Monday, December 7, 2020

My Trials & Tribulations QUICK LINKS

My Trials & Tribulations detailing my cancer journey.
I was recently diagnosed with metastatic urothelial carcinoma of the retroperitoneal lymph nodes.

04/26/21 Day 1
: Day 1 of chemo. History from 2018-2020. Blood in urine.

05/01/21 Day 2-5: Day 2-5 of chemo. Medical history. Blood Type Diet. Cystostopy and CT Urogram. CNA Job.

05/07/21 Day 6-10: Day 6-10 of chemo. New job in hospice. Urologist calls. Pet Scan. Oncology referral.

05/11/21 Day 11: Day 11 of chemo. First oncologist appointment. Biopsy and tentative diagnosis.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

A Special Gift

Close-up: Sprocket & Matthew McGough
Background: DDA Shannon Presby, Judge Perry, Mark Overland
© by artist Thomas Broersma, all rights reserved.

March 1, 2020
Last Friday, I had dinner with friends and author Matthew McGough. After dinner, Matt surprised me with a special gift.

Eight years ago at the Stephanie Lazarus trial, Thomas Broersma, a young art student came to the trial sat in the back of the gallery and sketched what he saw. Some of his drawings ended up in my daily posts on the Lazarus trial. Unbeknownst to me, Matthew asked Thomas to sketch the both of us. The photo is the drawing that Thomas made for Matthew.

This is a special gift in memory of our time covering the Lazarus trial together. It is hanging in my dining area, along with another special surprise.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Monica Sementilli & Robert Louis Baker Trial Update

Fabio Sementilli Source:

February 27, 2020
I was unable to attend the pretrial hearing in the Sementilli/Baker murder trial on February 18. Monica Sementilli and Robert Baker are charged with murder in the death of Monica's husband, Fabio Sementilli. The next pretrial hearing in this case is set for March 16, 2020 in Dept 101 at the Clara Shortridge-Foltz Criminal Justice Center. The July 7, 2020 trial date is still on the court calendar.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Monica Sementilli & Robert Louis Baker Pretrial Hearing 15

Fabio Sementilli Source:

UPDATE 01-12: edited for grammar, spelling, Sprocket.
January 9, 2020
Happy New Year everyone.

Judge Coen's clerk opened the door to Dept. 101 around 8:25am. Not long after it opened the courtroom started filling with attorneys. There would be more than just the Sementilli/Baker hearing this morning. Out in the hallway Baker's attorney Michael Simmrin is chatting with another gentleman. Also waiting for Dept. 101 to open was defense attorney Donald Re, who defended German nationalist Gerhard Becker on involuntary manslaughter charges back in 2013.

When I enter, there was a new face at the court reporter's desk. Several attorneys stop by her desk to give her their card. There were several attorneys who entered and checked in with the court clerk. There is a pretty female reporter sitting in the gallery in the row behind me. I believe we are the only media people in the room.

I overhear Simmirin mentioning something to the clerk that he has a court order he's filing. The clerk tells him, "Why don't we do that on the record?"

DDA's Beth Silverman and Melissa Opper arrive and greet Mr. Simmrin. Simmrin and Silverman chat discovery. I believe I hear Silverman tell him, "I still have a drive for you. ... more evidence along with reports from Orange County lab..." Silverman says she can turn over to Simmrin later today. Silverman and Simmrin talk about a trial date but since Simmrin is just getting started on his DNA testing Silverman says -in relation to a trial date- "You're not ready yet."

Some attorneys take seats in the well of the court that are in front of the jury box. Others are moving around the well, chatting with this group or that group. More attorneys keep entering and a few people from the public that are most likely here for the other pretrial hearings.

We are waiting on the Sementilli defense team and the defendants. More attorneys enter, check in with the clerk. One stops to chat with the Deputy DA's in the room. Eight suited gentlemen enter and sit in the very back row.

Sementilli's lead counsel Leonard Levine arrives along with Hans J. Allhoff and the gray haired gentleman who usually chats with Judge Coen at the clerk's desk. 

It's so noisy in the courtroom, I'm having trouble following any one conversation. DDA Opper, Levine and the court clerk chat trial dates. DDA Silverman chats evidence/discovery with Levine.  More people from the public arrive. One woman has a cast on her arm.

Judge Coen comes out from the back area. He's not put on his robe yet.  A few minutes later DDA Paul Pzrelomiec arrives, shakes DDA Opper's hand, big smiles for everyone and then takes a seat in front of the jury box.

Judge Coen has put on his robe and takes to the bench. A silver haired gentleman, possibly a Deputy DA shakes his hand. Still more people enter Dept. 101. There are so many attorneys here, it's hard to keep track, or even follow just one conversation. Levine chats with Re and Simmrin in the well.

Baker is brought out. He takes a seat at the table with his back to the gallery. A few moments later, Sementilli is brought out and Judge Coen immediately goes on the record for pretrial and trial setting in the Sementill/Baker case.

The date July 7 is set -I heard a defense attorney add the word "tentatively"- for trial with the case court calendar set on that date as 0/10. The next pretrial date is set at February 18.

Judge Coen addresses DDA Silverman on the length of the trial. He wants to hear on the record how long she thinks the trial will take. DDA Silverman still keeps with her two month estimate for trial.

Simmrin's court order issue is discussed. It's a list of prosecution evidence items, biological evidence he wants turned over to him for testing. There is a bit of back and forth. DDA Silverman states this is not the usual way this is handled. She hasn't seen the document Simmrin wants to file; what it is Simmrin wants and she needs to go over everything and to ensure they can have what Simmrin's team wants to test. Coen asks if they can settle this at the next court hearing. Simmrin agrees it can.

Coen gets the defendants to agree on the record to the proposed trial date.  And that's it. The hearing is over. Sementilli is quickly taken back into custody and DDA'a Silverman and Opper start packing up their files. I wait until Baker is brought back into custody and then head out.

Next pretrial hearing is February 18.