The scene of the crime was the upscale Park Place Apartments, alongside shady Orr Creek bridge at 621 North State Street. The time was 2:30 the sunny afternoon of October 8th.
At this address, a Ukiah mailman, Ezequiel Gamez, was going about his rounds delivering the mail when a parolee let out of prison on “an early kick" ran up from behind Gamez and hit him hard enough to kill him.
On a video shown in court, Gamez is seen putting up the mail when Robert Nelson Myers rushed up behind him and delivers an overhand blow to the back of the mail carrier’s head, which knocked Gamez to the ground like he’d been pole-axed.
Myers then ran off towards the nearby Ford Street project which, since Propositions 47 and 57 have gone into effect, has turned this neighborhood into a kind of unfenced, unguarded, unmonitored prison yard, thanks to the lib-lab voters who were led to believe the prisons were full of harmless pot smokers.
Kelly Washburn, the apartment manager, saw the sneak attack on closed-circuit video camera, and ran out to see where the attacker went. Washburn followed Myers, calling 911 en route, and soon met with Officer Matt Edwards of the Ukiah Police Department, and told Edwards what he had just witnessed.
Washburn got in the patrol car with Officer Edwards and they drove by the Ford Street facility where Washburn pointed Myers out, saying, “That’s the guy.”
When they got back to the apartments, the mailman’s boss was telling the injured man to go to the hospital and get checked out. Also, Officer Kevin Murray was there. Murray took over the investigation.
Defense attorney Al Kubanis, tasked with defending the indefensible, asked Officer Edwards if the mailman was still bleeding, and Edwards said no, so apparently the mailman had had time to get to his feet and get himself cleaned up.
Kubanis: “Isn’t it true that Mr. Gamez never at any time saw any weapon in my client’s hand?”
Poor Gamez, of course, attacked from behind, saw nothing. The prison yard punk ran up and hit the mailman from behind as hard as he could. For all Gamez knew he'd been hit by satellite debris.
Edwards: “Yes, that’s correct.”
Deputy DA Josh Rosenfeld: “What did Gamez say happened?”
Edwards: “He said he was prepping the mailboxes and the next thing he knew he was on the ground.”
Kubanis: “Objection, hearsay, your honor.”
Judge David Nelson: “Overruled.”
Mr. Rosenfeld called Officer Kevin Murray to the stand: “Did you speak to Mr. Washburn?”
Murray: “Yes, I did. He told me he’d been observing a male and female who appeared to be arguing on the video surveillance screen when the mailman arrived and opened the mailboxes in preparation to delivering the day’s mail. He then observed a subject rush up behind the mailman and strike him with his hand.”
Rosenfeld: “Are these apartments located directly in front of the Ford Street Project by the railroad tracks?”
Murray: “Yes, that’s correct.”
Rosenfeld: “What did Mr. Washburn do?”
Murray: “He left his office and walked to the couple and watched them leave, then followed on foot — calling 911 as he walked.”
Nelson: “Which one did he see strike the mail carrier?”
Murray: “He said it was the male, Mr. Myers.”
Nelson: “And he identified Myers as the one?”
Murray: “Yes, he did.”
Kubanis: “This Mr. Washburn, he’s the apartment manager?”
Murray: “Yes, sir.”
Kubanis: “And he was in his office observing the video screen of the surveillance cameras?”
Murray: “Yes, sir.”
Kubanis: “Did you later observe the video footage?”
Murray: “Yes, sir.”
Kubanis: “From that were you able to determine where the surveillance camera was mounted?”
Murray: “Yes, sir. It was located overhead of the mailbox receptacles.”
Kubanis: “Did you observe where Mr. Gamez was standing?”
Murray: “Yes, sir. He actually showed me on the video and he was facing away from the defendant.”
Kubanis: “Did Mr. Washburn tell you how long the argument lasted?”
Murray: “No, sir, but I believe I saw a brief portion of it on the video. He showed me the people arguing and then we watched the crime unfold.”
Kubanis: “And Mr. Washburn identified the person who threw the blow as Mr. Myers?”
Murray: “Yes, sir.”
Kubanis: “But he observed that there was no weapon in my client’s hand?”
Murray: “I don’t know that he specifically said there wasn’t one.”
Kubanis: “Was the video of sufficient quality that you could tell if he held one?”
Murray: “I did not see anything but a full-body, overhand right punch to the back of the head.”
Kubanis: “So other than the fist, no weapon, and only one blow?” (Myers would get even more time if he'd hit the mailman with anything that could be construed as a weapon.)
Kubanis: “Did Mr. Washburn hear any of the words — did he know what the argument was about?”
Kubanis: “Did you identify the female subject?”
Murray: “Yes, it was Kiana Flores.”
Kubanis: “Was she interviewed?”
Murray: “Yes, she was.”
Kubanis: “Did you ask what they were arguing about?”
Kubanis: “Did she volunteer to tell you?”
Murray: “No. I didn’t interview her, that was done by another officer.”
Kubanis: “Did Mr. Gamez go to the ground after he was struck by the blow?”
Murray: “Yes he did.”
Kubanis: “How long did he stay down?”
Murray: “I don’t know, but he appeared to be very disoriented, wobbly, swaying — everything in my experience consistent with someone being very disoriented from a severe blow to the head.”
Rosenfeld: “As to your experience, Officer Murray, did you serve seven years in the US Army?”
Murray: “Yes, sir.”
Rosenfeld: “And did that service include three combat deployments?”
Murray: “Yes, sir.”
Rosenfeld: “Fair to say you’ve seen plenty of punches and the repercussions thereof?”
Murray: “I’ve seen plenty, yes.”
Rosenfeld then played the video of the attack and even the other prisoners sitting in the dock looked disgusted at the vicious and cowardly act that went down on the screen.
Judge Nelson bound Myers over for trial and surely some plea will be entered before then to put this guy back where he belongs — unless we vote for a Prop 67 and turn out all violent felons.
There had been some tension bordering on the unprofessional between Deputy DA Rosenfeld and Al Kubanis so I asked Al what the problem was — Josh had already given me his version — that Al somehow always seemed to infer Josh was doing something unethical. Al said that wasn’t what he meant, but Josh had never been a defense attorney and didn’t understand that sometimes you have to go through with a prelim so your client can see the evidence against him.
This is true enough from what reporters see. Some of these defendants are such legal scholars and so cocky they think they can get away with slugging a mailman in the back of the head, or any other nasty thing they’ve a mind to pull. They honestly think if they can get up on the stand and lie nobody will be the wiser. So without the prelim, to see how much evidence there really is against them, they think their court-appointed lawyer “sold me down the river,” when forced to take the best deal they can hope to get in a plea bargain.
I recall once when the corrections officers were loading the infamous Michael France on the elevator to take him back to the pen, he turned and barked loudly that he’d been railroaded by his lawyer into yet another conviction, poor boy.
Keith Faulder was standing there as well and he answered, “Yes, but you laid the track yourself, Michael.”
*Early kicks were in place before Prop 57 was voted in to law, but now it's gonna get worse.
According to the DA's felon disposition list, Robert Myers was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon with great bodily injury in in December of 2011. He was supposed to serve 85% of a 72 months sentence. 85% of 72 months is just over 5 years. So if he was in prison from December of 2011 for five years or so he probably got out around February of 2016. It didn't take him long to do it again.
Myers is listed as a Native American, 5 feet 6, 205 pounds. gang-banger. Possibly a motivation for his out of the blue assault on the mail carrier is the pure viciousness innate in about twenty percent of the prison population.
Here's Glenda's rewritten presser for the Press Democrat on the 2010 incident that got tough guy Myers sent to prison the first time.
Knife-wielding intruder attacks Ukiah poker players GLENDA ANDERSON THE PRESS DEMOCRAT | March 29, 2010 A drunken knife-wielding man assaulted a group of Ukiah poker players early Saturday morning, stabbing one of them, police reported Monday. The wounded man was taken to the hospital with a non-life threatening wound to the upper body, said Ukiah Police Capt. Justin Wyatt. His friends restrained the man they identified as the attacker, Robert Myers, 19, of Redwood Valley, and held him until police arrived, Wyatt said. Myers, whom the group described as a stranger, entered the home shortly after 1 a.m., waving a knife and making references to gang affiliation, Wyatt said. None of the half-dozen people playing cards are believed to have gang affiliations, Wyatt said. But Myers does and apparently, in his highly intoxicated state, believed one of the card players did also, he said. Myers had a casual conversation with several of the card players outside the Waugh Lane residence several hours before the attack but the conversation did not yield a motive for the attack, Wyatt said. Myers was booked into the Mendocino County jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, displaying a weapon in a threatening manner and committing crimes as a gang member.
Long story short, this guy is real dumb and dumber yet when he's drunk.