Desperado Deal Drama

Monday morning, after three days of negotiations (and it is with studied reluctance that I’ve not said “intense negotiations”) the District Attorney has crafted a deal with the three Bay Area desperadoes who robbed a Willits pharmacy for a cache of Oxycodone (synthetic heroin) and several vials of pure, operating room-grade morphine, and then led […]

Salt & Foam

Surprising things happen at the courthouse. You may leave a crowded courtroom, to make room for a jury being picked in the morning, and come back in the afternoon, expecting the trial of “The One and Only” (as he styles himself in his Letters to the Editor) Michael France to have finally gotten underway, only […]

Sparing Silverman

As the courtroom fell idle awaiting prisoner Jacob Silverman to be transported from the jail, and as the estimated time of arrival came and went, the conversation of the court officers having somehow got started on the urban legend of underground tunnels below the courthouse and other buildings in the downtown area, Judge John Behnke […]

Jury Duty

I was called to jury duty on a civil matter in Judge Jeanine Nadel’s court last week. The matter of Masingale v. FCA US LLC wherein Mr. Richard Masingale of Fort Bragg was suing Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge, etc. and the Sport dealership in Fort Bragg over a big Dodge truck he’d bought there and wasn’t […]

Mr. Nice Guy Goes Away

The judgment and sentencing of Michael Blahut at the Ukiah Courthouse last Thursday was attended with such a sense of joie de vivre and so much promise of well-earned respite from those of us who have come to know the quintessential “nice guy,” that it almost seemed like a minor holiday, kind of an April […]


Judge Faulder invited your trusty correspondent into his chambers last week for a little discussion on Objectivity In The Press, opening with the White Queen’s Gambit: “Your writing is delightful, Bruce, just delightful. I’d much rather read your stuff than the objective reporting in other newspapers like the Press Democrat or the Daily Journal.” Sorry, […]

Tai Abreu Goes High Profile

Last week all the principal players at the courthouse, that is the presiding magistrate, Judge Ann Moorman, the District Attorney, David Eyster, and the Public Defender, Jeffrey Aaron, all got in on the act to decide the fate of Tai Abreu, whose plight has been thoroughly examined and reported in this newspaper for neigh on […]

Hoyle v. Ukiah’s Bike Thieves

The Public Defenders were in a collective snit, a common fit of indignation, a united sense of outrage against that perennial evildoer (to the underclass), that legendary Man From U.N.C.L.E. (UNderCover Law Enforcement), Ukiah Police Sergeant Peter Hoyle.  “What’s he done this time — busting skateboarders for roach-clips again?”  “On no, no-no-no — nothing so […]

The Facts Are Elastic

The jury was hung on the most serious charge in the People v. Wright and Bradford home invasion case introduced in last week’s paper, and it appears the charge of kidnapping

The Truth Forsooth, Who’s Telling the Truth?

Children, even adult children, can be so adorable when they revolt against the conventions of their parents.  Readers of a certain age will remember scandalizing their parents by dropping F-bombs at the dinner table, for instance.  But as the novelty wore off the F word, as it came into common usage as a versatile adverb and […]

The Golden Fleece of the Little Lamb

Abel Aguado and Devin Kester-Tyler have been Argonauts of the Ukiah streets for as long as I’ve been covering the courthouse scene. They’ve always seemed to me like a couple of well-mannered orphans in an environment where the denizens you encounter are not always friendly or sane. They do not yell incoherently at passersby or […]