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.
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.
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.