Missing mental health reports stall justice for Greenspan, Cole

Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union

ARCATA – Justice is being delayed for two Arcata residents due to bureaucratic sluggishness. One is awaiting sentencing following conviction, the other is headed for retrial.

Alexi Greenspan

Sentencing for Alexi Greenspan, convicted in July of an assault on a county correctional officer, was repeatedly delayed last week over a missing mental health evaluation.

Alexi Greenspan

Greenspan’s attack last April left the deputy with a metal plate in his head and recurring medical problems. Greenspan was subsequently found guilty of felony resisting an executive officer causing great bodily injury, a strike under California law. The jury also convicted Greenspan of felony battery with serious bodily injury and felony battery with injury on a custodial officer.

Greenspan, who has a long criminal record with six felonies including drug offenses and a number of violent incidents, underwent a diagnostic evaluation ordered in August for use in sentencing.

On Monday, Nov. 8, the Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation report wasn’t available to the court, so the hearing was continued to Thursday. At that second hearing, Judge John T Feeney said he had received the report on Tuesday and had asked that it be routed to the relevant counsel. However, that didn’t happen.

Feeney then reset the sentencing hearing for Thursday, Dec. 7 at 8:30 a.m.

Greenspan, with long hair and bushy beard, was clad in a red jumpsuit and kept away from other prisoners in court. Deputies stood close by during the hearing as he sometimes appeared agitated, occasionally waving at relatives in the gallery.

When the December hearing date was announced, Greenspan said, with extremely clear diction, “That’s a long ways away. Why so long?” He asked for books to read, then as he was escorted out, said, “See y’all there.”

Wes Cole

Wes Cole

Charles Wesley Cole, facing retrial for a felony animal cruelty charge, will next return to court in January. That’s nearly two years since he allegedly mistreated his former dog, Mr. Know Buddy, on H Street in Arcata on Jan. 14, 2016. The dog has since been renamed Jackpot and rehomed in the San Francisco Bay Area.

His first trial resulted in a hung jury, prompting an outcry by animal welfare activists for a retrial. Numerous subsequent court hearings involved findings of lack of mental competency to stand for another trial, with treatment ordered at a state mental hospital. That was repeatedly delayed until a bed opened up at the backlogged hospitals, and in July, he was admitted to Napa State Hospital

A report on Cole’s treatment progress was to have been reviewed at an Oct. 11 hearing. But it had not been received from state authorities, so the matter was continued until Jan. 10, 2018.


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