The difficulty of seating a jury during a pandemic is illustrated in the fact that several people arrested in 2019 and 2020 have still not made it to trial in Trinity County Superior Court.
District Attorney David Brady said due to the pandemic, judges have made the call not to call on jurors.
“If we don’t have jurors,” he said, “we can’t have trials.”
According to court minutes, four more serious cases will soon return to court, but not for trial.
A Lewiston man will face a long list of charges and will next appear in Trinity County Superior Court today, Jan. 13, in Department 2 for a preliminary hearing. According to court minutes, Terrin C. Chase, 35, has been charged with 12 counts; 2 for attempted first degree murder with special circumstance, 2 for assault with a firearm, use of a firearm, negligent discharge of a firearm, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, exhibiting a firearm in the presence of a law enforcement officer, 2 for making threats to commit a crime resulting in death, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, being a felon in possession of a firearm, possessing ammunition while prohibited from doing so, driving under the influence of alcohol and driving under the influence of drugs.
According to a Sheriff’s Office release, deputies responded in October to an afternoon call that an assault had occurred in Lewiston. Chase was identified as the suspect and the caller reported that he had left the location.
“While deputies were responding to the location, another report was made which indicated that Chase had returned to the scene with a firearm and was discharging the firearm at individuals and buildings,” the release said. “Deputies responded to the location, but Chase again fled the scene.”
He was located and arrested without incident a short distance away.
Chase remains in jail on $2 million bail.
Tami Ann Novak, 53, of Hayfork will have a review hearing on Feb. 17 in Department 2. She was arrested in March 2020 for allegedly setting fire to her boyfriend. She faces three counts of causing great bodily injury, aggravated mayhem, assault with a caustic chemical, and attempted murder.
At the time, Sheriff’s Detective Josh Ford said the two had been in a dating relationship about 10 years and were having domestic difficulties.
Ford said the victim was interviewed Thursday at the hospital and was recovering well, with burn injuries to his head, ears and neck.
“He was actually in good spirits,” Ford said. “He’s still receiving treatment for significant injures.”
He said Novak admitted to pouring lamp fluid on the victim while he was sitting on his bed and igniting it. He survived but sustained significant injuries.
According to Court minutes, Novak had not yet been transferred to Napa State Hospital.
“The majority of civilly committed patients are on Conservatorships, even though we have some patients that are admitted for evaluation and treatment under Welfare and Institutions Code Section 5150,” the hospital’s website states. “Conservatorships are for gravely disabled individuals who represent a danger to themselves or others due to mental illness.”
Michael Hastey, now 18, will stand trial for the stabbing death of a Weaverville man and a trial setting has been scheduled for Jan. 26 in Department 1. Hastey is accused of killing Nathan Perdue in central Weaverville two years ago.
Hastey will standing trial as an adult even though he was 16 at the time of the offense. The determination to try Hastey as an adult was made by Judge Eric Heryford who ordered him to be transferred from Tehama County Juvenile Hall to Trinity County’s Correctional Facility in January 2020.
“At the time of the fitness hearing, at which time [Hastey] was housed at the Shasta County Juvenile Detention Facility, there was evidence of ongoing assaults with other juvenile inmates at the juvenile detention facility in Shasta County,” Trinity County Chief Probation Officer Tim Rogers said last year. “Since that time, he’s committed an additional 245pc (assault) and as recently as Jan. 16 of this year, he attacked a custodial officer at Tehama County Juvenile Hall.” Charges of aggravated mayhem and causing great bodily injury were added, along with the charge of murder with the special allegation that a deadly weapon was used.
He remains in jail under $1 million bail.
Kay Chue Vang
Kay Chue Vang will answer to charges of first-degree murder and special allegations for use of a firearm after being arrested in December 2019. Her case is scheduled for a trial setting on Jan 19 in Department 1.
Deputies arrived at the Hardy Lane address in Hayfork after 2 a.m. in response to a 911 call that someone had been shot. Hayfork Volunteer Fire Department was called and asked to stage outside the area until law enforcement officers determined the scene was safe. According to a Sheriff’s Department release, authorities arrived to find her husband, Billy Vang, 49, deceased. She was subsequently arrested.
According to court minutes, she remains in jail on $1.5 million bail.