Five plead guilty in Bolinas assault case

August 14, 2008 12:48:52 PM PDT
Five defendants pleaded guilty Wednesday in Marin County Superior Court to charges stemming from an assault on a Bolinas man in June. A sixth defendant's preliminary hearing is scheduled for this morning.

Five of the six were initially charged with the attempted murder of 33-year-old Ricky Green but the Marin County District Attorney's Office dropped that charge from an amended complaint it filed against the defendants prior to the their preliminary hearing Wednesday, Deputy District Attorney Tom Brown said.

Ryan Patrick Lorne, 22, of Bolinas and Thoren Maxwell Manetta, 21, of Mill Valley pleaded guilty to felony assault likely to cause great bodily injury and misdemeanor destruction of evidence, Brown said.

Suraya Jaimee Khalil, 21, of Bolinas pleaded guilty to a felony charge of being an accessory to a crime after the fact and to misdemeanor assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, Brown said.

The three defendants entered their pleas before Superior Court Judge Paul Haakenson.

In juvenile court, a 17-year-old and a 16-year-old, both from Bolinas, admitted an assault with a deadly weapon charge. They were to be tried in adult court with the other defendants but their cases were transferred back to juvenile court Wednesday, Brown said.

Manetta and Lorne face four years in prison, Khalil faces three years and the juveniles face four years in juvenile detention, Brown said.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled this morning for Lamont Donyelle Elkins, 19, of Mill Valley. He is charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon and felony assault likely to cause great bodily injury.

The Marin County Sheriff's Office said Green, described by some in Bolinas as a free-spirited drifter, was stabbed and assaulted in the area of Brighton Avenue around 11 p.m. on June 23.

He suffered severe lacerations to his head and thigh and was initially listed in critical condition at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. He was released from the hospital July 2 and has returned to Bolinas.

The 17-year-old's attorney, David Vogelstein, said this morning he is "perturbed" by the way the assault was portrayed by the media and law enforcement.

"It's sexier to say they hunted and beat a homeless person" Vogelstein said. "It was a fight gone bad."

Vogelstein said the case was initially overcharged as an attempted murder but that the district attorney's office "came to their senses when they looked at it."

"Green was violent before with weapons in Bolinas," Vogelstein said. "He had been a problem. He assaulted other people and called kids out to fight."

"There's no question all six of these people went overboard," Vogelstein said. He said his client's "reaction was not atypical of many young people whose ability to access the situation is not mature and they go a little nuts. It's fostered by the group thing."

"The good news is, Ricky is doing well and is out. He's walking around Bolinas again," Vogelstein said.

Brown said the district attorney's office decided not to file the attempted murder charge in the amended complaint based on further investigation, including interviews with witnesses.

"The more appropriate charge is an intention to seriously harm Mr. Green. If it was just a fight, it certainly went very badly," Brown said.

One juvenile is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 27 and the other, along with Lorne, Khalil and Manetta, will be sentenced in September, Brown said.


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