CA Attorney with gun in purse at Vista courthouse acquitted (CCW)


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gunsmith
June 5, 2004, 02:40 PM
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/northcounty/20040605-9999-6m5marchant.html
Dana Littlefield
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
June 5, 2004

VISTA – A North County family law attorney accused of illegally bringing a loaded gun into the Vista courthouse last year was acquitted Thursday of a misdemeanor gun charge.

A Superior Court jury deliberated for less than two hours before finding Kari Marchant, 47, not guilty of intentionally possessing a firearm at the courthouse. If convicted, she could have been sent to jail for up to one year.

Marchant's attorney, Brad Patton, argued during the brief trial, which began Tuesday, that his client forgot to remove the handgun from her purse before entering the building in November. Therefore, because she didn't deliberately carry the gun inside the building, she didn't violate state law, he said.

"The evidence was clear that this was unintentional on Ms. Marchant's part," Patton said in a phone interview Thursday after the ruling.

Marchant, who has an office in Carlsbad, had a permit to carry a concealed weapon at the time of the incident, according to the county Sheriff's Department. But such permits aren't valid in courthouses.

In January, Judge Adrienne Orfield reduced the charge against Marchant from a felony to a misdemeanor, saying that although her conduct was "unbecoming a member of the bar," the evidence presented during a preliminary hearing didn't support a felony charge.

Marchant was arrested Nov. 12 after sheriff's deputies stopped her at a security screening area in the building at 325 S. Melrose Drive. She was released from jail the same day after posting $5,000 bail.

Attorneys who show the deputies their state bar identification are typically allowed to enter the courthouse without going through security screening. But at the time of her arrest, sheriff's officials said they had received reports that Marchant had carried a gun into the courthouse once before.

On Oct. 23, the department issued a notice to deputies to "be on the lookout" for Marchant, according to testimony at a previous court hearing.

Sheriff's Deputy Darryl Leapart testified that he asked Marchant to place her bags on the belt to be X-rayed. When she did so, he noticed what looked like a gun in her purse and determined that it was a loaded, .38-caliber revolver.

Marchant told Leapart she forgot to leave the weapon in her car before entering the building, the deputy testified.

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F4GIB
June 5, 2004, 02:52 PM
CCW permits aren't good in courthouses - a "defense free" zone.

Remember that "funny" video last year of the fat attorney dodging around the small tree as his angry client tried to shoot him? It happened in ... California.

buy guns
June 5, 2004, 03:09 PM
why does an attorney need an attorney?

Hawkmoon
June 5, 2004, 03:22 PM
The real question is, why was she allowed to "walk" because she "forgot" the gun was in her purse? I don't believe the law says anything about "intent" -- I believe it esentially says "Thou shalt not carry thy handgun into the courthouse." What part of "No" doesn't this attorney understand?

If any of us proletarians tried to get into a courthouse -- or onto an airplane -- and then just said "Oops, sorry I forgot" when caught, I suspect that we would be looking at hard time and a permanent revokation of RKBA.

One set of rules for the ruling class, another set of rules for the unwashed masses.

7.62FullMetalJacket
June 5, 2004, 03:38 PM
This is good news. A jury let her go. She is part of the unwashed masses. The jury saw that it was a mistake. Sanity.

Standing Wolf
June 5, 2004, 04:11 PM
why does an attorney need an attorney?

I believe it was Mark Twain who said, “The attorney who represents himself has a fool for a client."

If forgetting were legitimate grounds for exoneration, I'm sure the nation's prisons would be at least half-empty by now.

westex
June 5, 2004, 07:45 PM
It appears the the legal system once again protects its own. Imagine putting yourself in attorney Marchants place and see if you can envision a similair outcome. Dream on peon.

Highland Ranger
June 5, 2004, 09:50 PM
Another class of people above the law.

She didn't forget, her attorney credentials mean no screening, why should she obey the law.

The law is for the commoners.

gunsmith
June 5, 2004, 10:24 PM
I FORGOT THAT CCW ISN'T LEGAL IN CA WITHOUT A PERMIT
yer Honor,can I go now?

M1911Owner
June 6, 2004, 12:35 AM
According to the story, she was accused of "intentionally possessing a firearm at the courthouse." Seems to me that "I forgot" is a valid defense against that.

And it was a jury that acquitted her, not the judge, so one can't really claim that this was an example of "the legal system protecting their own." (Although I don't doubt that that may occur.)

Pilgrim
June 6, 2004, 09:18 PM
Attorneys who show the deputies their state bar identification are typically allowed to enter the courthouse without going through security screening. But at the time of her arrest, sheriff's officials said they had received reports that Marchant had carried a gun into the courthouse once before.

On Oct. 23, the department issued a notice to deputies to "be on the lookout" for Marchant, according to testimony at a previous court hearing.


So, instead of a friendly, "Counselor, we have heard tales you carry your pistol into court," they set a trap. It causes one to think that Attorney Marchant is not popular with the Sheriff's Department.

Pilgrim

Dex Sinister
June 6, 2004, 11:19 PM
Hmmm - I want a link to that trial transcript. Because, as I've noted before, there isn't a law that specifically excludes CCW guns from courtrooms in CA!

Of course I can't speak to what the San Diego courthouse has posted at their entrance, but here in northstate CA, the only referenced statute is Penal Code 171b (http://leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate?WAISdocID=5783575037+1+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve) which does does not apply to or affect "a person holding a valid licence to carry the firearm pursuant to" the concealed carry permit codes (PC 12050).

edited to add: Of course, with CA CCW scheme, the issuing office can add restrictions to the CCW that don't exist in law.

[BTW, one usually has another attorney represent one's self, because a person who represents himself or herself has a fool for a client, even if one is an attorney. Unless one is extremely unusual, one's emotions tend to interfere with the job at hand. ]



Dex http://home.pacbell.net/ajoule/firedevil_smiley.gif

Dex Sinister
June 6, 2004, 11:30 PM
Here's a link to an earlier story (http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/northcounty/20031120-9999_1mc20caught.html), with an interesting paragraph:

Saunders said Marchant had been warned not to take a weapon into the courthouse after the Sheriff's Department received reports that she had done it before. She has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, but the permit excludes courthouses, he said.

A long-standing policy prohibits anyone from carrying weapons into county courthouses, except for peace officers on official business.
[emphasis mine]

Unfortunately, San Diego County doesn't have charges available online, as some other counties do. However, her case # is CN170100 (http://www.sandiego.courts.ca.gov:8080/CISPublic/casedetailr?casenum=CN170100&casesite=NC&applcode=R)

Dex http://home.pacbell.net/ajoule/firedevil_smiley.gif

Henry Bowman
June 7, 2004, 09:25 AM
One set of rules for the ruling class, another set of rules for the unwashed masses.
Another class of people above the law.
Excuse me? Did you not notice that she was charged and and put all the way through a trial? A jury acquitted her.

El Tejon
June 7, 2004, 11:39 AM
Write this day down in the THR archives: a CCWing good gal gets acquitted and THR is upset?:confused:

We've already had this discussion. It's called mens rea, criminal intent. Misdemeanors, contrary to the THRian view, are not traffic infractions. The prosecution must prove intent and that is what they failed to do.

Hooray for the Tilecrawler! Hoozah! Hoozah! Hoozah!:D

7.62FullMetalJacket
June 7, 2004, 11:50 AM
3 times' the charm :uhoh: Ease up on the caffeine El T :neener:

Hawkmoon
June 7, 2004, 12:35 PM
Excuse me? Did you not notice that she was charged and and put all the way through a trial? A jury acquitted her.
Noted. The issue is, if that had been you or I rather than a member of the bar, do you think the jury would have acquitted? I don't think so. I think she was acquitted only because she is an attorney. If my gut feeling is correct, this is wrong.

As to the need to prove intent for a misdemeanor, does that mean they can't cite me for running a stop sign or light unless they can prove that I intended not to stop? What about the guy in Utah (there's a thread active on this right now) who was stopped for DUI and the cops found a gun in his glovebox that he "forgot" was there. IANAL but this doesn't make sense to me.

El Tejon
June 7, 2004, 01:00 PM
Hawk, if her job had anything to do with it, then by your reasoning would not the jury hold her to a higher standard and impute knowledge to her? Always a concern when representing a doc or the like IME. "Well, she should have known."

As to your alleged Dewey with the pistola, yes, the same defense would be available to him. Even though he is not an untouchable, a member of the bar. (Gee, I like to have immunity, especially from the NFA).

7.62, as they say, The Badger never sleeps; The Badger always shakes.:D Can you tell I'm anxious to leave or something?:p

7.62FullMetalJacket
June 7, 2004, 01:27 PM
Badger, badger, badger, badger........mushroom, mushroom..........


Is it a one-way trip?

El Tejon
June 7, 2004, 02:15 PM
Ex-girlfriends certainly hope so!:D

Just bi-annual out-of-state (gun) training.:)

ny32182
June 7, 2004, 03:43 PM
Why would the JURY care if she was an attorney or not? The jury is a group of random citizens. At best, it was a group of random citizens protecting one of their own. The judge didn't acquit her. The jury did. And keep in mind, its a jury of **********ns.

Second, weather "intent" comes into play is dependant on how the law is written. I've seen it referenced in this thread in two ways:

1) It is ILLEGAL to carry a gun into the courthouse, CCW or not.
2) It is illegal to INTENTIONALLY carry a CCW into the courthouse.

Given that she legitimately forgot the gun was there: she is guilty in case 1, innocent in case 2.

Likewise, it seems to be ILLEGAL in Utah to have a gun in your glove box with no CCW. Therefore, if the Kali law is written according to case 1, its a good comparison. Case 2; its not.

sturmruger
June 8, 2004, 05:55 PM
I wouldn't care if she was a Kennedy I am glad she got off. I kind of doubt that she really forgot about the gun, but if it worked as a defense then good for her. I like gun toting lawyers allot more then regulars lawyers.

M1911Owner
June 8, 2004, 07:38 PM
Sturm, I have to agree about the question of whether she really "forgot." Since the story said that the cops were essentially laying in wait for her, it would seem that this was a regular thing for her, not a one-time lapse of memory. So I'm inclined to think that "intent" was, in fact, present. Even if that's the case, I have a hard time working up much anger about someone beating the rap for something I don't think should be illegal in the first place.

Carlos
June 8, 2004, 10:20 PM
Great point 1911. Wonder if the Jury actually knew that.

Certainly would have been prevalent in my mind, as a juror.

And, the jury acquitted her. :(

Henry Bowman
June 9, 2004, 11:26 AM
I like gun toting lawyers allot more then regulars lawyers.
Thanks, Sturmruger. El Tejon and I will take that as a complement (I think :uhoh: ).

M1911Owner
June 9, 2004, 01:08 PM
Wonder if the Jury actually knew that.I'd guess that they probably didn't. It sounds to me like "hearsay", which wouldn't be admissable.

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