Office of the District Attorney - Maggie Fleming, District Attorney
October 24, 2018
Today, Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming announced that yesterday a Humboldt County jury convicted John Anthony Vella of two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of ammunition by a felon, all felonies. The case began on September 17, 2017 with a traffic stop by Eureka Police Department (EPD) Officer Mychal Huynh in the parking lot of the Bayshore Mall. After a passenger fled from the vehicle during the traffic stop, Officer Huynh conducted a search of Mr. Vella’s truck that revealed two loaded firearms: a 9-mm semi-automatic handgun and a .44 magnum revolver. The vehicle’s glove box contained ammunition for the revolver. Additional evidence linked the firearms to the defendant.
At the time of the incident, Mr. Vella was on parole with the California State Department of Corrections following his release from prison in 2016. He had been in prison since his 1995 conviction in Humboldt County for voluntary manslaughter with a firearm. The defendant was also convicted of possessing a weapon while in prison.
The case has been referred to the Humboldt County Probation Department for a pre-sentencing report. Judge Kaleb Cockrum is scheduled to sentence the defendant on November 20, 2018.
Officer Huynh investigated the case with the assistance of EPD colleagues. Deputy District Attorney Brent Kling prosecuted the case.