Two women linked to a fatal 2018 stabbing in rural Vacaville earlier this year have pleaded no contest to misdemeanor and have been sentenced to a year’s probation in court, among other penalties, The Reporter has learned.
Both women, Jessica Anne Weirich and Kailyn Scarlett Gibson, pleaded in absentia, Weirich on January 20, Gibson on March 1, in Bay 11 of the Fairfield Justice Center.
In absentia means that their lawyers submitted their pleadings without being in court for the trial.
On behalf of Weirch, and as part of a plea agreement, defense attorney Barry K. Newman, at the February 16 formal sentencing hearing, did not contest charges that his client intentionally delayed a law enforcement officer in the performance of his duties.
In addition to probation, Weirch, 31, must complete 50 hours of community service, pay around $500 in fines, stay away from some people connected to the murder case, and be barred from commenting on social media her case, Gibsons and that of Kristofer Michael Williams, who was found guilty of killing Jonathan “Johnny” Russell, 30, of San Francisco outside a house on Fry Road last October.
On behalf of Gibson, and as part of a plea agreement, defense attorney Denis Honeychurch pleaded no objection to child endangerment and wiretapping of confidential communications at the March 1 formal sentencing.
In addition to the probation, 32-year-old Gibson was sentenced to one day in the Solano County Jail, must do 100 hours of community service, have no contact with some people involved in the case, pay a fine of approximately $500 and also do not post on social media about their case, Weirich’s or Williams’.
Weirch’s plea came the same day she was scheduled to appear in Judge William J. Pendergast’s courtroom for a preliminary hearing.
Typically, a plea in absentia lists the charges against a client, rights waived by a guilty plea or non-contest, and the terms of the plea agreement. Such objections only apply to administrative offences.
Weirich was initially charged with being an after-fact accessory, a felony, for her connection to the Oct. 23 stabbing for which Williams was convicted Oct. 21. She was believed to have driven Williams to the home on the 5800 block on Bratstrasse. By filing a no-contest plea for a misdemeanor, Weirich avoided a jury trial and the possibility of a three-year sentence if found guilty.
Gibson was scheduled to return to Division 11 for a readiness conference at 8:30 a.m. on March 1 and set a preliminary hearing, but instead allowed Honeychurch to file their no-contest pleadings as part of the agreement and was convicted.
During Williams’ trial, Solano County Sheriff’s Investigators said he was concerned about an ongoing custody battle and believed that Gary Nofuentes’ daughter belonged with Gibson, her mother, who was friends with Williams at the time and was trying to get custody to obtain district family court in Solano.
Sometime on the night of the murder, Russell came between the girl and Williams, who stabbed Russell in the neck. Russell underwent surgery at Kaiser Permanente Vacaville Medical Center.
Williams, 35, was arrested at his home on Block 600 of Roscommon Drive in Vacaville in the early hours of October 24. A few days later, Russell was pronounced brain dead, then taken off life support and died.
Gibson was initially charged with dissuading a witness from injuring and overhearing a child by recording confidential information. After her arrest on November 16, 2018, she posted $75,000 bail and was released from custody. By pleading misdemeanor, she avoided a jury trial and the possibility of a three-year sentence if found guilty.
In addition to the murder charge, Williams was convicted of kidnapping a minor under the age of 14; attack with a deadly weapon; child endangerment; and burglary in an inhabited apartment.
Williams, who remains without bail at Stanton Correctional Facility in Fairfield, will be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. April 28 in Ward 11. He faces more than 50 years in state prison.
He will be represented by Daniel Russo, Vallejo’s criminal defense attorney.
Assistant District Attorney Ilana Shapiro prosecuted the cases.
https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/03/11/two-women-linked-to-2018-stabbing-case-pleading-to-misdemeanors-get-court-probation/ Two Bay Area women linked to the 2018 fatal stabbing and pleading misdemeanor receive court parole