Humboldt Justice With John Chiv: Stiglich Makes a Plea
John Chiv covers the local legal system for his blog. He shares his observations on some of the more high profile trials with us in our Humboldt Justice guest column.
In a surprising development, a defendant in a well-known Humboldt homicide case entered a plea of guilty today to several counts in exchange for the count of voluntary homicide being dropped.
John Chiv, courtroom watcher and local blogger, was there to follow the legal proceedings. He writes,
Trial of Judson Stiglich in the death of Ryan Robinson:
A trial readiness was scheduled in the Judson Stiglich case this afternoon. Stiglich is charged with the death of Ryan Robinson, whose sister Stiglich was dating at the time of the alleged homicide. Instead it became a hearing to enter a plea for three cases.
He is not eligible to serve the jail term locally. He pleaded guilty to possession of meth as a misdemeanor in the new recent case, admitted violation of probation and in the felony case, Count 1 for voluntary manslaughter was dismissed. He plead to possession of marijuana for sale, firearm enhancement, unlawful possession of firearm, possession of stolen property, and amended new count was added for possession of a controlled substance.
The stipulated term is six years in prison.
Both, the Stiglich family and friends as well as Robinson family and friends were in court. When the plea was accepted, two of Robinson’s family members sobbed.
Ryan Robinson’s mother and the mother of Ryan Robinson’s girlfriend and his son spoke in court today.
“I would like to say I appreciate this opportunity,” said Margaret Robinson. “I didn’t know the outcome to this until today. We were expecting to go to trial. The Count 1 that is being dismissed is why we are here today.”
Visiting Judge David Flinn told Mrs. Robinson, “dismissal of a count by the People and plea acceptance by a Judge is not finding the person innocent. The People have a high burden of proof. This is just a determination of the outcome. Is that comfort?”
Mrs. Robinson shook her head and indicated yes.
Ryan Robinson’s girlfriend’s mother did not state her name. Looking at Stiglich in court, she said, “I don’t understand why he had to kill him. Why couldn’t he have shot him in the leg? My grandson will not see his father.”
Stiglich entered a time waiver for sentencing and an Arbuckle waiver. The case has been referrred to Probation for credits and fines. Both sides will be submitting letters to the Court.
Gary Bullock’s trial also takes a small step forward. Read about it on Chiv’s blog here.