The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino County District Attorney
A Mendocino County Superior Court jury returned from its deliberations Wednesday afternoon to announce it had found the defendant guilty as charged.
Defendant Joshua Michael Riccatone, age 35, of Ukiah, was found guilty of driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol of .08 or greater, both counts as misdemeanors.
In a strategic effort to keep the jury from learning that he was a repeat offender, the defendant admitted to the judge a sentencing enhancement charged by the DA alleging that he had suffered a December 2019 misdemeanor conviction for driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol .08 or greater out of the Ventura County Superior Court.
For the same reason, the defendant also waived jury and requested a court trial on a third misdemeanor count alleging that on the day in question (10/23/2021) he was knowingly driving on a suspended license, that suspension having been imposed by the DMV as a result of the prior Ventura County DUI conviction.
After the jury was excused, the defendant was ordered to return to the Ukiah courthouse on May 12, 2022 at 9 o’clock in the morning for the court trial on the third count, with a sentencing hearing to follow.
The law enforcement agencies that developed the evidence underlying today’s jury verdicts were the California Highway Patrol and the Department of Justice crime laboratory in Eureka.
The attorney who presented the People’s evidence to the jury was Deputy District Attorney Jordyn Sequeira.
Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Victoria Shanahan presided over the three-day trial and will preside over the court trial and sentencing hearing on May 12th.