I am very concerned with the Saturday, December 10, 2016 Triplicate article that reported CHP officer not guilty. Apparently, the evidence locker was busted into and robbed several times. There was some sort of substance on the floor that had a woman’s size 8 footprint impression and the officer in question wears an 11 shoe. There was something about his wife being a suspect? I think the attorney was going for the infamous, “if it does not fit, you must acquit” defense.
Many of the TV crime shows show surveillance cameras being very useful in identifying who broke into and who stole items. I understand they are not that expensive. Probably cheaper than the numerous investigations from the numerous break-ins. I don’t know who broke in. I do know that the incompetent officer in charge needs to be replaced.
Also, how often are the CHP, Sheriffs and police drug tested? That needs to be increased.
I am very tired of watching tax dollars being swindled by the corrupt in the name of justice.
While on the subject of swindling tax dollars, does any body know who is accountable for how bond money is spent? Is there a requirement that a record must be kept and what are those requirements?
Crescent City, Ca.
5 thoughts on ““If it does not fit, acquit” defense”
Dear Mr. or Ms. Get a life. That is exactly what I am attempting to do, get a life. Because I live in a democracy, and because the CHP is funded with tax dollars (some of those dollars came from my bank account) I want to make sure evidence that could be used as exhibit “A” is secured in a safe place where it will not disappear, or be replaced with a heavier look alike substance. Why? Because somebody’s freedom could depend on the evidence being authentic and not replaced or tampered with in any way. The Triplicate reports, “According to court documents, Clemann was a CHP officer in charge of evidence from June 2013 to March 2015. Late in 2014, some items turned up missing. Clemann was given time to find the missing items and clear up any mistakes.
Another audit in March turned up more missing items and led to Clemann being removed as evidence officer. Right On! Things were looking up for a quick minute there. According to court documents, Clemann was a CHP officer in charge of evidence from June 2013 to March 2015. Late in 2014, some items turned up missing. Clemann was given time to find the missing items and clear up any mistakes.
Another audit in March turned up more missing items and led to Clemann being removed as evidence officer.artment.very thing was accounted for, intact, ready for court until more evidence became contaminated. It is at that point in time I see at least 3 break-ins to the evidence locker on the Officer’s watch with his Supervisor being responsible to the citizens of this State to secure all evidence that will be presented at trial. I think citizens have the right to be in the custody of a sober, capable,intelligent officer that not only protects the citizen, he/she protects the evidence as well. I can’t think of anything easier than securing a WIFI camera to the wall. Next you can do a mandatory drug test to eliminate any one who takes drugs from the dept.The final “must do” is to tell the DA that evidence had been compromised and see the effect that will have on other trials.
I was not saying the officer was innocent or guilty of raiding the evidence locker. I was saying we cannot afford to keep inept people on the pay role and we cannot afford to continue to work with people willing to compromise their integrity and other’s right to a fair trial.
Way to continue to tear down this officer and his family. A jury found him not guilty and the majority couldn’t agree on the remaining charges. He was a scapegoat and you are perpetuating the crime against him. Justice was served and your armchair quarterbacking is ridiculously idiotic.
Connie Connie Connie, I guess we will have to look forward now…so the question is this…why did DISTRICT ATTORNEY TRIGG RECLUSE HIMSELF??? The real reason?? Have the CHP evidence room now been updated to include constant cameras in the evidence room…by the way whose watch was that on??? The commander of CHP should be fired for negligence because their evidence room can be broken into without repercussions…
And also don’t you know, that the attorney general had to give a substandard performance..their job is to protect the state from lawsuits…finally if I was Officer Clemens and his dysfunctional family I would leave town never to return…they are all a danger to our society
If City, County and State workers were all fired for failing drug tests, who would we have working these jobs. Drug addiction is considered a brain disease that can be controlled with treatment. The problem exists in all walks of life. Treatment works and everyone deserves help. Doing drugs does not make a person automatically bad. Would you like to see those you would have fired wondering aimlessly behind and panhandling in front of Safeway too? How about helping your fellow humans out with a hand up instead of persecuting them. Forget the draconian ways, they’ve never worked and Probably never will.
Why no surveillance cameras? It does not take a mental giant to figure out what needed to be done the first time the evidence locker was broken into. I want to see what the policies and procedures manual requires when break-ins to the evidence locker occur at the CHP office. What were the facts that made every juror vote the defendant not guilty. I request the editor take a poll from it’s readers on these questions:Should surveillance cameras be on 24 hours a day at any and all evidence lockers at any law enforcement department or facility that stores valuables in a locked facility. If a burglary was not taped for any reason, the head of that department as well as the person assigned to the area where the burglary happened be fired immediately, with no retirement, pension, or any other benefits. Also, how many citizens think all county and city workers should be drug tested? With automatic termination from their job, and no benefits?
Below is the Triplicate’s story of the multiple burglaries at the CHP station.
Home News Jury finds officer not guilty ; | CHP’s Clemann cleared of burglary; other charges fell short of a verdict
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Jury finds officer not guilty
CHP’s Clemann cleared of burglary; other charges fell short of a verdict
By Tony Reed, The Del Norte Triplicate
Published Dec 9, 2016 at 11:55PM
A Del Norte County Superior Court jury found former California Highway Patrol officer Brian W. Clemann not guilty of breaking into and burglarizing a CHP evidence room.
The jury was not able to reach a verdict late Thursday on the remaining 13 counts, including receiving stolen property, destruction of records and possession of meth.
The case was prosecuted by the state Attorney General’s Office as Del Norte County District Attorney Dale Trigg recused himself due to a possible conflict of interest.
Deputy Attorney General Peter E. Flores could not be reached for comment as of press time.
According to court documents, Clemann was a CHP officer in charge of evidence from June 2013 to March 2015. Late in 2014, some items turned up missing. Clemann was given time to find the missing items and clear up any mistakes.
Another audit in March turned up more missing items and led to Clemann being removed as evidence officer.
A new evidence officer was processing backlogged and closed case items in June 2015 when more items were discovered missing and tampered with.
According to court records, Clemann was told by another officer that there were errors with some evidence and some had possibly been tampered with.
“Defendant (Clemann) didn’t seem surprised and dismissed it as the normal kind of issues found when there is a change of evidence officers,” court records said.
The following night, the evidence room was broken into and items from the discussed bins were taken.
Eight of the missing items were found weeks later in a storage area above Clemann’s garage, records said.
Subsequent audits found that 137 evidence items, accounting for 223 evidence items were missing or had been tampered with. Many were reported to have been controlled substances totaling 91.2 grams of meth, 8.99 pounds of marijuana, 349 pills, and 30.6 grams of black tar heroin.
Some bags had been cut in such a way as to conceal the cuts and meth had been replaced with an unknown substance which weighed more than meth, according to court records. Clemann reportedly told another officer that a former associate may have committed the crime in order to get him in trouble but added that person would not have the information or means necessary to commit the crime.
A matter of feet
The trial, which lasted over eight days ended at about 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. According to Clemann’s attorney George Mavris, jurors heard the testimony of over 20 CHP officers and Department Of Justice experts before coming back with a unanimous 12-0 verdict of not guilty of any involvement in the burglary.
On the remaining charges, the jury was not able to reach a unanimous verdict and it was determined that further deliberations would have no effect on the outcome.
“I wanted to get this out there because it’s been sitting out there for eight months that my client is guilty,” Mavris said. “The burglary, which was the main charge, is what he was found not guilty of.”
Mavris said deliberation on the burglary charge was short, based on the physical evidence left at the scene. Mavris said a saw was used to cut through a door at the crime scene, which left the floor covered in sawdust. Mavris said footprints which reached far into the crime scene were a woman’s size 8 but his client wears a men’s size 11 shoe. According to Mavris, the prosecution brought in shoe experts and tried to tie the crime to Clemann’s wife but could not.
“It would have been hard to set up,” he said. “It didn’t appear staged.”
Mavris said the ratio of jurors for and against conviction in the remaining counts was “not even close.” He said in times when a hung jury is divided 10-2 in favor of the client, it’s rare the case will be retried.
Clemann had been free on his own recognizance before the trial and remained free afterward.
The matter will return for further review Jan. 6. Mavris said the Attorney General will decide at that time whether or not to retry the hung cases.