NORTH COAST, Calif .– Mendocino District Attorney David Eyster announced Monday that he has ordered all assistant prosecutors to file peremptorist lawsuits, effective immediately, to disqualify Supreme Court Justice Clayton Brennan and prevent pending criminal proceedings or hear future cases that will be filed on what a defendant is charged with cruelty to animals.
Likewise, the prosecutor has ordered his assistant prosecutors to file peremptorist lawsuits to disqualify Judge Brennan and prevent him from hearing a criminal case in which the prosecutor alleged that the accused personally used a gun in the commission of a crime.
The announcement comes a few weeks after Brennan’s controversial decision on Thunder the Wonder Dog.
Brennan allowed Thunder’s former owner, Katie Rhiannon Smith, 35, of Caspar, to reduce her animal cruelty conviction to one offense and not serve a prison sentence after shooting her dog in the woods in December 2019, Lake County News reported.
Eyster said he will also seek an appeal review of Brennan’s decision on the Smith case.
California jurisprudence and statutory law allow prosecutors to refuse admission to a judge in a particular case or types of cases if the judge is believed to be “so biased against the people that he or she is not facing one fair administration of justice can be entrusted, “said Eyster.
In issuing his guideline, Eyster continued, “The judge currently sitting on Ten Mile Court at Fort Bragg has betrayed the standards of the community and the trust of the community. He has made it clear that he has no use, has no value, and is biased against law enforcement and the community’s ongoing efforts to seek justice against those who sacrifice animals and use firearms to commit crimes.
“Accordingly, I do not think he is legally qualified to act as a judge in the types of criminal cases described above,” said Eyster.
When asked whether the peremptorist challenges to Judge Brennan only arise in cases of animal cruelty or in cases where the defendant personally used a firearm, Eyster asked about the scope and definition of the cases for which Judge Brennan is competent if disqualified, it remains an open question that is assessed by the prosecutor and his senior lawyers.