Arraigned together: Three members of Chi Tau scheduled to be arraigned on March 18 had their dates moved to April 1.
Gabriel John Maestretti (pictured), charged with involuntary manslaughter and hazing, and Joseph Hirth and Trent Stiefvater, who are both charged with misdemeanor hazing, will be arraigned at the same time as the other defendants in the case, since all eight men charged will be tried together, said Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey.
Maestretti appeared in court, while the other two members were represented by their attorneys.
Ramsey said it will save county resources by trying the individuals together and is logical since the evidence is the same.
Matthew Carrington’s mother Debbie Smith and his stepfather Greg Smith were both in attendance. Ramsey said they “wanted to be there for Matthew.”
Arrest could dry out Chapman: Bilal Yasin, owner of Chinca’s Market, was arraigned in Butte Superior Court March 11 on two felony counts of sale or transportation of marijuana and five felony counts of receiving stolen property. He is currently free on $65,000 bail and scheduled to return to court to enter a plea April 4, according to court records.
Yasin and three employees were arrested on Feb. 3 inside the Chapman neighborhood market on Boucher Street after a five-month sting operation by state the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control. The market’s neighbors had long suspected drug activity and frequently passed information to law enforcement agencies. Undercover agents gave Yasin 25 cases of cigarettes alleged to be stolen. In return, the agents allegedly received a half-pound of processed marijuana and $11,800 in cash.
In addition to the criminal charges, Chinca’s Market faces revocation of its liquor license, which would mean the closure of the only liquor source in the Chapman neighborhood. For nearly a dozen years, some Chapman residents have pressed for the closure of Chinca’s, citing its incompatibility with a Head Start campus less than a hundred yards away.
Chop it down and ride: Someone, probably a group of extreme mountain bikers, has been illegally making trails in Upper Bidwell Park, city Parks Director Dennis Beardsley tells the CN&R. The damage is in an accessible but somewhat hidden area of the park east of the disputed disc golf course. Beardsley said the city was contacted Saturday by some disc golfers who heard someone using a chainsaw in the area. On further investigation, park officials found a spot where someone had sawed a previously fallen tree to make a series of bike jumps, along with a network of unsanctioned trails.
“It’s beyond irritating to know that there are people who think it is OK to go into Bidwell Park with chainsaws,” Beardsley said.
If caught in the act, the vegetation vandals could be cited for destruction of public property. Beardsley encouraged park tipsters to call 896-7800.