Posted: September 25, 2021
Newberry Springs Community Alliance
Over 10 years of sharing the Love.
by Ted Stimpfel

       No decision yet on Rhoden.        
  Judge still considering the matter.  

Los Angeles KTLA Channel 5 news.  Click above for video.

Los Angeles KABC Channel 7 news.  Click above for video.

In the Matter of Lawtis Donald Rhoden.

Media coverage.

    For the first hearing on September 2, 2021, I had contacted a news distribution agency in Los Angeles to send a news alert for the first hearing to the Southland news media.

    Only L.A.'s KTLA TV Channel 5 and KABC TV Channel 7 responded.  Channel 7 received a last-minute approval from the court on September 2nd to record the proceedings inside the courtroom.

    Channel 5 came later and didn't acquire permission.  Neither to my belief had anything broadcasted on that initial Newberry Springs court hearing.

    For the September 24th hearing, both news stations were back and had acquired early court approval to video inside the courtroom.

    If one carefully watches the KABC report above, one may recognize Newberry Springs images that were video recorded on March 8, 2013.  This was when KABC reporter Rob McMillan interviewed the late Dave Woods regarding the Mountain View solar power facility.

    There is a brief leg shot of Woods walking his dog, Blondie, on Mountain View Road.  Other quickie spliced shots show wide-angle scenes of the solar panels on Mountain View and Mona Doles' house.

    The court hearing has been continued until November 5, 2021.  The judge has requested Liberty Healthcare to seek an alternative site for Rhoden.  If Liberty reports back that it hasn't found a site, the possibility is strong that Rhoden will be placed in Newberry.

    I haven't seen much of an effort on the part of Liberty Healthcare.  It can simply wear down the court with its incompetence and still win.

The mechanics.

    After Rhoden's approval for a conditional release two years ago, the Court has been getting growing pressure to allow Rhoden his Constitutional right to be released.  Rhodan is currently residing at Coalinga State Hospital.

    One of the experts testifying during the September 24th hearing was Dr. Harry Goldberg, a clinical psychologist.  He expressed concern that the Newberry house of Godisgood, Inc., is not ideal due to its location near a truck stop that is known to have prostitution.

    As Dr. Goldberg stated in the above KABC video, "You wouldn't put an alcoholic next to a bar."  Goldberg contends that the truck stop with prostitution and young girls traveling through would be a "trigger" that may flip Rhoden to resume his past behaviors.

    Dr. Goldberg expressed that the intensity of such a trigger is substantial and that it would be risky considering Rhoden's history with prostitutes and young girls.

    Goldberg stated that despite Rhoden having successfully met the criteria for release, Rhoden's "anti-social elements are still remaining."

    Dr. Goldberg further indicated that even if the truck stop was visually blocked from view, just Rhoden's knowledge of the truck stop being there could play in Rhoden's head.

    Cameran Zeidler, a psychologist for Liberty Healthcare, also provided some interesting comments.  When questioned by Judge Megan L. Wagner as to the term that Rhoden might be kept in a conditional situation, before being completely set free in the community, Zeidler stated that the process is usually 3 to 4 years.

    For about 1 year, Rhoden would be kept in the "Intensive Level" where he would be intensively monitored.  If he stayed within his electronic cage of about 75-feet of the placement center of his monitoring device, and if he demonstrated "improvement," he would be rewarded by being placed into a less restrictive "Supportive Level."

    Based on the privileges that are earned, Rhoden could be given the freedom in the "Supportive Level" to have employment and to travel alone to and from work and shopping during this 2nd to 3rd year.  His transportation during this period would likely involve using the public bus system.

    If Rhoden appears to successfully demonstrate improvement during the second or third year, he would then be advanced into the "Transitional Level" wherewith the money that he earned, he could purchase a vehicle and have greater travel freedoms.  He wouldn't be tracked but would occasionally check in with his supervisor.

    During the first year-plus of intensive supervision, Rhoden would have an assigned supervisor.  Liberty Healthcare "tries" to have this supervisor residing within a 60-minute response time to Rhoden should Rhoden break free.  Should such happen late at night, the time presumably could be longer.

    Rhoden should be placed in the "county of the domicile" before his incarceration unless the court finds that "extraordinary circumstances" require placement outside the county of domicile (Welfare and Institutions § 6608.5(a)).  Apparently, Liberty Healthcare's lack of competency to find Rhoden a residence in all of Los Angeles and Orange Counties is an "extraordinary circumstance."

    Recently, the Goodisgood, Inc. house at 47998 Lake Irene Drive in Newberry Springs that is managed by William Petropoulos of Spring Valley Lake (Victorville) is being corrected for deficiencies.  According to court testimony, the power is now on, the water well is working, and kitchen cabinets are being installed.

    The property currently has a reported unlicensed patio that the management is reported as willing to physically remove for compliance.

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