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  1. #1
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    CA - Charles Roy Mitchell, 66, & Noland Jay Mitchell, 34, Mendocino Cty, 1Nov04

    Reference: Mendocino County Sheriff's Case #04-3899

    Charles Roy "Buzzy" Mitchell (father)
    Date of birth: 15 August 1938, per findagrave website, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg...GRid=107943106
    Although the MCSO refers to him as a white male, the elder Mitchell was Native American. He was 5 feet 10 inches tall, 180 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

    Noland Jay "No No" Noland (son)
    Date of birth: 29 May 1970, per findagrave website, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg...GRid=107943106
    Once again, the MCSO uses the descriptor "white male" for a Native American. Noland was 6 feet 3 inches tall, weighed 380 pounds, and had black hair and brown eyes.
    Prior legal record: On 29 September 1991, deputies responding to a call from Mill Creek Road in the Cow Mountain Off Road Recreation Area on the Mendocino/Lake County line arrested Noland on a warrant. Ukiah Daily Journal, 30 September 1991.https://www.newspapers.com/image/8885567/. Note: I was unable to determine the charge or disposition of the case.

    Both Mitchells were active in local Native American affairs. In 2004, Charles was becoming involved in Pomo tribal politics, now that he had retired from working in a lumber mill. The internal politics of the Coyote Valley Band of Pomos, who ran a casino on their rancheria some miles north of Ukiah, interested him. Nor was he the only Mitchell involved with an Indian casino. After son Noland belatedly completed Mendocino College at age 29, he went to work for Sho-Ka-Wah Casino, east of Hopland on Route 175. He was the Drop Supervisor there for two years before his murder according to his Ukiah Daily Journal obituary of 4 November 2004, http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/uki...no&pid=2784044.

    A digression here: Indian casinos just pump money. There are also other businesses associated with casinos--mini-marts, entertainment, gas station, cheap cigarettes. Considerable sums of cash are in flux, up for grabs for whoever is in control. In recent years, the infighting over tribal funds has led to everything from mass disenrollments from tribes to assaults, shootouts, and arson. Unfortunately, murder would not be much of an escalation.

    Let me continue then. In September 2004, the Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, and Historian of the Coyote Valley Band were removed from office by a general council vote. Ukiah Daily Journal, 28 December 2004, https://www.newspapers.com/image/8719045/. It is likely that Charles Roy Mitchell was interested in running for one of these offices.

    On 31 October 2004, the MItchells were known to be alive. On 1 November 2004, Noland did not show up for work. A coworker drove to the Noland home in the 900 block Orr Springs Road. He found Noland dead by obvious homicide; he appeared to have been shot in his sleep. This seems to indicate that Noland was indoors.

    At 1:15 PM, deputies were dispatched to the Mitchell place. When they cleared the premises, they found the elder Mitchell. He had been beaten to death alongside their home. Mendocino County Sheriff's Office website, http://www.mendocinosheriff.com/missing/coldcases.html; America's Most Wanted website,http://amwfans.com/thread/1683/unkno...ell-california.

    A look at the map shows that the Mitchell home was located next to another local rancheria, that of the Pinoleville Band of Pomos, as can be seen here. If the motive for the murders was tribal politics, here's a potential source of assassins within easy walking distance of the Mitchell home. Google map, https://www.google.com/maps/place/90...!4d-123.229796.

    On 16 November 2004, Shodakai Casino and Mitchell family members put up a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the Mitchell murderer(s). This report says both Mitchells were shot. Ukiah Daily Journal, 16 November 2004, https://www.newspapers.com/image/8727455/.

    As a visual aid to the locations noted in this post, I have enclosed a Google map clip, https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Coyo...d38.982656!3e0

    Information concerning this active homicide case may be called in to the MCSO Tipline at 707-234-2100. Their Investigative Services Bureau may be emailed to barneys@co.mendocino.ca.us.The Sheriff's Office can also be reached at 951 Low Gap Road, Ukiah,CA 95482.

  2. #2
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    Investigative slants

    Throughout the above sources runs aslant toward Charles Roy Mitchell's involvement in tribal politics as being the motive for the slayings. Indeed, I found a considerable fund of Internet articles concerning the Coyote Band's politics. I glanced into this stash of information just enough to realize it will take considerable analysis to make sense. One thing I did note, though: Pinoleville Rancheria addresses given for tribal members in court filings.

    In the above scenario, with Charles as the target, Noland seems to be considered a collateral victim. I found no sign that anyone considered Noland instead of Charles as the target, and the latter the collateral victim.

    Consider this. As money accumulates at a casino table, some of it is removed from the table and dropped into a locked safe called a Drop Box. In fact, money from throughout the casino probably all goes in the same box. Contents of the Drop Box are eventually moved to a secure area in the casino to be counted, banked, budgeted, whatever. Obviously, the Drop Box is a rich target for boodlers. And Noland was the Drop Box Supervisor. Plenty of room for ill will there. As Cyndi Lauper sings, "Money changes everything.."

  3. #3
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    Consider the assassination scenario.

    Here's another reason to wonder whether Noland was the actual target. If the assassin found Noland asleep in bed, and Noland was not the intended victim, why then was he shot? The hitman could have tiptoed away from Noland, found Charles, shot him, and fled unseen before Noland aroused himself. Instead, the murderer's shot at Noland seems to have attracted Roy into the final fray afterwards.

  4. #4
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    A look at Noland's job environment

    I checked into the Hopland Band of Pomos that run the Shokawah Casino where Noland worked. I found no articles about tribal disagreements in the Ukiah Daily Journal for 2004. With that, the focus on Noland seems at a dead end.

  5. #5
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    Coyote Valley tribal politics

    In 2004, the Coyote Valley Band of Pomos were the only tribe in California that had not worked out a gaming compact with the California Indian Gaming Commission. There had been long and contentious negotiations between the two parties since 1988, with the Pomo being unwilling to compromise their sovereignity. Moreover, without the compact, the tribe's Shodakai Casino was technically in violation of the law. The casino employed 180 people, and generated $15 million annually.

    After a January court decision that went against them, the Pomos ignored a series of warnings throughout the spring that they were operating an illegal casino. At 8 AM on 25 May 2004, a federal task force raided the casino and the homes of some tribal members. While the gaming went on unperturbed, the federal agents seized computer hard drives from the casino's administrative offices and the tribal office. The home of the Tribal Chairperson was also raided. Contents of the federal search warrant were not shared with local LE. However, confidential sources told the local newspaper that tribal funds were being diverted to private expenditures.

    In early June 2004, the National Indian Gaming Commission notified the tribe that their casino was in violation of the law. There ensued a further series of court skirmishes in the ongoing legal war, with the Indians trying to keep the casino open. On 25 June, they won a temporary restraining order that would keep the casino open for 60 days while the compact was negotiated. They pleaded that closing the casino would put 250 people out of work.

    The argument was made that the Tribal Council had served past its legal term of office, which was purportedly supposed to end in 1999. A faction of 68 tribal voters called for action by the Tribal Council on the matter. On 3 September 2004, the seven member Tribal Council passed a resolution claiming only they had the legal right to represent the tribe.

    On 11 September 2004, the General Council of the tribe—consisting of all adult tribal members--voted to remove five members of the Tribal Council. The remaining two Council members also left office. All five of the removed Councilors had been raided on 25 May by the Feds. Their removal from office under the “dignity and integrity” clause of the tribal constitution did not halt casino operation. An interim casino management took over, pending tribal elections on 29 December 2004, and a General Council representative was named as a temporary legal representative. Charles Roy Mitchell decided to run for tribal chief during all this furore. He expressed interest in forming a new government for the tribe, and submitted a letter of intent to run for office.

    On 14 October, the deposed Tribal Council Chair was arrested for trespassing in the casino. The ordinance cited was one usually invoked by bartenders to oust troublesome patrons.

    The Mitchells were murdered on Halloween night. A tribal audit was slated for mid-November. On 30 November, the tribal primary election was held. There were 34 candidates for the seven Tribal Council positions and that of tribal chief. The deposed Tribal Council Chair finished last in an attempt to reclaim the chair.

    Sources:
    Ukiah Daily Journal, 26 May 2004: https://www.newspapers.com/image/1464114
    UDJ, 8 June 2004:
    https://www.newspapers.com/image/1546768;https://www.newspapers.com/image/1546881
    UDJ, 9 June 2004: https://www.newspapers.com/image/1546899;https://www.newspapers.com/image/1546982
    UDJ, 11 June 2004: https://www.newspapers.com/image/1458254;https://www.newspapers.com/image/1458349
    UDJ, 13 June 2004: https://www.newspapers.com/image/145...terms=Shodakai;https://www.newspapers.com/image/1458621
    UDJ, 19 June 2004: https://www.newspapers.com/image/145...terms=Shodakai; https://www.newspapers.com/image/145...terms=Shodakai
    UDJ, 25 June 2004: https://www.newspapers.com/image/1460293;https://www.newspapers.com/image/1460233
    UDJ, 20 September 2004: https://www.newspapers.com/image/1532974;
    https://www.newspapers.com/image/1533080
    UDJ, 3 November 2004: https://www.newspapers.com/image/8721108
    UDJ, 14 November 2004: https://www.newspapers.com/image/8726404;https://www.newspapers.com/image/8726694

  6. #6
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    A look at tribal turmoil.

    Links to legal documents concerning the Coyote Valley Tribe of Pomos below. These reflect the political turmoil going on within the Coyote Valley Tribe as accusations of misuse of funds were aired. Is there a motive for murder hidden within them?

    24 October 1995: PH & MH (subsequently Tribal Council members) get out of paying rent owed to tribe for housing. http://law.justia.com/cases/federal/.../1343/2249564/

    Judicial order concerning indictments: http://www.narf.org/nill/bulletins/d...nts/hunter.pdf

    9 November 2007 Motion to Dismiss: https://turtletalk.files.wordpress.c...inez-reply.pdf

    9 November 2007 Motion for Bill of Particulars: https://turtletalk.files.wordpress.c...articulars.pdf

    9 November 2007 Campbell's Reply Briefi n Support of Motion for Bill of Particulars: https://turtletalk.files.wordpress.c...articulars.pdf

    29 February 2008: US District Court decision concerning severance of a defendant from an indictment. http://ca.findacase.com/research/wfr...210.NCA.htm/qx

    These documents just cry out for someone with legal background (unlike me) to dig into them.
    Last edited by burblestein; 09-07-2016 at 11:06 AM. Reason: Place legal documents online.

  7. #7
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    Correction.

    Noland's findagrave link is correctly http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg...943470&df=all&.



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