearing were African American.


West was arrested on charges of sexual assault in 2014 and has been waiting seven years for his day in court.

But this glaring racial disparity makes it difficult for him to be seen by “a jury of his peers.”


Hathaway, who acknowledged she is white, began her questioning of potential jurors candidly. She observed that they had assembled a “whitish, tannish jury,” but not a single African American juror. In her opinion, race was the “big old elephant in the room.”


She asked the potential jurors to examine their “implicit bias” and “unconscious assumptions” around race by engaging in an exercise. She requested that they imagine they were walking down the street and see two African American men approaching and to note what feelings or assumptions arise. Then she requested they repeat the exercise with Asian or white men and note how their feelings may change.

Click here to read the rest of this article.


  1. Defendant Sentenced for Voluntary Manslaughter of Boyfriend; Family Impact Statements Not Forgiving, Also Target Police for ‘Lack of Compassion’ – By John Arceno


VENTURA, CA – Mary Eugenia Karacas appeared in Ventura County Superior Court Wednesday, just about five years after she allegedly murdered her longtime boyfriend—he was found dead by the new homeowners of the property that the couple sold in Simi Valley.


Karacas was in court for sentencing—she was found guilty for voluntary manslaughter as well as the alleged production of great bodily injury against her deceased partner.


Per the request of the victim’s family, Deputy District Attorney John Barrick read four victim impact statements, all of which condemned Karacas for the victim’s murder in 2016.


“The trauma of his death and the feelings that entails just don’t go away. They’re not like feelings one experiences with a normal death,” one of the victim’s nieces wrote. “We haven’t been allowed that normal grief process.”


DDA Barrick continued to read the frustrations that the victim’s niece had toward the police department and the homeowners’ association, calling their lack of compassion “numbing” as their family was scrambling to find “answers to lay (their) uncle to rest.


Click here to read the rest of this article.

About The Author

Koda is an incoming senior at UC Berkeley, majoring in Philosophy and minoring in Rhetoric. He is from Ventura, CA.

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