Murder suspect faces new gun charges

Paul Mann
Mad River Union

EUREKA – The Bridgeville man accused of gunning down his wife’s lover last fall in Fortuna faces new charges of assaulting and battering her the same day with a revolver.

Jon David Goldberg

Deputy District Attorney Luke Bernthal filed firearm assault and battery charges today, Feb. 2 against Jon David Goldberg, 36, who allegedly murdered his reputed friend, Fortuna Fire Captain Timothy Thomas Smith Sr., 42, Sept. 26.
The new charges concern Goldberg’s wife, Rachel Christina Goldberg, allegedly Smith’s lover. Her jailed husband is accused in Count 1 of the new case of assaulting her with a revolver, with a special allegation that he “personally used a firearm,” making the alleged assault “a serious and violent felony.”
Count 2, a misdemeanor, charges that on or about Sept. 26, 2016, the day Goldberg allegedly murdered Smith in his front yard in Fortuna, he displayed a concealed firearm in public “in the presence of another person” unnamed, but reputed to be his wife.
Further, Goldberg allegedly displayed and drew his revolver “in a rude, angry and threatening manner and did use a firearm in a fight and quarrel.”
This behavior allegedly occurred “in a public place,” unspecified, involving the brandishing of a revolver “that could be concealed upon a person.”
Count 3, also a misdemeanor, charges Goldberg with battery. It states that he “willfully and unlawfully” used force and violence against Rachel Goldberg.
Notably, the battery allegation spans the period Sept. 1, 2014 to Sept. 30, 2016, reaching back two years before Smith was shot and killed in an alleged love triangle.
Superior Court Judge Timothy P. Cissna appointed Public Defender Casey Russo to be Goldberg’s attorney in the new case. He is also representing Goldberg in the prior murder case.
Cissna fixed the preliminary hearing in the new case for Feb. 16.
Goldberg is scheduled to appear again on the prior murder charge on Feb. 23.
The defendant sat impassively in the jury box Feb. 2 as Russo entered pleas of not guilty on his client’s behalf.
Fortuna Police officers found Smith lying on the ground next to his red pickup truck, directly in front of his house at 3150 Rohnerville Road. Police arrived at about 12:47 Monday afternoon, Sept. 26. He had been shot five times as Smith's wife and son looked on in horror.
The state alleges that the abrupt discovery of the extramarital affair led to the murder, which added to Humboldt County’s record homicide rate in 2016, the third year running.
Goldberg is being held on $1 million bail on the murder charge and could be sentenced to life in prison. Fortuna police established he fled the Fortuna crime scene in a white 2005 Dodge Caravan, headed southbound on Rohnerville Road.
Some six hours after the shooting, Fortuna officers, the Humboldt County SWAT team and California Highway Patrol officers picked up Goldberg inside a residence at 32950 Highway 36, east of Bridgeville.



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