DA gets positive feedback about monthly case update
This month has continued to demonstrate challenges to our public safety partners both in the quality and quantity of crime we are addressing in Plumas County. The increase in crime, fortunately, continues to be met with an outstanding response by local law enforcement.
I would like to express my gratitude to those supporting our monthly update.
Throughout the last few years we have received a very positive response to our efforts to update those in the community, with the help of our local paper, on judicial outcomes of criminal cases here in Plumas County. Our Criminal Case Update began in February 2011 in response to numerous requests by members of the public concerning the outcome of criminal cases.
Typically, folks in our community would hear, see or read about a crime, then be left to wonder or, worse yet, rely on gossip to obtain an idea of what happened to the perpetrator.
It seemed this type of uncertainty did not assist the public in assessing the level of justice being provided in our courts.
It is my hope the added layer of transparency in providing the outcome to some of our criminal cases will continue to allow for a more informed community and an appropriate level of confidence in our ability to seek and achieve justice on their behalf.
Below is a sampling of some of our recent cases. These cases reflect outcomes in cases previously covered by Feather Publishing at the time of arrest.
People v. Michael Garcia
People v. Rebecca Weilmunster
On March 21, the Honorable Janet Hilde sentenced Michael Ramiro Garcia to 10 years, and Rebecca Ann Weilmunster to two years of imprisonment. Due to Assembly Bill 109, each sentence will be served in county jail.
Previously, on Jan. 30, a Plumas County jury found Weilmunster, age 34, of Chester, and Garcia, 40, of Chester, guilty of a felony violation of possessing methamphetamine. Additionally, Garcia was found two have previously suffered two prior trafficking convictions and two prior prison terms.
Weilmunster and Garcia were arrested Sept. 7, 2013, for outstanding warrants. Plumas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Peay and Detectives Chris Hendrickson and Mike Smith worked with Tehama County law enforcement officers and bail agents to locate and apprehend the defendants.
Following their arrest, a search was conducted in a room they were renting in Chester. During the search 40.3 grams of methamphetamine, $1,200 in cash and hundreds of small plastic bags were seized.
It is expected both Garcia and Weilmunster will be transported to Tehama County where the Tehama County Superior Court has issued warrants for their arrest.
People v. Seth Bieker
On Feb. 28, Seth Lucas Bieker, 27, of Portola, was convicted of a felony violation of evading and misdemeanor violations of driving with a blood alcohol content above the legal and limit and driving with a suspended driver’s license.
Bieker will be sentenced April 11. Bieker was first seen on Commercial Street in Portola on Jan. 8, when deputies received a call of a disturbance. When deputies tried to contact Bieker he sped off at a high speed before finally being apprehended some blocks away.
People v. James Judlin
On Feb. 28, James Walter Judlin III, 32, of Chester, was convicted of possessing methamphetamine for sale.
It was also found Judlin was out on bail on another case when he committed this offense and had suffered a previous prison conviction.
Judlin is scheduled to be sentenced April 25, when it is expected he will receive a sentence of six years and eight months in state prison.
Judlin was arrested following the service of a search warrant at his storage unit in Chester. During the search, chemicals and equipment to make methamphetamine were discovered.
At the time, Judlin was awaiting sentence for possessing a firearm while being under the influence of methamphetamine.
People v. Rafael Chavez-Sanchez
On Feb. 28, Rafael Chavez-Sanchez, 19, of Chester, was placed on three years of formal probation and ordered to serve 365 days in county jail. Chavez-Sanchez was previously convicted Jan. 3 of felony first-degree burglary, a strike. Chavez-Sanchez was initially arrested Oct. 23, 2013, after stealing alcohol from Holiday Market in Chester. A subsequent investigation connected Chavez-Sanchez with earlier burglaries at the Chester Lake Almanor Community Center and a nearby residence.
People v. Ralph Cardiel
On March 21, Ralph Chico Cardiel III, 37, of Quincy, was sentenced to 24 months in county jail. Cardiel was previously convicted Feb. 7 of felony commercial burglary and possession of methamphetamine.
Cardiel was arrested following an investigation of the burglary of an antique store in Quincy on Jan. 7.
A series of burglaries in Quincy this past winter remains under investigation with other prosecutions presently occurring.
People v. Michael Godby
On March 7, Michael Joseph Godby, 34, of Quincy, was convicted of a felony violation of possessing methamphetamine for sale and admitted he had suffered a prior term in prison.
Godby will be sentenced April 18, when it is expected he will receive a sentence of 28 months in county jail. Godby was arrested Jan. 27, when members of the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office Detectives Unit served a search warrant on his place of business, Mikey’s Automotive in Quincy.
During the search, 2.67 grams of methamphetamine and sales paraphernalia were seized.
People v. James Kaufman
On March 7, James Andrew Kaufman, 21, of Portola, was convicted of residential burglary, a felony (and a serious felony and strike), and a felony violation of evading a peace officer.
Kaufman will be sentenced April 25, when it is expected he will be ordered to serve three years in state prison.
Kaufman was identified as taking part in a burglary of a residence on Cuesta Way in Delleker on Dec. 27, 2013. When deputies located Kaufman, he led them on a high-speed chase through Portola before finally being apprehended.
People v. Dexter Sousa
On March 14, Dexter Mitchell Sousa, 20, of Quincy, was convicted of residential burglary, a felony.
Sousa’s conviction is considered a “serious felony” and a strike under the penal code and can be used to increase the penalty should Sousa be convicted of a felony in the future. Sousa is scheduled to be sentenced May 23.
Sousa and two juveniles were arrested following the burglary of an Xbox video game console from a house on Jackson Street in Quincy.
People v. Michael Lamount Edmonds
On March 21, Michael Lamount Edmonds, 36, of Chester, was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and suffering that conviction while out of custody pending sentencing on another case.
Edmonds will be sentenced April 25, when it is expected he will receive a term of four years in state prison.
Edmonds was most recently arrested Feb. 21, when rifles were found in his possession during a search to assure he was complying with the terms of his release. At the time Edmonds was out of custody and awaiting sentencing following a conviction for possessing a firearm while being under the influence of methamphetamine.
Cases of interest
There are a number of upcoming cases of interest. Some include the following: People v. David Hall (domestic violence with great bodily injury) March 28 setting of jury trial; People v. William Turner (misappropriation of Chester Utility District Funds) March 28 preliminary examination; People v. Leanna Moore (Indian Valley Community Services District embezzlement) continued at the request of the defense attorney to April 25 for resolution or setting of preliminary examination; People v. Kenneth Stringfellow (homicide case) continued at the request of the defense attorney to April 11 for arraignment on the information following the defendant being bound over for trial at a Feb. 13 preliminary hearing.