Nevada County prosecutors look toward different decision in pot case involving Deputy Jason Mackey | TheUnion.com

Nevada County prosecutors look toward different decision in pot case involving Deputy Jason Mackey

Prosecutors next month anticipate asking a Nevada County judge to reconsider his decision that Deputy Jason Mackey made "misleading and false" statements in a search warrant.

Superior Court Judge Robert Tice-Raskin last week postponed a hearing to July 16 in the misdemeanor marijuana case involving Mackey. The deputy, who authored a search warrant the judge found lacking, is on medical leave through this month and currently unavailable.

Mackey is needed to discuss photographs upon which Tice-Raskin hinged his May 1 decision, Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh states in his motion to postpone the hearing.

In that decision the judge ruled photos submitted with Mackey's search warrant showed no cannabis. Walsh has argued authorities included the pictures to identify the property, not show marijuana was present. Tice-Raskin disagreed, saying Mackey's statement that he saw marijuana was "misleading and false."

"The People respectfully believe the court made a mistake in assuming the two photographs Deputy Mackey was shown are the only photographs that exist in this case," Walsh states in his motion. "Other photos were taken during the aerial overflight that reasonably show marijuana under cultivation in the six greenhouses."

Mackey's search warrant claims that he saw marijuana, which led to the arrests of Mark Gonsman and Corey Connors. Tice-Raskin's ruling that Mackey made false statements suppresses the warrant, leading to the case's dismissal against Gonsman and Connors.

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Walsh seeks to undo that suppression and reinstate the case against the men.

Stephen Munkelt, a defense attorney in the case, argued that Walsh's plea to postpone the case was premature because there's no pending proceeding to delay. Munkelt suggested prosecutors find an alternate legal method.

"Their remedy is an appeal to the appellate department," Munkelt said.

Tice-Raskin opted to postpone the hearing, adding he has no opinion on the validity of Walsh's arguments.

Mackey, a former member of the Narcotics Task Force, became a focal point in the campaign for Nevada County district attorney. Glenn Jennings, challenging incumbent Cliff Newell, claimed corruption exists in the District Attorney's Office — one reason he ran for office.

Jennings, formerly Newell's No. 2 prosecutor, testified this year in the Gonsman/Connors case that Mackey in 2015 said he couldn't discuss a search warrant under oath. Jennings also said that Newell pushed him from the District Attorney's Office over an investigation into Mackey.

Newell currently leads Jennings in the DA's race — 15,784 to 15,388 votes, or 50.64 to 49.36 percent.

Updated vote totals are expected today.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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