Michael McClish murder trial

Michael McClish murder trial

Posted in the Ben Lomond Forum

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bystander

Santa Cruz, CA

#1 Aug 23, 2010
The Preliminary Hearing for this trial is scheduled for tomorrow. There are over 4 blogs going on now. I would suggest that this starts a new blog for the trial.

The Preliminary Hearing is not the actual start of the trial, but a Hearing where the case is presented. Trial date will be announced, hopefully soon.

If anyone is planning on attending, please post what happens.
nightmare4all

San Francisco, CA

#2 Aug 23, 2010
Pregnant Ben Lomond Market cashier found slain 4 years ago was strangled with a rope, deputies testify during Michael McClish murder hearing
By Jennifer Squires - Santa Cruz Sentinel
Posted: 08/23/2010 07:59:30 PM PDT
Click photo to enlarge
Michael McClish appears in court Monday for his preliminary hearing....(Jennifer Squires/Sentinel)«12»SANTA CRUZ - Joanna "Asha" Veil, the pregnant Ben Lomond Market cashier found murdered nearly four years ago, was hit in the back of the head, then strangled with a rope.
The new information about the slaying of Veil emerged Monday, the first day of the preliminary hearing for the man accused in the September 2006 killings that shocked the close-knit Ben Lomond community.
Michael McClish, 41, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder for the deaths of Veil, a 28-year-old Polish immigrant, and her 7-month-old fetus. McClish and Veil, both of whom were married, worked together at the market and also had a personal relationship.
Although sheriff's detectives have said McClish was not the father of her child, Veil reportedly believed he could have been and listed McClish as the possible father when she went to a doctor for a pregnancy test, according to sheriff's deputies. She was estranged from her husband, Richard Veil, when she died.
The hearing, in front of Judge Paul Burdick, is expected to last most of the week. Burdick will decide if there is enough evidence to take the case to trial.
Monday, a parade of sheriff's deputies testified about Veil's disappearance - a supervisor at the market reported her missing after she didn't show up to work after two days - and the discovery of her decomposing body 2½ miles outside of Ben Lomond on Love Creek Road on Sept. 14, 2006.
Veil was found face-down on a log next to the creek and about 20 feet down an embankment, deputy Robert Gidding, a crime scene investigator, said. The red and yellow rope was still knotted around her neck, the back of her head bloody.
Several of McClish's relatives and friends attended the hearing, as well as a couple of San Lorenzo Valley residents who came in support of Veil.
McClish, who is serving an 18-year-prison sentence for an unrelated sex crimes conviction, was dressed in black slacks, a light blue shirt and a purple tie, seated next to his attorney, Tom Wallraff, and an investigator. McClish fiddled with his salt-and-pepper goatee and had animated reactions to some of the testimony.
Veil was last seen leaving work the night of Sept. 9. McClish also was at the store that evening. A receipt showed he purchased something on his employee account about 20 minutes before Veil clocked out, according to Joe Ramsey, a former sheriff's detective who now works for the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department.
Early in the missing-person investigation, McClish allegedly told deputies he only knew Veil through work and had helped her with her car, but sheriff's Sgt. Robin Mitchell told the judge Monday she subpoenaed cell phone records for both of them - as well as several others associated with the case - and discovered the two had called each other frequently in early 2006.
Sgt. Mike MacDonald, who conducted surveillance on McClish as the investigation unfolded, testified that he saw McClish wash his Ford pickup twice in less than two days, focusing on the grill and front bumper of the truck.
Ramsey said he interviewed another female market employee who told him she had seen McClish and Veil together at the Felton Cemetery in February 2006. After Veil vanished, McClish allegedly asked the woman not to tell anyone the two had been with each other outside of work.
nightmare4all

San Francisco, CA

#3 Aug 23, 2010
"He did not want the Sheriff's Office to know he had ever been with Asha in a secluded place," Ramsey said.

McClish was married and had three young children when Veil's body was found. The double-homicide investigation turned up allegations of sexual assault and McClish was arrested. A jury convicted McClish of rape, sodomy and making threats against a woman with whom he was having an affair.

MacDonald testified Monday that the woman McClish had the affair with said McClish had threatened to kill her if she made their relationship public.

"He wouldn't allow anything to come between his family or his job," MacDonald testified.

His wife, Melissa, has since divorced McClish and moved out of the area with their children.

McClish could have faced the death penalty if convicted, but the District Attorney's Office chose not to pursue a capital case and instead is seeking life without the possibility of parole, prosecutor Jeff Rosell said Monday.

The hearing resumes at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Hmmm

Santa Cruz, CA

#4 Aug 23, 2010
This is finally happening, lets be there to support Asha and her Baby and her Family...
nightmare4all

San Francisco, CA

#5 Aug 24, 2010
Ben Lomond murder victim intended to confront man who may have fathered her child, friend says
By Jennifer Squires - Santa Cruz Sentinel
Posted: 08/24/2010 06:32:58 PM PDT"Asha" Veil planned to confront the man she thought could be the father of her child, demand a paternity test and ask for child support if the baby was his, she told a friend in possibly the last phone conversation the pregnant Polish immigrant ever had.It was around 7:40 p.m. on Sept. 9, 2006 and Veil, 28, and seven months pregnant, was standing in the parking lot at the Ben Lomond Market, where she had been a cashier for about a year.That was the last time anyone reported seeing Veil alive. The Polish immigrant's battered body was found face-down next to a mountain creek five days later, a crude noose cinched around her neck.Tuesday was the second day of the preliminary hearing for accused double murderer Michael Patrick McClish, 41.The former Ben Lomond man is charged with killing Veil and causing the death of the woman's fetus, a female at least 30 weeks along when Veil died. He has pleaded not guilty and faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
A sheriff's deputy testified Tuesday about the phone conversation Veil had with her friend - a schoolmate from Poland who lived in New Jersey in 2006 - and the county coroner described Veil's mortal injuries. Other sheriff's deputies and a criminologist also took the stand.
Sheriff's detective Joe Ramsey said he traveled to New Jersey in January 2007 to speak with Veil's friend. The woman told Ramsey she knew Veil was pregnant and unsure of who the father was. She encouraged Veil to get a paternity test and, during their final conversation just before Veil disappeared, they rehearsed how Veil was going to broach the subject with McClish, who was married with three children.
"She was going to tell Mr. McClish she was going to get a DNA test," Ramsey said. "... When she found out who the father was, she was going to seek child support for the baby."
But the friends' phone conversation ended abruptly when Veil declared that McClish was at the store and said she needed to go, according to Ramsey's testimony.
"She was going to confront him," said Ramsey, a former Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputy who now works for the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department.
Sheriff's Sgt. Ian Patrick interviewed both McClish and Richard Veil, the dead woman's estranged husband, during the missing person investigation and subsequent homicide probe. McClish denied having a sexual relationship with Veil, whom he supervised at the market, and her husband said he had doubts the baby was his, Patrick said.
Sheriff's detectives have said Richard Veil was the father.
Dr. Richard Mason, the county coroner, said in court that the fetus died as a result of Veil's death but was not injured. It could have survived had a Cesarean section been performed.
Veil suffered two mortal injuries: a basal skull fracture that caused brain swelling and strangulation by rope, Mason testified. The coroner said the rope was wrapped high on Veil's neck, cutting off circulation to the carotid artery, and tied in a "strange knot" at the back of her head.
"It looks like a poorly made hangman's noose," Mason said, adding that the rope, made of plastic fibers, was common. He purchased some at a local hardware store.
It wasn't clear what caused the skull fracture, according to Mason. He said she may have been hit in the back of the head with a blunt object or punched in the face with such force she fell backward and hit her head. Veil had other bruises on her face, upper thigh and torso, as well as defensive wounds on her left hand and arm, Mason said.
nightmare4all

San Francisco, CA

#6 Aug 24, 2010
Also Tuesday, State Department of Justice senior criminologist Lara Walker testified that she found hair and blood on dried vegetation amid trace evidence found in McClish's Ford pickup. She also discovered turquoise bits, similar to a blue tarp, in the pickup and on the sweatshirt Veil was wearing when she died.

The hearing, in front of Judge Paul Burdick, resumes at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday and may conclude by the end of the day. At that time, Burdick will rule if there is enough evidence to hold McClish for trial.

McClish, who appeared in court wearing the same attire he wore Monday, is serving an 18-year prison sentence for an unrelated rape conviction. That case surfaced during the Veil investigation. McClish was arrested in September 2006 and, in July 2007, a jury found him guilty of sex crimes against a woman he had an affair with.
nightmare4all

Santa Cruz, CA

#7 Jun 10, 2011
It appears that the trial is scheduled for June 20, 2011. He is presently in the Santa Cruz County Jail, as per the SC jail inmate locator.
Doola

San Francisco, CA

#8 Jun 18, 2011
So is this really it? Are we there yet? Monday to court. I have made all but a few court dates, postponements and all. When i saw the prisoner transport, i called the court and was told that the next court date was in august. Glad i checked your blog. Thanks for loving asha, she was more full of life than the rest of the town put together.
Guyda

Santa Cruz, CA

#9 Jun 20, 2011
The court dates are as follows:
8/18 Calendar Call
8/23 Motions
10/6 Trial Rediness Conference
10/11 Jury Trial

Hopefully this will really start .....
Ben Lomond Resident

Mountain View, CA

#10 Jun 22, 2011
Thanks to all who keep this updated. I look at least once a week for info, this is the only place on line I can find anything up to date.
Amazing how a small town murder and resulting court actions can be so difficult to track in this age of instant access to information. Referalls to any other source of info would be welcome.

I am again overwhelmed by sadness over the violent death of Asha, who was like a bright ray of light in the market. She always remembered details of previous chats, was so real and sweet...
Guyda

Santa Cruz, CA

#11 Jun 22, 2011
This is the only site I know of too....is there another, does anyone know? It would be nice if there was only one....
Doola

United States

#12 Jun 23, 2011
Don't know of another blog, but thank you Guyda for posting. BLR makes a good point that in the information age one would not expect it to be so difficult to find a schedule for a murder trial. Asha was a magic person, a very pregnant, a beloved person. She was what anthropologists call a lynchpin personality. I heard her murdered. When she went missing, i feared that she had been abducted and tortured. Idid not know how long her ordeal lasted. I spoke to the police. Yet it took four years for me to find out that what i heard was an outright murder.
Ben Lomond Resident

Ben Lomond, CA

#13 Jun 26, 2011
Doola wrote:
So is this really it? Are we there yet? Monday to court. I have made all but a few court dates, postponements and all. When i saw the prisoner transport, i called the court and was told that the next court date was in august. Glad i checked your blog. Thanks for loving asha, she was more full of life than the rest of the town put together.
Doola,
I understand that the loss of Asha has been powerful and quite emotional for many. But please don't bad mouth a small mountain town that has many good people in it. Many of those people are from the rest of the Bay Area, including Redwood City. These mountain towns may not have the hippest club or newest restaurant you can go to, but the people here are hard working and loving people that actually work in the Bay Area. Instead of passing through and judging what you think is actually going on here, stop in and talk with some of the people. You'll be quite surprised especially the ones who go to Henflings. If you want a cup of "Full of Life" go there on a bright Saturday afternoon.

The whole thing is a tragedy on both sides and brings sadness to everyone here in the San Lorenzo Valley community, more than you know. So please don't base your opinions of our town on a person's lack of respect for life and women. It degrades our town as well as yourself.

And for the record, Mr.McClish is originally from Felton.
Doola

United States

#14 Jun 27, 2011
Ben Lomond Resident wrote:
<quoted text>
Doola,
I understand that the loss of Asha has been powerful and quite emotional for many. But please don't bad mouth a small mountain town that has many good people in it. Many of those people are from the rest of the Bay Area, including Redwood City. These mountain towns may not have the hippest club or newest restaurant you can go to, but the people here are hard working and loving people that actually work in the Bay Area. Instead of passing through and judging what you think is actually going on here, stop in and talk with some of the people. You'll be quite surprised especially the ones who go to Henflings. If you want a cup of "Full of Life" go there on a bright Saturday afternoon.
The whole thing is a tragedy on both sides and brings sadness to everyone here in the San Lorenzo Valley community, more than you know. So please don't base your opinions of our town on a person's lack of respect for life and women. It degrades our town as well as yourself.
And for the record, Mr.McClish is originally from Felton.
I have lived in ben lomond since 2004, was close to Asha, when police found her car, baby clothes i gave her were in it with a ten foot noose next to them. I heard her die. I did no know whether i heard an abduction or a murder until evidence hearings last year, because the body was not found right away. Believe it or not, there is some peace in knowing she wasn't taken off and tortured, as friends of mine were in Chile and Argentina in the 1970's. I sat every minute of the rape trial. Justice delayed is also injustice for the bereaved.

I was not dissing the townspeople, I was trying to identify some extraordinary lightness that she brought to the town during her time here. I was Asha's doola, one of two. Asha was half Scottish, which to us mean you are a Scot. We had an old euope/new world sense of mutual support. She was so much fun during a flood....

I do not know why it says berkeley under my name. I am sorry if someone from Berkeley traumatized you. I love ben lomond, but i
Doola

United States

#15 Jun 27, 2011
Following up on last post, you mention Henflings. If you are a Republican biker, or a masochistic liberal, Sarurday afternoon on the deck at Henflings is a thrill and a half. I got tired of it. The bands at night are still good, i hear them from my porch across the river. Do not leave your drink unattended......
Beth Morrow

Santa Cruz, CA

#16 Jul 30, 2011
Those who know him, and this case know he is guilty!!! When is he going to be convicted and put away for life??? If he ever got out...God help us!!!
nightmare4all

Santa Cruz, CA

#17 Aug 22, 2011
motions hearing begins tomorrow 8/23

Since: Mar 10

Location hidden

#18 Aug 24, 2011
nightmare4all wrote:
motions hearing begins tomorrow 8/23
Do you know what happened during the hearing yesterday? I can't find any information on the web.
Ben Lomond Boy

Santa Cruz, CA

#19 Aug 26, 2011
Trial to start October 17th - story in pressbanner.com
Ben Lomond Girl

Mountain View, CA

#20 Aug 26, 2011
Sentinel said the October 11th, which was the original date posted a while ago?

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