Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on March 5, 2004 · Page 16
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 16

Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Friday, March 5, 2004
Page 16
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16 - FRIDAY, MARCH 5, 2004 WEATHER THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL HAY mm-CAST TODAY Some sun, then turning cloudy. TONIGHT Clouds and a sprinkle; then, clearing. SATURDAY Partly sunny and comfortable. SUNDAY Mostly sunny and warm. SUN AND MOON IP mi ^y^ REGIONAL WfEATHHR Sunset tonight 6:10 p.m. Moonset today 6:24 a.m. MOON PHASES Pull Last New First Mar. 6 Mar. 13 Mar. 20 Mar. 28 ALMANAC Utdih through 2 p.m. Thursday Tamp«rature WOH'WsS OTH'WffiK Low................... Normal low . ................................ ...40° Record low ................... ... 22" In 1923 Precipitation Month to date ............................ 0.17" Season to date ...... ....... .. ......... 31.42" Normal season to date ............ 30.46" All forecasts and maps provided by AccuWeather, Inc. ©2004 CALIFORNIA.CITIES Today Sat. HI/LO/W HI/LO/W Today Sat. HI/Lo/W HI/Lo/W Barstow 6d/44/s 74/4?/pg m Oxnarj Enclnitas Eureka^ Fresno 64/48/pc 67/50/pc miV(Km^H»f 54/43/c 57/44/pc 66/44/s 70/46/pc San Francisco 64/49/pc 63/48/pc San'luis Oblspo 66/45/s 71/46/pc 8W - JWIWK ! !W' t 'iMW4rflH8r»w"W»pU<- • Santa Ana 66/50/pc 70/52/pc Indio mm Hollywood Ml Lod! Long Beach Mammoth Modesto MCfflWlflT Monterey 77/47/s 82/49/pc 68/51/pc 71/53/pc Santa Cruz tm«mi Santa Rosa 63/46/s 66/46/pc 65/43/pc 69/41/pc 64/43/pc 69/42/pC 6wwr*-w«wpB 67/50/pc 70/51 /pc Stockton 64/42/pc 69/42/pc 50/24/s 56/22/pc Torrance 66/51/pc 70/54/pc vjrawHWf^w^eBwariR^fOwwpe'* Vallejo 64/43/pc 69/42/pc yggfl^rVSV^ Vlsaiia 64/44/S 67/44/pc 65/44/S 68/44/pC 'ffmmis^imiswm „.,.,.......,... _...._. 62/46/s 64/46/pc Yosemite Valley 58/32/s 62/30/pc i'^wwwrTplr". * Weather (W): s-sunny, pc-partly cloudy, c-cloudy, sh-showers, t-thunderstorms, t- raln, sf-snow flurries, sn-snow, l-lce. Lake Mendoclno - Lake level: 739.46 feet; Storage: 71,693 acre-feet (Maximum storage 122,500 acre-feet) Inflow: 290 cfs Outflow: 84 cfs Air quality - Ozone: .037 ppm (State standard .090 ppm) Carbon monoxide: 1.00 ppm (20.0 ppm) Nitrogen dioxide: .020 ppm (.25 ppm) Diaz Continued from Page 1 O'Reilly began with four questions he says the state will answer: "What happened? Who did it? Why did they do it?" and "Why has the case taken so long to get to trial?" Pointing to Diaz, neatly dressed in a brown suit, O'Reilly said .Diaz and Gerald "Butch" Lester, already convicted in the same case, drove up from Guerneville to Fort Bragg where they "killed Bill" and then his family, and a day later burned the house to the ground with the four dead bodies in it. In answer to his question, "Why did they kill Bill?" he said, "They were taking care of business," which he described as the core value of the Hells Angels motorcycle club. At the time, O'Reilly said, Grondalski had left the Hells Angels, owing them money and still improperly displaying the club tattoo. Lester was then president of the Vallejo chapter and Diaz was vice president. "Why has it taken 17 years for me to be here talking to you?" O'Reilly asked, facing the rapt jury of 12 men and women. "Because this involved Hells Angels." He then asked the jurors to walk back in time with him, to 17 years ago, "to Monday night, October 6th. That was when, just before 9:30 p.m. the Fort Bragg Fire Department responded to a call at 32541 Old Willits Road, finding a house fully engulfed in flames." Mendocino County Sheriff's Lt. Phil Pintane, who has been investigating the case for the last 10 years, showed slides of each of the four bodies of the Grondalski family, as they were found that evening. O'Reilly recounted the findings of Dr.' Fred Walker, a pathologist who studied the killings at the scene. According to Walker's report, each pf the victims died of gunshot wounds to the head. The victims included Bill Grondalski (32), his wife Patty (34), her son from a previous marriage, Jeremy Vandegriff (17), and Bill and Patty's 5- year-old daughter Dallas, whose throat was also slit so deeply by a knife that it severed her spine. Again O'Reilly Daily Journal file photo Charles Anthony Diaz as he looked in 1996. Diaz is in court this week, on trial for allegedly killing Fort Bragg resident William Grondalski, Grondalski s wife and the couple's two children in 1986. pointed to Diaz, saying, "We will show that this man inflicted the knife wounds." In 1995, a former member of the Sonoma County Chapter of the Hells Angels, Charles Haas, got word to the Sheriff's Department that he would talk. O'Reilly characterized Haas as "a violent guy" who was in custody on charges of producing methamphetamine and facing a 30-year sentence in prison. Allegedly, Diaz and Lester told Haas they were going up to see Bill Grondalski to get his tattoo "covered" and collect money owed the club. The next day, Lester allegedly told Haas that Grondalski had been killed in an argument when Lester's gun accidentally fired. That's when they allegedly decided they had to kill die rest of the family. Haas, Reilly said, then formulated the burning of the house to destroy the evidence. O'Reilly wrapped up his opening statement with a final detail, which he characterized as gruesome. He told how Diaz and Lester allegedly returned to the motorcycle club with Bill Grondalski's tattoo which they had sliced off his arm. One of Diaz' co-defendents, Mary Ann Roach, allegedly helped to destroy the evidence. Diaz and Lester were arrested in 1995, after nine years of work by Sheriff's Department investigators, who received a break in the case when Michael Tankersley, who knew Diaz and Lester, was arrested on unrelated charges in Fort Smith, Ark. and was brought to Mendocino County to testify. Tankersley, who allegedly had a Hells Angels "contract" on him, testified that Diaz and Lester told him about the killings. Tankersley admitted helping to destroy the evidence. Lester was convicted of murder in November 1997, after three trials and is currently serving four life sentences. Diaz was freed on bail after Judge Eric Labowitz ruled there was insufficient evidence to hold him for trial. He was rearrested about a month later, when a new witness came forward but was again freed after then-District Attorney Susan Massini again dropped charges against him in 1999, just before leaving office after losing the DA's job to Norm Vroman. Vroman decided not to prosecute the case, saying there wasn't enough evidence to go forward. Vroman would not have been able to be involved in the case anyway since before being elected to the DA's job he had served as a defense attorney for Lester, After O'Reilly's opening statement, the afternoon court session began with a mistrial motion by defense attorney Al Kubanis (who is representing one of Diaz's three co-defendants). The defense attorneys claimed that protesters wearing T-shirts that said "Justice for Dallas" were at the courthouse to influence the jurors. The judge denied the motion. Diaz's defense attorney, Ed Alvord of Lakeport, declined to make an opening statement, reserving his time for the end of the trial, which is expected to last six to eight weeks. Hagood Continued from Page J the District Attorney's Office to know what the Public Defender's Office spends on such things. Brown allowed her to tell him in private and added that number to the bill without divulging it to the audience in the courtroom. Thompson continues to maintain that Hagood should not have to pay the county back since the state backfills the county costs. She also indicated that Hagood may not have access to any family funds or property with which to pay. Family members have testified that Hagood's mother, Naomi Hagood, had a $5 million estate. Whether Carleen Hagood is entitled to any of it is uncertain as is the status of the house the mother and daughter lived in which the DA's Office may be able to put a lien on. Hagood has 20 days to decide whether she wants to contest the order to pay. She told her attorney Thursday that she wants to pay and skip a hearing on the matter, but Brown decided to set a hearing for March 19 after Hagood also said she'd like to consult her private attorney about it. Deputy District Attorney Keith Faulder then asked the court to take Thompson off the case now that Hagood has a private attorney, but Brown said that while the extra hours Thompson may spend will hike the bill somewhat, he thought she should stay on the case at least until Hagood decides whether to contest the fees. Hagood remains in the county jail while these matters continue. She was sentenced Feb. 13 to six years in prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter. GMO Continued from Page 1 the market that are genetically engineered," Bengston said, "and if the package of seed or bag was coming in and it had the label on it and the company was not one of these companies that had GE seed, we'd know immediately. If it was one of them, we'd look at what variety it was and so forth, but in most cases — like for big farm plantings - they are requiring contracts for GE seed." Bengston said "part of it is knowing what's out there and what's available," and he said his department had already compiled a binder of database printouts for 1 all varieties of GMO crops. "There's a lot of them on this list that people don't plant here/' Bengston said. "We're not planting cotton or flax or • papaya. Potatoes is one crop we do plant, but GMO potatoes are the ones developed for the Colorado potato beetle, which we don't have. So why would anyone spend money on that?" Rice, soybeans, tobacco and wheat are the next GMO crops "coming down the pipeline," but they are non-issues for Mendocino County just like papayas. The three "big" GMO crops - soybeans, canola and corn — are not flooding into the county either. "We have very little soybeans, no canola, and, compared to the old days, very little com." Farm supply businesses are already calling him and asking what to look for, Bengston said. "I tell them if they have any question ask their seed supplier," he explained. "I don't think anything will come through that doesn't require a contract on it. And if they have any questions they can call us and check on the variety." Though Measure H - the ban on growing any GMO doesn't apply to the four cities of the county or on Indian lands, state and federal lands, Bengston said state or federal agencies usually work closely with the Agriculture Department. "They usually inform us of any big project for reseeding or replanting after a fire in the national forest or BLM land or something," Bengston said. "I don't think there was ever an occasion where we weren't involved. Caltrans is the same." Though much was said of possible drastic impacts on Bengston's department in the enforcement of Measure H (including comments from Bengston himself) so far the process of screening for GMO materials has fit into the normal routine of inspecting incoming shipments. However, Bengston said he had spent a lot of county time "just with phone calls for the last three or four months. "I hardly have a chance to be off the phone, and this morning and yesterday were no exception," he laughed. "In the last couple days I've talked to the Sacramento Bee, the New York Times, the science journal, Nature, and this morning a company up in Canada called to find out more about what exactly is going on." Bengston said his department will also be putting out a letter to seed suppliers and local nurseries, explaining the ban and the fact that, if the nursery is in the unincorporated areas of the county, that they cannot propagate a GMO. But Bengston said he's sure the issue of Measure H will continue to invoke responses both angry and euphoric from iqnature Theatres UKIAH 6 IF! V Theatre SI.. I kiali • -JliMiTllll STARSKY & HUTCH Daily: 5:00,7:15,9:35 Matinees: Sat 12:30,2:50 NO PASSES The Passion Of The Christ Daily: 4:25,7:05,9:45 Matinees: Sat 1:30 NO PASSES NO PASSES HIDALGO TWISTED NO PASSES county residents. "There's no doubt about it: People were passionate and they still are passionate," he said. "Other people from other areas are kind of puzzled and perplexed by (Measure H). They hear about it and ask, 'Well, what are the current GMO crops growing?' Well, we don't have any yet, and there's not much potential for anyone to have one." GMO versions of grapes or pears are still experimental, putting any possibility of their presence on the market many years back. "We are looking at seeds all the time," Bengston said. "When most people imagine we're out driving, looking around and looking at crops, how can we tell they're GMOs? We can't. We have to wait until a complaint or a tip comes, that such and such a person is bringing GMOs into the county. But people are not aware of our whole quarantine system and the network that we call the pest exclusion program. They are not aware it is in place and that we normally inspect licensed nurseries and normally do seed inspection." Triplets of Belleville 'PQ13 Starsky a? Hutch 1:OO. 6:5O. 9:1 O PO13 Hidalgo P013 The Passion Of Christ 3:SO. 6:3O, Q-.1B (R PIMM oil ttmur recording lor whMlchalr I «cc»»llblllly Information I IKONOCTI HARBOR : Sat 1:00 OUTDOORS.aJULV 11 3/6 UK BULKY BIND OUTDOORS-SATURDAY. MAY 8 BRYAN DA DOORS...8AT., JUNE 19 LE ARWATER EVISITEU

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