imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

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


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN 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 death penalty sentencing in Riverside

by mary shelton Friday, May. 02, 2003 at 4:07 PM
chicalocaside@yahoo.com

Steve Woodruff was sentenced to death for the shooting death of Riverside Police Department detective Doug Jacobs but not quietly, as both sides of a controversial case plead for life or death.

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 soon be transferred to San Quentin Penitentiary 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 shouted 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 different 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 to Woodruff, " 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.

Other relatives spoke of how Jacobs would never be able to see his daughter grow up, get her first tooth or fall in love.

Jacobs’ wife, Tamara Jacobs, said that she supported the death penalty more strongly than she had before the trial.

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

One of Woodruff’s family members ask the judge to look at the case from a different perspective.

John Woodruff, Steve’s brother, 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 information about two of its witnesses, then-Det. Vic Williams and then-Sgt. Gary Leach, which had compromised his ability to cross-examine both witnesses.

During the trial, 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. Under cross-examination, 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 ,000 fine, counseling and community service hours. After Williams, who is currently assigned to the Internal Affairs division, completed diversion, the charges were dropped. A hearing was conducted into the matter last December and 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, Gary M. Leach was the defendant in a law suit filed by his brother, David Leach alleging an assault and battery that had occurred inside a supermarket where he had worked. According to court records, 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 in one of his tibia and a ruptured ACL ligament in his knee, an allegation supported in a letter written by his physician. On Oct. 2, 1995, Riverside County Superior Court Judge William Sullivan issued a judgment by default, awarding 5,000 to David Leach. Prosecutor Michael Soccio told the court that Gary Leach had said he was not aware of any judgment. Personal information including an address provided for Gary Leach on the judgment satisfaction document matches that information given by him when he made a financial contribution to Riverside Councilman Ed Adkison's campaign in 1999 that was listed on a campaign disclosure form.

Thierbach said that since it was the defense who had discovered Williams' record and not the prosecution, he would not consider that information prejudicial to the case. Regarding Leach, 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 that 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 afterwards 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 said in court. Another one of the harassing and threatening phone calls he has received since he took Woodruff’s case.

"Just let it go, just let it go, before I kill you..." the distraught sounding 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:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

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