Office of the District Attorney - Maggie Fleming, District Attorney
December 6, 2019
On December 5th, the California Attorney General’s Office informed Humboldt County District Attorney (DA) Maggie Fleming that it would not be assuming responsibility for the prosecution in the David Josiah Lawson homicide.
DA Fleming had requested that the California Attorney General’s Office take the Lawson case in April of this year (letter attached to this press release). Her letter making the request asserted that given perceptions in a segment of the community about the role of the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office in the case, assumption of the case by the Attorney General could help to maintain confidence in the criminal justice system.
In choosing not to assume responsibility for the case (letter attached to this press release), the Attorney General’s Office stated that it takes cases when county District Attorneys have a conflict of interest or when they have abused their discretion in handling a case. The Attorney General concluded that neither of those conditions apply.
In response to the Attorney General’s decision, DA Fleming said: “As my original letter to the Attorney General stated, we have made the right decisions and taken appropriate actions at every step in the Lawson case. During my tenure as District Attorney, our Office has a strong record of success in prosecuting homicide cases. We will continue to vigorously, effectively, and ethically prosecute all violent crimes in Humboldt County whenever possible.”
Request from DA Fleming to AG's Office to Assume Responsibility in Lawson Case
Response from AG's Office to DA Fleming Regarding the Lawson Case