Juror bails out De Vaul

November 24, 2009
Dan De Vaul embraces juror number five as he leaves the jail

Dan De Vaul embraces Juror Number Five as he leaves the jail

By KAREN VELIE

After voting Dan De Vaul guilty of safety and building code violations, Juror Number Five posted bail for the rancher who chose to go to jail rather than evict the homeless from his property.

“My son may not have the best Christmas, but it was the right thing to do,” said Mary Partin, a single mother who manages a radiology office, also known as Juror Number Five. “I couldn’t sleep last night knowing he was in jail.”

Partin said she caved to judicial pressure even though she believed De Vaul innocent of all charges.

Yesterday, Superior Court Judge John Trice offered De Vaul five years of probation in exchange for up to 90 days in jail along with a $1,000 fine. De Vaul elected to go to jail in an attempt to continue to provide thirty needy people with a place to live.

Trice sat bail at $5,000 pending a notice of appeal.

devaul 017De Vaul was found guilty of having unpermitted mobile homes, excessive vehicles as well fire hazards on his property including an extension cord to a tent.

“Count how many cords are coming out of the ceiling in the courthouse snack room,” Partin said.

“The frustrating thing for me is that the county asked him (De Vaul) to keep a sex offender on the property and supplied a trailer for him to live in. Then they charge (De Vaul) for having that trailer on his property,” Partin said.

Supporters of De Vaul question how he could have had a fair trial when half of the jurors and all but one witness were county employees or involved in law enforcement.

“Juror Number 12, who has two family members in law enforcement, said ‘you are stupid’ after I voted not guilty on all charges,” Partin said.

Trice pulled Partin out of deliberations twice to talk to her.

“I asked him why I was being singled out and why he wasn’t also talking to those with strong opinions on the other side,” Partin said. “He got angry and said we are here to talk about your views.”

ABC Bonding agent Frank Eggers talks to Mary Partin

ABC Bonding agent Frank Eggers talks to Mary Partin

In October, De Vaul’s attorney Jeff Stulberg filed a motion for a new trial because Partin said she reluctantly agreed to vote guilty on the two counts after Trice reprimanded her and some of the jurors harassed her.

On the first day of deliberations, Partin said Juror Number Two claimed that with his wife’s position as a county probation supervisor and his job in law enforcement, he knew more about the case than he should know.

Last week, Superior Court Judge Michael Duffy disagreed with De Vaul’s lawyers’ arguments that misconduct by Trice had tainted the jury. After oral arguments, Duffy immediately began reading from a previously prepared statement, leading observers to believe he had written his decision before hearing arguments.

In addition, De Vaul’s supporters wonder why Duffy, who served as the best man at Trice’s wedding, didn’t ask another judge to hear the motion.

De Vaul runs Sunny Acres, a clean and sober living facility, on his ranch on Los Osos Valley Road. He has housed between 30 to 75 low income and homeless people on the 72 acre property at any given time over the past nine years.

For more than 10 years, three neighbors of the vehicle-littered property, including former San Luis Obispo Councilwoman Christine Mulholland, have lodged complaints accusing De Vaul of code violations.

Opponents of De Vaul contend the property provides an unsafe environment for those who live there.

Earlier today, De Vaul’s appeal attorney Neil Tardiff, working pro bono, filed a notice with the San Luis Obispo Superior Courts that he plans to appeal the judge’s ruling. Attorney Stulberg has also waived his fee.


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Cindy

I’m glad to hear that this story will be going National. The timing couldn’t be better, do we know what the dates for Dan’s appearance on Good Morning America and Larry King Live will be? This could bring in lots of donations for his cause.


hotdog

Lot of gack being thrown around. For the record I am mostly in Dan’s court but I am sure there is much to be said on the other side. Since this has degenerated to some sort of Tea Party shout down I will throw in Christine Mulholland was a caring, attentive and hard working SLO council member for many years. She was not on the ‘board’ as someone insinuated. I am weak on facts but assume she has been alarmed for some time about various activities at the ranch, some of which would horrify anyone who cares to listen to her (as I did). She -may have been- a longstanding ‘complainer’ but the result and so-called persecution of Dan were not in her hands in the least. I’ve watched the news and heard Dan on Congalton, I think it is time to hear from the other side for comparison and thoughtful assessment.

This whole issue brings up the broader issue of city/county surveillance and prosecution of minor/major violations of the so-called codes. In many or most cases these efforts are generated by complaints, and often they resemble vindictive actions of hostile neighbors when in reality the issues amount to little of importance but the resulting enforcement causes havoc (time, money etc) to the accused-FOR NO EFFECTIVE GAIN! Health and safety are important issues, but what if your window is too small? You might have to spend hundreds of bucks to fix that according to modern standards. What if your lifestyle doesn’t fit the cookie cutter outlines of current codes? The authorities can turn your life upside down because you have an angry neighbor!

There does need to be sensitivity and common sense employed in these issues. Of course new construction should be up to modern standards but many do not have the inclination or resources to upgrade their circumstances at the whim of a codebook.

We all know of the (potential) many innocent prisoners languishing in Guantanamo and other places because some sheik or tribal chief accused someone of being a terrorist-our troops arrest the person and throw him into detention (and often torture) where they may languish for years without a trial. In a similar way our authorities do the dirty work of people who rat out their neighbors to satisfy some malignant feeling. And of course it is often anonymous. I don’t know how to get around this but the parallels are ominous.

I don’t think Christine was outraged at a different lifestyle or ‘had it in’ for Dan. I think she was genuinely concerned about a number of issues that ought to be looked at. The trouble is when the ‘gummint’ arrives they often find an avalanche of stuff to cite which makes the solution way too heavy to deal with. And of course in this case the good work of Dan should have given him some slack (and maybe it did, this has been going on for years).

To sum up, I think all the armchair observers should look for answers from both sides before condemning anyone. Maybe this site and Congalton will host opinions of the neighbors, county enforcement and any ‘ol hack from the court not too embarrassed to explain their end of things.


GKB

Well said, hotdog! Most of the time I read the comments for “entertainment” purposes, but your comments are what I believe should be on these sites; well written, and well thought out, instead of the character assassinations usually found here.


SensitiveGuy

Juror # 5 succumbs to Jury pressure and votes Guilty.What did they do ? Boy,i’ll bet the Mob would find you to their liking.


south

All I know is that if this kook is the manager of a radiology office in Templeton, I’m making sure I get my xrays done in SLO.


About san luis obispo rancher, dan de vaul, jail, homeless | Find me About

[…] After voting Dan De Vaul guilty of safety and building code violations, Juror Number Five posted bail for the rancher who chose to go to jail rather than evict the homeless from his property. “My son may not have the best Christmas, …Read Original Story: Juror bails out De Vaul – Cal Coast News […]


SLOChildrenAtPlay

So did you create this post on your luch break? Or is the local Jr. High School out today? Chubby? Multiple ctas? Is this how you judge character? What are you twelve? Your parents should reset that parental controls on your computer to limit access to Cal Coast News because it’s content is obviosuly too mature for you. I would rather the homeless and mentally ill be housed in any environment, under any conditions other than in the middle of dowtown SLO. Christine Mulholland doesn’t believe this, because she doesn’t live downtown. Someone please tell me one thing that Mulholland did during her term on the City Council that helped shelter the homeless. Our downtown is just dirty. If you shop in the morning hours, you are welcomed by the vomit and piss left by last night’s bar goers. Add to the vomit and piss, homeless people in record numbers (for SLO) panhandling not only on the street, but many of them will now follow you into stores – and pandhandle in the aisles. I’ve been solicited twice in the aisles of CVS at Broad and Marsh!! So are we will to endure more of this, so Cristine doesn’t have too look at it in her neighborhood? In this morning’s Tribune, Christine Mulholland charcterizes all of us as hicks, by insinuating that we all think the homeless are better off at Sunny Acres rather than in the “cricks.” Yes, she wrote “cricks.” People like Chirstine Mulholland, and this dope “rogerfreberg” think your all stupid, fat, and own too many cats. That’s all they care about. To hell with downtown, to hell with your community, just Not In My Backyard. “rogerfreberg” and Christine Mulholland, you deserve each other.


SanSimeonSam

Well stated slo. That article of Mullhollands was very transparent and very disdainful of those of us not born with silver spoons in our mouths like her. She needs to go back to LA and move back onto Mullholland Drive where she came from. She has never worked for a living and certainly never made a meaningful contribution as a local politician. Rogerfreberg, if thats his real name, is a real nut case. He keeps threatening folks on this site……hes going to hunt us down and do bodily harm to us. Hes stalking some of us on the internet and has clearly lost the ability for rational action. Maybe he should run for city council. In the meantime, the soap opera continues and the black eye our county is getting is making national news. Wait until Fox and CNN figure out that a juror on the trial that convicted Devaul posted bail for him. This after she was cajoled into voting guilty by the judge in the trial…Wonder what Trice’s connection is to Mullholland and Gibson. I still say we need an independent citizens review board with some authority to investigate just whats going on. The tip of the iceberg is pretty damn jdisgusting and clearly costly to us taxpayers I wonder what the rest of the berg looks like.


cheseburger

Hey just want to let you know, you write a lot better then I do, so I endorse you!


momof3

So you wanted to know what Christine did while she was on the board…. hummmm let me think oh wait she tried to shut down doing anything to South Street after a 8 year old child was killed. Thank goodness Caltrans actually relized that this area was next to a park and a school. And you could not get from one to the other without playing “frogger”. Her answer to me, was this, you could walk up to the lights at either end of South St., There is a mile between the lights, and I hate to say it I know too many kids that do not want to walk that far. When bringing up the fact that this is a residential neighborhood, and the speed limit should be 35 she just looked at me like I was nuts.

Maybe SLOPD need to follow her to one of her favorite place “The Sub” where she picks up her pipes and whatnots.


R.Hodin

Christine also voted against a large affordable housing project on Orcutt, on the bus routes, close to shopping.


zaphod

She also voted against the downtown housing project at Marsh and Nipomo St. IIRC but it passed anyway.


Booty JuJu

This level of deranged attention seeking is clearly attributable to the close proximity of Los Osos.


mccdave

Come to think of it, this does have the scent of Los Ososan quixoticism. The name “Sunny Acres” becomes ironic when you realize that it’s situated in the Los Osos Valley Wind Tunnel. An inadvertently-ventilated tin shack in such a place is liable to induce hypothermia and, when the fog rolls in as it does most days, seasonal affective disorder in July. (This probably explains Christine Mulholland too.) A sleeping bag under a bridge on the leeward side of Cerro San Luis sounds more comfy to me.


But it’s hard to interpret the facial expressions in the photos in this article, since they skipped a much-needed detour through Photoshop. (It’s called Unsharp Mask. Have you heard of it?) Juror bias deserves digital enhancement. No surprise that Cost Plus News hasn’t reviewed the transcripts from voir dire, and as a wise defense counsel once said: if it doesn’t fit, you must vote to convict, then bail the defendant out.


And by the way, love the caption layout work. Delicious use of Verdana! WordPress should add this site to their Night Gallery.


kettle

“since they skipped a much-needed detour through Photoshop” Sure and if it became known that “they edited the pictures” You would be all yuck Photo-shop yuck. etc.

“Cost Plus News” that I like, frugal yet newsy, Lol

Just saying.\.


mccdave

There’s a difference between photo editing and photo manipulation/photoillustration, and there are well known steps in preparing photos for the web.


SanSimeonSam

Wait for it……..one solution fits all……….Lets make Sunny Acres the site for the Los Osos Sewer.


cheseburger

Exactly what I was thinking, but why put it there, this county is so screwed up they will tear down the Maddonna Inn and put it there! I say let the rich Mollahornas pay for this sewer since they are so in to getting rid of crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And put it in their yard.


Rewind

So the con man is temporarily not a con?


Cindy

“The frustrating thing for me is that the county asked him (De Vaul) to keep a sex offender on the property and supplied a trailer for him to live in. Then they charge (De Vaul) for having that trailer on his property,” Partin said.

WHAT !! I didn’t see that in any of the papers, I’d like to hear more about that ?? Outrageous, I wonder if the NIMBY’s know that one! Ha


Cindy

Perhaps Mary or someone should set up an e-mail address for people who are willing to help Devaul so that they can make contact to form a solution. Post the address here and over in the Tribune. There seem to be plenty of supporters. A group of contractors/builders could probably do the repairs in a day or two. I think someone should call Eric Parkinson and ask him to cough up some VeAhvata money so that he is in compliance with what he claims on his 501C income tax returns. He claims that his organization assists the homeless in SLO. He collects a couple of hundred thousand a year and so far it’s either gone in his pocket or over to his resort (by the beach where he and his friends volunteer) in India.