National debate becomes local as DA responds to erroneous social media post

Lassen County District Attorney Susan Rios responded to this erroneous social media post.

If it’s on the internet, it must be true, right?

Today, Wednesday, June 1, by a 5-4 vote, the United States Supreme Court sent a Texas law that would have prohibited social media platforms from “censoring users based on their viewpoints” back to the lower courts.

In his dissent, Justice Samuel Alito wrote, “Social media platforms have transformed the way people communicate with each other and obtain news.”

According to the AP, “Republican elected officials in several states have backed laws like those enacted in Florida and Texas that sought to portray social media companies as generally liberal in outlook and hostile to ideas outside of that viewpoint, especially from the political right.”

What could this debate possibly have to do with us here Lassen County? Well, here’s the answer.

The Lassen County District Attorney’s Office put a screen shot of this post by an unidentified person on its Facebook page.

“I’m hoping this is a rumor, but I heard they are looking at possibly letting the POS who tied up a poor elderly woman for hours, held her at gun point; Ransacked her home; Stole HER belongings; Shot at her family members; stole her car and hid from police for hours before being found cowering in a ditch….a slap on the wrist and if he returns the guns he stole, he will only be given a parole violation!!! I really hope this is a outlandish rumor. Because if it’s true, shame on you DA for not fighting to make criminals accountable for their crimes and protect the innocent!!!”

“The post below is 100 percent false, as in, no part of this is true,” responded LCDA Susan Rios. “The defendant in this case IS charged with a residential robbery, with an armed with a firearm enhancement as well as an aggravating factor of tying/binding the alleged victim (note: we have to use the word “alleged” because the defendant, at this time is only alleged to have committed these crimes); he is also charged with a residential burglary with a person present with the same enhancement and aggravating factor.

“Additionally, he is charged with three other felonies with the appropriate enhancements for the respective charges. He is also a two-striker, which makes these current crimes a ‘three strike’ case, and if convicted, he faces a life sentence. His bail is currently set at $1 million – which would not be the case on a ‘parole violation.’

“The person who posted this has no personal knowledge or attachment to the case, and it’s unfortunate they made the decision to spread false information. The charges are public information — which is why they can be discussed, but specific information regarding this case that would not be discussed in open court cannot and will not be divulged at this time. The (Lassen County) Superior Court is working diligently to get its online case information up and running and perhaps that could have prevented this with a simple search. However, an accused’s charges are public information and if anyone has questions about the charges or the proceedings, they are encouraged to call our office or attend court.

“Crime victims are entitled to privacy and the perpetuation of false narratives only works to vitiate that right to privacy. As always, a criminal defendant is innocent until proven guilty and being charged with a crime does not impugn guilt.”