The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino County District Attorney:
Defendant Gabriel Jon Patterson, age 49, generally of the Ukiah area, was sentenced to state prison for 96 months Tuesday morning in the Mendocino County Superior Court.
On November 22, 2021, a restaurant owner and his cook were walking and talking just after 8 o’clock in the morning enroute to preparing to open the owner’s downtown Ukiah restaurant for that day’s business.
As these businessmen walked together through the parking lot at the southeast corner of State and Perkins Street, an apparent transient with a shopping cart suddenly pulled a knife from his belongings and lunged towards the unsuspecting men for no apparent reason.
Fortunately, two armed DA investigators were standing close by, just inside the doorway of the Child Support Enforcement offices at that location.
When the investigators saw the defendant pull the knife and begin towards the two men in a threatening and dangerous manner, they rushed out of the building, drew and pointed their firearms at the defendant, ordered him to drop his Bowie-style knife and to get down on the ground, where he was thereafter arrested.
The defendant was charged with two counts of felonious assault with a knife, as well as a prior Strike conviction.
That prior Strike conviction was entered in the juvenile division of the Mendocino County Superior Court in 1990 when the defendant was 17-years-old. He was convicted of voluntary manslaughter, a crime in which he stabbed another youth to death in February 1990.
The defendant was sentenced in that 1990 case to the California Youth Authority for 11 years in May 1990, was received by the CYA in June 1990, was paroled in August 1993, and was discharged from parole supervision in December 1994, an outcome far less than the 11 year sentence that had been imposed.
The defendant also had an additional Strike conviction out of the state of Kansas in 1996, but the DA exercised his discretion to not charge that second Strike (which would have placed the defendant at risk of receiving a sentence of 25 years to life) in exchange for an early acceptance of criminal responsibility by the defendant prior to the preliminary hearing.
The defendant’s admission to the single Strike, however, doubled the court-imposed four-year base sentence for the two offenses to an overall sentence of eight years.
Additionally, because the defendant’s sentence was enhanced by that single Strike, the credits towards early release he may attempt to earn while housed at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation are limited by the voter-modified Three Strikes law to no more than 20% of the overall sentence.
The law enforcement agency that developed the evidence supporting today’s sentence was primarily the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigations, with timely assistance from the Ukiah Police Department.
The attorney who handled this case from charging through sentencing was District Attorney David Eyster.
Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Carly Dolan presided over Tuesday morning’s sentencing hearing.