Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Search Results for: phimister

Lawyer’s absence delays DUI case

A man accused of DUI-related vehicular manslaughter appeared without a lawyer Wednesday to continue his case to another date. Joshua McCavitt, 31, appeared representing himself at a pre-preliminary hearing, asking Judge Douglas C. Phimister to continue the hearing by 30 days. He explained that his retained lawyer, who had not yet appeared in court, was […]

Schwartzler prelim leads to arraignment

A preliminary hearing Wednesday in the case of two attempted murders was found to have enough evidence for the case to begin pretrial proceedings. The hearing for Austin Schwartzler began in Department 7, but Judge Douglas C. Phimister, who had other preliminary hearings, told defense attorney Adam Weiner and deputy district attorney Lisette Suder that […]

Grand Jury disbanded

An order dated Feb. 22 and signed by Judge Steven Bailey discharged the entire 2012-2013 El Dorado County Grand Jury. According to the court order, the Grand Jury fell below the minimum of 12 active jurors and was thus discharged. No annual report had been made and there was no time left to select new […]

Hampshire hearing moved again

A very short hearing for an alleged teenage murderer Monday afternoon ended with a new hearing date. Adam Weiner, counsel for Wesley Ronald Hampshire, 18, requested Judge Douglas C. Phimister to move a pre-preliminary hearing to April 8 at 1 p.m. in Department 7. Deputy district attorney Jamie Verwayen had no objections and the hearing […]

Attorney situation creates new hearing

The man who allegedly murdered his wife in their Cameron Airpark home appeared in court for a quick hearing Monday afternoon to set a new hearing date. Attorneys David Weiner, Erik Schlueter and Mark Ralphs all appeared with defendant Todd Winkler in different capacities. Judge Douglas C. Phimister reminded the court that Weiner was the […]

Lack of discovery hampers Harris Case

Colleen Harris, the woman accused of shooting and killing her husband, appeared in court to enter a not guilty plea Monday afternoon. Harris walked to her seat while her attorney, David Weiner, confirmed with Judge Douglas C. Phimister that she would be entering a not guilty plea. It was then revealed that the prosecution had […]

Schwartzler prelim rescheduled

A man in custody on charges of attempted murder had his preliminary hearing pushed back after a court hearing Monday morning. Austin Schwartzler appeared in court with Beau Weiner, standing in for his brother Adam Weiner, who asked the court to vacate the preliminary hearing set for Jan. 30. The hearing was rescheduled for Feb. […]

‘No contest’ to arson

A woman accused of burning down a house and endangering her son in the process pleaded no contest in court Monday morning. After deputy district attorney Vicki Ashworth amended the criminal complaint against Rachel Wentz to have the first count be for arson of forest lands or a house, uninhabited, Wentz plead no contest the […]

Nurse gets five years probation

The nurse, who pleaded no contest to elder abuse after a patient in her care died, was sentenced in court on Wednesday. Rebecca Smith appeared with her attorney, Guy Louie, before Judge Robert Baysinger. After her case was pushed from the morning to the afternoon, Baysinger noted that the sentence proposed by the El Dorado […]

Wentz in court to continue prelim hearing

A short hearing on Monday for a woman accused of burning a Garden Valley house continued the hearing. Rachel Ann Wentz appeared in-custody with her attorney, Mark Ralphs. Judge Douglas C. Phimister noted that a preliminary hearing was scheduled, but Ralphs said he had not received certain forms yet and was not ready. Ralphs requested […]

No bail for deja vu murder suspect

The arraignment Wednesday of the woman charged with killing her husband — in a manner similar to what she was accused of 28 years ago — was continued to next month. Colleen Harris, who appeared in a wheelchair with her attorney, David Weiner, was called first on the afternoon calendar, out of normal order of […]

Winkler attorney matter still undecided

The man accused of stabbing his wife to death in their Cameron Airpark home over a pending divorce still has no decision on who his attorney will be. Appearing Monday in court with both his current attorney, David Weiner, and his possible attorney, Eric Schlueter, Todd Winkler received no answer as to whether Weiner will […]

Top 10 — No. 3: Ex-DSA president pleads no contest to embezzlement

On March 12, 2012 a retired El Dorado County sergeant was arraigned on an allegation of embezzling money from the El Dorado County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, of which had previously been the president of. Though initially pleading not guilty, he would later change his plea. Donald Philip Atkinson, of El Dorado Hills, pleaded not guilty […]

Redacted discovery slows down murder case

Redacted discovery impeding the defense of murder suspect Estephen Juarez was the center of a short court hearing Monday. Attorney Clifford Safranski told Judge Douglas C. Phimister that while the prosecution, represented by deputy district attorney Vicki Ashworth, had provided information on witnesses, all contact information had been redacted or removed. This would prevent Safranski […]

Winkler still in attorney limbo

Todd Winkler appeared in court Monday afternoon to determine whether David Weiner would be relieved as his defense council, only to come out of the hearing with no decision made. Judge Douglas C. Phimister explained to Winkler, who appeared with both Weiner and defense attorney Erik Schlueter — who will take over as counsel if […]

Woodruff sentenced to two years for evading arrest

A man originally arrested on kidnapping and attempted murder charges was sentenced for evading arrest on Dec. 3. Dustin Woodruff, 27, appeared in court after having his judgment and sentencing hearing pushed back for medical reasons, defense attorney David Brooks told the court, but was now in good health and ready for the hearing to […]

Wentz to undergo psychiatric evaluation

Rachel Wentz appeared in court for a quick hearing to appoint a doctor for psychiatric evaluation and to move a hearing date. Defense attorney David Brooks requested that Judge Douglas C. Phimister vacate the preliminary hearing on Dec. 5, and that he had no opposition to a continuance motion filed by the prosecution. Phimister granted […]

Witnesses testify Big Cut Mine operated without permit

Joseph Hardesty and Richard Churches appeared in court last Thursday for an all-day preliminary hearing regarding the Big Cut Mine. Glenn Peterson, attorney for Churches, first announced that he and Hardesty’s attorney, William Brewer, were seeking a continuance on the hearing. He said that deputy district attorney Michael Pizzuti had violated court orders from Judge […]

Fahy sentenced to jail time

On Nov. 28, Joseph Fahy appeared in court to receive his judgment and sentencing over the March 23 incident that rolled his 2001 Lincoln Navigator and killed his passenger while Fahy was driving under the influence of alcohol. The hearing — which had been moved from the afternoon to the morning at the last minute […]

Reporting from the other side of the bar

I came home one day in early August to get one of the single most-dreaded pieces of mail an American citizen can get: a jury summons. My first reaction was something along the lines of, “Please don’t let it be for the Cameron Park courthouse.” Being the Mountain Democrat’s crime and court reporter, my average […]

McCavitt hearing put off to mid-December

Joshuah McCavitt appeared in court Monday morning for a short hearing to put off a preliminary hearing until mid-December. Defense attorney Jelena Tiemann asked Judge Douglas C. Phimister to vacate the hearing set for Nov. 28 and move it to Dec. 19, with a pre-preliminary on Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. Deputy district attorney Worth […]

Palmer prelim scheduled in new department

Donna Palmer appeared in court for a just a few minutes Friday morning to schedule an all-day preliminary hearing date. Alongside defense attorney Patrick Hanly, Palmer stood in the courtroom while Deputy Attorney General Steven Muni and El Dorado County Judge Daniel B. Proud tried to schedule a date for the hearing around other trials […]

Stracener keeps robe

The general election night party for judicial candidate Joe Hoffman, who would later lose to incumbent Judge Warren “Curt” Stracener by just over 5 percentage points, was more relaxed than the primary election, the lack of tension obvious. He wandered through the bar section of Sienna Restaurant in El Dorado Hills, talking with people who […]

Wentz appears in court for short hearing

Rachel Lynn Wentz appeared in court Wednesday morning to receive new court dates and for a few comments on incoming documents. Defense attorney David Brooks told El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Douglas C. Phimister that he was awaiting incoming discovery and would need about two weeks to accommodate the findings. Deputy district attorney Vicki […]

DiMatteo arrested in court on federal charges; state case dismissed

As Gino DiMatteo entered the Department 7 courtroom during a recess at about 2 p.m. Friday, a District Attorney’s investigator told him they had to talk, took his arm and shuffled him over to a corner of the courtroom between the audience seats and the bar. He then asked DiMatteo to put his arms behind […]

Winkler requests new attorney

Todd Winkler appeared in court Monday to request a new attorney from Judge Douglas C. Phimister. Winkler, accused of murdering his wife, had requested the hearing in order to have a new attorney appointed to him, Phimister announced. He then said that there was “sufficient conflict” to begin granting the request. He also noted that […]

Smith changes plea to ‘no contest’

Rebecca Smith, one of two nurses charged with elder abuse after a patient in their care died, appeared briefly in court Thursday morning to accept a plea agreement. Smith, who appeared alongside attorney Guy Louie, pleaded no contest to the first count against her, elder or dependent adult abuse, between Feb. 23, 2008 and March […]

Nurse to plead out, become witness

Donna Palmer’s attorney, Patrick Hanly, stood in for both her and co-defendant Rebecca Smith and her attorney Guy Louie, to request a change of date for a preliminary hearing Monday morning. Hanly, currently involved in a trial in Sacramento, requested that Judge Douglas C. Phimister continue the preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday in hopes that […]

Kidnapping, attempted murder suspect pleads no contest

Dustin James Woodruff, 27, appeared in court Monday afternoon to plead to one of the counts charged against him. After defense attorney David Brooks and deputy district attorney Gloria Mas approached the bench, the matter was trailed for some time and other cases called. The case was recalled and Judge Douglas C. Phimister announced that […]

Hoffman the best judge

“Stracener clearly is not among the El Dorado County insiders,” so said the Sacramento Bee in an editorial. Appointed judge, Warren Stracener, added that theme to his mailer, calling his challenger, Joseph Hoffman, “the hand-picked candidate of political insiders and the good old boy network.” But the Bee’s “insider’ insinuation was made right after a comment […]

Witness: Gym buy was legit

Gennaro “Gino” Dimatteo appeared in court for a conditional examination on Oct. 19 to explain where the man accused of bribing a South Lake Tahoe city councilwoman obtained funds to purchase a gym. After an initial objection from prosecutor James Clinchard over not having read all the discovery pertaining to the testimony was noted by […]

Retired Judges Eddie Keller and Thomas Smith endorse Hoffman

Retired El Dorado Superior Court Judges Eddie Keller and Thomas Smith have endorsed Joseph Hoffman for judge. They join local Superior Court judges Douglas Phimister and Daniel Proud, District Attorney Vern Pierson, sheriff’s deputies and leading victims’ rights groups. “This is an important judicial race, the likes of which I have never seen in our […]

DA investigator tells of tracking down Kendall

District Attorney Investigator Mike Franzen testified in the matter of Jennifer Kendall Wednesday afternoon.

The preliminary hearing began in Department 7 but Judge Douglas C. Phimister quickly told counsel that the hearing was being moved to Department 2 and that Judge Daniel B. Proud would preside …

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Fahy changes plea to guilty for third alleged count

Joseph Fahy pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated resulting in injury and special allegations Monday afternoon. Fahy’s attorney, James Clark, announced to Judge Douglas C. Phimister that a resolution had been reached in the matter and that Fahy would be pleading guilty to the third alleged count. He would also be admitting special allegations of […]

Petroski prelim put off to November

Richard Kenneth Petroski appeared in court twice Monday as his hearing was called in the morning but trailed due to a technical glitch. Defense attorney Mark Ralphs told Judge Douglas C. Phimister that there was a “discovery issue.” He noted that a preliminary hearing set for Wednesday required the discovery that was missing. Phimister trailed […]

Crime victims rights organizations endorse Hoffman for Judge

Two leading crime victims’ rights organizations, the Crime Victims Action Alliance (CVAA) and Citizens for Law and Order (CLO), have endorsed Joseph Hoffman for El Dorado County Superior Court judge. Advocating state laws, regulations and policies that support the rights of victims of violent crime, and holding accountable officials entrusted with ensuring public safety, the […]

Barker for Hoffman

EDITOR: Few institutions are as important as our courts, which often have the final say on a wide range of matters that affect our daily lives and our constitutionally protected liberties. This election, your vote will determine who will become the next judge to join to our county’s Superior Court. I am proud to support […]

Kendall is a no-show

A preliminary hearing for Jennifer Kendall on Wednesday was cut short with the announcement that she had checked into a hospital. Prosecutor Dale Gomes announced that he had received a call from defense attorney Tom Johnson during lunch, telling Judge Douglas C. Phimister that he would let Johnson explain. Johnson noted that he had been […]

Winkler prelim derailed by possible witness conflict

Todd Winkler sat alone in a nearly empty courtroom while his attorney, David Weiner, and the prosecutors, Lisette Suder and Jodie Jensen, entered the courtroom from the judge’s chambers for a preliminary hearing Thursday afternoon. Judge Douglas C. Phimister handled a matter that had trailed from the morning calendar before calling Winkler’s case. He noted […]

Witness to testify in bribery case

Gino Dimatteo, now out on bail, appeared in court Wednesday morning for a short hearing to discuss motions that had been filed and to receive a new hearing date. The hearing began with prosecutor James Clinchard approaching the bench with Dimatteo’s attorney, Robert Woelfel. After a five-minute sidebar with Judge Douglas C. Phimister, Woelfel left […]

Petroski preliminary postponed

Richard Kenneth Petroski appeared for a short hearing on Oct. 1 to set a new date for a preliminary hearing. Although a preliminary hearing had been set for Oct. 3, El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Douglas C. Phimister was informed that Ret. Det. Rich Strasser was out of state on that day. Phimister ordered […]

Winkler date confirmed

Todd Winkler appeared briefly in court Monday morning to confirm a preliminary date despite interviews and other documentation possibly not being ready in time for the hearing. Prosecutor Lisette Suder informed defense attorney David Weiner and Judge Douglas C. Phimister that the lead investigator for the case had been out of the country on military […]

Fahy gets court dates, potential resolution

Joseph Fahy appeared for a lightning-fast hearing Monday afternoon concerning his next hearing and possible resolution to the case. Fahy’s attorney, James Clark, informed Judge Douglas C. Phimister that he had spoken with deputy district attorney James Clinchard and that a new hearing was to be set for two weeks out. Phimister gave new hearing […]

Former candidate Valentine endorses Hoffman for judge

By Greg Jones Attorney and retired El Dorado County Superior Court Commissioner Stephen W. Valentine has endorsed Joseph Hoffman for judge. Valentine was a candidate in the judicial race in last spring’s primary election. The annoncement was made Sept. 28. In a letter recently issued to his friends and supporters, Valentine stated, “Mr. Hoffman has […]

Landlord testifies to being run over by ATV-riding tenant

The Wednesday hearing for Tom Hazelwood, accused of assault with a deadly weapon that is not a firearm, battery and vandalism, centered around the testimony of the victim, Jack Podsebly. The hearing began with prosecutor Bill Clark calling Podsebly to the the witness stand. Podsebly noted that he had known Hazelwood for three years prior […]

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