Cowboys and Indians of American Justice


The Redding Police are cowboys – shoot first and forget to ask questions later
The Shasta County District Attorney’s office are Indians – they collect scalps instead of justice

“The American system of justice sucks.” – Former prosecuting attorney and current Public Defender

On Dec. 30, 2000 when I, in trying to avoid a loose cart at Costco in the city of Redding, hit it and the cart hit a shopper entering Costco. After a long 2-3 hours a cop came up to me and told me I was under arrest for Assault with a Deadly Weapon (the car). It knocked me over, to say the least. The police report was done by memory and notes and was a mish mash of what I told the investigating officer.
At the scene of the accident a Costco employee told the investigating officers of a long and profane argument between me and the victim about my stealing his parking place. During an evidentiary hearing this cart jockey testified, under oath, the same fictitious story of the argument before the accident. Before this witnesses testified, the victim testified (all witnesses were excluded before testifying) he and I had no verbal or abusive argument.

Another witness testified, as well, that I did it on purpose. Her proof? She could see the anger in my eyes. At the trial the main witness testified I was wearing dark brown glasses and billed cap. All this vivid description from 30-feet away while concerned she would be hit as well. Both she and the main witness had a pre-police questioning conversation with the above witness. What my lawyer and his investigator have come to believe is this cart jockey told both the cop and the witness about the argument and I did it in a fit of parking lot rage.
In November of 2001 my brother, sister-in-law and I were shopping at Costco when she saw this cart jockey and pointed him out to me and asked me if that was the guy with the fabricated story.

He apparently saw us discussing him as 2 hours after I arrived home I was informed by the RPD the cart jockey had told his boss I verbally told him to keep his mouth shut at the next week’s hearing or he would be hurt and a restraining order was put out. He also testified in the restraining deposition he witnessed me at the evidentiary hearing verbally attacking two witnesses and had to be physically restrained by the Marshals. He then added, I was charged with attempted murder. There was no hearing scheduled and the Marshals testified the alleged attack was bogus and never happened. The prosecution tried to prove that the original Deputy Marshals were not in the hall and it was other Marshals that did the separation. In any case, the Marshal log book contained no mention of such a confrontation ever happening.

The above testimony was repeated at the formal trial and due to the combination of an incompetent Public Defender, who did nothing he promised pre-trial, and the and the amoral and malfeasance of the District Attorney’s office, I was found guilty and, on Feb. 20, 2003, sentenced to 5 months in County jail and three years probation. Before sentencing I was not allowed to see the probation report that contains a multitude of egregious errors and psychobabble that tainted his report. The jail sentence was voided after three weeks and I was put on house arrest. My appeal was filed the week of March 3 in the California State Appellate Court. The appeal was poorly formed and presented and did not represent any of the errors and flaws of the trial.
I have since completed my sentence and the court has blocked every plea for giving me my life back as a freelance journalist. I currently live on Social Security at $11,000 a year and without my driver’s license I cannot work and begin again to earn a decent living. Prior to the expungence hearing my new Public Defender was told by the prosecuting DDA that “Never on God’s green earth will I allow (this person) to ever drive again.”

Justice is depicted as blind and with a set of scales. These scales are supposed to be balanced. Whether guilty or innocent I served my side of the justice coin while the local courts remain totally weighted against following that philosophy.

The end result is, at the age of 74 and having driven for nearly 60 years and over a million miles here and in many foreign lands, I am living in virtual house arrest with no viable transportation, no discretionary income or opportunity to revive my chosen vocation. The trial was so full of holes it resembled Swiss cheese, but the District Attorney’s cared little for so many conflicting testimonies.

It’s no wonder peers and advocacy groups across the state consider the Shasta County Superior Court system and District Attorney’s office the worse in California.