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Man Suspected of Abandoning and Killing an Infant Delays Plea as Court Explores Judge’s Conflict of Interest

Edward Two Feathers Steele [Mugshot from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office]

Edward Two Feathers Steele, who is accused of the murder of a one-year-old child, appeared by video before Judge John Behnke in Courtroom H of the Mendocino County Superior Court this morning for an arraignment. 

Steele was originally scheduled to be arraigned on August 8, but refused to enter the video conference room in the jail where he could face the court remotely.

In today’s proceeding, Behnke assigned Mary LeClair of the Mendocino County Public Defender’s office to represent Steele, and ordered her to perform a thorough check of any potential conflicts that may arise from her involvement in the case. On August 5, District Attorney David Eyster filed a peremptory challenge to Judge Carly Dolan, who normally presides in  Courtroom H, asserting that she is “prejudiced against Plaintiffs or their attorney or the interests of Plaintiffs or their attorneys so that Plaintiffs cannot or believe they cannot have a fair and impartial trial before such judge.” Prior to her election as a judge, Dolan served in the Public Defender’s office. Steele appeared before her previously in another matter.

Steele did not enter a plea this morning. He is now scheduled to enter a plea on August 24, at 9:00 am, in an as-yet unassigned courtroom, possibly Judge Jeanine Nadel’s. 

Steele is accused of abandoning two children, the deceased infant and a two-year-old who survived, near the railroad tracks at the north end of Ukiah on August 3. He is facing a second-degree murder charge in the death of the one-year-old, two felony charges of cruelty to a child, and two allegations of great bodily injury. 

He is facing a potential life term in prison.


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8 COMMENTS

  1. Matt, here’s your “headline” ;

    “Man Suspected of Abandoning and Killing an Infant “

    Did Mr. Steele abandon these children and as a result one died? Or did he with his own hand kill this child?

    The headline and the story leave me confused. Which is it?

    • As mentioned in past articles, mother was in custody at time of offense. She didn’t really have a say in what happened here. CPS should have taken custody of the kids or at least someone in a more stable environment.

  2. This child’s death deserves more than Mendocino officials can deliver, and an outside (State/Fed) investigation is warranted for so many reasons. So much indifference, coming from so many directions, toward a defenseless infant holding the public’s invoice for services rendered. To bad no refund. Wow!

    UPD, dispatch, MCSO, SEIU Local 1021, CPS, those other mandated folks, etc., as well as ALL those who should have PC11166 reported…makes me nauseous. Failure all around, blaming it all on 2fux. #Free2fux

  3. I’m telling you the devil ain’t playing with you. He’s smiling to your face, holding up that apple 🍎 , enticing you to come and play, but he’s going for your jugular the moment he gets you where he wants you.

    I say repent. Before you become his next victim. Please DON’T do drugs. The devil will convince you that it’s harmless and tell you that you’re just having a little fun…until you’re not.

    ✝️ For God so loved the world, He gave His Only Begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in Him should NOT perish but have everlasting life.
    John 3:16
    Holy Bible

    This is for all the broken people out there who feel they can’t go on…. Life’s just too hard, there’s a Savior that loves you and gave His life for you. If you need mercy or forgiveness, help or deliverance PLEASE find a quiet place to have a little talk with the Lord Jesus Christ.

    💔 Praying over this whole heartbreaking situation.

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Sarah Reith
Sarah Reith
Sarah Reith is a radio and print reporter working in Mendocino and Humboldt counties, focusing on local politics and environmental news.

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