Bobby Chambers, left, appears in Solano County Superior Court, with his attorney Jon-Paul Valcarenghi, May 30, 2013. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)


Former teacher gets suspended sentence in weapon case

By From page A8 | May 07, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A former teacher at Willis Jepson Middle School in Vacaville was put on probation Tuesday and was given a three-month suspended jail sentence for having a gun in his car near the school.

Bobby D. Chambers, 54, was arrested in May 2013 at the school after Vacaville police received a tip from an ex-girlfriend of Chambers that contraband could be found in Chambers’ car, which was parked in front of the school.

Chambers’ defense attorney, Jon-Paul Valcarenghi, said his client learned that he lacked good judgment and had recently been diagnosed with addiction and other mental health issues.

Prosecutors previously agreed to drop cocaine and marijuana possession charges. Chambers previously agreed to sign a letter of resignation for his teaching job, which he did in court as he was being sentenced.

The police search of Chambers’ car turned up a loaded Derringer-style pistol, a box of ammunition, four grams of cocaine, a marijuana pipe and several containers of marijuana, according to court records.

Because the gun was found within 1,000 feet of school grounds, Chambers faced up to five years in prison.

After arresting Chambers, police got a search warrant for his home in Chico in Butte County. The search of the home turned up more marijuana, guns and ammunition and prescription medications that were seized by police.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

Discussion | 19 comments

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  • Grumpy GusMay 07, 2014 - 1:30 am

    Wow... a gun, a box of ammo, 4 grams of coke, marijuana found in his car at a school... and he gets a suspended sentence? If this was a 25 year old person of color, he would have done serious time in prison...

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  • Oh here we go!May 07, 2014 - 2:29 am

    He is of color. When he's mad he turns red. When he's sick he turns green. When he's cold he turns blue. Also, apparently his nose is white, his fingers are green, and his lungs are black. Enough is enough!

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  • kiramaMay 07, 2014 - 7:50 am

    Disparity in sentencing does not only affect people of color; it's more of an economic thing than it is anything else. Poor people no matter what ethnicity show up in court without nice clothes and with a busy distracted public defender and go to prison on charges like that every single day in Solano County.

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  • 2realMay 07, 2014 - 2:49 am

    Freedom is bought nowadays. He must have had a good lawyer. I wonder how many more teachers are just like this guy?

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  • Snuggle bunnyMay 07, 2014 - 4:11 am

    Goes to show, an ex will get you one way or another?? Snitch,snitch,snitch. A career down the drain!!! Sad.

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  • Tax PayerMay 07, 2014 - 5:04 am

    A joke in this case. This is another reason we need new leadership in the DA's office. This is why Solano County has the lowest conviction rate in the 9 Bay Area counties. We are soft on crime. The former teacher now has mental problems? This is the easy way out for most criminals now a days. "Hold folks that commit crimes accountable"! This is no longer the case in Solano County. The goal of the DA's office is to clear cases as fast as possible as with the crime going up they are finding themselves "under water" in the ability to prosecute cases appropriately. The greatest blame goes to Jerry Brown also for cutting funds to the court and criminal justice system. I believe there is a conspiracy here as Brown is letting out lots of criminals early to re-offend and then be put back into a broken criminal justice system to have their cases cleared by probation. More voters for Jerry in November! Your plan is working Jerry! Give him another 4 years and we will have felons holding political offices. Oh yeah, we already have them in there.

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  • The MisterMay 07, 2014 - 6:39 am

    Tru Dat!!

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  • The ChiefMay 07, 2014 - 6:26 am

    Of course he gets a lesser sentence because he's a white man; that's just common sense. "People of color" - especially negroes - are more apt to be recividists (that's repeat criminal, for those of you who are "people of color" and are reading this). Oh, and "people of color" are less likely to be teachers - or professionals of any stripe - than are white men. I would encourage "people of color" to take a good look at themselves, and see if they can't present themselves in a better light going forward. Oh, and affirmative action doesn't count. Otherwise we will just continue our (unofficial) policy of benign neglect.

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  • Apartheid anyone?May 07, 2014 - 8:03 am

    If this were a black or brown person, there'd be a harsher sentence--no doubt. This is the new Jim Crow. 2 legal systems for white collar criminals vs. black/brown folks. Politicians keep deploying WMDs = weapons of mass distraction.

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  • kiramaMay 07, 2014 - 8:04 am

    @The Chief what a disgusting comment, all you did was show your ignorance - spend 5 minutes doing some research and you will find that in California the ethnic group with the highest recidivism rate is Native American/Eskimo. Followed very closely by Blacks and then Whites (there is only a few percentage point difference between the three, all are 70% or greater). Poverty has much more to do with recidivism than race; at least in California inmates are released from prison with $200 and nothing else, no help with housing, no assistance finding a job or transportation. An inmate lacking a supportive family is very likely to end up back in prison very quickly, if for nothing else, for breaking a parole 'rule' such as being late to an appointment with parole due to lack of transportation.

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  • CD BrooksMay 07, 2014 - 8:46 am

    Kirama, the "rules" apply to all of us and are the established standard by which we are all bound. Don't break the rules, stay out of trouble. Easier for some than others and there are no shortage of excuses to justify poor behavior none of which are fair to anyone. In my world if you're not fifteen minutes early you're late. Get up, leave early and walk fast.

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  • kiramaMay 07, 2014 - 9:40 am

    @CD Brooks - I don't need a lecture, I simply cited a legitimate reason for the high recidivism rate in California and was trying to make it clear that the largest driver of recidivism is the fact that offenders are released without any resources. If that doesn't make sense to you, then maybe I should give you $200 and lock you out of your house and car, send you out to the streets with no ID card or place to stay and see how well you fare for the next 1-3 years. I'm sure you will say "I would just find a job and then rent an apartment" - well, in California even temp agencies do criminal background checks and will not accept applications from anyone with a felony conviction - and since most apartment complexes have signed on to the 'crime free multi-housing' program you won't be able to rent with your conviction either. Bottom line is, if we want people to stay out of trouble, we have to at least give them the tools so that they can help themselves.

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  • CD BrooksMay 07, 2014 - 10:43 am

    Kirama, what legitimate reason? All you provided was excuses and more BS. You could do a lot worse than one of my "lectures."

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  • kiramaMay 07, 2014 - 10:45 am

    you knew exactly what I was talking about, I will leave you to fight with yourself....

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  • CD BrooksMay 07, 2014 - 12:08 pm

    Kiarma, and you I, and you-you.

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  • CD BrooksMay 07, 2014 - 12:10 pm

    Kirama...apologies for misspelling your name.

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  • Rich GiddensMay 07, 2014 - 7:03 am

    Jess Sullivan never tells us who the prosecuting and defense attorneys are in these cases. That's a huge omission of salient facts. It's as if he does it on purpose too! Why?

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  • HmmmMay 07, 2014 - 1:47 pm

    looks like she does. Chambers’ defense attorney, Jon-Paul Valcarenghi, said his client learned that he lacked good judgment and had recently been diagnosed with addiction and other mental health issues

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  • Rich GiddensMay 07, 2014 - 3:21 pm

    Looks like he didn't. The prosecuting attorney was??? Hmmm is another thug cop.

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