Saturday, June 3, 2023

Ukiah Man Charged with Murder for Fatal Stabbing Has Extensive Rap Sheet— Past Charges Include Arson and Possession of Switchblade

Ten mugshots of Leslie Adelman over the last five years [Used with the permission of the Anderson Valley Advertiser]

69-year-old Ukiah man Leslie Adelman has been formally charged with murder after stabbing another man on Sunday morning outside of Ukiah’s Wells Fargo bank on South State Street. 

A criminal complaint filed by the Mendocino County District Attorney’s office states that Adelman did “unlawfully, with deliberation, and with malice aforethought murder a human being.” 

A look into Adelman’s past shows he has had numerous run-ins with law enforcement, was well-known by many locals for his troubling behavior, and actually worked as a paraprofessional in the Ukiah Unified School District in the recent past.

To begin, a review of the Anderson Valley Advertiser’s Booking Log archives reveals at least ten occasions Adelman has been booked in the Mendocino County Jail over the last five years:

  • 11/2/2017- Switchblade in a vehicle.
  • 11/5/2017- Arson of Inhabited Structure, Possession of Destructive Device, Resisting.
  • 1/30/2018- Failure to appear.
  • 3/21/2018- Probation Revocation
  • 4/5/2018- Probation Revocation
  • 9/26/2018- Probation Revocation
  • 9/15/2019- Trespassing, Entering, and Occupying Property or Structures Without Consent
  • 5/9/2020- Disorderly Conduct-Alcohol, Probation Revocation
  • 9/11/2020- Probation Revocation
  • 9/20/2020- Camping in Ukiah, Probation Revocation

Digging into Adelman’s history of cases at the Mendocino County Superior Courthouse, he has faced three felony complaints.

The first stemmed from an incident in November 2017 where he faced charges of arson of a structure, possession of a switchblade, and resisting arrest. The court proceedings resulted in Adelman pleading no contest to felony vandalism and misdemeanor causing fire to a property. 

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In the year following his plea, Adelman would vacillate between short stints at the Mendocino County Jail, then being let out with probation, and then once again returning due to probation violation.

An incident on September 14, 2019, would result in Adelman’s second felony complaint where he faced charges of resisting or deterring officers and trespassing. He would plead guilty to the felony charge of resisting or deterring officers and be sentenced to three years of formal-supervised probation. 

Once again, Adelman bounced between the county jail and civilian life consistently being sent back due to probation violations.

The third felony complaint filed against Adelman is the most serious— Yesterday, he was charged with murder.

On Saturday, March 26, Adelman reportedly attacked another man regarding a property dispute in a bank parking lot with a knife. A press release from the Ukiah Police Department revealed when officers arrived on the scene, Adelman was seen with a knife and resisted arrest when officers attempted to detain him. The victim would collapse in the parking lot and later succumb to his injuries. 

When we first broke the story on Saturday, countless social media commenters described run-ins with Adelman, many surmising he suffered from mental illness. Some described seeing him with knives and acting aggressively towards them or others. 

One of those commenters, Orion Stocker, told us that in late January, Adelman approached him “very aggressively and rapidly, swearing a lot and I booked it across the street.”

It also appears as if Adelman was once a paraprofessional working at the Ukiah Unified School District. A LinkedIn profile with his name and image states he is a paraeducator with UUSD. 

Another corroborating piece of evidence comes from TransparentCalifornia.com, a website that discloses the pay of government staff. The website states Adelman earned just over $12 thousand dollars from UUSD that year. There are no more records of income from UUSD after that year, which was also the year he was charged with felony arson. This could imply he was let go due to the charges.

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Adelman will be arraigned at the Mendocino County Courthouse on Wednesday, March 30, 2022, presided over by Judge Keith Faulder.

It must be stated that the murder charges described have not been proven in a court of law. In accordance with the legal principle of the presumption of innocence, any individual described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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  1. I’ve called ukiah police department multiple times to complain about the unsafe atmosphere at Wells Fargo. They literally do nothing about safety calls and reports of females feeling unsafe. In fact, they don’t even respond to the calls. Clearly you have to be murdered in this town and then suddenly they are paying attention.

  2. The problem is not with police, it is with our Judicial System and Judges. Also the City of Ukiah City Council does have a responsibility to create ordinances with in the city against camping, pandering, instead of telling people that it’s not against the law to be homeless, like Mo Mulhern used to do before joining the Board of Supervisors. It is against the law to vandalize, public urinate/deficate, brandish weapons, trespass, be under the influence of drugs, possess drugs. This happens everyday but liberals have created an environment that the person committing crimes get more rights than the victim.

    • @TS –
      Your political Democratic boogeyman argument is tripe. Allow me to retort.
      1. Ukiah Code 4153 – Leash Law – NOT ENFORCED BY UPD.
      2. §6081 UNLAWFUL CAMPING – NOT ENFORCED BY THE UPD, except on instances where they choose
      3. There is no city code for “pandering”. Perhaps, you might have meant PANHANDLING. Yeah. That is §6091 UNLAWFUL PANHANDLING. There is a code for that one too.

      It IS against the law to vandalize, to defecate/urinate in public, to brandish weapons, to trespass, to be under the influence, etcetera. There already are codes for all of that.
      THOSE LAWS ARE NOT BEING ENFORCED. Some are very selectively enforced.

      The lack of enforcement relates SPECIFICALLY TO THE UKIAH POLICE DEPARTMENT. They are choosing to not enforce these codes. I have Sgt. Ron Donohue on video… describing that he is well aware that Todd Grove is a “leash park”, that leashes are required, and that a large leashed animal might react badly to unleashed animals running up to it. Yet, Sgt. Donohue then went on to describe just how he and his department will disregard those immediate threats, and simply refuse to enforce the laws. Budget and staffing issues were cited. It is on tape.

      The problem isn’t Mo Mulheren, although I have no respect for a representative who refuses to return a call from a constituent. The problem isn’t liberals. Liberals have well-funded the Ukiah Police. The problem is the corrupted city management and the inexperienced, in-over-his-head appointed Police Chief.

      The corruption runs deep in that department. Most of the leadership were involved directly with Kevin Murray. They trained him. Promoted him. Coddled him. Protected him. Insulated him… right to the end. They recruit from dubious sources, like Corrections. Do you really want your local cop to have 12 years in Corrections? Really? These folks manufacture crimes, to frame citizens… in order to obtain leverage and abate complaints which they have no other way of ending, other than enforcing the law of course, which they choose to not do. These are folks who, after inflicting a very public beatdown of a mental health patient (Magdaleno) on State Street, they hire an “independent” investigator to investigate the incident. The investigator is merely a retired cop who does exactly this kind of thing for government entities. Taxpayers fund this massive investigation, which would be unnecessary had the UPD just did their jobs. The bought-and-paid-for findings are then used by the current occupant of the title of Police Chief (Waidelich) to announce that his department has been cleared. Cleared, by a bought-and-paid-for report.

      You are wrong with your politics, but, that is on you. I won’t try to convince you otherwise. You are wrong in your assessment of the problem. You are wrong in your politicall attacks, because they were based on your wrong assessment of the problem.

      Have a nice day.

      • You mention Kevin Murray , good point but has ANYONE looked at the multiple cases pending against the new Chief?! Google
        his name AND look up his name on the superior court portal everyone. Corruption barely describes it !

  3. The City of Ukiah, the County Continuum of Care Program, and the Board of Supervisors have made Ukiah and other county areas homeless magnets. As a result, our quality of life has decreased and the homeless have taken over public spaces as well as police service calls. And they wonder why no one will invest in our housing and economy.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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