Visiting Judge Graham Cribbs sentenced Jon David Goldberg to 15 years to life in prison this afternoon for murdering volunteer Fortuna firefighter Tim Smith but struck down a firearm enhancement that would have added 25 years to his term.
He handed down his decision after denying Goldberg’s petition for a new trial following a week of essentially conducting “a trial within a trial,” in which 11 of the 12 jurors were questioned about their conduct in the case to probe defense allegations of misconduct by panel members.
The Humboldt County Public Defender’s Office contends that Goldberg was denied a new trial despite “conclusive evidence” of jury misconduct. Read more here
A press release by the Humboldt County Public Defender’s Office also states that Cribbs closed proceedings on the matter over defense objections, which were “based on the belief that one of the primary reasons we have open courts is to ensure transparency in our system, and that transparency is essential to the protection of due process.”
”Unfortunately, the public did not get to see any part of a proceeding in this case that dealt with a crucial aspect of due process, the right to a fair and impartial jury,” the release states.
Goldberg was found guilty in March of fatally shooting Smith outside of his Rohnerville Road home Sept. 26, 2016
, shortly after finding out that the 42-year-old father of two had an affair with his wife. Goldberg had been facing 40 years t0 life before Cribbs struck down the use of a firearm enhancement.