NOT GUILTY: ALL COUNTS
On September 22, 2017, after a harrowing ten month ordeal and four week jury trial, Michael Vernon Hillman was found not guilty on all counts. Mr. Hillman had been charged with four counts of violating Penal Code 594(B)(1), Vandalism $400 or more as a felony and one count of violating Penal Code section 646.9(A), Felony Stalking, on or between August 17, 2016 and October 22, 2016. From his first voluntary interview with police last year, Mr. Hillman has maintained his innocence as to these crimes, and sought vigorous representation in the form of well known local criminal defense attorney Eric Alan Berg and his law firm.
This case began on December 29, 2016, when the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office filed a complaint against Mr. Hillman in Shasta County Case number 16-08099 . The complaint alleged four violations of Penal Code 594(B)(1) (Vandalism $400 or more). On February 6, 2017, the People added an additional count, Count Three, alleging Mr. Hillman committed an additionally felony vandalism on October 10, 2016.
On April 14, 2017, the People dismissed Shasta County Case number 16-08099 after the visiting judge denied the People’s motion to continue, as the People were not prepared to proceed.. That same day, the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office filed a new complaint against Mr. Hillman in Shasta County Case number 17-02163. The complaint alleged five counts of violating Penal Code 594(B)(1), Vandalism $400 or more as a felony. On April 28, 2017, the People added an additional counts, Count Five, alleging a violation of Penal Code section 646.9(A), Felony Stalking, on or between August 17, 2017 and October 22, 2017.
This case proceeded to trial on August 29th, 2017 and was heard by the Honorable Justice Rebecca Wiseman. These counts originated from a series of window breaking incidents at Dr. Peter Grandaw’s office on Buenaventura Boulevard in 2016. The People presented surveillance footage which purported to show Mr. Hillman’s car driving past on two occasions when windows were broken. The People’s case quickly disintegrated as it was shown that the cars, while similar, did not match Mr. Hillman’s vehicles, as well as the fact that the driver was not visible in any of the footage and no license plate evidence was visible. The People’s theory, which was that the vandal had driven by the office, holding in one hand a 44″ single shot pellet rifle and fired multiple rounds while driving, likewise failed to past muster as a feasible explanation for the multiple broken windows. Questions were also raised as to the veracity of shifting testimony from law enforcement officers involved in the case, as well as the handling of potentially exculpatory evidence that was not properly maintained during the investigation.
When the trial concluded on September 21st, 2017, the jury deliberated for three days before returning a not guilty verdict on all charges. Mr. Hillman was elated to be able to put this nightmare behind him and cautions the people of Redding to remember that this could happen to anyone, and to be cautious when being interviewed by law enforcement without assistance from an experienced attorney, even when you know you are innocent.
Search of Marijuana Grow without a Warrant
August 11, 2017, Eric Alan Berg and Associates successfully argued for the suppression of illegally obtained evidence in the form of over 125 marijuana plants after exposing inconsistent statements and credibility issues with the reason why law enforcement agents arrived at the property and how law enforcement agents were able to get passed a locked gate and search a yard, all without a warrant. After the evidence was suppressed, the case was dismissed!
January 2017, Eric Alan Berg and Associates successfully argued for the suppression of illegally obtained evidence in the form of over 275 marijuana plants after exposing inconsistent statements and credibility issues with how law enforcement agents were able to get passed a locked gate, search a yard, and enter a private warehouse, all without a warrant. After the evidence was suppressed, the case was dismissed!
Learn more about the case: Charges dropped in Round Mountain man’s marijuana case
Shasta County judge rules, charges dropped against collective owner
Claim filed for civil rights lawsuit against Shasta County
School Teacher Case
A school teacher was charged with sexually molesting and having intercourse with one of his students. That student had been neglected by her parents. She had head lice which the parents never eradicated. The teacher helped this student and helped the family to get rid of the lice.
The girl said that they had sex on the passenger seat of his mid-sized Buick.
The defense presented a demonstration with a model of the same sized Buick and showed that it would have been unlikely for the sexual intercourse to have taken place in that one passenger seat.
The teacher was tried two separate times on the same charges.
Some jurors voted him innocent in both trials. Finally, the court dismissed all charges against this gentleman and discharged and freed him from any further charges.
False accusation of multiple molestation
A man in his 60’s was charged with molesting and sodomizing five boys in a 35 year period. The sheriffs detective knew at least one of the boys had recanted but he hid the tape recording wherein the boy said it never happened. The district attorney had to search the sheriff’s computer himself to find the tape showing the man’s innocence and showing that the boy said he was innocent.
At the jury trial, the man was found not guilty of many of the charges and the district attorney’s office dismissed the remaining charges. The old man was freed of all charges.
False accusation of molestation of girl friends daughter
We represented an old man who was accused of sexually molesting his girl friend’s daughter. The prosecutor claimed that he confessed on tape. The defense showed that it was no confession. Many of the jurors found the defendant not guilty. The defendant eventually avoided state prison and was freed.
False accusation of adopted child molestation
Our client was a probation officer and was charged with sexually molesting his neighbor and his adopted foster daughter.
The defense showed that his daughter had a long history of falsely accusing people of serious crimes.
The defense also presented the daughters long history of mental illness.
The defense also showed that the police lost a crucial recorded statement of another complaining witness. Many jurors found the accused innocent of the charges and the court dismissed the charges after the first trial.
False accusation of molestation of step daughter
Our client was charged with sexually molesting his adopted step-daughter. The district attorney claimed that he had a confession on tape. The defense showed that it was not a confession but a set up. Many jurors found the defendant not guilty and the court dismissed all of the charges.
In that case, the accuser originally accused our client of molesting her for many months. The district attorney tried to change the story when we proved that he wasn’t even in town when these crimes supposedly occurred.
False accusation of rape
We defended two Hells Angels accused of rape.
At the trial we proved that the accuser exchanged her phone number with one of the other old bikers at the clubhouse, a few minutes after the alleged rape.
Through our investigation, we learned that the accuser, a young woman in her early twentys had borrowed her father’s car for the night.
She returned it late, making him late for work in the morning. She needed a good excuse. The excuse she used was that she had been raped by two Hells Angels.
Our investigator also found her ex boy friend who testified that he would leave his wallet on the dresser. When he went to bed, she would get up in the middle of the night from her bed and steal money from his wallet and go out for the rest of the night without him. She had no injuries. The jury found both men innocent of all charges.
False accusation of threatening of Sheriff Police.
An old man in his 70’s was charged with threatening 2 sheriff deputies with his Chinese assault rifle . This man was a famous newspaper editor and publisher in the county. He was a regular critic of the Sheriff. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.
On Christmas Eve, he and his wife had been burning rat’s nests on his property in Hayfork. As the fire got out of control and spread prisoners from the local fire camp were called to put it out. They were up all night making noise and causing his dog to bark which kept him and his wife and his dog awake on Christmas eve. He went down to the prisoners and told them to be quiet and then went back home.
One prisoner said he brandished a gun. The Sheriffs deputies surrounded his house. They ordered him to come out of his house. When his wife came out they arrested her. He finally agreed to come out of the house and they threw him on the ground and arrested him.
I defended him in his first jury trial several Jurors found him not guilty and innocent in the first trial. The prosecution re-tried him and he was acquitted and the charges were dismissed in the second trail.
Another Success For A Eric Alan Berg & Associates Client!
Recently, a client of ours was facing multiple charges including possession of a controlled substance with a firearm, which is a prison eligible felony. Additionally, the DA in the case was looking to add more prison eligible felonies such as bringing a controlled substance into a jail. Eric Alan Berg & Associates was able to negotiate an agreement with the DA where our client plead to only two misdemeanor charges of possession of a firearm and controlled substance.
Another Success for Eric Alan Berg & Associates!
Recently we had a client who was arrested for possession of drugs and child abuse. Attorney Eric Berg was able to convince the DA to file only the drug possession charge and not the child abuse charge. Further, if our client continues with their treatment plan the entire case will be dismissed in six months without ever requiring our client to plead guilty or no-contest. If you or someone you know is facing legal troubles give our offices a call today at (530) 223-5100 to set up a free consultation!
Another Success for Eric Alan Berg & Associates!
Recently a client retained us who was stopped for a traffic violation while they were transporting a couple of pounds of marijuana, which was discovered by law enforcement during the stop. Our offices were able to get all their charges and case dismissed in court. If you or someone you know has been arrested for similar crimes, give our offices a call today at (530) 223-5100 to set up a free consultation!
Another Success for Eric Alan Berg & Associates!
Before retaining us, our client had a number of pending cases, and some matters being investigated by law enforcement. They took a plea bargain in which they plead guilty to three of their pending cases, with the understanding that the rest of their pending cases would be dismissed and any un-filed cases would not be filed. Shortly after entering this agreement, the DA’s office filed charges related to an investigation that began before they entered the agreement. We successfully argued that the DA’s office breached the plea agreement, and had the plea agreement enforced – meaning the new case was dismissed. If you or someone you know is in need of an attorney, give us a call today at (530) 223-5100 to set up a free consultation!