Father and Brother of Victim of Fortuna Hit and Run Drop Claim Against City, etc.

Kiya Kitchen

Kiya Kitchen was skateboarding on Eel River Drive in Fortuna when she was allegedly struck by a vehicle driven by her mother.

Joe and Jevin Kitchen, father and brother of Kiya Kitchen, the 14-year-old girl who along with her friend, were killed in a hit and run accident in July, are dismissing their claims against several government agencies, according to Zachary Zwerdling, attorney for the two.

“In regards to claims against government agencies for the condition of Eel River Drive, Joe and Jevin Kitchen have decided to dismiss these claims on Tuesday, the 17th,” Zwerdling explained. “They are going to limit efforts to holding responsible the one person who is charged with committing this offense.”

Joe and Jevin Kitchen’s claim that they are now withdrawing followed one submitted on January 6 by Marci Kitchen. Marci Kitchen is the alleged driver of the vehicle that struck the two girls and her claim sparked a firestorm of protest at online news sites such as this one.

Marci Kitchen

Charges have been filed against Marci Kitchen for allegedly striking and killing two teenage girls with her Jeep while she was intoxicated.

Yesterday, Zwerdling said he was the one who decided to file the claim because, “[w]e anticipated that Griego and Okin [Marci Kitchen’s attorneys] would do that. It’s common in cases like this. We did this to protect Joe and Jevin’s rights.”

Now, at the request of his client, Joe Kitchen, he plans to withdraw the claims as soon as he can which will be on Tuesday (Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.)

However, Zwerdling warned, “In the event that Marci Kitchen on her own receives any money from public entities for what she allegedly has done, Joe and Jevin will take appropriate legal steps to prevent her from getting any compensation.”

Zwerdling stated that his clients do not want Kiya’s mother to receive any financial recompense that might result from her claim against various government agencies in regard to the condition of Eel River Drive.

“Ms. Kitchen should not benefit financially from what she  is alleged to have done,” he said.



  • I went to high school with Zach Zwerdling he rode the same bus to Arcata High taht I as well as lots of others did!!! I have always known him to be a standup individual unlike some of the accusations I have read about him, by some taht are “supposedly” in the know!!! As well as those making the comments those individuals seem to be suffering from a Chronic Cranial Rectal Insertion!!!!

  • My heart goes out to the brother and father of the victim. So sorry they have to go through loosing a young life and deal with trying to get justice.

  • Good. I was hoping they would dismiss that claim if she was gonna possibly gain from it. Either monetarily or help in her case. Sadly it sounds like she has no remorse and keeps hurting” her loved ones.”

    • It’s not her claim that was dismissed, just the place-holder claim for the father and brother of one of the victims that was filed as an exercise in caution by their attorney.

      The “mom” still seeks deflection of blame for her actions and compensation for her alleged “damages.”

  • This is the saddest story! I hope all involved eventually find peace.

    • sharpen your pencil

      Hopefully they can, when the trial actually gets underway I’m sure it will help. I hope all these drunk drivers start to pay severly for their actions! Time has come to set examples out of these people that are taking lives, because the decide to make horrible life decisions!

    • You want the mom and her boyfriend to find peace? How considerate of you. I myself as well as many others do not. As a disclaimer, tho, I’m not usually considered considerate in cases like this.

  • I’m praying this family can find peace.

  • This action isn’t about this woman having no remorse, or being a bad (or worse) person than she is. It seems like a pretty standard defense maneuver, to try to shift or share blame for the tragedy that occurred. It doesn’t make her attorney a dirtbag either; he’s doing his job. It’s a dirty job.

    • True. I have hired him in the past and he is the best at what he does. He is extremely efficient and successfully defends each case, which is his job.
      We are all greatful for attorneys like this until we see a case like Kitchen, then we suddenly hate the attorney for doing his job.
      Everyone would have loved it if she had hired a dumbshit and hung herself, but she didn’t. And she may walk with this man defending her. He is amazing (and very attractive) and he does not lose in the courtroom. I have no problem with him doing his best and if he wins this case, it won’t change the unforgiving truth she faces with her soulless existence or damned eternity.

      • He’s not a public defender he’s a personal lawyer that willingly accepted to defend a murderer which makes him a piece of shit . And no one cares how attractive you may find him [edit]

        • Oh so true. He’s attractive??? Really???? OMG he’s defending a woman that killed two young girls and left them both to die alone while she ran like a big filthy rat that she is. That’s up there in the lames ignorant things I have heard…Her lawyer is “attractive.” Spare me please

  • Glad to hear that.

  • Hope this isn’t a ploy to have venue moved to a different county..as too many people will know or have a strong opinion. Let’s stand to be silent to keep this in Humboldt county.

  • so his job is to be a dirt bag…? He’s doing pretty well at it, I’d say..

  • Call me stupid or whatever suits your fancy but if my negligent actions caused the death of my child and someone else I would take responsibility for it. Even if it meant prison time. I have a conscience. I could not live with myself if I killed my child and then attempted to deflect responsibility. That’s just me though.

    • sharpen your pencil

      Apperently Marcia is more concerned with drinking and snorting herself even more into oblivion….. Last acts of a desperate woman, if she had any conscience at all she would be admitting to what she has done and allow the innocent members of the family to have some sort of closure…

  • Lady, if you did it, you’ll get a lot more support from the community and better thoughts if you will just plea guilty and take self responsibility. This shifting, the blaming the county road and the constant delays, just hardens the public against you and as of today if your attorney was smart, he would ask for a change of venue, cause everyone in this county wants to see you pay.

  • I hated you after I read this Joe Joe Joe but now you don’t want money for your daughters death I guess you’re OK but I’m still not sure about you

    • Creeker. Est.1890

      [edit] Joe is really great he would give you the shirt off his back and then let you climb aboard so your feet didn’t get wet ..and who gives a fuck if john likes Joe .. probly not Joe 🖕

  • If the road is so “unsafe” why the hell would you let your 14 yr old daughter and her friend ride their skateboards on that road at night???? Is that the City, county and states fault? No bitch that too is your fault!! The only thing “unsafe” on that road that night was your drunken-reckless driving ass!!!

  • Honeydew Bridge Chump

    Very possible it’s an illegal road, we’ll sure find out.

    Cal trans maintains lots of illegal roads.

    The issue of liability on an illegal road would really keep this case in the spotlight.

    • The suit was dropped, so we won’t find out. You sure do have a way of misunderstanding every article you read.

      • lookut the moron!

        [edit] marci’s suit stands.

      • Honeydew Bridge Chump

        I’m referring to the coming trial, the point of an illegal road may surface.
        People have sued and won over illegal roads before.
        If it comes to become a point in her trial it will be interesting.

        • Yes HBT aka NorCal101 guy. You just outed yourself with the roads/CalTrans hate. Every thing road related brings you out of the trees and into view like a deer in headlights. It’s a good thing you’re not on their payroll anymore. You’re always a bit unhinged.

  • I’ve traveled that road many times. It seems very straightforward and safe, traveled at reasonable speed. She must have been really hauling a** or playing a drunken game of chicken with her daughter to have screwed up so badly. So lawyers may claim illegal road … that’s the kind of thing they do. But the fault is still hers.

    • The attorney’s job is to offer up all the possibilities and create doubt in the jury’s mind. Like O.J. Simpson’s “dream team” did.

    • I’ve been on that road off and on for 18 years and it seemed just fine to me…although I wasn’t drunk and drugged out either.. Spare me, she’s a disgusting pos and a sick excuse for a “mother.”

  • Why not put Faith Tsarnas’ name in the article? I don’t understand why more isn’t being said about her and also if her next of kin is pursuing legal action. Maybe her family doesn’t want to be involved with the media, but I think it is important to acknowledge her and her family’s loss. If they do not have the resources to pursue legal action but want to, then wouldn’t the public want to know so those able to could help?

    • Faith’s family has chosen to remain much in the background. I respect their wishes as much as possible while still covering the news. In this case the news is with the Kitchen family. As far as I am aware, none of the Tsarnas’ family has made a claim of fault on the part of any government agency.

    • I was wondering the same thing.

  • Dayum! The ignorance displayed in these comments, including the inability even to discern just who Zwerdling represents, makes me grieve for our society.

    Face it ignoramuses . . . you are the root problem here!

  • Has the poor child been laid to rest yet? Last I read she was still in the cold morgue, and her mother wanted her remains, but the father did also. This story should go national!!

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