December 11, 2018 

Import DAs: “OK, Take Your Guns, but Shut up.” - Mountain Messenger

DOWNIEVILLE—Lawyers for the corporation prosecuting Mike Miller, the Sixteen to One Mine and mine manager Jonathan Farrell agreed with Plumas County Judge Stanley Young to allow Miller to retrieve his firearms from the Sheriff’s Office.


The law firm had insisted Miller turn in his guns as a condition of bail.

Lawyers from the private corporation, the California District Attorney’s Association, arranged to be sworn in as local Deputy DA's in order to prosecute the trio for felony manslaughter following a mine accident that killed Mark Fussell two years ago.

At a court session on Wednesday, November 20, without explanation CDAA lawyer Denise Mejlszenkier, one of the battery of lawyers involved in the prosecution, dropped any objection to Miller’s possession of firearms, for which he carries a permit issued by Sheriff Lee Adams.

Nevertheless the gag order, preventing Miller and the prosecuting company from talking, directly or indirectly to the media about his legal case, remains in effect.

Miller is now caught between a rock and a hard spot: federal law requires him to tell his stockholders about the case, and his analysis of how it will affect the mining company’s fiscal future.

At Wednesday’s session, Farrell was granted a public defender and so is now represented by J. Lon Cooper, Sierra County P.D.

Miller, who has been unable to obtain legal representation, was represented in a special appearance by attorney Dale Wood.

Wood made it clear that his schedule prevented him from representing Miller further. Wood promised to notify both Miller and the court if he will or will not be available following the holidays.

Finally, Miller offered a motion to set side the indictment, citing the prosecution’s failure to offer evidence of innocence, as required by state law, to the Grand Jury.

Judge Young declined to hear the motion until counsel has been arranged.

The whole affair is on hold until January 14, when the arraignment will be held.


Don Russell

Editor - Mountain Messenger


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