Waiting for a Decision from Honorable Judge Weathers
Last updated 3/6/2023 at 10:24am
The Final Arguments for the proposed placement of Sexually Violent Predator Douglas Badger in a house on Zuni Trail were held on Wednesday, February 15. The Public Defender, Alexandra Knudson, represented Sexually Violent Predator Douglas Badger in court, who declined to participate via Zoom in the public court review. The Deputy District Attorney is Martin Doyle.
In every court review, either new elements are revealed or known elements are confirmed. Following is a summary of the highlights (not in any particular order):
1) Judge Theodore Weathers pointed out to PD Knudson that Dr. Terrie Kellmeyer was not a party to the proceedings after PD Knudson asked the Judge to force Dr. Kellmeyer to testify under oath again in court and requested public defense representation.
2) Dr. Kellmeyer was investigated by the Public Defender who had a Private Investigator report all property holdings, locations where she voted, where her vehicles are registered, and her children’s school attendance records.
3) Exhibits submitted by Dr. Kellmeyer providing documentation about her homeschool was not entered into the court record until Wednesday, and only after the SVP Task Force insisted the DDA bring them to the court’s attention.
4) Dr. Kellmeyer’s school was established as of January 13, 2023.
5) PD Knudson insisted to Judge Weathers that, because SVP Badger has not been placed since his initial request two years earlier, the court would be forced into Transient Housing placement for SVP Badger.
For background, two years ago Liberty Healthcare had proposed placement of two Sexually Violent Predators in a Mount Helix property. Per discussion with District Attorney Summer Stephan, prior to 2021 Liberty Healthcare had resisted placement of more than one SVP at a location. The Mount Helix proposal was a house and casita – despite zoning problems for the casita. SVP Badger and SVP Wakefield were proposed for the location. SVP Martinez was the next SVP in line for SVP Conditional Release Program (CONREP) participation, but was not proposed for placement there.
Liberty Healthcare is allowed to propose properties to place SVPs in residential neighborhoods without consulting with counties. District Attorney Summer Stephen told our Borrego Spring SVP Task Force that a committee was to be established in January 2023 and that this committee would be able to have a voice in proposed placement locations.
However, no news has been forthcoming about the committee. During the meeting with DA Stephan, we were told that it would be better to place Sexually Violent Predators in East County neighborhoods than allow Transient Placement.
Per the CA Sex Offender Management Board Report of August 2019, “Transient” Registered Sex Offenders (RSO’s) live in a variety of situations without direct supervision. RSO’s differ greatly from Sexually Violent Predators, who receive the designation from a jury and are convicted of multiple sexually violent crimes often involving weapons. Their victims are brutalized physically, mentally and emotionally. Because Liberty Healthcare is required to monitor SVPs who participate in the Conditional Release Program (CONREP), the type of housing is not a requirement of the program.
As it stands today, Liberty Healthcare has proposed SVP housing on golf courses, in multi-bedroom homes adjacent to school bus stops, and in trailers. We have ascertained that the type of housing is not relevant, but have a ruling from the Cheek Case that SVPs who harmed children per CA WIC 6608.5(f) may not be housed in any manner within a quarter mile of private or public schools.
Court review closed on Wednesday, Feb. 15, and it is anticipated that Judge Weathers will issue a decision without an additional open court hearing within the next few weeks.