Court Case Updates: Trial readiness conference set in Main Street manslaughter case

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Editor’s note: Court case numbers have been placed at the end of case summaries.

A trial readiness conference has been scheduled for Aug. 15, 2019, in the case of a Seal Beach man accused of involuntary manslaughter as the result of punching another Seal Beach man in the face in 2017.

A jury trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 15, according to the Orange County Superior Court website. All court dates are subject to rescheduling without prior notice.

Matthew Paul Meier has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Seal Beach resident James Tinsman, 46, who died on July 18, 2017. Meier is also a Seal Beach resident, or was at the time of his arrest on Aug. 3, 2017.

Meier has entered a plea of not guilty.

A hearing was held on May 17, 2019, on a motion to dismiss, according to the court housewebsite.

The California Penal Code defines manslaughter as “the unlawful killing of a human being without malice.”

The code defines involuntary manslaughter as killing a human being “in the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony; or in the commission of a lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner, or without due caution and circumspection.”

According to the DA’s Office, on July 18, 2017 at approximately 1:20 a.m., Matthew Paul Meier was socializing at Clancy’s, a Main Street bar where he is employed. After they went outside, Meier allegedly punched 46-year-old James Tinsman once in the face with a closed fist, causing the victim to lose consciousness, fall backward, and strike his head on the pavement.

Witnesses reportedly called 911 and emergency medical responders took the victim to a local hospital.

Tinsman died later that day as a result of severe head trauma sustained during the assault, according to the police. In the early morning hours of Aug. 2, 2017, Seal Beach Police arrested Meier.

He was released on $100,000 bail posted on Aug. 8, 2017, according to the courthouse website.

The case number is 17WF1635. The courthouse website is www.occourts.org.

Hearing set in 2nd Street

arson case

A pre-trial hearing on an unspecified issued has been scheduled for May 31, 2019, in the case of a man accused of setting a Second Street Seal Beach house on fire in January 2018, according to the Orange County Superior Court website.

The house was being built at the time. The construction project has since been completed.

A trial readiness conference was scheduled for Jan. 23, 2019.

The preliminary hearing was held Sept. 25, 2018, and the court apparently determined that the case could go to trial.

In January of last year, Seal Beach Police detectives, working with investigators from the Orange County Fire Authority, arrested John Louis Maier Jr., of Seal Beach, on suspicion of arson.

Prosecutors filed 22 counts against Maier stemming from an alleged attack with “Molotov-cocktail” type device on a house that was being built on Second Street in Seal Beach on Jan. 5, 2018.

Maier is currently out on $250,000 bail, which was posted on Jan. 11, 2018.

The case number is 17WF1635.

Preliminary hearing set to

continue in case of 2018

assault with a firearm

A preliminary hearing is scheduled to continue on June 4, 2019 in the case of a Seal Beach man who has been charged with assault with a firearm for shooting a neighbor in the leg. The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to determine if a case will go to trial.

Mark Sickler, of Seal Beach, has been charged with one felony count of assault with a firearm, and sentencing enhancements for personal use of a firearm and inflicting great bodily injury.

His preliminary hearing began May 3, 2019. Sickler reportedly shot his neighbor in the leg on April 4, 2018, then drove to Seal Beach Police headquarters to turn himself in. Police received the report of the 16th Street shooting at about 7:30 p.m., that night. According to a statement issued by police at the time, the victim had been shot several times in the leg.

By April 5, 2018, the victim had been released from the hospital and Sickler had been released on bail directly from the Seal Beach City Jail. According to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, he was released on $50,000 bail.

The DA’s Office filed charges against Sickler on May 24, 2018.

The case number is 18WF1190.

Hearing set for July 13 in

home invasion case

A hearing on an unspecified issued was scheduled for Monday, June 13, in the case of two Costa Mesa men accused of a 2017 home invasion robbery in Seal Beach, according to the Orange County Superior Courthouse website.

A trial readiness conference was held Oct. 26.

No date has yet been scheduled for a jury trial in the case.

On Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017 Seal Beach Police detectives arrested Richard Henry Derderian, and Aaron Michael Lipsey, in connection with the Aug. 21, 2017 robbery on the 1100 block of Seal Way. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office charged Lipsey and Derderian with first degree robbery, first degree burglary, threatening witnesses and making criminal threats.

Lipsey was released on $250,000 bail on Sept. 20, 2017, according to the Orange County Superior Court website.

According to a statement issued at the time by the Seal Beach Police Department, on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, at approximately 4 p.m., two suspects broke into a home on the 1100 block of Seal Way in Seal Beach.

The three men who occupied the home were tied up and the suspects ransacked the home. The suspects told the victims they had a gun, but no gun was ever seen. A safe was reported stolen.

The case number is 17WF1844

PCH misdemeanor manslaughter hearing set for June 19

A hearing on an unspecified issue has been scheduled for June 19, 2019, for a Seal Beach man accused of fatally striking pedestrian Sarah Krueger with his car last year, according to the Orange County Superior Court website.

No trial date has been scheduled yet in the case.

Thomas Chandler Bell, 71, has been charged with one count of misdemeanor vehicular mansulaughter without gross negligence in the August 2017 traffic accident that cost Krueger her life. According to the complaint, which was filed in May, Bell failed to yield to a pedestrian when his car struck Krueger, 46. According to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, if Bell is convicted, the maximum penalty would be one year in the county jail and a fine of $1,000.

The victim’s family has also filed a civil suit against Bell, Caltrans and the city of Seal Beach.

The case number is 18WM06403.

Hearing in First Street golf

club assault set for July 12

A hearing on an unspecified issue has been scheduled for July 12 in the case of a Seal Beach man charged with assaulting a woman with a golf club, according to the Orange County Superior Court website.

According to the Orange County Superior Court website, Christopher Kensinger, 42, of Seal Beach, has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting injury on an elder adult, vandalism causing more than $400 in damage and resisting an officer.

A trial date has not yet been scheduled.

On Wednesday, July 25, 2018, Seal Beach Police officers arrested Kensinger, after receiving a report of an an assault.

According to the police, witnesses reported seeing a man attack a woman with a golf club. He was also reportedly seen breaking the windows of parked cars.

According to at least one person, a civilian may have tackled the suspect before police arrested him.

According to the Seal Beach Police Department, officers saw Kensinger walking near the intersection of First Street and Central Avenue.

Kensinger fled on foot, but was detained after a short foot pursuit.

Kensinger reportedly resisted arrest and was eventually placed in custody after a brief struggle.

At some point during the event, part of a front yard fence surrounding a First Street home was knocked down. (It has since been rebuilt.)

The resident of the house was not present at the time. No officers were injured during the altercation.

The injuries to the victim of the golf club attack were not life-threatening.

The case number is 18WF1684.

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