Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

Hearing delayed for alleged assailant of patrol special officer

The man accused in the incident resulting in a broken arm for San Francisco Patrol Special Police Officer Jane Warner will have to wait a bit longer for his preliminary hearing.

The date for the hearing, which is typically when a judge decides whether there is enough evidence to proceed with a trial, was to have been set today [Friday, August 20]. However, that date is now not expected to be set until September 28.

Warner, an out lesbian who was affectionately known as “Officer Jane” around the Castro and other neighborhoods she patrolled, was 53 when she died of ovarian cancer in May.

On early Christmas Day morning in 2009, Warner responded to an incident outside Trigger bar, and a man broke her arm. James Crayton McCullough, who was 60 at the time, was arrested in connection with the incident. He has pleaded not guilty and is out on $250,000 bail.

Assistant District Attorney Brian Buckelew was just recently assigned to prosecute the case and indicated more time was needed to prepare.

However, Buckelew expressed determination to keep things moving. “All the discovery’s been completed,” he said before the hearing. He also noted the case’s age.

“There’s no reason for delay,” he said. He added, “I hope this case goes to trial before the end of the year.”

Buckelew acknowledged there’s strong interest in the case from the LGBT community and said he’s gotten a lot of calls about it in the last three days.

McCullough faces nine charges that include battery with serious bodily injury to Warner, making criminal threats to other officers, and resisting arrest. Six of the nine counts are being charged as felonies.

If he’s eventually found guilty, McCullough could be sentenced to as much as eight years and four months in state prison, according to Buckelew.

Before court today, McCullough, who was wearing a black suit, referred questions to Jeremy Blank, his attorney, but thanked a reporter for being interested in the case.

In January Blank told the Bay Area Reporter that his client “feels terrible” about Warner’s injury.

“He is quite distraught about the injury she suffered,” Blank said at the time. “He has been a long-standing member of the Castro community for 20 years.”

Blank also said that McCullough’s residence is outside of the Castro, and it is not covered by a stay-away order issued in the case.

“But he certainly is a member of the community,” Blank said.

McCullough has been ordered to keep away from the Castro District and the Badlands and Trigger bars. The Castro is defined in the order as being bounded by Dolores, 14th, Market, Diamond, and 19th streets, Buckelew said.

After the hearing today, Blank declined to comment on several questions.

He referred to his previous statement to the B.A.R. and said, “Nothing has changed about the incident since then.”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, August 20, 2010 @ 5:37 pm PST
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