Sotolongo Arrested for Murder: Mother’s Imprisonment on Similar Charges Contributed to Suspect’s Distrust of Justice System, Says Uncle

CaptureYesterday, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s SWAT Team arrested Gearold Sotolongo, age 25, for the stabbing death of Rodger Allan Yale age 30.  Yale died as the result of stab wounds sustained during an argument at a Hoopa gas station the morning before Valentine’s Day. Sotolongo’s family believe that his mother’s incarceration for she shooting a man in 1995 that she alleged beat her made Sotolongo distrust the justice system.

Like many families of suspects, Sotolongo’s family is shocked and disbelieving that the young man is accused of violence. “He is not the type of person to have committed something like this,” said Vince Sotolongo, the suspect’s uncle. “He is a peacekeeper. He doesn’t want to hurt people. He went to community college….I’ve never known him to get into a fight.”

Vince Sotolongo said that the suspect had been trying to find an attorney since learning about the charges on this site. “He’s been having a really hard time,” the suspect’s uncle said. “Gearold is on Social Security…The lawyers would need an exorbitant amount of money just to begin the process. The family has been trying to see what we can do to tap into the type of money that the attorney wants.”

The suspect’s uncle explained that Gearold Sotolongo was afraid to depend on a public defender because of how his mother was convicted and sent to jail for second degree murder. “He thinks that if he can’t afford a decent lawyer, he’ll end up being railroaded,” Vince Sotolongo said. (Gearold Sotolongo’s mother, Alexis Pratt was 25 years old, too, when she shot and killed a man she alleged beat her. (See more here.)  “They got a public defender that did not look into all the evidence,” Gearold’s uncle said. It was too much…too much for that defender.”)

Trying to raise enough money to get a private attorney was taking awhile, Vince Sotolongo explained. “We’re not independantly wealthy. I’m on social security. The family is on a fixed income…[Gearold’s father is out of the picture for years. His mother is in jail. I will try and help but it is difficult.”

Earlier Chapter:



  • Just looking at his photo you can tell what he is thinking, “fu.”

    • He was always actually a really good kid n person.. always nice to everyone.. went to school with my son.. just very tragic.. it’s just a picture.. and not a very good one..

      • I knew him well too….he is a nice guy and he would give you the shirt off his own back kind.
        I heard they also had another person in custody too, that they think did it.
        Roldo would always stay around his grandpas house and help him cut wood.
        It doesn’t make sense that he did it anyways, because he wasn’t a morning person. He was probably out getting a pack of cigarettes.

  • There are plenty of ways to avoid stabbing someone. Perhaps he shouldn’t have put himself in this situation if he isn’t willing to deal with the justice system. It sounds to me like the family is complicit and should be charged with aiding and abetting or obstructing justice or whatever.

  • Hes absolutely right, a public defender mean your pleasing to whatever they offer you.

  • Still Picking Up the Pieces

    Unfortunately the so called justice system is EXTREMELY broken in this country! Especially for people without money for overpriced lawyers. It is such a long drawn out complex process to get anything done and when you are innocent it is very frustrating. I know first hand, I lived a similar scenario with my son and we had video proof of his innocence but because he is Native and has a last name that is not favorable the District Attorney in Klamath County did not have the time to watch the video for over 3 months. They had the video the day after my son was arrested. He lost a lot sitting in jail with a bail of $250,000. But do they care after they drop the charges and make a shamble of peoples lives? Nope they sure don’t! Prayers to you and your family hopefully you will have a better experience. Stay strong and know that eventually the truth will prevail.


    the public defender is is also known as a public pretender. They are the worst sort! Practically doing nothing for you aka defendant! All that pretender does is get his mandatory hours in to advance in his career.
    In a few years he will have changed sides and doing the prosecuting for the D.A.’s office. The entire thing is a complete joke! Those people aren’t there to defend us or help, especially not a public pretender! All that guy will do is tell you about a plea deal that prosecutors are offering. These are white collar criminals, the kind no one should ever trust, the worst sort of slime lying humans. Intellectually dishonest, just playing the game.
    Let’s not forget that the only thing any attorney is sworn to do is to crawl up the courts ass!
    Too bad this young lad got himself into this situation, it’s a terrible place to be at this young age!

    • They’re also known as “Dumptrucks” in prison.

      • Triniboldticino

        Maybe not in CA, but there are some Federal and State Public Defender systems that house some of the best and hardest working in the business – and they get paid about 1/4 or less than their private attorney counterparts. It’s the “system” that set this up, and while there may be incompetence, the “system” hasn’t provided a level playing field. The government (whose job it IS to argue against the application of Constitutional rights and tromp all over the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th and 14th Amendments) has all the resources, and PD’s have to BEG the courts for a few pennies to hire investigators and experts, such motions often denied out of hand.

  • fiveyearsaheadofmytime

    So does the family think the cops just picked this guy’s name out of a hat or what? Or is it something like he didn’t actually insert the knife, he was just one of the group of assholes that were swarming Roger that morning so he’s just our innocent little peacemaking nephew. Cry me a fuckin river! So what this guy’s mother is in prison. A man was stabbed to death. At least she’s still alive and breathing.

    • easy….. sharpin your pencil…….you must be a trump lover!!! SOUNDING A LITTLE RACIST!!! I am white…. lived on the hupa rez for some time and was treated with love and respect…..there are a lot of good folks out there !! Could not stand by and read your racist comments and not stick up for my brothers and sisters of the HUPA NATION!! People like you make me scared for our future…….this is not 1950!! I hope you do not have children to teach your hateful ways to and if you do I pray for them!! Ignorance is bliss sharpen your pencil!!

    • So, you are aware that there were others there that morning?
      Keep that in mind…

  • He reminds me of Travis Tritt. I hope he receives a fair trial & that the jury is knowledgeable & fair.

  • Meaning Between the Words was a great read, very informative. Thanks Kym.

  • Just want the end of the story

    Does anyone in that family work, as in paid employment? Or are they all supported by the taxpayer through SSI (which is administered through SSA, but not based on earnings) Their mind set is interesting, nothing is ever their fault…..

    • That’s not necessarily a disqualifying factor. Oftentimes the weakest of the weak are moved to the top of the employment food-chain. Just life.

  • Hello.
    I know for a fact, that Roldo’s uncle Vince is disabled and that is why he is on ssi. Also, Roldo is the kind of guy that would walk away from a fight! Could you do that?
    Did you know that there was a big group of people that was there at the scene that morning? With no actual evidence that Roldo did it….besides him being there like everyone else?
    Everyone seems to point the fingers!
    But, think about it…there is no true justice without solid facts, right?
    Fingerprints, video recording of someone DOING the crime, etc?
    Someone mentioned about Roldo’s face in the picture….
    If your on the reservation….you have to look tuff or people will think your weak! True? Respect, is very important.
    Take care!
    Try not to judge people…. leave the judging to God.

    • Very interesting analysis…
      The facts of the case would be enlightening, not just speculations. Especially, when we are discussing a persons future!

  • What the fuck ever u stupid ass fucking people, This mother fucker stayed /pretty much lived and wrestle with my brothers and I. I don’t give a fuck about what anybody has to say about it not his fault, the mother fucker made that decision on his own weather there where others instigating it or not. NO BODY CAN MAKE U DO ANYTHING THAT U DONT WANT TO DO TO OTHERS UNLESS YOUR A WEAK ASS PORE EXCUSE OF LIVING FLESH THAT SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THEIR OWN LIFE UNSTED OF STARTING SOMETHING THAT THEIR HOLE BLOOD LINE WILL PAY FOR.

  • ssi my fucking ass what the fuck was he doing on a motherfucking wrestling teem if hes so unstable.

  • the one who told the truth

    he did not kill rogger we were all good friends growin up edd Davis is the killer!! please spread the word he is hiding in covolo I heard him with my own ears saying he jus stabbed up roger plz this is the truth roldo pratt is an inocent man the real killer is Edd Davis!!

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