Was a judge right to sentence Donald Jackson to one year in jail?

A Calaveras County family is heartbroken after a judge sentenced the drunk driver who killed their daughter to one year in county jail and several years of probation.

Donald Jackson entered a plea of no contest to vehicular manslaughter, driving drunk and other charges in connection with a 2018 crash that killed 27-year-old Chelsea Lund and seriously injured her eight-year-old son.

A prosecutor asked for 12 years in state prison, but a judge ultimately decided Jackson would spend one year in county jail and five years probation.

The Lund family is devastated over the sentence, telling CBS13 they believe Jackson got off light.

“He pled to all those charges and got sentenced for none of them,” Mr. Lund told the TV station.


But attorney Mark Reichel said the judge’s sentence is more complicated than it appears, telling CBS13 the judge had to take into consideration the totality of Jackson’s incarceration of 14 months in county jail prior to his plea and his show of remorse before the court.

Reichel noted the judge did give Jackson eight years and eight months in jail but suspended the majority of that on condition that he complies with the terms of his probation. If Jackson violates those terms, he could be forced to serve the full five-year jail sentence.

Read the full story at CBS13.com

How common is a double DUI arrest?

The California Highway Patrol posted a photo on Facebook this week that showed a man being handcuffed and placed into a patrol car on suspicion of DUI — for the second time in a single day.

Officers with the CHP’s Solano division reported arresting the 53-year-old Antelope man last weekend in the early morning hours. He spent the night at Solano County Jail on suspicion of driving under the influence, then picked up his car from a tow yard and headed home to Sacramento County.

It was there that CHP officers with the Sacramento division arrested the man again on suspicion of DUI during a traffic stop along Greenback Lane. Someone with the CHP took a photo of the man from behind and posted it to Facebook.


A double DUI arrest isn’t common, but attorney Mark Reichel told CBS13 it can technically happen because of the short amount of time between a defendant’s arrest and their release on bond, if eligible.

“Iif you’ve been arrested, and you can either post bail or you qualify for [release on] your own recognizance…you’re usually out of [jail] after about five or six hours,” Reichel said.

Click here to watch the full video on CBS13’s website

California’s Pets and Property Laws Explained

A family in Orangevale is asking for answers after an unknown driver hit and killed their beloved German Shepard.

Patron was a guardian, protector and member of the Gallico family, owner John Gallico told CBS13’s Rachel Wulff. He wants to know who was responsible for hitting and killing the beloved pet when it was trying to rescue another family dog, Luna, earlier this month.

Gallico says he believes the tragedy was an accident, but also says he thinks the driver knew he or she must have hit something. He’s filed a police report, but authorities say even if they do catch the driver, it’s unlikely criminal charges will be filed in connection with the dog’s death if it was merely an accident.

Mark was asked to explain why during the CBS13 story:


“It’s been interpreted by the courts that dogs, specifically domesticated pets, are property,” Mark said. “If you cause damage to that property, it’s a violation of the law.”

Though it might be a violation, it’s possible the driver — whoever they might be — would only face misdemeanor hit-and-run charges as well as a charge of filing a failing to report the incident, Mark said.

But Mark said the charges could be bumped up to a felony if authorities decide the driver was willfully cruel in connection with the animal’s death.

Click here to read the full story on CBS13’s website.

Do Laws Prevent Sex Offenders From Living Near Schools?

Mark spoke with CBS13 after an Olivehurst grandmother complained about a registered sex offender living near an area elementary school.

Robyn Gorham said she was stunned to learn that several registered sex offenders were living just feet away from Cedar Lane Elementary School where her grandson is set to start classes.

She used the Megan’s Law website, a database maintained by the state, to track nearly a dozen registered sex offenders within three-quarters of a mile of the school. Gorham said she was particularly concerned about one person who had been convicted of lewd acts with a minor.

Gorham said she was surprised because she figured there was a law that prevented sex offenders from living near a school. But Mark explained there was no blanket law, adding whether a person can live near a school after being convicted of a sex crime is largely decided on a case-by-case basis.

“A sex offender can’t live by a school if the parole officer determines they cannot,” Mark said. “Those officers can impose all kinds of restrictions, whether they can have contact with children, stay away from children, and how far away [they have to be].”

Mark said the offender at question is no longer on parole. Though they have to register on the database, they’re not breaking any law by living so close to the school.

Read the full story on CBS13’s website here.

Split Jury Verdict in Ghost Ship Warehouse Fire Trial

A jury acquitted the master tenant and leaseholder of  a warehouse that became the epicenter of one of California’s most-deadliest structure fires.

Derick Almena, 49, was found not guilty on 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the December 2016 blaze at the Ghost Ship Warehouse in Oakland.

The jury hung on similar charges against his co-defendant, 29-year-old warehouse leaseholder Max Harris, who faces the possibility of a re-trial. The judge overseeing the case declared a mistrial for Harris.

Mark wasn’t involved in the case, but spoke with FOX40 News following the jury’s verdict to offer his legal expertise.

“I was surprised by the outcome,” Mark said, noting that images presented at trial may have weighed heavier on their deliberations.

At the end of a trial, jurors are given a set of instructions by the judge before they enter into deliberations, the outcome of which usually results in a verdict.

“They generally try to do what they consider to be the right thing, regardless of what instructions they get, regardless of how the attorneys argued…” Mark said.

Jurors will be heavily questioned by both sides if Harris is to be re-tried.

Watch the full video from FOX40 News below:

Analyzing William Barr’s Statement on Robert Mueller’s Report

Attorney General William Barr submitted a summary of his conclusions from Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged geopolitical interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The summary said there wasn’t enough evidence that showed the president’s campaign directly inspired or colluded with Russian individuals to influence the outcome of the 2016 election. It also did not definitely say whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice.

In the letter, Barr said the public would soon be allowed to read the report, subject to some redactions based on sensitive information that appears within.

Speaking to FOX40 News, Mark — who once worked as a federal public defender — said Mueller’s decision to defer criminal charges to the Attorney General and the Department of Justice was understandable.

“This is about indicting a president,” Mark said. “So he defers it to the attorney general with the faith that the attorney general…would do the right thing.”

Mueller’s report could contain enough facts that Congress could ultimately decide the evidence showed conduct that could be impeachable.

“There’s no dispute that Russia interfered with the election,” Mark said. “People associated with the president, Mr. Trump, had things to do with Russian interference, but not colluding…it’s a simple summary of a really big, big tome.”

Mark said that Attorney General Barr is a partisan advocate of the president.

“It’s very carefully worded,” Mark said of the summary. “He clearly says there’s a lot in it that Mueller wrote, and [Barr] made the determination not to press charges.”

Watch the full video from FOX40 News below:


Mark Appears as Expert During FOX40’s Special Coverage on Stephon Clark Decision40’s special coverage of Stephon Clark decision

Mark offered his insight and legal expertise during FOX40’s extensive coverage of the Stephon Clark shooting case.

On March 2, Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert decided against criminally charging several Sacramento Police Department officers in connection with the death of Stephon Clark last year.

Clark, 23, was shot as he fled from officers during an encounter in Sacramento’s Meadowview neighborhood on March 18, 2018. He was not armed at the time of the shooting.

“For a long time, there’s been calls for an independent branch of the government that will investigate and prosecute police misconduct shootings,” Mark said. “… There’s a lot of ways this could have been handled better.”