Press Releases

The Trinity County District Attorney's Office will post Press-Releases here when they are issued.

The Press Releases are in reverse order with the newest Press Release on top and the older ones below.

 

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Press Release

 

July 26, 2019- IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

 

     On June 12, 2019, Sean Karjala was convicted in a court trial, of Attempted Murder of a Police Officer, in violation of Penal Code Section 217.1(b), Resisting a Peace Officer by Force or Violence, in violation of Penal Code Section 69 and Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Peace Officer, in violation of Penal Code Section 245 (c).

 

     The crimes occurred on April 27, 2013, when California Highway Patrol Officer Chad Barnes in a marked CHP patrol unit, attempted to stop Defendant for speeding on SR-299E. The Defendant attempted to evade Officer Barnes and eventually pulled over in front of the Indian Creek Lodge.  Officer Barnes detected odors of marijuana and alcohol coming from the vehicle and asked the Defendant to exit the vehicle in order to perform an evaluation for sobriety. The Defendant exited his vehicle with a black colored hatchet in his hand. The Defendant ran around the rear of his vehicle and raised the hatchet over his head and ran toward Officer Barnes, who was standing at the right front bumper of the Defendant’s vehicle. Officer Barnes backed away from the Defendant, yelled at the Defendant “STOP”, however the Defendant continued toward Officer Barnes, in a full run with the hatchet raised. Officer Barnes then fired his weapon a single time. Defendant continued to run toward Officer Barnes with the hatchet raised, so Officer Barnes fired his weapon again, which struck Defendant, who dropped the hatchet and fell to the ground. Officer Barnes then ran to his patrol vehicle, to broadcast a call for help to dispatch. Defendant got up and charged at Officer Barnes again. Officer Barnes ordered Defendant to stay on the ground, but Defendant screamed “no” and continued towards Officer Barnes. Officer Barnes elected to kick Defendant in the torso, which knocked him onto his back.

                                                                                                                                                   

     On July 26, 2019, Sean Karjala was sentenced to a term of 30 years to life, plus a 6-year determinate term for the crime of Attempted Murder of a Peace Officer, with use of a deadly weapon. Defendant Karjala had previously been convicted of a serious felony and his sentenced was increased because of that conviction.

 

     California Highway Patrol Officer Chad Barnes, the victim, spoke at the hearing regarding the impact the crime had made on his life.

 

     In determining the length of the sentence to be served, Judge Bradley Boeckman addressed several issues, including:  the protection of the public, deterring others from attacking police officers by demonstrating its consequences, the impact the crime had made on Officer Barnes, the violence of the crime and the defendant’s past criminal history.

                                                                                                                                                   

    The case was prosecuted by Trinity County District Attorney Donna Daly.

 

 

 

 

June 17, 2019 - IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

On June 17, 2019, in Department 1 of the Trinity County Superior Court, visiting Judge Bradley Boeckman sentenced Andrew Howard Hall, a Trinity County resident, to 18 years 6 months in State Prison.

 

Mr. Hall was sentenced on the above date as a result of a guilty verdict delivered by a Trinity County jury on May 17, 2019. The jury verdict convicted Mr. Hall of four Felony counts, more specifically, attempted voluntary manslaugher with two special allegations, assault with a deadly weapon with two special allegations, being a felon in possessin of a firearm, and of being a felon in possession of ammunition.

 

The charges which resulted in Mr. Hall's conviction had previously been tried in Trinty County Court in 2016. Mr. Hall had been found guilty at that time but an appellate court had overturned the jury's verdict because a single jury instruction had not been provided to the jury. The actual events which resulted in Mr. Hall's convction occurred on July 28, 2014.

 

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Atty. David Brady.

 

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June 14, 2019 - IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

     On June 12, 2019, a Trinity County jury convicted Bill Bates of the charge of Lewd and Lascivious conduct on a child under the age of 14, in violation of Penal Code Section 288(a). The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney James Gandy and is set for sentencing by Judge Michael Harper on July 16, 2019.

 

     On June 12, 2019, Sean Karjala was convicted in a court trial, of Attempted Murder of a Police Officer, in violation of Penal Code Section 217.1(b), Resisting a Peace Officer by Force or Violence, in violation of Penal Code Section 69 and Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Peace Officer, in violation of Penal Code Section 245 (c). The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Donna Daly and is set for sentencing by Judge Bradley Boeckman on July 26, 2019.

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February 5, 2019 - Suspects Sentenced for Poaching Crimes in Trinity County

In October 2017, Wildlife Officers with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife assisted by allied agencies served a search warrant in the Three Forks area of Trinity County for  violations of streambed and habitat destruction.  During the search Wildlife Officers discovered several poaching violations involving deer and bear.  They also found an area of the property that was illegally baited to attract wildlife and included motion sensing spotlights to illuminate the bait piles at dark.  In California, big game species are highly regulated and the use of bait and artificial light to hunt at night is illegal. 

 

While on scene, three brothers, Joseph Bradley Leadingham (Ridgefield, WA), David Jon Leadingham (Seaside, CA), and William Robert Leadingham (Sun City, AZ), were  interviewed and ultimately confessed to poaching several deer and bear over the bait at night using lights.   Investigating Wildlife officers filed a case with the Trinity County DA’s Office and collectively, all three subjects were charged with 29 misdemeanor violations of the Fish and Game Code related to big game hunting violations. 

 

On November 14, 2018 the three brothers, William Leadingham, Joseph Leadingham and David Leadingham each pled guilty to three counts of the Fish and Game Code and one count of the California Code of Regulations.  The violations included Spotlighting an animal, unlawfully taking a deer, feeding big game animals, and unlawfully possessing a deer.  As part of the plea agreement all firearms were forfeited and their hunting privileges were revoked for 3 years.  Additionally, they were assessed fines and fees totaling nearly $3,000 and placed on 3 years’ probation where they will each be required to do 100 hours of community service.  The primary investigator of the case was California Fish and Wildlife Officer Jason Smith and the case was prosecuted by Trinity County Deputy District Attorney Colleen Murray.

 

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife would like to remind the public that anyone who believes they are witness to unlawful poaching or pollution activity is encouraged to call CalTIP,  CDFW’s confidential secret witness program, at (888) 334- 2258 or send a text with the tip411 app. Both methods allow the public to provide wildlife officers with factual information to assist with investigations.  Callers may remain anonymous, if desired, and a reward can result from successful capture and prosecution. 

 

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October 25, 2018 - Collen Sentenced to 22-years in State Prison

On October 23, 2018, Gregory Collen was sentenced to the maximum sentence of twenty-two years in state prison. Mr. Collen was convicted of two forcible sexual assaults against a child who was under the age of 14, a felony violation of Penal Code 288(b)(1)- forcible lewd and lascivious conduct against a child victim, and a felony violation of Penal Code 289(a)(1)(b)- forcible sexual penetration.    

The sexual assaults occurred over a period of many years until the child revealed the information to a trusted adult. An investigation was conducted by the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office, which led to Mr. Collen’s immediate arrest.

According to Deputy District Attorney Megan Marshall, “We are so thankful to obtain closure in this case on behalf of the BRAVE young victim who fearlessly spoke up against this repeat violent predator. This was a team effort where multiple agencies came together to fight for justice. We are very grateful to Detective Josh Ford, Nicole Bradford, Angela Benson, Megan Sholty, Amy Alward, Sarah Neff, and the entire District Attorney team who helped insure this defendant was prosecuted. “

 

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October 23, 2018 - Grates Sentenced to Three Years of Formal Probation

On September 12, 2018, a jury found defendant Anthony Grates guilty of a violation of Penal Code Section 273.5, corporal injury to a cohabitant, a felony. On October 23, 2018 Judge Michael Harper sentenced defendant Anthony Grates serve 3 years of formal probation, 270 days in jail, participate in a 52 week batterer’s treatment program, perform 24 hours of community service, pay fines and fees to the court, and pay restitution to the victim.

 

On October 21, 2017, following an argument, Grates grabbed his girlfriend, the victim, by her arms and forced her against the wall of their home. He then threw her on the bed got on top of her and pinned her there with his knees on her upper arms and his forearm across her chest. The victim was gasping for breath. Grates eventually let the victim up and told her to leave. This violent attack left the victim with significant bruising on her left arm, with additional bruising to her right arm and chest.

 

This case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Jessica Hurley.

 

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May 11, 2015  -   SCAM WARNING................

People are calling elderly Trinity County residents and having them Western Union money for fictitious arrests and injuries of the victim's relative. The thieves tell the elderly person that there is a GAG order and they can't tell other relatives what happened.
PLEASE WARN YOUR RELATIVES AND DON'T DO THIS!!

Please warn your relatives that ANYONE that calls them and wants their credit card, social security number or any personal information over the phone, DON'T GIVE IT TO THEM!!!

The FBI website has additional information about this specific scam.  Please go to the websites listed below for information about this scam and others.  By all means this is not a list of all the scams used by criminals.

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Warns-of-Pervasive-Telephone-Scam

http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud

http://lifehacker.com/how-to-identify-and-avoid-the-most-common-telephone-sca-1692068970

https://oig.hhs.gov/compliance/alerts/alert12212010.asp