Littlefield Decision Reversed

Press release from the District Attorney:

District AttorneyToday the First Appellate District of the State of California, Division One, reversed the Humboldt County Superior Court ruling in People v Timothy Littlefield which granted the defendant a new trial. In 2013 a jury found the defendant guilty of all charges related to his sexual misconduct with a child under 10 years of age.

The defense filed a motion for a new trial based on a declaration by a juror that addressed his mental processes during jury deliberations. The trial court conducted a hearing during which the juror recanted the declaration, stating he had not personally written it nor read it carefully before signing it. Nevertheless, the trial court granted the motion for a new trial.

The appellate court reversed the trial court and found the juror’s declaration irrelevant in assessing the validity of the verdict. The appellate court further stated: “…we think the appropriate remedy is not to affirm the order setting aside the verdict based solely on irrelevant evidence and speculation about what defendant could have proved, but to remand for further proceedings to determine whether relevant and admissible evidence of jury misconduct actually exists.”

The District Attorney’s Office is requesting that the hearing outlined by the Court of Appeals be completed as soon as the trial court is available.



  • They will have to wait for the remititur which won’t issue for 60 days at least. Littlefield can also petition for review to the Supreme Court, which will delay it if he goes that route.

  • This is interesting. So, if I understand correctly…this means that one juror came forward months after the verdict and said they misunderstood that the weight of proof was on the prosecutor…and so the “guilty” verdict is reversed? Well, why doesn’t everybody do this, all the time?!!

    • No. It means they’re sending it back to the trial court for a hearing to determine if there is any “admissible evidence” of jury misconduct in the original trial. The trial court decided he should have a new trial and the appeals court decided that, no, first decide if the basis for it is admissible.

      It means the defense won a motion for a new trial from the Superior Court, something you have to do before a decision can go to appeal, and the prosecution appealed the decision granting a new trial. The appellate court is basically giving the prosecution another chance not to have a do over just because one of the jurors had his declaration written for him and didn’t properly understand what they put in front of him to purport to be declaring.

      This hearing may uncover more jurors thus confused, bring to light more evidence of prosecution herding jurors this way… which then gives defendant a new trial… or everyone will go back and insist they knew what they were doing and the original verdict will stand.

      The word “nevertheless” does not belong in this press release.

      • Thanks for explaining. I was confused!

        • Hey, yer welcome. They could hardly have made that release harder to understand and this time I think they did it with the express intent of confusing the daylights out of everyone who reads it.

          And I made a mistake in wording in my second paragraph above, too. Should have been “something you have to do before a VERDICT can go to appeal”… also decisions, but in this case I’m pretty sure the defense put in the motion for a new trial, which they have to do to get to an appeals court, the judge granted it, and the prosecution appealed the decision to grant a new trial.

          And, sorry, I don’t know if I made it worse or better in trying to clarify my clarification.

  • Hooray for justice! This scumbag raped his step-daughter for more than a year, was convicted of it, and his lawyer managed to confuse one of the jurors into signing something that the juror himself has disagreed with under oath.

    Glad this POS pedophile rapist will be spending Christmas in jail.

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