Woman Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse and Possession of Drugs in Jail

Press release from the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office:

BANDA[Yesterday], Michele Kay Banda (age 32), pled guilty to felony possession of drugs in a correctional facility and misdemeanor child abuse.

The charges stemmed from a January 16, 2018 incident at the Red Roof Inn in Arcata, when a hotel guest stepped out of her room to investigate the sound of a crying baby.  She immediately encountered Banda, who threw a four-month-old infant to her and told the guest to make the baby stop crying. The guest also witnessed Banda sticking her fingers down the distressed infant’s throat. Arcata Police Department officers arrested Banda at the scene and took her to jail.

As correctional deputies booked Banda into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility, they observed a baggie of heroin in her armpit. Banda then attempted to swallow the baggie and as correctional deputies prevented her from doing so, she tried to bite and kick them.

Prior to trial, Banda posted $50,000 bail and was released from custody.

A jury trial to address these charges began with 3 days of jury selection starting on November 6th.   On November 9th when opening statements were scheduled, Banda failed to appear in court and Judge Kelly Neel declared a mistrial and dismissed the jurors. With the assistance of local law enforcement, District Attorney Investigators arrested Banda 1.5 hours later and she has remained in custody since then.

Banda faces up to 4 years in custody.    She will further be required to complete a 52-week child abuse prevention program. Judge Timothy Canning is scheduled to sentence her on December 13th.

The District Attorney’s Office thanks the jurors, witnesses, and law enforcement agencies who dedicated their time and effort to this case. After considering the message that defendants might take from the mistrial on November 9th, District Attorney Maggie Fleming pointed out: “Legal alternatives when defendants voluntarily fail to appear for trial include: 1) continuing the trial without the defendant, and 2) rapid apprehension of the defendant so the trial can proceed.  Failing to appear for court is a crime – justice demands that people don’t benefit from it.”

Earlier Chapter: Suspect Prevented From Swallowing Suspected Heroin as She Was Being Processed Into Jail



  • People who do heroin are not themselves. Hopefully she is kept in custody, drug-free long enough to come back to the better version of herself. I believe we need serious rehabilitation resources for opiate addicts in the correctional system and we should make it impossible for them to get access to drugs in there. They need jobs when they get out, housing and some structure for a healthy recovery to have any chance. But then I also believe that after 3 busts they should be given up on and sentenced to capital punishment or exported to Afghanistan. Compassion is good but has its limits when our entire society is being undermined by drug addicts, thieves and horrific parents.

  • My heart aches for the child. 🙁

  • A SEG in her Mug Shot??? Holy Crud talk about misplaced confidence!!!!

  • Sad for everyone. She is obviously severely mentally ill and is not fit to ever have children – and thankfully the baby is young enough to be quickly adopted by a nice family.

  • Fleming says, “Failing to appear for court is a crime . .”

    Not prosecuting officers for stealing estates from the dead isn’t a crime?

    I’m really not trying to take-away from the seriousness of this article, however, the legalese part of it is full of holes. Not in the republic “Judge” Timothy Canning. No Public Servant Bond = color of law judge.

    There are no Judicial Courts in America and have not been since 1789. Judges do not enforce Statutes and Codes. Executive Administrators enforce Statues and Codes. (FRC v. GE 281 US 464 Keller v. PE 261 US 428, 1 Stat 138-178).

  • I was hoping some of the cannabis drug tax money would be used to build a mental institution for these folks , instead the slimy supes did nothing and the greedy growers didn’t declare most of their earnings.

  • ” . . . declare (most of) their earnings.”

    We can’t correct it if we all believe a lie.

    “Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many people, because of their respect for what appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waving their rights due to ignorance.”
    United States v Minker.

    “Only the rare taxpayer would be likely to know that he could refuse to produce his records to IRS agents . . . Who would believe the ironic truth that the cooperative taxpayer fares much worse than the individual who relies on his constitutional right.” U.S. v Dickenson (1979).

    A slave is complacent in his own slavery, bondage is safe and secure. The chains are loose around the neck and can be removed at any time.

    We are dealing with criminals and thieves, or they would not be doing what they are doing.

  • Disgusting supervisors

    Well said central humboldt i believe your someone that sees things as they are !!!! Sad that more people are not intelligent enough too see as well !!!!

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