Series of serious and challenging cases on the docket

David Hollister
District Attorney


Series of serious and challenging cases on the docket


Thank you for your continued service to, and support of, public safety in Plumas County.


Now, more than ever, it is crucial we continue to receive support from our local leaders to assure public safety is staffed at a level sufficient to meet the needs and expectations of those living, working and visiting Plumas County.


This support is particularly vital as we approach our busy summer season with a series of serious and challenging cases already on our docket and other similar cases nearing a stage where a criminal prosecution is ready to begin. It is only with your support and the outstanding work of our criminal justice partners that we are able to pursue and obtain justice.

Below is a sampling of some of our recent cases.

People v. James Kaufman

On May 2, James Andrew Kaufman, age 21, of Portola, was sentenced to three years in state prison.

On March 7, Kaufman was convicted of residential burglary, a felony (and a serious felony and strike) and a felony violation of evading a peace officer.

Kaufman was identified as taking part in a burglary of a residence on Cuesta Way in Delleker on Dec. 27, 2013. When deputies located Kaufman, he led them on a high-speed chase through Portola before finally being apprehended.

People v. Jerry Lee

On April 30, Jerry Craig Lee, 47, of Chester, was sentenced to four years in state prison. On Feb. 7, Lee was convicted of a felony violation of possession of methamphetamine while armed with a firearm.

On Dec. 27, 2013, Lee was a passenger in a vehicle driven by another when the vehicle was stopped for a traffic violation. During the stop it was discovered that Lee had 14 grams of methamphetamine and a loaded semi-automatic handgun in his possession.

People v. Marty Ashley

On May 9, Marty Ashley, 53, of Chester, pleaded “no contest” to felony domestic violence and admitted he had previously suffered a prior conviction for the same type of offense.

Ashley is scheduled to be sentenced July 11 when it is expected he will receive a term of two years in state prison.

Ashley was arrested after a Feb. 5 incident where he broke the ribs of his live-in girlfriend during an assault. The victim was initially desirous of prosecution but later became uncooperative.

People v. Robert Martinez

On May 9, Robert Martinez, 54, of Portola, was sentenced to five years in county jail pursuant to Assembly Bill 109.

Martinez, previously and on March 28, was convicted of a felony violation of furnishing methamphetamine. He also admitted he had previously suffered a prior conviction for a similar offense.

Martinez was arrested after being contacted at his apartment, where seven small bags of methamphetamine were located. Martinez later admitted he was involved in the sale of methamphetamine to support his addiction.

People v. Federico Quintana

On May 9, Federico Quintana, 21, of Portola, was sentenced to two years in state prison.

Quintana was previously convicted April 11 of a felony violation of assault with force likely to commit great bodily injury.

His conviction stems from a Jan. 24 incident in which Quintana and another man beat up the ex-boyfriend of a girlfriend of theirs. The assault resulted in the victim suffering orbital fractures and substantial swelling and bruising to the face.

People v. Victor Simonson II

On May 16, Victor Simonson, 33, of Portola, was convicted of felony child endangerment.

Simonson also admitted he had suffered a previous conviction resulting in a state prison sentence and that he committed this offense while out of custody pending sentencing on another felony.

Simonson is scheduled to be sentenced July 11, when it is expected he will receive seven years in state prison.

Simonson had been released on his own recognizance following a felony domestic violence conviction when he was spotted driving erratically on Highway 70 through Sierra Valley. He eventually crashed into a ditch after nearly causing a head-on collision with another motorist.

When a good Samaritan stopped to help, Simonson drove off at a high speed.

When he was finally stopped by California Highway Patrol it was discovered Simonson was traveling with a 10-month-old child who was only partially secured and that he had a blood alcohol content of 0.25 — over three times the legal limit.

This is one of those truly frightening situations that could have gone very badly in a number of ways.

People v. Danielle Charise Failing

On May 16, Danielle Failing, 35, of Quincy, was convicted of a felony violation of welfare fraud. She is scheduled to be sentenced June 27.

Failing was convicted of filing false documents in order to receive cash benefits for her child while her child was being cared for by Failing’s parents.

The original charging document alleged Failing received over $10,000 in fraudulent benefits from 2008 to 2013.

Cases of interest

There are a number of upcoming cases of interest. Some include: People v. Leanna Moore (Indian Valley Community Services District embezzlement), June 18 preliminary examination; People v. Earl Morrison (rental trust embezzlement), June 11 sentencing; and People v. Kenneth Stringfellow (homicide case), June 20 arraignment on the information.


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