On Jan. 14, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Gloria Rhynes sentenced Jerry Canfield, 73, to three years in prison for fatally shooting his wife, Joann, 72, on Oct. 6, 2014. (“Local Man Confesses to Wife’s Killing,” Oct. 20, 2014).
The state of California treats the Superior Court of Alameda County as a “donor” court. This means that the state can divert large portions of the court’s ongoing funding and any “new” money to other courts that the state considers more under-resourced. As a result the Superior Court of Alameda County began fiscal year 2016-2017 with a budget deficit that surpasses $5 million.
Alameda resident Donna Marie Qualls will stand trial on murder and elder abuse charges in 2017. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Larry Goodman ordered Qualls, 55, to return to court for arraignment on Jan. 5, when her trial date will be set.
Qualls is accused of allegedly murdering her boyfriend Emmanuel Lewis Christy, 73, on Dec. 3, 2015, (“Local Murder Case Looms” Dec. 10). Qualls pled not guilty to the charges at a preliminary hearing on Dec. 7, 2015.
All Alameda County Courthouses, with the exception of the Wiley W. Manuel (WWM) courthouse in Oakland, will be closed to the public for a holiday break from Friday, Dec. 23, to Jan. 2, 2017.
The closures are part of the Alameda County court system’s Voluntary Time-Off Program, according to an Alameda County Superior Court (ACSC) press release. Staff who participate will take five business days off without pay. The program is aimed at cutting costs without having to lay staff off.