The Vanguard has a new home, please update your bookmarks to

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Attorneys For Brenda Cedarblade File Letter of Complaint with District Attorney, Yolo County Sheriff, and Woodland Chief of Police

Complaint Alleges "Non-Responsiveness" to Series of Violent Threats, Acts of Violence and an Overall Pattern of Harassment

On December 17, 2008, attorney Matt Gonzalez from the San Francisco based law firm of Gonzalez and Leigh, fired off a complaint addressed to Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig, Sheriff Ed Prieto, and Woodland Police Chief Carey Sullivan.

The complaint "expresses concern" with:
"the Yolo County Sheriff Department's and the Woodland Police Department's seeming non-responsiveness to a series of violent threats, acts of violence, burglaries, criminal trespasses, and an overall pattern of harassment (some of which are described below) directed at my clients, and all of which were reported to both the Yolo Sheriff's Department and the Woodland Police Department."
The letter lays out four instances including shots fired onto property on May 25, 2008, multiple incidents of burglary and criminal trespass dating to April and May of 2008, threats, and the publication of private and confidential information on a web site.

Mr. Gonzalez writes:
On May 25, 2008 my clients reported three shots fired from a field North of their property at 41070 County Road 18C, Woodland, 95695. The shots were fired from a high powered rifle onto their property while Ted Wilson and several of his employees were working. Two of the bullets sailed over Mr. Wilson's head and hit the roof of the horse arena on my clients' property. After hearing the shots fired and the bullets land, Mr. Wilson located a white pick-up truck and four men in a field northwest of his property. Ms. Cedarblade immediately called the Yolo County Sheriff's Department for assistance.

Upon arriving, the Deputy Sheriff confronted four men in the same white pick-up truck located by Mr. Wilson. As relayed to my clients' from the deputy, the men possessed a high-powered long-range rifle, methamphetamine, and were all residing illegally in the United States. The men told the deputy they were using the gun to "shoot squirrels".
According to the complaint, the shooting constitutes several crimes including "assault with deadly weapon" and "discharge of firearm at occupied building."

However, authorities did not follow up on these complaints and made no arrest.
"Following the shooting Mr. Wilson and Ms. Cedarblade unequivocally told the deputy they wished to press all charges against the shooters. However, Mr. Wilson and Ms. Cedarblade understand that the Sheriff's Department made no arrest of the shooters, and conducted no further investigation..."
Mr. Gonzalez writes:
"Given the shooters' purported explanation, and the clear commission of several crimes, the failure to investigate or file charges raises serious questions about the Yolo County Sheriff Department's policies and procedures for investigating crimes, and their apparent disregard of serious violent conduct directed at my clients."
The next incident allegedly occurred in April of 2008.
"Ms. Cedarblade and Mr. Wilson arrived at home to find that unknown persons had entered their home, as well as the historic ranch on their property. The trespassers left green cards, $2000 in cash, drugs and drug paraphernalia. Ms. Cedarblade also discovered old family photos of her family scattered around her bedroom, as well as childhood drawings and report cards, all things that were not previously in her possession. They also found rat poison spread over their bed and kitchen counter. After notifying the Sheriff's Department, the deputy declined to conduct any investigation or collect any evidence, and told my clients to keep the green cards and the $2000 cash.

On May 22, 2208, my clients discovered photos and documents related to the former occupation of Ms. Cedarblade's father, a former navy defense contractor who worked on classified missile systems, inside their home. The photos and documents - which mayor may not be classified - were not previously in the possession of my clients, and appeared to be part of the personnel file of Ms. Cedarblade's father, including his security clearance."
According to Mr. Gonzalez, though this burglary was reported, no investigation was conducted by law enforcement.

The third incident involved a threatening phone call claiming that there was a hit out for Ms. Cedarblade who then reported this to the Sheriff's department.
"The Deputy told Ms. Cedarblade that a "hit" could mean a hit on a government records search, and did no further investigation - this despite providing the deputy with the name of the caller."
Furthermore private information was allegedly posted on a web site, however, there was never any investigation into this matter by the Woodland Police or the Sheriff's department.

Mr. Gonzalez concludes:
"My clients turned over all information concerning the above incidents, as well as other instances of harassment, to both the Yolo County Sheriff's Department and the Woodland Police Department. But, to their knowledge, neither Department conducted any serious investigation into any of the above incidents, or any other of the reported incidents, despite clear evidence of criminal activity. In fact, my clients expressly requested a criminal investigation to the Sheriff's Department and were told, through their previous attorney, that the District Attorney's office was too busy to do any investigation."
The Vanguard will be following up on this story in the coming days and will report upon any further development.

---David M. Greenwald reporting