Court dismisses Knight’s soliciting a vote charge

June 1, 2017

Edith Knight

By KAREN VELIE and JOSH FRIEDMAN

The court dismissed a charge of soliciting a vote in the trial of 86-year-old Edith Knight of Atascadero at a trial that kicked off Wednesday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.

Knight was facing two misdemeanor counts. She still faces a misdemeanor charge of electioneering, and if convicted, could serve six months in jail. It is against the law to campaign or electioneer within 100 feet of a polling place.

Two men, Stephen Williams and Charles Kleeman, claimed they heard Knight soliciting a vote for District 4 Supervisor Debbie Arnold at a polling place. Knight has denied the allegation.

During the June 2016 primary election, Williams filmed Knight talking on the phone with a voter while siting inside the lobby of the  Elks Lodge. The Elks Lodge was serving as a polling place at the time, and Knight was volunteering as a poll worker.

At the time, both Williams and Kleeman were working for Arnold’s challenger, Eric Michielssen.

According to an Atascadero police report, Williams reported the incident to police three days following the election. Police officer Jeffrey Wilshusen, who received the report, reviewed the video and turned the case over to a detective, who spoke with Knight on the phone.

Knight told the detective, “Yeah, it was probably a mistake. I didn’t realize what I was doing,” according to the police report.

The California Attorney General’s Office is handing the case because of a conflict of interest. Knight contributed to SLO County District Attorney Dan Dow’s election campaign.

State prosecutors have pressed on with the case despite public outcry over an 86-year-old woman being put on trial for an alleged misdemeanor offense in what many are calling a politically motivated case.

Williams said he began recording in the middle of Knight’s phone conversation. In the video footage, Knight makes no mention of Arnold’s campaign nor any political candidate.

On Wednesday, the prosecution called Williams and Kleeman to the witness stand. Both men had issues with their testimony.

Williams testified that Knight arrived at the polling place in a dark colored car with a political bumper sticker on the back. However, Knight drives a light beige colored car.

Kleeman testified that he heard Knight introduce herself on the phone as calling on behalf of Arnold. Under cross examination, though, Kleeman said it was a year ago, and he can’t remember exactly what she said.

On Thursday, SLO County Superior Court Judge Craig Van Rooyen acquitted Knight of the charge of soliciting a vote because their was not enough evidence to take the allegation to a jury.

Supporters of Knight have come from across the state to the San Luis Obispo courthouse to attend Knight’s trial. The courtroom was nearly full on Wednesday when the trial began.

On June 5 at 1:30 p.m., the trial will continue with closing statements and jury instructions.







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18 Comments

  1. c.d.cox says:

    Motor Voter an illegal can get registered to vote when they get a drivers license are they asked if they want to register as jackass or elephant.The democrats picked the right animal to represent their gang.

    (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
    • kettle says:

      No.

      ” You’ll be asked to answer a series of questions and enter your personal information, including:

      Your CA driver’s license or ID number.
      Your Social Security number.
      Your birth date.

      Feel free to link to the list of “illegal can get registered” Or it never happened.

      Just saying it could happen, is just hot air.

      (-2) 4 Total Votes - 1 up - 3 down
  2. SLOBIRD says:

    So, why were the two bozo’s not arrested/charged for using a camera at a voting poll location. They should have asked her to please stop her activity or they should have called the people who organized them to monitor the polling location.

    These two bozo’s were Eric Michielssen.supporter’s, one was not an American citizen (he was a Canadian citizen at the time of this incident) and therefore I am totally suspicious of his purpose and monitoring at this location.

    Democrats will stop at nothing, will not accept their lost of Eric Michielssen, Steve Martin and Clinton campaigns, and will even attacking an 86 year old polling volunteer and upstanding citizen of our Community.. Despicable Democrats and shame on the State Attorney Office was wasting $thousands$ on this ridiculous situation. But, this is what the Democrats do best!

    (27) 29 Total Votes - 28 up - 1 down
  3. horse_soldier says:

    And the cost for this dog and pony show??

    (28) 34 Total Votes - 31 up - 3 down
  4. pasoparent5 says:

    Rich in MB: yes, Dave definitely deserves kudos for covering Edie’s case but Al Fonzi’s been talking about it for over a month on KPRL.

    Also, there’s a fundraising campaign for Edie’s mounting legal fees and over $11,000 has been donated so far. Search “Edie Knight” on you caring.com

    (20) 24 Total Votes - 22 up - 2 down
  5. easymoney says:

    This is hysterical…
    The two anti quarry people named are behind this and are doing anything they can to smear Supervisor Arnold. That should spell out the real reason why Ms. Knight was targeted…

    (32) 38 Total Votes - 35 up - 3 down
    • kayaknut says:

      You had it right with the first words, “Two anti” people, didn’t need to add quarry. It is clear these two are just “anti” people, instead of using this as a teaching together moment they used it to get their 15 minutes. A rational person would have just excused themselves to this lady and said politely that there may be an issue with what she is doing, but their first thought was to grab a camera and make an issue of it. We have to many people with that type of attitude.

      (23) 25 Total Votes - 24 up - 1 down
      • easymoney says:

        The word “quarry” is important because the hate against Supervisor Arnold is tied to it, just like the names of the two “anti” persons…
        Funny things, facts…

        (16) 20 Total Votes - 18 up - 2 down
  6. retiredpoliceofficer says:

    This is another example of an out of control District Attorney’s Office. To put an 86 year old women on trial for such a minor offense is ridiculous.

    (25) 37 Total Votes - 31 up - 6 down
    • taxpayer says:

      The District Attorney isn’t prosecuting this case. The State Attorney General’s office is. I agree. This is ridiculous.

      (22) 32 Total Votes - 27 up - 5 down
      • kayaknut says:

        But D.A. Dow’s office could have put a stop to this in the very beginning.

        (10) 20 Total Votes - 15 up - 5 down
        • RonHolt says:

          No, he really couldn’t have done that without opening himself up to charges of impropriety and favoritism. He had to refer the case to the AG’s office. This may be a waste of money but it isn’t Dow’s fault.

          (1) 15 Total Votes - 8 up - 7 down
  7. Slosum says:

    Amazing… an old lady who indadvertedly makes some calls from a poling place gets charged…. while illegal voting occurs by the tens of thousands across the country and nothing is done! Time to root out the real crooks.

    (48) 76 Total Votes - 62 up - 14 down
    • catdude says:

      Please provide your proof of “tens of thousands” of illegal voters. OH,you heard it on right-wing fake news? Or was from the Liar-In-Chief? Sorry, not valid evidence. Next?

      (-43) 67 Total Votes - 12 up - 55 down
      • Rambunctious says:

        Do you agree there is some illegal voting occurring? because even just some is too many. We are talking about the people having a say in the direction of their nation and undocumented aliens are not welcome to participate in it. Period.

        (22) 24 Total Votes - 23 up - 1 down
      • Snoid says:

        Its been proven on numerous instances, where have you been? Head in the sand or just a denier?

        (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  8. Rich in MB says:

    Finally…..
    It was most likely the Dave Congalton Show today that put a spot light on this travesty that resulted in this dismissal and Justly so!

    (36) 58 Total Votes - 47 up - 11 down
    • Snoid says:

      Dave is sadly turning into a hypocrite. I cant recall how many times he’s shut down callers when they strongly disagree with a guests opinions on the show. We must allow others their opinion and freedom to speak. Just yesterday with the global climate change topic, which he seemingly strongly believes in, he belittles a caller because he dosent believe in Dave’s climate change logic.
      “You know better than that Dave says” in a “your a dumb ass” response. Sorry Dave you cant handle being disagreed with, but were not all believers. If we were whats the point of a talk show to discuss opinions?

      (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down

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