Home > Humboldt County > Firecracker cop gets probation, community service

Firecracker cop gets probation, community service

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputy who maimed the hand of a 10 year-old girl, as well as his own, has been sentenced. A press release from the Humboldt County District Attorney’s office follows:

On Wednesday, October 05, 2011, the Honorable Judge Christopher Wilson sentenced Joseph Marsh, 40, of Eureka, to 500 hours of community service and four years probation. He was also assessed full court fines in the amount of $1,593. Restitution was reserved and will likely be determined by a civil court process.

This case stemmed from a July 4, 2010 incident when Marsh, who was off-duty as a sheriff’s deputy at the time, enlisted the help of a friend’s 10-year-old daughter to hold and light a firework. The firework exploded, injuring both Marsh and the girl.

On September 7, 2011, Marsh pleaded no contest to misdemeanor child endangerment. The sentencing was held over so that the victim’s mother could be present to make a statement to the court.

EARLIERCop’s illegal firework caused July 4th accident | Firecracker cop faces charges

  1. Anonymous
    October 5, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    On the one hand, the guy deserves serious punishment. On the other hand, I’d like to see the parents prosecuted for child endangerment.

  2. Hanonymous
    October 5, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Pointing the finger of blame does nothing for those who suffer.

  3. October 5, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Was it a fair sentence or did he get away with a slap on the stump?

  4. Lefty
    October 5, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    I don’t think I’d be going out on a limb by saying that last comment was plain tasteless.

  5. Jonny law
    October 5, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Got to hand it to you guys. You make me laugh daily.

  6. Anonymous
    October 5, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    I applaud judge wilson for handing down a just sentence. I am stumped as to why the parents, police officer and even 10 year old herself did not recognize the danger associated with handling explosives. I would like to point out that maybe heavy coverage of the dangers of fireworks prior to the holiday may help avert a tragedy in the future. It seems like the Herald covered a story associated with a party of Bosnians discharging various arms in the air…another dangerous celebration. I thumbed back through previous posts but could not put my finger on the story.

  7. what is the sound of one...
    October 5, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Pointed discussion again at HH

  8. Decline To State
    October 6, 2011 at 6:54 am

    A just sentence. Society had nothing to gain by imprisoning this man. He will live with his act of stupidity and his crushing guilt for the rest of his life. I’m sorry for both he and the child but it’s over and nothing more can be done.

  9. Mitch
    October 6, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Decline to State sums things up perfectly, IMO.

  10. Fact Checker
    October 6, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Same press release, different criminal cop. I guess cops who get caught have to face the Honorable Christopher Wilson.

    “Humboldt Co. District Attorney Press Release:

    Former Eureka Police Officer Daniel Jason Kalis, 36, of Arcata, pleaded no contest yesterday to felony possession of heroin. He also pled guilty to misdemeanor vandalism and a misdemeanor count of unlawful disclosure of Department of Motor Vehicle records.

    The Honorable Judge Christopher Wilson sentenced Kalis to 200 hours of community service and three years probation, pursuant to the California Penal Code.”

  11. Mitch
    October 6, 2011 at 8:00 am

    Fact Checker,

    More details, please, if you have them. On its face, that sounds hard to believe.

  12. Fact Checker
    October 6, 2011 at 8:32 am

    They both faced Wilson, they both got community service and probation. Those are the facts. You would have to ask the Honorable Christopher Wilson for more details.

  13. neomoderate
    October 6, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Please refer back to Decline to State’s comment at 6:54, FC.

  14. Fact Checker
    October 6, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Harsh sentences for some and leniency for others is not “justice for all.” And that’s a fact.

  15. Snickerdoodles
    October 6, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Kalis definitely got a break there. Wonder what his ex thinks about him not having to do any time?

  16. Anonymous
    October 6, 2011 at 11:44 am

    The parents of this child are just plain stupid.

  17. High Finance
    October 6, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    This was a just decision for criminal court.

    Now lets hope the girl can nail him in civil court.

  18. AJ
    October 6, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Pointing the finger of blame does nothing for those who suffer.

    Actually, knowing that there are few legal repercussions keeps people everywhere buying dangerous fireworks. Your indifference perpetuates the suffering.

  19. AJ
    October 6, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Er, and I expect everyone will jump on my for that comment, but to dig my own grave, I’ll say more. In my eyes, it’s the same question as to whether we should punish drunk drivers who cause injury in a vehicle collision. Is what a DUI driver does an accident? Surely the collision wasn’t intentional, but the act of getting into the car while drunk had to happen first, thus (in my eyes) making it not an accident.

    Heraldo noted in a previous post about the firework, “he knew the item was illegal.” To me, when someone handles an illegal firework and allows a child to be involved in the process, well, when an “accident” results, to me it’s not truly an accident. There is unambiguous fault involved.

    As to whether he has received enough punishment, well, ask the 10-year-old girl. Ask her again in a decade when what she chooses to do with her life is possibly impacted by the functionality of her hands. What is the value of a human hand? What is the punishment for someone taking that value from you?

  20. Not an insider
    October 6, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Unless he is considered at risk for committing more crimes, it seems to me that further punishment will not serve to protect the public, or provide him with rehabilitation. It would be a waste to incur the cost of incarceration.

    What seems confusing though is that he has continued to receive his deputy paycheck! I’d like to hear an explanation bihind that action.

  21. Guest
    October 6, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Gosh,
    So many comments, from so many perfect angels. Starting with Heraldo, and the surprizing need to villify some poor Joe. Like, I’ve never missed the toliet in my entire life. The man made a goddamn mistake. So add the Norman Rockwell animation just to invite the yellow slander. As if the man set out to do this thing. Look up the definition of yellow journalism. That’s you.

  22. October 6, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Unless he is considered at risk for committing more crimes, it seems to me that further punishment will not serve to protect the public, or provide him with rehabilitation. It would be a waste to incur the cost of incarceration.

    Exactly. Who would you rather use up jail space for? Someone who made a dumb mistake, or someone who has habitually been a predator on others all his live, whether it be by assault, theft, or whatever criminal behavior?

    Even if the jails and prisons weren’t full, I’d be hard pressed to say the guy should spend a bunch of time in jail.

  23. Anonymous
    October 6, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    He made a poor judgment and I think he has been punished enough. I am sure he feels awful.

  24. Anonymous
    October 7, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Why isn’t anyone asking why illegal fireworks and other hazardous products easily find their way into this country? Chinese-made sippy cups for American babies – with poison included in the plastic. Chinese fireworks. What’s the difference?

    This is free market capitalism, business as usual. Why blame the consumer when the importer could have been found and prosecuted, eliminating the problem at its source?

  25. October 7, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Why blame the consumer when the importer could have been found and prosecuted, eliminating the problem at its source?

    That’s right! Just as we do with marijuana and cocaine!

  26. Plain Jane
    October 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Ron Paul wants no restrictions on the free market. Are people so stupid they don’t know that fireworks are dangerous? Do they need the nanny state telling them what dangers they can subject themselves to? Let the buyer beware.

  27. Plain Jane
    October 7, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Ha! That’s a good warning for Ron Paul supporters as well.

  28. High Finance
    October 8, 2011 at 8:08 am

    The ban on simple fire crackers is the perfect example of the rise of the Nanny State. Life is dangerous if you don’t use your head. Life can be extremly boring if anything that might cause an injury is banned.

    How can the Nanny advocates allow children to ride bicycles ?

  29. Mitch
    October 8, 2011 at 8:23 am

    HiFi is, as always, right. Banning firecrackers is nanny state. And yet, there will be accidents. What needs to be done is as follows:

    1) You need to sign a waiver when you buy firecrackers, refusing state-paid medical care or any form of state-provided emergency response in the event of an accident.

    2) You should be offered your choice of private insurance plans, sold on a per-explosive basis, covering any problems that might result from your libertarian desire to blow things up as celebration.

    3) In the event of an accident, you should always carry your selected insurer’s phone number, so that you may call them for medical assistance. Insurers that put people on hold for too long will fail to flourish in this free market, and so, gradually, only the finest insurers will survive. IMPORTANT: Do not write the phone number on your hand, as that might not be available just when you need it most.

    4) If anyone else calls 911, you must use remaining limbs to wave the state-provided responders away; otherwise, it’s a slippery slope down the path to communism.

  30. October 8, 2011 at 8:24 am

    A word search of this thread shows HiFi is the only one to use the words “ban” and “simple.”

    The firework in question was already illegal, but that didn’t stop the deputy (!) from asking a 10 year-old girl to hold the thing while he lit it.

  31. Faith
    October 8, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Not to mention that there may have been alcohol impairment involved in the situation. That alone calls for prison time. What’s the difference between drunk driving and getting drunk and blowing off part of a chlld’s hand? MADD?

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s