Thursday, August 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Jurors get case in Vallejo trial that started coroner controversy

By
From page A1 | April 17, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — Jurors began deliberating the fate of a Vallejo man who faces a murder charge for the 2012 death of his girlfriend in a rough residential motel in Vallejo.

Michael A. Daniels and Jessica Brastow had both been drinking heavily before she passed out in their motel room. Vallejo police believe Daniels, 62, suffocated Brastow. His defense attorney believes Brastow, whose blood-alcohol level would later be measured at 0.37, either suffocated on her own vomit or that the alcohol shut down her breathing.

“This is a difficult case,” prosecutor Andrew Ganz told jurors in his closing argument. “We’re never going to know exactly happened in that motel room.”

Ganz repeatedly talked about blood spots police found on both their bodies and on her shirt, which was found torn in half, and on one of his socks. Tests showed the blood came from both of them. Daniels had scratches on his forearms and her chin had been scuffed.

Ganz described the motel room as “a scene of violence all over the place” and said that Brastow had done something to send Daniels over the edge. He also reminded jurors that he had given different details to police about what led up to his 911 call reporting she was passed out on the floor of the motel room.

Daniels’ attorney, Deputy Public Defender Meenha Lee, told jurors again and again that Dr. Susan Hogan, who did the autopsy on Brastow, had refused repeatedly in the face of hostility from Vallejo police and Ganz to label Brastow’s asphyxiation death a homicide.

Hogan was asked by Ganz earlier this week what the likeliest cause of death was for Brastow, to which she responded, “I don’t know.”

Lee reminded jurors that Ganz had never shared details of a January 2013 meeting Hogan had with Ganz and police about Brastow’s death until the meeting was referenced in an email that was uncovered shortly after it was revealed that Hogan had been fired after a monthslong secret investigation into a handful of her autopsies, including Brastow’s. Ganz and his supervisors in the District Attorney’s Office participated in the investigation.

Ganz was dismissive of not having a determination that Brastow’s death was a homicide, telling jurors Hogan was not a detective, had not gone to the crime scene and hadn’t listened to Daniels’ 911 call.

“The body doesn’t tell the whole story in this case,” Ganz told jurors. “Her inability to determine the cause of death is not the end all and be all.”

After the closing arguments, jurors deliberated for two hours before agreeing to return Thursday for further deliberations.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or jsullivan@dailyrepublic.net. 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.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 3 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • The MisterApril 17, 2014 - 6:10 am

    The corruption in our local governments, Sheriff/Coroner, DA, etc., will come out in case after case for some time to come.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • No dummy hereApril 17, 2014 - 12:46 pm

    Out of fear of losing the endorcement of the Vallejo Police duBain used Ganz has his sacrificial lamb. Then Vallejo PD still chose not to endorce him. Says it all folks. Says it all

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • interestingApril 17, 2014 - 2:58 pm

    Not Guilty

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Railroad crossing stalemate continues

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 5 Comments

 
First day back to school brings laughter, jitters

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Potrero Hills Landfill legal appeals exhausted

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Breakfast after the Bell wins support

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2, 3 Comments

 
Suisun city employees get pay raise

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Fairfield candidates hear about lean, nimble city staff

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Free e-waste collection to benefit Scarlet Brigade

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Fairfield mayor to appear at GOP dinner

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
Girls on the Run seeks volunteer life coaches

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

College finalizes police department takeover, OKs bond plan

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Weather for Aug. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B10

Fairfield police log: Aug. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

.

US / World

Beheading spurs new attacks on Islamic militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 9 Comments

 
Militants use British killer as propaganda

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Governor criticizes new-hire pension enhancements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US mission to rescue hostages in Syria failed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

US official: More airstrikes in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
School sorry for making special ed kids sort trash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Police seek mystery pair in selfies after burglary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Teens deny threatening boy in school shooting plot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Panel OKs state librarian despite initial concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Holder says he understands mistrust of police

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Liberian slums barricaded as Ebola sets new record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
North Korea insults John Kerry over his looks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ukrainian govt troops take over much of Luhansk

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Picture emerges of officer in Ferguson shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 8 Comments

Navy kicks out 34 for nuke cheating

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
CHP says officer may face serious beating charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

8 homes destroyed, 1,500 threatened by wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Drought has state debating its unregulated pumping

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

We’re spending way too much on raising our kids

By Megan Mcardle | From Page: A7

 
Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

California needs pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 2 Comments

 
Tell the story, don’t be it

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A7

 
.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Aug. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
Why do parents drink alcohol after their children’s games?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

 
And the Emmy winners are…? We’re happy to guess!

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Aniston, Hamm, Hudson set to Stand Up to Cancer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Emmys: Billy Crystal to pay tribute to Williams

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

.

Sports

A’s stumble and must regroup with Angels coming

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders FB Reece’s injury not as bad as feared

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Peavy pitches Giants to 8-3 win over Cubs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
WR Stevie Johnson adds depth to 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Fairfield boxer Avila set to put perfect 15-0 record on the line

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Giants win protest, rain-shortened game to resume Thursday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

US routs Dominicans in exhibition as Rose rests

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Schilling blames chewing tobacco for mouth cancer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Reality check for Phelps at Pan Pacific Champs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kent State starting center dies at 21

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Serena Williams seeded No. 1 at US Open; Halep 2nd

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tony Stewart skipping 3rd straight race after Ward’s death

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Las Vegas spoils Mo’ne’s night, beats Philly 8-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sharks F Torres undergoes surgery on right knee

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

This date in sports history for Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Sports on TV for Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B4

.

Business

BofA reaches $17B settlement with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Brine firm sues over biblical fracking billboard

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Apple’s stock bounces back to hit a new high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Obituaries

David G. Gibson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Charles (Chuck) H. Doty

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

George ‘Wayne’ Hause

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Sharon Ilene Boyd

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9