We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Emotions rock capital punishment sentencing in Riverside

by Mary Shelton Saturday, Apr. 26, 2003 at 11:18 AM

Last week, Steve Woodruff was sentenced to death amidst a courtroom filled with mixed emotions involving what has been one of Riverside's most controversial cases.

By Mary Shelton

Inside a packed courtroom, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Christian Thierbach sentenced Steve Woodruff to death, for the killing of Riverside Police Department detective Doug Jacobs in 2001.

Emotions of anger, grief and then celebration filled a room crowded with Jacobs' relatives, police officers, prosecutors and at least one former juror, as Thierbach issued his ruling.

Several members of Woodruff's family including his young daughter attended the sentencing and bowed their heads, in response to the announcement that Woodruff would be transferred to San Quentain Penitentiary within the next several weeks where he would await his execution date on death row.

Woodruff told the court that he was convicted from day one, but that he did not kill Jacobs.

"I didn't kill that man," he said, "I didn't do it as God is my witness."

He turned towards former officer Ben Baker who was sitting in the audience with his wife and said that he was responsible for the shooting.

"You have allowed evil to come into your heart, Baker and it will destroy you," Woodruff said, "The truth eats at you. Why not tell the truth?"

Baker yelled in response that Woodruff needed to look at the evidence and at the video tape.

"You were a coward on January 13," Baker said, "You are still a coward today."

Thierbach pounded his gavel and called for Baker to be quiet, as officers formed a wall of support around him.

Baker did not speak at the sentencing, but his wife Yvonne did, describing how her life had changed when her husband returned home after the shooting, a changed man.

""I looked into his face and saw a completely different man, Only a hollow shell remained" she said, "Ben died that day."

She told of how he often wakes up screaming, please don't die, and how he said he had looked frantically for an exit wound in Jacobs' head after the shooting.

"How dare you accuse my husband of murder, " she said, " I sincerely hope you rot in Hell."

Jacobs' father, Charles D. Jacobs, Sr. said he would witness the death of Woodruff because he had systematically killed his son.

"As there was no remorse, there will be no forgiveness," he said.

Tamara, Jacobs' wife, said that she had been awaiting this day "since 4:45 p.m. on Jan. 13, 2001.

"Killing an officer is reason enough in this country to give someone the death penalty," she said.

Woodruff's brother, John, asked Thierbach to sentence his brother to life in prison without parole instead of death, adding that his brother was trying to protect his family

"My brother did not cold-bloodedly kill that officer," he said, before adding that the trial had raised many questions in his mind about what had happened during the shooting.

He also said that he did not see the police officers sitting behind him as people who would protect him, but rather as people who might hurt him and his family.

Earlier, Thierbach had denied a motion filed by the defense for a new trial.

Defense attorney Mark Blankenship wrote in his motion that the prosecution had withheld exculpatory evidence about two of its witnesses, then-Det. Vic Williams and then-Sgt. Gary Leach, which had compromised his ability to cross-examine both witnesses.

Blankenship had discovered that Williams had been arrested and prosecuted in 1994 for an alleged domestic violence incident involving his wife, where he had struck her in the face during an argument. During the trial, Williams testified that there was an allegation made and it was dismissed. However, court records show that Williams was charged with three misdemeanors and had entered a diversion program which included a $1,000 fine and 52 weeks of anger-management classes. After he completed diversion, Williams, who is currently assigned to the Internal Affairs division, had the charges dropped. After a hearing was conducted on the matter in December, Thierbach ruled that Williams' conduct could be used to impeach his testimony, abeit after the fact.

After the trial, it was discovered that in 1994, David Leach had filed a law suit against his brother, Gary M. Leach in Riverside County Superior Court regarding an assault and battery that had occurred inside a supermarket where he worked. In the suit, David stated that Gary had punched him in the face during an argument and then fallen on top of him, causing him to suffer from severe injuries including comminuted compound fractures of his proximal tibia and a ruptured ACL ligament in his knee according to a letter written by his physician. On Oct. 2, 1995, Judge William Sullivan issued a judgment by default, awarding $225,000 to David Leach. Prosecutor Michael Soccio told the court that Gary Leach had told him he knew nothing about the judgment. Personal information including an address in the judgment given for Leach matches that information given by him when he made a financial contribution to Riverside Councilman Ed Adkison's campaign in 1999.

Thierbach said that since it was the defense who had discovered Williams' record not the prosecution that he would not consider that information prejudicial to the case. In Leach's case, Thierbach said that while criminal charges could have been filed against him, the information had little bearing on the case because in his view, Leach was only a "minor" player in the tragic shooting. Thierbach said that while he believed that Leach was onscene when the shots were fired, he was in no position to fire any shots himself. During the trial, Leach had denied hearing any shots, and said he had arrived after the shooting.

Thierbach said that there was no doubt in his mind that Woodruff had fired the fatal shots.

Thierbach added that he found Baker's testimony effective and nothing short of chilling especially when he had described looking down the barrel of Woodruff's gun. Thierbach said while Woodruff may have been emotionally distressed, he did not believe that it rose to the level of where he felt he had to use lethal force.

"No reasonable person would use deadly force to prevent the issuance of a citation or an arrest for a relatively minor misdemeanor," Thierbach said.

Blankenship disagreed with the sentence but said that he was happy that his motion had put all the trial's issues into the court record even if the convictions were not overturned. He expressed his belief that the case would be overturned by a higher court more readily than it would had the sentence involved life in prison without parole.

A development that would upset at least one anonymous person who phoned Blankenship at his home last month and left a message which was as chilling as anything heard in court. One of several death threats he has received in connection to the controversial case that was listened to by the Black Voice News.

"Just let it go, just let it go, before I kill you..." the distraught male caller said, "I can't believe I just threatened you."

The case moves onto the California State Supreme Court for automatic review.

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments

Local News

Woolsey Fire: Worst News of 2018? J01 12:18AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Paraphysique de proxémie guerrière J18 7:59AM


FARCELONA 8.17.2017 J17 3:23PM



PR Debt Cancel, Judge Reviews Cofina Debt J16 9:04PM

Réseautage, fragmentation du capital J16 4:20PM

Paraphysique de manipulation mentale et sociale J15 9:51AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

Markets as a Fetish, Globalization, and Dissent Management J14 1:03PM

State Debts - The Primal German Fear J13 5:09PM

Sans liberté, sans égalité, sans fraternité J13 8:09AM

From Progressive Neoliberalism to Trump - and Beyond J12 9:22PM

Copper Cures Cancer J11 1:42PM

Steven Taylor, Investor who Evicts J11 9:24AM

Du sectarisme, des sectes, des clans J11 8:10AM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen J10 6:34PM

Patrick Kilpatrick discusses and signs Dying for Living J09 11:51PM

SexActs vs Sexuality USA 2018 Invitations to Power Marriages without Affection J09 8:36PM

Changer de mentalité, changer de société J09 9:17AM

Teacher Strike? Time for Labor Studies J09 6:26AM

December 2018 Honduras Coup Update J08 10:12PM

Paraphysique de la désespérance J07 9:38AM

The Unification Church with Rev Moon is in La and Orange Counnties J07 9:07AM

Time to Start Imagineering a Post-Ayatollah Iran J05 10:00PM

L'écomorphisme, du culturel et du temporel J05 10:33AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy