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Yolo DA Jeff Reisig seeks death penalty in halloween homicide case
by not me
Wednesday Jun 14th, 2006 10:49 PM
We need to start organizing against the death penalty!!!!! Now is the time the jury is deliberating to keep the death penalty for Ernesto Arellano and Oscar Cervantes. We have about a month until the penalty phase ends. The penalty phase is when family and supporters try to convince the jury that arellano and cervantes are valuable to society. Let's put pressure on the jury. I propose we meet at the Yolo County Courthouse each Monday night (5 p.m.) until they make their decision.
We need to start organizing against the death penalty!!!!! Now is the time the jury is deliberating to keep the death penalty for Ernesto Arellano and Oscar Cervantes. We have about a month until the penalty phase ends. The penalty phase is when family and supporters try to convince the jury that arellano and cervantes are valuable to society. Let's put pressure on the jury. I propose we meet at the Yolo County Courthouse each Monday night (5 p.m.) until they make their decision.

After a five-month trial and nearly four weeks of deliberations, a Yolo County jury Thursday convicted three suspected Woodland gang members of first-degree murder in the Halloween night shooting deaths of two men in 2002.

Defendants Ernesto Duran Arellano, 34, Oscar Hurtado Cervantes, 32, and James Joseph Olague, 29, were convicted of first-degree murder in the killings of Woodlanders Eric Eugene Folsom, 17, and Robert Michael Stepper, 20.

The three also were convicted of attempted murder in the shooting that night of two 14-year-old girls who survived.

Arellano and Cervantes each face the death penalty.

Prosecutors said they were the shooters in a homicide spawned by a drug deal gone bad and tensions between rival gangs, while Olague acted as a lookout. Olague faces a maximum sentence of life without parole.

Yolo County Deputy District Attorney Jeff Reisig, one of the key prosecutors in the case, praised the verdict Thursday. He said he hopes it sends a strong message that gang violence will not be tolerated.

Race doesn't seem to play in any of the discussion. What is the racial makeup of the jury... well, let's just say, white! Surprised?

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Sac Bee (repost)
Thursday Jun 15th, 2006 7:33 PM
By Pamela Martineau -- Bee Staff Writer

Published 1:24 pm PDT Thursday, May 11, 2006
WOODLAND - After a five-month trial and nearly four weeks of deliberations, a Yolo County jury on Thursday convicted three suspected Woodland gang members of first-degree murder in the Halloween night shooting deaths of two men in 2002.

Defendants Ernesto Arellano, 34, Oscar Cervantes, 32, and James Olague, 29, each were convicted of first-degree murder in the killings of Woodlanders Eric Folsom and Robert Stepper.

Click here for more...
The three defendants also were convicted of attempted murder in the shooting that night of two 14-year-old girls who survived.

Arellano and Cervantes each face the death penalty. Prosecutors said they were the shooters in a homicide spawned by a drug deal gone bad, while Olague acted as a lookout. Olague faces a maximum sentence of life without parole.

The defendants also were convicted of gang enhancements and enhancements for discharging a firearm.

The victims were shot on Oak Avenue in Woodland on Halloween night as they stood on the front lawn of a friend's house after a Halloween party for small children.

Yolo County Deputy District Attorney Jeff Reisig, one of the key prosecutors in the case, praised the verdict Thursday. He said he hopes the verdict sends a strong message that gang violence will not be tolerated.

"The message is gang activity has been tearing up this region, not just Yolo County, but Sacramento County," Resign said outside the courthouse after the verdicts were read.

"We're going to put a stop to it."

The verdict was read in a packed courtroom while about 20 Woodland residents waited in the hallway because there was no room inside the courtroom.

The defendants, who wore shirts and ties during the court proceeding, hung their heads after the verdicts were read. Some family members of the defendants left the courthouse sobbing. The family members of the victims' families have declined interview requests. They were escorted from the courtroom by sheriff's officials.

Mida Garcia, 20, a cousin of Cervantes, maintained that he was innocent. She called the trial a "circus," and said her cousin was prosecuted because "he was an easy target." She did not elaborate.

The defense attorneys in the case also declined to comment.

The penalty phase of the trial for Arellano and Cervantes is scheduled to begin May 23. Olague is slated to be sentenced June 9 by Yolo County Superior Court Judge Arvid Johnson, who has presided over the court proceedings.

In total, seven people were arrested in connection with the Halloween murders that are believed to have been spawned by drug debts and rivalry between the Norteno and Sureno gangs. Christina Marten, who prosecutors say may have lured Stepper to Oak Avenue that night, was tried separately last year and convicted for her role in the killings. She is serving a sentence of life-without-parole.

Three other defendants, Nathanial Easlon, Gilberto Lopez and Richard Betancourt, tesitifed for the prosecution in exchange for lesser sentences.

by Daily Democrat (Repost)
Thursday Jun 15th, 2006 7:52 PM
Link To Article Print Article Email Article
Article created: 06/14/2006 06:58:41 AM PDT

Another delay in murder case
Arraignments once again postponed in double homicide
By Democrat staff

Arraignments for Candelario Garza and Guillermo Ramirez, alleged accomplices in the Halloween homicides of 2002, were postponed Tuesday for the third time.

Previous arraignments for the two were postponed due to lack of counsel. Tuesday's arraignment was continued because the newly appointed attorney for Garza said he didn't have enough information to advise his client.

Currently, two other men, Ernesto Arellano and Oscar Cervantes, are in the penalty phase of trial for the same murders.

Arellano was convicted of ordering the murder of Robert Stepper, 20, while Cervantes was convicted of being the shooter. Also killed during the shooting was Eric Folsom. In addition, two teenage girls were injured.

Cervantes took the stand Tuesday in an attempt to convince the jury he does not deserve the death penalty.

"This conviction has been surreal to me, to say the least," Cervantes said. "I can't believe the number of lives that have been altered because of it."

He went on to describe what life would be like for his family and son without him there to be a father.

The defense is expected to finish with their witnesses by the end of next week, when the jury will begin deliberations and ultimately decide whether either of the men should receive the death penalty.

Meanwhile, Garza and Ramirez, who had already been in jail on suspicion of intimidating witnesses during the current trial, are expected to go to trial for their alleged roles in the murders.

The two were arrested last month after a former defendant in the most recent trial implicated Garza for supplying the gun and Ramirez for being a lookout during the crime.

Their arraignments have been moved to June 26.

- Reach The Daily Democrat news staff at news [at] dailydemocrat.com.
by Sac Bee (repost)
Thursday Jun 15th, 2006 8:01 PM
New trial requested in Woodland killings
WOODLAND -- One of three men convicted last month in the gang-related slayings of two men in Woodland on Halloween night 2002 formally asked for a new trial Friday.

The attorney for James Joseph Olague, 29, filed a motion in Yolo Superior Court seeking a new trial for Olague, who was scheduled to be sentenced Friday.

Olague was convicted last month with two others in the shooting deaths of Eric Eugene Folsom, 17, and Robert Michael Stepper, 20. They were gunned down in front of a Woodland home after a Halloween party for young children.

Olague, who is believed to have been the lookout, faces life in prison. He is seeking a new trial on the grounds of insufficient evidence. A hearing on the motion is scheduled for July 28.

His co-defendants, Ernesto Duran Arellano, 34, and Oscar Hurtado Cervantes, 32, could face the death penalty. The penalty phase of their trial has not been scheduled.

-- Pamela Martineau
by i was there
Thursday Jun 15th, 2006 8:28 PM
that's bull shit. they're in the middle of the penalty phase. i was there today!
by No death penalty, No gang injunction
Friday Jun 16th, 2006 11:21 AM
Protest at Yolo county courthouse on monday @ 5pm sounds great. Maybe somewhere on the sidewalk near the intersection for visibility? Specifically protest the heavy handed police state tactics of Yolo DA Jeff Reisig and his eagerness for the death penalty, gang injunction and other forms of discrimination against working class neighborhoods in West Sac. Contrary to right wing propaganda, police state enforcement may actually increase violence and homocide in communities, the opposite of the intended efffects. Maybe Pat Lenzi would have offered a different alternative, more community based involvement than police intrusion. Either way Reisig seems to have gotten his way once again and police state tactics will be the standard ops in Yolo for the next few years..

Unless..

Once again it is up to the people most effected to speak out against the tightening grip of police state oppression, from Reisig up the the Bush regime's Alberto Gonzalez (Homeland Security, Head of US Gestapo, etc..). Seems like when we do get Latino immigrants in positions of power, they are equally as fascist as their Euro-american cheifs Bush/Cheney, as the case with Condoleeza Rice..

Back to gangland homocides in CA. There is a serious issue with people living in the same neighborhoods, enduring the same conditions then wearing different colors (roho y azul) and killing one another. Whether Crips or Bloods, Nortenos or Surenos, these folks all originate from mostly the same lower income economic regions. Killing one another off in this manner is suicidal. Whatever the initial cause (poverty, discrimination, inequality, etc..) of gangland killings the police state tactics employed by Jeff Reisig won't make this problem of gangs go away, only dialogue within the community followed by demands for equality and representation in the greater society..

Here in CA stray bullets tend to have a far reaching range so gangland violence effects everyone, especially lower income folks. Police state repression effects everyone also, especially lower income folks (any patterns visible yet?). If we are presented with an opinion from an individual like Yolo DA Jeff Reisig that gangland injunctions and death penalty will solve the problem of gangland violence, then what if this method isn't effective nor desired by the community it seeks to save? In a true democracy the people's voices need to be heard over the monotone roar of heirarchal dictatorships like DA Reisig. We have other methods of reducing tensions and bringing both sides to the table. Community organizing returns autonomy to the local neighborhoods who are far more knowledgable about local gang issues than the police invaders..

Maybe Stanley "Tookie" Williams could have shared his wisdom of trucemaking between rival gangs but he's not exactly available to people in physical form any longer thanks to the CA death penalty..

When looking at the CIA's involvement in crack cocaine and weapons distribution (see NarcoNews Gary Webb Dark Alliance) among LA street gangs, is it a far stretch to question whether the CIA has any interests in methamphetamine distribution in CA's Sacramento y San Joaquin Valley? Maybe the proliferation of prison gangs, division and segregation of working class people by ethnicity, regionalism, gang colors etc.., is actually in the best interest of the police, CIA and capitalist ruling class? After all, if there was no street crime what would justify those police officers cruising around all day on taxpayer salary in those shiny new cars??

Well, Gary Webb can't answer that question either because he managed to suicide himself with two bullets in his head..

"Nothing epitomizes the drug war’s uneven impact on black Americans more clearly than the intertwined lives of Ricky Donnell Ross, a high school dropout, and his suave cocaine supplier, Danilo Blandon, who has a master’s degree in marketing and was one of the top civilian leaders in California of an anti-communist guerrilla army formed by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency."

more from Gary Webb @;
http://www.narconews.com/darkalliance/






by no to death penalty
Friday Jun 16th, 2006 4:12 PM
i think that people should convene at the steps because the jurors should be coming out the front door and walking down the steps, but if you think public awareness is more important, then definitely the streets, as you suggest would be more appropriate. any other thoughts?
by news follower
Thursday Jun 22nd, 2006 4:39 PM
From The Daily Democrat:
2002 Murder Case Goes to Jury

By MONICA KRAUTH
Democrat staff writer

Jury deliberations are now under way following a nine-month trial of a 2002 gang-related homicide.

The prosecution and the defense in the so-called “Halloween Homicide “case both gave their closing statements Tuesday in the death penalty phase for defendants Miguel Cervantes and Ernesto Arellano.

A third man, James Olague, who is believed to have been the lookout in the Oct. 31, 2002, murder faces life in prison. He is seeking a new trial on the grounds of insufficient evidence. A hearing on that motion is scheduled for July 28.

The jury convicted Olague of first-degree murder in the killings of Woodlanders Eric Eugene Folsom, 17, and Robert Michael Stepper, 20. Olague as well as Cervantes and Arellano were also convicted of attempted murder in the shooting that night of two 14-year-old girls. Both girls survived.

Arellano was convicted of ordering the murder of Stepper, while Cervantes was convicted of being the shooter.

Though they were convicted for the murders and attempted murder, the penalty phase gave the defense an opportunity to provide reasons why their clients should not get the death
penalty but life in prison without parole.

Judge Arvid Johnson told the 12-member jury that each of them must be persuaded that the murders warrant death or life without parole. In fact, if one juror does not feel the death penalty is warranted for Cervantes, then he should get life. The same would apply to Arellano.
Yolo County deputy district attorneys Jeff Reisig and Jim Walker have been working toward persuading the jury that “factors of aggravation” outweigh “factors of mitigation” and therefore the death penalty should be the form of punishment.

However, Judge Johnson told jurors the totality of the case should be considered. Moreover, the jury is free to use their personal morals to help them decide. They were also instructed not consider any past crimes by the suspects.

“Each of you must be persuaded that (the charges against Arellano and Cervantes in this case) warrants death without parole,” he said.
Johnson told the jury to not consider the feelings of the family unless it illuminates positive characteristics of the defendant.

Reisig provided arguments for factors of aggravation in the case of Arellano. “Without him, none of this would have happened,” he said.
“Arellano wanted to show something to the little town of Woodland. (And it was) one of the most horrific crimes committed in this city carried out through a criminal street gang,” Reisig said. This man, Reisig said, is a gang leader.

Everyone was influenced by Arellano, Reisig said. “He was a charismatic leader who quietly ordered and planned it. He wasn’t even there. He had those folks working for him,” he said.

Reisig said Arellano’s “motivation was power and respect. He wanted to control Oak Avenue (where the crime was committed).”
However, in Arellano’s defense, attorney Tom Purtell said, “The facts are clear.” Arellano abused his wife Elvira Arellano. When he was on methamphetamines, he wasn’t a father.

“Yet, when he’s not on drugs, he loves them and they do too. He writes to them. He is the best example of why they should stay away from drugs,” Purtell said.

“There needs to be a greater degree of certainty than guilt for the death penalty,” Purtell said. If there is “lingering doubt” — the space between reasonable doubt and possible doubt — about a particular accusation then, Purtell argued, that the jury “consider this as a mitigating factor as what you deem appropriate.”

Not every murder, Walker said, “qualifies for the death penalty.”
Walker said that Mark Corey, the defense psychologist at the California Medical Facility who testified earlier in the trial, called the murders a “psychopathic slaughter with motivation” with the personal use of a firearm, and a high level of violence. These are factors of aggravation, Walker said. Moreover, Walker called Folsom and the girls “children” since they were under the age of 18 at the time of the killings and therefore Cervantes should be given the death penalty.

Rodney Beaty, a defense attorney for Cervantes, said he honors the questionnaire the jury fills out when asked about what type of person should get the death penalty.

Some of the responses, according to Beaty were, 9/11, Poly Klaas or the “worst of the worst,” but Cervantes does not belong in this category, Beaty argued.

Hayes Gable, a defense attorney for Arellano, said the jury has responsibility.

“Of (the prosecutions’) reasons (for the death penalty) I did not hear,” Gable said, “was that killing the defendants would restore the lives of Stepper and Folsom ... I submit to you that you do not have to kill to make sure that justice is put in place.”

Gable said that not everyone convicted of murder should receive the death penalty. The law doesn’t favor the death penalty. Before you consider, you must be persuaded that circumstances warrant the death penalty, he said.

“Even then, the law doesn’t make you vote for the death penalty,” Gable continued.

In addition, Gable said the jury should look at Arellano’s entire life. “You also have a responsibility to look beyond the crimes,” he said.
In regard to Cervantes, Beaty had the jury recall a testimony from a prison guard at the Monroe Detention Center who called Cervantes one of the “most manageable” inmates there.

Beaty questioned that reason for voting for the death penalty. “I urge you to discuss “lingering doubt.” The only issue, Beaty said, “is whether he is going here (showed a picture of prison and a picture of the barbed wire or whether he is going (to die).

“Don’t let them tell you he’s going on a picnic,” Beaty said.

“The fact he can watch TV, see blue sky, seems to be a reason proper to put him on death row,” Beaty said.

In addition, if Cervantes acts out of order, Beaty said those privileges could be taken away. Beaty said by giving him the death penalty nothing gets accomplished, but that it only creates more suffering.

Beaty said that even the witnesses brought forth by the prosecution characterized Cervantes with the statement: Violence isn’t really his style.

In the three years of coming to court, Beaty said, Cervantes has “never hurt a soul.”

But as the prosecution said that there is a possibility that he could commit further atrocities, Beaty said “possibility — it’s just that.”

“Doesn’t his history, his years in jail, mean anything?” Beaty asked.
On Tuesday, June 13, Cervantes took the stand in an attempt to convince the jury he does not deserve the death penalty.

"This conviction has been surreal to me, to say the least," Cervantes said at that time. "I can't believe the number of lives that have been altered because of it."

He went on to describe what life would be like for his family and son without him there to be a father.

In total, seven people were arrested in connection with the Halloween murders that are believed to have been spawned by drug debts and rivalry between the Norteno and Sureno gangs. Christina Marten, who prosecutors say may have lured Stepper to Oak Avenue that night, was tried separately last year and convicted for her role in the killings.
She is serving a sentence of life-without-parole.

Three other defendants, Nathanial Easlon, Gilberto Lopez and Richard Betancourt, testified for the prosecution in exchange for lesser sentences.

— Reach Monica Krauth at 530-406-6231 or at mkrauth [at] dailydemocrat.com
by CANDICE
Wednesday Jun 28th, 2006 7:45 PM
FUCKIN LIARS IT WAS BOBBY FERNANDEZ. GILBERTO LOPEZ AND TRAMPA I DONT KNOW HIS REAL NAME. EVERYONE ELSE HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT THEY MADE IT ALL UP TO SAVE THIER ASSES FROM GETTING BEAT. THE TRUTH WILL COME OUT SOONER OR LATER
by CANDICE
Wednesday Jun 28th, 2006 8:00 PM
THEIR LYING U GOT THE STORY ALL WRONG GILBERTO LOPEZ LIED TO SAVE HIS ASS. HE LIED TO SAVE HIS ASS FROM GETTING BEAT IN PRISON. THE REAL ONES THAT DID IT WAS RUDY GONZALES. GILBERTO LOPEZ AND BOBBY FERNANDEZ. GILBERTO IS NOW LOCKED UP SERVING 6 YEARS WHEN HE SHOULD BE GETTING LIFE. BOBBY FERNANDEZ IN NOW IN ONTARIO HIDING OR IN BROLI. AND RUDY GONZALES IS MONROE CENTER ABOUT TO GET RELEASED SOON. THEY ARE THE ONES THAT SHOULD BE GETTING CHARGED FOR THE MURDER. CANDERLARIO GARZA AND GUERMO RAMIREZ AND OSCAR CERVANTEZ AND ALL THE REST THAT ARE SERVING LIFE IN PRISON HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. NOTHING WHAT SO EVER. THE TRUTH WILL COME OUT THEY THINK THEY GOT AWAY WITH IT THEY WILL SEE AND SO WILL YOU. YOU NEED TO GET YOUR STORY RIGHT. THEY ARE CONVICTING THE WRONG ONES. I CANT BELIEVE THAT SOMEONE WOULD LIE LIKE THAT WHATS WRONG WITH THEM. THEY ARE GOING TO ROT IN PRISON FOR WHAT THEY DID.
by TRUTH FAIRY
Tuesday Jul 4th, 2006 2:29 PM
It's so sad to see that all these men are getting charged for a crime they DID NOT commit. The DA and undercover investigators are all full of false information. I can't believe the lengths that some people go to make themselves look good and to be elected. It's sad that we are letting these incompetent people run our county. Discovering the real truth no matter if you do have to start over not only would make you great at doing your job but it would keep all these innocent men and their families from all unnecessary pain and suffering. Do they even know the true pain that they are causing in these families hearts. It's not right, not fair, not even cool. How can you go to school to study something that you once loved and were so dedicated to and just give up. How can they use their power to manipulate the system due to incompetence. You can't force witnesses to say things that are not true. Oh but they do. They force, twist, feed, and make it all happen in sick desperation to get the job done. No matter what it takes or who they hurt. HEARTLESS, HEARTLESS, HEARTLESS. No shame, no conscience it's disgusting and sad. Do they even know how in trouble they are with the Karma God. You may be able to fool everyone else but not Karma. Believe it or not what comes around goes around. What you do to others will happen back to you. It's in the Bible. Believe it!! Please stop and think about this you still have time to fix things and get the true murderers.
by TRUTH FAIRY
Wednesday Jul 5th, 2006 2:59 PM
It's so sad to see that all these men are getting charged for a crime they DID NOT commit. The DA and undercover investigators are all full of false information. I can't believe the lengths that some people go to make themselves look good and to be elected. It's sad that we are letting these incompetent people run our county. Discovering the real truth no matter if you do have to start over not only would make you great at doing your job but it would keep all these innocent men and their families from all unnecessary pain and suffering. Do they even know the true pain that they are causing in these families hearts. It's not right, not fair, not even cool. How can you go to school to study something that you once loved and were so dedicated to and just give up. How can they use their power to manipulate the system due to incompetence. You can't force witnesses to say things that are not true. Oh but they do. They force, twist, feed, and make it all happen in sick desperation to get the job done. No matter what it takes or who they hurt. HEARTLESS, HEARTLESS, HEARTLESS. No shame, no conscience it's disgusting and sad. Do they even know how in trouble they are with the Karma God. You may be able to fool everyone else but not Karma. Believe it or not what comes around goes around. What you do to others will happen back to you. It's in the Bible. Believe it!! Please stop and think about this you still have time to fix things and get the true murderers.
by Deathwing
Friday Jul 28th, 2006 4:08 PM
Those pieces of shit were convicted, done. The truth is out, they mudered those people and now they are convicted for it. If there was any solid credible evidence to the contrary it would have been discovered and used by the defense and if it was believable beyond a shadow of a doubt they would have been found not guilty.

So where is the evidence that the others were lying? what expert witness or piece of fabled evidence do you have that proves that they are falsly accused and where were you when they needed it? Truth is there is no evidence to the contrary that is the least bit credible. You all want the cops to be evil lying bastards but not a lot of them even come close, you want Reisig to be the devil himself but he is just trying to keep the streets clean from these scumbag gangbangin drugdealers.

Its not like they grabbed some random innocents off the streets and began some grand conspiracy to pin a multiple homicide on them, they were involved with the whole thing, not a one of them a decent person. Boo freakin Hoo, I dont care if they rot forever in federal pound you in the ass prison or die strapped to a table as long as they are off the streets for good then the town is just a little bit better for it.

by Empasis Fairy
Saturday Aug 19th, 2006 6:19 AM
Dear: Boo Hoo
Why are you crying for? Is it your guilt? Is it cause the crooked people that are supposed to be protecting and serving us have gotten to you too. Making you by force say things that are false? I was also wondering if you talk to your mother with that mouth of yours? Your weak. You must fight and not let them punk you around. I sit and wonder who is going too be that brave soul that finally takes these crooked evil monsters down!! Oh the joy they will put in many peoples hearts.
I feel so sorry for all of them when judgment day comes. This case isn't over. I'm sure you know that. You see, this case will for sure make headlines. Just sit back shut the hell up and watch. Then maybe you'll learn something. Let some real soldiers show you how it's done the Legal Fair Justice way!!!!


I don't understand it! Can someone please explain how the Halloween Homicide is classified under gang related?? I'm at a lost trying to figure this out!!! To my understanding, in this case the people are convicting northern and southern gang members in this case. WOW is all I have to say!! When did these two come together and who is the other gang that these two have came against??? NICE TRY!!!!! But I don't think so. Although it would be a wonderful thing, there is no way that these two have made a TRUCE. Also there is no way in hell they would ever work together. What is wrong with these incompetent people? Freaking either go back to school for a refresher coarse or just throw the towel in and retire. Don't take innocent peoples lives to protect your PRIDE. If anyone should be charged for gang related charges, it's the county officials. All you people are a legal disgrace, a legal gang a incompetent mess. There are some crooked cops in this county. I think there should be some sort of psychological test done before they allow anyone to hold such a strong position. Their job is supposed to be to protect and serve us, but instead you deceive and hurt us. Your injustice will prove itself, but for now lets talk about how you forced the two young girls to say Oscar Cervantes was the shooter. When they saw him in the line up they specifically said it was not him. Another elderly man, that witness the homicide viewed the line up and he also clarified it was not Oscar. Oh but you would not except that, so in desperation to convict somebody anybody so that you wouldn't look bad you forced them to lie. Pushing and manipulating them till they finally truly believed it. Didn't they tell you that they saw the shooter earlier that day at the park. They recognized him cause he approached them and ask them for a cigarette. The specifically remembered his pants the same ones he was wearing when he did the shooting. They remembered the pants cause they reminded them of clown pants that they joked about with each other. Gilbert's Lopez was forced to testify or should I say an opportunity was brought before him. HMM, I wonder what would anyone do in his situation. Go to jail for life or let the DA feed you with enough information to set himself free in six years. It's a known fact that if you haven't solved a murder homicide within three months it gets very crucial and it's unlikely that you will ever be able to solve that case. It took one year for them to make their first arrest. These men didn't kill because of an unpaid debt. That's ludicrous and they couldn't be more wrong. Someone else that is crazy and sick in the head found this as an opportunity to do this at just the right time to make it look that way and I tell you what it looks like that person plan work very well. Wake up. Oh so believe me when I tell you this solve this case is what they didn't do. They couldn't further away from the truth than they are now. Clue by clue. Piece by piece. Do we have to do your job for you. Just wait till you see our surprise witness. I've already started practicing my surprise face....
Oh and BOO HOO hasn't your mother ever told you to be nice. BEACAUSE NICE MATTERS!!!!!!!!!!
by YOLOCOUNTYHATER
Tuesday Sep 12th, 2006 11:07 AM
DAMN WITH ALL THE SHIT GOING ON AND ALL THE DA KNEW AND THEY STILL CONVICT MY HOMEBOY DROOPY. THATS FUCKED UP. SHIT I AM NOT SURPRIZED AT ALL BY THE YELLOW COUNTY COURT!! THEY ARE A RACIST TOWN AND THEY ARE NOT SCARED TO LET YOU KNOW. BELIEVE ME I WAS TOLD PERSONALLY THAT IF YOU AINT WHITE YOU AINT RIGHT!!! THAT WAS FROM THE INFOMOUS WEST SAC PD!! WATCH OUT DONT LOOK AWAY THEY WOULD LOVE TO SIC THE K-9 ON YOUR ASS. ANYWAYS DROOPS, HUERO, OSCAR, KEEP YOUR HEAD UP HOMIES DON'T TRIP DROOPS YOU WILL BE COMING HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!! SOUTHERN COMFORT BABY!!!!!!!!
by Truth Seeker
( kittenacious [at] hotmail.com ) Monday Sep 25th, 2006 3:08 PM
For those claiming to have information regarding the police investigators or the Yolo County D.A. mishandling evidence or convincing people to lie in court testimony or suppressing evidence in the "Halloween Homicides" case...I would like to know what you know and how you know it. Who are you? and do you have connections with the accused (now convicted) people in this case, or their family/friends? I have connections with the kids killed in this case and their family/friends. I have an open mind though, because I have always had questions that could not be answered by the police, the D.A., and were not made clear even by the trial. I don't care about gossip or personal opinion. If you have factual information, I want to know what you know. I don't know why you would not have come forward and been more aggressive to offer this information to someone who would do something with it at a time it might have been more helpful for anyone falsely accused, if it is true, but I don't know your story. Let me be very clear here...I am not interested in attacking an organization based on a friend or family member's inability to face the fate of a loved one or to advance anyone's personal bias against the cops or Yolo County. I assure you, however, if it comes to light that a public official has intentionally tainted this situation, I will see to it that they are exposed, and they will pay with their jobs. The fact is, there are a lot of good police officers, investigators, and public officials. There are also some very bad ones. The justice system is no different than what you find in every other community in the world. There are good people and bad. There are so many facets of a criminal case, many people are involved to prosecute it. It is entirely possible for mistakes to have been made because we are still dealing with human beings here, completely capable of error. I don't know what the situation was in this case, but I am inclined to look into it further and find out. So again, if you have credible information, you can contact me at the above e-mail. I don't care to discuss anything with someone who will not disclose who they are. If you are serious, you have no reason to hide from me. I am on the side of TRUTH.
by MOTHER OF ACCUSED
Saturday Oct 14th, 2006 4:39 PM
AS FOR THE HOLLOWEEN MURDER TRIAL THE COURT AND THE JURY DID NOT GIVE THESE THREE YOUNG MEN A FAIR TRIAL. THESE YOUNG MEN ARE INNOCENT!! DURING THE 3 1/2 YEARS THE DA NEVER FOUND THE MURDER WEAPON !, SO HOW COULD ALL THESE YOTO UNG MEN BE CHARGED WITH MURDER ?
MS. C. MARTIN'S STATEMENTS WERE ALL LIES ! THAT'S WHY WHEN THEY BROUGHT HER BACK FROM PRISON TO TESTIFY AGAINST THESE THREE INNOCENT YOUNG MEN, SHE TOOK THE FIFTH AMMENDMENT ?!! WHY? BECAUSE THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS WHEN SHE SPOKE UP THE FIRST TIME, SHE GAVE THREE INNOCENT MEN'S NAMES AND DIDN'T SAY WHO THE REAL MURDERERS WERE.
THOSE ARE TRUE FACTS-SO JURY, HOW CAN YOU HONESTLY CONVICT THESE MEN ? THIS GOES OUT TO BOO HOO'S COMMENT. WHY NNOBODY CAMR FORWARD BACK THEN ! ISN'T THAT WHAT THE DA'S JOB IS SUPPOSED TO BE? I'M SO CONFUSED!! SO, THERE! STILL THE COURT & JURY COULDN'T SRR THAT THESE THREE YOUNG MEN ARE SO INNOCENT? TO ME THESE THREE MEN ARE SOLDIERS ! THE SYSTEM HERE IN YOLO CO. IS NOTHING BUT A PIECE OF SHIT !!!! " CAUSE THEY SEND THE WRONG ONES TO PRISON.
THIS CASE OF THE HOLLOWEEN MURDERS WAS THE MIS-TRIAL ,'CAUSE THE JUDGE ALWAYS GAVE THE DA THE UPPER HAND. THERE WAS ALOT OF OF WRONG IN THIS TRIAL . NOW FOR ALL THE PEOPLE WOODLAND, PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THE KILLER OF THE HOLLOWEEN MURDER IS WALKING THE STREETS OF WOODLAND!!! SO, IT'S NOT SAFE TO LET YOUR CHILDREN WALK THE STRRETS, 'CAUSE THE KILLER IS STILL OUT THERE! THIS MAN IS CRAZY!, SO BE CAREFUL!!
THIS MURDERER RESIDES HERE IN WOODLAND & IS ALSO IN JAIL. AND HE WILL SOON BE SET FREE. HE'S ALSO THE PERSON THEY CALL " SHOT CALLER". THE DA SHOULD GET OFF THEIR ASS & GO AFTER THIS KILLER, 'CAUSE HE'S ALSO A GANG MEMBER THE DA DOESN'T KNOW ! THE DA DOESN'T KNOW THE STREETS AT ALL. ALL THEY KNOW IS HOW TO CONVICT INNOCENT PEOPLE.
MY HEART GOES OUT TO THE FAMILIES OF THESE YOUNG MEN.SO, LETS KEEP THESE YOUNG MEN IN OUR PRAYERS SO THAT SOMEDAY SOON THEY WILL COME HOME TO THEIR FAMILIES & LOVED ONES. AS FAR AS THE DA'S , THEY SHOULD DO THEIR HOMEWORK RIGHT BECAUSE THEY GET PAID PRETTY GOOD . NOW FOR THE JURRY, HOW MUCH DID THE DA PAY YOU TO CONVICT THESE MEN ?
YOU JURY PEOPLE , YOU DIDN'T PAY ANY ATTENTION TO THE CASE. WHAT- WERE YOU SLEEPING WHILE THE TRIAL WAS GOING ON , BECAUSE IF YOU WERE AWAKE YOU WOULD KNOW THEY WERE INNOCENT. THE TRIAL WAS NOT FAIR . THERE WERE LIES AFTER LIES. THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE TO SHOW & EVIDENCE MEANS "FACTS" , OR SIGNS THAT HELP ONE FIND OUT THE TRUTH & THE TRUTH IS THAT THE DA WAS RUNNING OUT OF TIME, SO THEY BECAME TO DO THEIR DIRTY WORK. LET ME SEND THIS OUT & LET ME PUT DOWN THESE WORDS. YOU THREE YOUNG MEN -KEEP YOUR HEADS UP HIGH BECAUSE YOUR ALL VERY BRAVE MEN!! STAY STRONG, THERE'S LOTS & LOTS OF PEOPLE OUT HERE WHO ARE SUPPORTING YOU.GOD BLESS YOU . GOD'S ON YOUR SIDE, REMEMBER THAT!! OSCAR, JAMES ERNESTO- YOU'LL BE COMMING HOME SOON !!
by pole dancer
Wednesday Oct 18th, 2006 4:57 PM
to boo hoo yeah! thats what you were doing when they got shot but remember the killer still walks the street for all you know it could be your neighbor. and for witnesses your justice system wasnt trying to hear it and your jury was a joke
by TWELVE
Friday Jan 12th, 2007 11:19 AM
I DIDNT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS COMMENT PAGE OR I WOULD HAVE BEEN HERE ALOT SOONER, AS FAR AS ANYONE SPEEKING UP TO THE DA ABOUT THE HOLLOWEEN SHOOTINGS MYSELF AND MY DAUGHTER DID NOTHING SHORT OF TAKING THE STAND. ALTHOUGH I WAS NOT ALOWED TO TAKE THE STAND, SHE DID AND WE ALONG WITH OTHER FAMILY AND FRIENDS MADE IT CLEAR TO THE DA, THE PROSECUTER, AND THE DEFENSE ATTORNEYS WHO WAS RESPONSABLE FOR THE SHOOTINGS. THEY PAYED NO MIND TO THIS BECAUSE THEY LACKED THE EVIDENCE AND ALREADY HAD THE WITNESS STATEMENTS OF PEOPLE WHO HAD EVERY REASON TO SET THESE 3 MEN UP. CHRISTINA MARTIN HAD ALREADY RECANTED HER PRIOR STATEMENTS TO THE DA, AN ACT OF CONCIENCE ? I DONT KNOW, BUT THE TRIAL WENT ON WITH NOTHING BUT LIES AND CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE... EVERYONE WAS POINTING THEIR FINGERS AT RUDY GONZALEZ A.K.A. TRAMPA!! NOW LOOK WHOS BEEN ARRESTED FOR SHOOTING THIS MAN AT THE WOODLAND GARDENS APTS... ANOTHER FAMILY IN DISTRESS, ANOTHER VICTIM OF A MINDLESS SHOOTING,REISIG WOULDNT LISTEN. IWONDER IF HE IS PAYING ATTENTION NOW! THIS MAN RUDY GONZALEZ IS A RUTHLESS INDIVIDUAL, NOT ONLY IS HE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SHOOTING AT THE GARDEN APTS. FOR THE HOLLOWEEN SHOTINGS , HE IS ALSO RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INCARCERATION OF 3 INNOCENT MEN, AND THE PAIN AND ANQUISH OF THEIR FAMILY AND FRIENDS. AS TO BOO HOO, JAMES OLAGUE AND OSCAR CERVANTES MAY HAVE HAD TROUBLE WITH THE LAW IN THE PAST(MOSTLY DRUG RELATED) BUT THESE WERE LOVING INDIVIDUALS AND BOTH JUST BEGINNING THEIR LIVES AS YOUNG MEN , WHEN THEY WERE SNATCHED UP, SETUP AND LOCKED UP FOR A CRIME THEY HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH. THER WAS A FIRE AT MY HOUSE IN 2001 AND THESE TWO MEN RUSHED TO SAVE MY 4 DAUGHTERS FROM THE FIRE... THEY ARE MY HEROS AND I OWE THEM EVERYTHING,PLEASE SEE THE OTHER SIDE OF THESE MEN... MAYBE THEYWERE ADDICTS AS SO MANY OF US ARE WETHER IT BE DRUGS OR ALCOHOL, GAMBLING OR WHATEVER BUT SCINCE WHEN DO WE CONDEMN ADDICTS TO LIFE IN PRISON IN THIS COUNTRY. I WONDER IF THE GUN USED IN THE HOLLOWEEN SHOOTINGS IS THE SAME ONE USED IN THE GARDEN APTS. SHOOTING. WAKE UP WOODLAND YOU HAVE SENT THE WRONG MEN TO PRISON, AND ELLECTED A CROOKED CITY OFFICIAL.
by Worried Hopeful Fairy
Sunday Feb 25th, 2007 8:47 PM
JEFF Reisig Is a CROOKED COUNTY OFFICIAL. Where did this guy with no heart and no conscience come from. I've researched so many cases that him and his people have handled and there is huge mistakes everywhere. So many of us are suffering and paying the price due to their injustice and yet they continue to get away with doing whatever they want to whoever they want. It's not RIGHT! They call themselves the JUSTICE SYSTEM. They shouldn't be aloud to use that name if they can't follow the right protocols in Fair Justice. Fair is what they are Not! This goes beyond these homicides. They are screwing people over left and right. We all know there is something wrong and yet nothing has been done about it. Maybe they all should be drug tested or at least be physiologically tested and evaluated. All that needs to be done is for someone to evaluate and compare the files and charges these officials have handled to prove their incompetence and injustice. There is proof that Jeff Reisig has been leading a crooked group of individuals. Yet we continue to sit back and just watch them while they ruin innocent peoples lives as if it were a movie and they continue to get away with whatever they want. They always ignore the truth and build cases on their own perspectives. They only use witnesses that benefit their own perspectives and twist and change what is true or ignore it all. To them everyone is guilty. Their negativity and crookedness is ruining allot of innocent peoples lives and no one is doing anything to stop it or at least try and fix it. Is there anyone out there that is fair anymore? Anyone who cares? Anyone that can stop them? They have even corrupted most Public defenders and Lawyers. Why is everyone so scared to stand up to these bullies? One thing is for sure. I know we have a hero out there somewhere and we should never give up HOPE
by FINDING HELP FAIRY
Sunday Feb 25th, 2007 10:12 PM
EVIDENCE OF INNOCENCE IS IRRELEVANT

When the Bill of Rights was added to the U.S. Constitution, its authors clearly intended to protect the rights of persons accused of crime. Those simply stated protections have been continuously eroded over the past 200 years. For each interpretive appellate decision that attempts to even the playing field, there are five more that steepen the grade. Our concern has turned from seeking truth to seeking convictions, and our post-conviction efforts are focused on denying any further review.

Note: We add links to updates with the original news articles reporting how the system really works, so be sure to scroll down to check for "new news".
See the statistical role false "snitch" testimony has played in convictions overturned by DNA

In 1997 I began compiling a database of wrongfully incarcerated people who have been arrested and/or convicted of a crime and later proven innocent. This database now contains 360 people who were innocent, yet convicted of a crime - many were sentenced to death.

As a physician, I'm interested in improving the quality of my diagnosis and treatment. I strive to manage my patients and their illnesses accurately and effectively. One way I better my effectiveness is to review mistakes and adjust behavior. No one likes to be wrong, but the process of examining a bad outcome makes me a better physician.

When a plane crashes, the FAA investigates; when a patient dies during surgery, the hospital probes; if a patient adversely reacts to a vaccine, the physician is required to report the occurrence to the CDC.

The criminal justice system does not operate this way. Many agencies exist to investigate crimes and prosecute criminals, but no entity exists to investigate the injustice of wrongful conviction. Authorities in the criminal justice system make no effort to collect, organize and review their mistakes.

The typical wrongfully convicted innocent is quietly released, with no ceremony, or apology, or assurance that a similar mistake may be prevented in the future.

This database was created so that some of the errors within the criminal justice system can be remembered, examined and, hopefully, not repeated. I believe this is the largest collection of innocent people falsely convicted of a crime, in the United States and Canada. Cases are included only when there is evidence that the falsely convicted person is innocent, not simply, "not guilty." Establishing innocence can be done with DNA evidence, a solid alibi, finding the actual culprit or even finding the actual "murder victim" alive, just to name a few.

Wrongful Patterns
When the cases are categorized and reviewed, patterns emerge. Analysis shows that wrongful convictions happen because of:

Erroneous Eyewitness Identification
False Confession
False Informant
Official Misconduct
Rigid Thinking
This site contains the database, case summaries, explanations of the errors mentioned above, a look at DNA's implications in the justice system, and links for further study.

This database includes all known cases of the wrongfully convicted. If you are aware of others, please send me an email (click on Contact Dr. Higgins). Include the reference so the information can be verified. A case must be reported in an accessible public document and the person must have been released from custody to be included in this database. Also, if you are aware of any errors in this database, please contact me.

This web site is dedicated to understanding and learning from errors in the criminal justice system. The purpose of the database is to track the ever-growing number of the wrongfully convicted, identify and understand the associated mistakes and hope that, somehow, this information may be used to prevent another error. It will be updated regularly.

-Edmund Higgins, MD








by eye in the sky
Thursday May 17th, 2007 2:00 PM
take a look at surveilance the night in question at am/pm on main street roughly 20minutes after shooting for the truth
by R Valenzuela
Friday Jun 1st, 2007 1:10 AM
how obout three bail bonds = tp 15000.00 paid to bail bondsmen when chargers were dismissed. On one occasion I was charged with 3 felonys . My husband later admitted to making a false report. False report is only a misdemeanor which he never was even charged with. Yet i had to pay to get out of Jail. I have childred so I could not afford to stay in jail.
by Sister of Victim
Monday Apr 14th, 2008 5:12 PM
To: The mother of one of the accused

I understand that you are upset. I do not feel that these men were accused wrongly. I live out of state now, so I do not get all of the details. I went to one of the court dates for part of the sentencing phase. I remember my mom was on the stand, I looked over and looked at Ernesto. He was sitting there laughing and talking with his attorney. I have watched my family ripped apart time and time again. What kind of innocent man would sit there in the middle of a trial laughing with his attorney. He did not care about any of it. My brother was shot to death. I will NEVER see him again. I am eighteen now and it is still heart wrenching that I will never see someone in my family that I LOVED with all of my HEART! Where do you get off complaining that your son is in prison? AT LEAST YOU WILL SEE HIM AGAIN! I don't know if you will ever see this, but at least I will know that I feel like a better person, having stated my opinion on this matter. When person after person continued to get arrested, all I wanted was to make sure that they did not get the death penalty. One: that is the easy way out, they should have to rot in prison for what they did, REGRET THAT PORTION OF THEIR LIVES! And two: there is no reason why the jury should do to your family, what those men did to our families. At least I sleep better at night having known that those men WILL NOT DIE DUE TO SOMEONE ELSE'S HANDS! Sleep better at night knowing you can still see your family. They are still in this crazy ass world. Hold onto them while you have them. I feel that you are acting in a very selfish way. They did what they did, get over it. If I have to accept that I will never see my brother again, you have to accept that your son did wrong in this world!
Rooble
by LYDZ
Tuesday Jun 17th, 2008 2:02 AM
I THINK YOLO COUNTIES POLICE OFFICERS OVER USE THEIR "PRIVILAGES" WHEN IT COMES TO THEIR JOBS. IVE SEEN MANY UNJUSTICES IN MY FEW YEARS HERE. THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM DOES NOT KNOW WHO REALLY SHOT AND KILLED THOSE BOYS. THE ACCUSED, HAPPEN TO BE MY FRIENDS AND AS FAR AS OSCAR GOES, HE COULDN'T KILL A FLY LET ALONE HUMAN BEINGS. YOLO COUNTY IS GUN HO HAPPY WITH THEIR LAW
by The Mrs
Friday Sep 5th, 2008 5:04 PM
Not guilty verdicts in last of Halloween Homicide trials. Hopefully these families that have been torn apart can begin to heal after law enforcement has abused their power and ravaged through the lives of many innocent people. I am praying daily for those who have been falsely convicted in this case. Prayer changes things.... Heavens know that our judicial system here is not interested in the truth, but convictions they are after. So to the families of the convicted never give up and pray with out ceasing.
by lydz
Sunday Oct 26th, 2008 5:39 PM
I still can't believe that these men haven't come home yet.
by Cousin of wrongfully accused!
Monday Jun 29th, 2009 2:18 AM
I am sorry honey for the loss of your family member! It is unfortunate that your family member and mine, were led by crooked City Officials, who were too busy trying to CYA on everything they did and forgot to "Bring Peace to the People". I disagree fully on your comment that "at least we can see them in prison". Regardless of their background, my cousin did not have one thing to do with the homicide! Not one! He shouldn't have been part of the POOR & UNETHICAL job that Woodland City Officials still do. I and all my family should not have to enjoy the company of an innocent person whom is restricted of his freedom, that had absolutely nothing to do with your and your family's grief for your loss. I should not have to enjoy my cousin in prison when I should be enjoying him freely, where the Lord will soon bring him; HOME!
Greatfully, I don't live in Woodland, where the entire city was/is run by an absolutely BAD JUSTICE SYSTEM, who fail to bring peace to the community!
I can't even imagine a loss of an immediate family member. I truly wish you sympathy and that now that you are away from Woodland, that you let peace heal your sorrow!
by Sydney Aubuchon
Monday Nov 8th, 2010 7:55 PM
Dear Readers,
I am a 14 year old girl who was just introduced to this case and it is breaking my heart. first before i say anything i have a family member in jail (my dad) and he hasnt been in my life for 3.5/4 years in my life and i know how frustrating it is to know that you can only see them in so many hours or minutes on the prisons schedule. ok know i want to talk about Christina Marten i just want to say that yes she is guilty of lying and giving false names but she was 18 at the time and i dont know wat thats like to be 18 yet but i know that its a VERY young age and she was just scared. she was scared for her life of the gangs that were from the real killer of killers. also that the prossecuter made her say that it was those men because he didnt want to deal with having to find the real killer/s and the cops, da, the whole justice system is crooked as a hillbillys smile. i mean come on she was 18 and scared for her life what would you do if you knew that if you did or didnt know who the killer/s were and gave the names up you would have to fear for your life every day, but the system made her say those names because they didnt want to look like a fool in front of their communtiy.i know that the protest is this wensday but i have school and cant go but i would if i could and know that my heart will be their for all the people that are going. and for the men that got sent to jail for something that they did not commit and are paying for it need to stay strong and know that the truth will come out!!!!! I mean they have no case what so ever AND THEY DON'T EVEN HAVE THE MURDER WEAPON !!!!!!!!! i just feel bad for the innocent men and woman that are in jail/prison and will never get to see their families again while the real commiters are out there commiting more and getting away with it thats just not fair. i know some of you are thinking what does she know shes a teenager and shes young but i am an intelligent who gets all a's in school and acts VERY mature for my age. so please take what i have to say and consider, being 18 and scared and being pushed iinto something thats a lie, and haveing family thats innocent in jail and having to suffer for what others did.

THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!
by analishia cervantes
Friday Nov 18th, 2011 11:12 AM
everything in this trial wus BULL SHIT . not evrything wus brought up . DA left out or say ' GOT RID ' of the real shit . fake ass story . ! freee oscar cervantes !!
by Freee Oscar!!!!!
Saturday Feb 18th, 2012 9:56 AM
Its sad how many people today only go off of what people say. To me, me only being 13 I look at every little detail there is. Oscar will never be able to hold his son ever again because of a false conviction. His son will never be able to touch,laugh or play with his dad unless people get things straight! All people are asking is for the right person(s) to be convicted. If ANYONE knows Oscar they know he DIFFENENTLY DID NOTHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING!!!!!!!! And to those who say that their doing their job thier-bull craping themselves! If you did your job Oscar would be with his family and kid right now!!! One thing about Oscar to was he wouldnt even kill a fly, huh and his in for killing people. Yea they got it ALLLLLLLLLLL WRONG!!!!
by A friend
Friday Jan 3rd, 2014 11:56 PM
I knew Robert for a brief period of time. He was a sweetheart and a gentlemen. He is loved and missed by many! Rest in peace Robert, I miss you...