Tony Reed
Del Norte Triplicate

UPCOMING CASES

Michael Loftin

In other court matters, Michael Loftin faced arraignment Jan. 17 and is scheduled to enter a plea on March 6.

Loftin was arrested in August 2018, accused of the 2014 murder of Romeo Glaze.

Deputy District Attorney Todd Zocchi said he had information Loftin had admitted the killing to several people and an eyewitness had been located.

Glaze was 26 when he was reported missing by his sisters in March 2014. His body was found in Klamath Glen nearly a month later and DOJ investigators reported the cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the head.

Anthony Hamilton

On Jan. 28, Anthony Hamilton will face trial for allegedly exchanging gunfire with officers, wounding a deputy following a vehicle pursuit and foot chase off Washington Boulevard in June 2017. The officer sustained non-life threatening injuries but was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Hamilton was also hit in the gunfire and has been county jail since his release from the hospital.

Wilson Lor

Another matter before the court is that of Wilson Lor, one of three males accused of raping a woman in Crescent City in January 2015. Lor was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison in 2016 for his part. However, another of the three, David Ken Lee, was released from Jail in February 2017, after a jury could not reach a verdict. District Attorney Katherine Micks said she did not intend to retry the case, as it was clear to her that retrying the case would not generate a different outcome.

The third named defendant, Rob Lor, has not been tried.

Micks said Wilson recently appealed his conviction, but the appellate court upheld the ruling.

However, Prop 57 changed laws regarding juveniles, which he was at the time of the offense, Micks said. Now it must be determined if he is to be treated as an adult or as a juvenile, with respect to his sentencing.

Micks predicted the judge will acknowledge the motion and refer the matter to county probation for a fitness report, which will determine how the case will be handled.

“Once the court receives that report, it may be set for a hearing and anyone can present evidence,” she said.

When asked, Micks said it will be up to the judge to determine if Lee’s mistrial results will have any weight or influence on the case. Proceedings will take place in juvenile court, dates pending.

In Superior Court Thursday, Judge Darrin McElfresh turned down a mutual request from prosecution and defense attorneys, and sentenced Kelly Lynch to 180 days in jail, instead of the recommended 120-day sentence for cruelty to animals and misdemeanor child abuse. McElfresh said he felt 120 days would be a “light sentence” considering the nature of the charges. Lynch has served 100 days in Del Norte County jail to date and appeared in court wearing jail attire and restraints.

Lynch was arrested and her home deemed substandard after authorities found many dead animals on her property last November, along with 160 live animals, many of which were found to be emaciated.

Animal control seized the 160 rabbits, ducks, geese, cows, guinea pigs, birds and other animals. Once a plea deal was reached, Animal Control took possession of the animals and adopted them out to new homes.

Animal Control asked for restitution for its costs, totaling $34,736.59.

Defense Attorney Keith Morris objected to the amount, and a restitution hearing was set for Feb. 19. Total fines came to $1,590.

Lynch originally faced five counts of animal cruelty, but a plea deal with the prosecution reduced the counts to one. Lynch also pleaded guilty to a single count of misdemeanor child endangerment, regarding her son’s living conditions.

Deputy District Attorney Anna Marie Padilla asked that a condition of probation mandate Lynch not possess animals, care for them, or live in housing where they are present. Morris objected, but Padilla said it was a mutually-consented condition of the plea agreement. A judicial review of the agreement is pending.

Morris said it was clear to him Lynch is intelligent and remorseful for her actions, which she may not have perceived as harmful to the animals or others. He argued despite reports by authorities about potential health risks, her son was found to be in good health with no injuries. He said she has been taking classes in jail, rather than just waiting out her time, and wants to be an appropriate parent. He said in talking to her, it’s clear she is willing to do whatever the court asks of her.

In addition to the 180-day sentence, Lynch is to serve four years of probation with a long list of conditions. She must seek and maintain employment, notify probation of her location and changes, report to a probation officer monthly, undergo a psychiatric evaluation, treatment and submit to searches of her home for animals, and enroll in child abuse and animal abuse programs, among other requirements.

Asked if she would like to speak to the court, Lynch spoke briefly, but emotionally.

“I screwed up,” she said. “I want to get better, but I can’t do that where I am.”

Lynch said she needs therapy and classes, so that she may be reunited with her son.

“I’m begging you to allow me to get the help I truly need,” she told McElfresh.

McElfresh reminded her if she successfully completes her probation, she can petition the court to have the charges reduced and her rights restored.

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