Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Two Days Before Allegedly Causing the Death of an Infant, Edward Steele was Released Early from a Jail Stint to Attend Rehab

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

32-year-old Edward “Two Feathers” Steele sits in the Mendocino County Jail accused of abandoning two children alongside a Ukiah railroad, simply setting them down on the ground radiating heat from the blazing sun. The one-year-old would die that day, August 3, 2022. The two-year-old would be hospitalized. 

Court papers reveal that just two days before allegedly casting these children aside Steele had stood alongside Public Defender Mary LeClair at the Mendocino County Superior Court. LeClair would recommend to Judge Carly Dolan that Steele serve the rest of his then jail term in the care of the Ukiah Recovery Center, also known as the Ford Street Project. Deputy District Attorney Ivan Abrams did not object to the proposition. On August 1, Steele left the Mendocino County jail and was subsequently relinquished into the custody of the residential program on Ukiah’s Ford Street.

Sally Arellano, the mother of the victimized children and the then-girlfriend of Edward “Two Feathers” Steele, told us in a previous interview that upon arrival at the Fort Street Project, he tested positive for COVID-19 and was discharged from the facility. Steele would arrive at Motel 6 on North State Street on the night of August 1 where Arellano and her two children were quarantined after testing positive for the virus themselves.

In the early morning darkness of August 2, deputies responded to reports of Arellano and Steele engaged in a dispute allegedly occurring in the parking lot of a business just south of Motel 6. During the encounter and investigation, Arellano told deputies her children were in the care of a babysitter back at the hotel. The details of the domestic dispute are unclear, but deputies arrested Arellano for suspected domestic violence and she was booked into the Mendocino County jail where she remained until her release at 5:00 a.m. on August 3, 2022, approximately 24 hours after allegedly fighting with Steele in a darkened parking lot.

Somehow, during the 24 hours Arellano was in the county jail, Steele obtained custody of her two children. Out of jail at 5:00 a.m. on August 3, Arellano became concerned about her children’s whereabouts. By 1:00 p.m., she reported them missing to law enforcement.

One of the memorials for the one-year-old child that died after being left along the train tracks in the background of this photographs [Picture by Matt LaFever]

Just hours later, around 3:00 p.m., a passerby would discover the two-year-old unresponsive near the railroad tracks off of Ukiah’s Brush Street, clearly suffering from heat-related symptoms. Medics rushed the child to the hospital. First responders discovered the lifeless one-year-old later that afternoon.

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Law enforcement announced Edward “Two Feathers” Steele was a person of interest in the abandonment and resulting death of the one-year-old the following morning, August 4, 2022. Deputies, arrested him that afternoon after members of the Hopland Band of the Pomo Indians reported seeing him near their rancheria on the east side of the Sanel Valley. 

Edward “Two Feathers” Steele [Mugshot provided by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office]

In the cold days of early February 2022, Edward “Two Feathers” Steele found himself on the wrong side of the law. He was charged on February 4, 2022, with violating the terms of his community supervision. A warrant was issued and he would stand in front of Judge Ann Morman on June 29, 2022, ordered to serve 180 days in jail for violating those terms.

Just over a month later, standing in the courtroom of Judge Dolan, the Public Defender’s request was granted and Steele was allowed to finish his sentence at a drug rehabilitation center.

Court documents indicate that on August 5, the day after Steele was arrested for his suspected involvement in the child’s death,  District Attorney David Eyster filed a peremptory challenge against Judge Carly Dolan 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.” 

DA Eyster did not respond to our inquires about the nature of the alleged prejudices demonstrated by Judge Dolan, but it is note-worthy that she was the judge that oversaw the Public Defender’s original proposition to transfer Steele to drug rehabilitation, one in a series of decisions that would eventually lead Steele to take custody of the children.

Jackie Evans, the Executive Director of the Ford Street Project, confirmed with us her program is in the early stages of partnering with the local justice system to provide offenders with drug rehabilitation in lieu of incarceration. 

Evans could not speak to the specifics of Steele’s intake into the facility. She cited HIPAA protocols and the importance of confidentiality to provide privacy for patients. She could not confirm whether he was tested for COVID-19, whether he tested positive, or if he was relinquished from their custody.

When asked more broadly about COVID-19 testing as part of the facility’s intake protocols, she said the overwhelming majority of patients are medically cleared before admittance by medical professionals, including assessing for COVID-19. The pandemic required problem-solving on the part of the Ford Street Project. She told us that there were occasions when the facility tested incoming patients who were then subsequently quarantined in their facility. 

Despite her inability to speak with specificity about Steele’s dealings with the Ford Street Project, Evans was candid about the crimes he stands accused of: “This is never supposed to happen.” 

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A criminal complaint filed by the Mendocino County District Attorney charges Steele with three criminal counts including felony murder in the second degree. He allegedly “willfully and unlawfully with malice aforethought” killed a one-year-old child.

Second-degree homicide is a charge levied at defendants whose alleged actions demonstrate an extreme indifference to human life.

He also faces two felony charges of child endangerment placing both one-year-old K.A. and two-year-old U.A. in circumstances that would cause great bodily harm “causing the child to suffer unjustifiable physical pain and mental suffering.

On August 24, 2022, Steele is scheduled to submit a plea in the courtroom of Judge Keith Faulder, a change of venue which occurred after DA Eyster’s peremptory challenge was upheld and Judge Dolan removed from trying the case.

Free for only four days, Edward “Two Feathers” Steele now stands accused of second-degree murder in the abandonment death of his girlfriend’s infant. After being discharged from a court-ordered drug rehab due to testing positive for COVID-19, Steele allegedly callously neglected two children in his care and left our community shocked and looking for answers.

Previous Coverage

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  1. It’s the democrat way
    What about the Children is a phrase they just put on a Congressional Pork Bill to line Pelosi’s pocket. Dems love children in the Epstein way, see all the Biden videos of him grabbing young children to the Mainstream Press delight- all over YouTube..

    Wait until 2022, Congress will be ours.

    2024 DeSantis for president. He is one smart dude, does not respond to leftie press, just actions speaking louder than words.

    Unfortunately Wray will probably have Trump dead accidentally by 2024 perhaps an accident in jail or in another way, Clinton style perhaps, dead in a park, no blood, self inflicted gunshot in the back of the head, case closed. It’s their democrat way just like socialist Hitler’s boys did it.

    • BK you’re misinformed and your head might be up desantis’s ass a little too far. Your lies won’t get you very far and this nonsense diverts from the real issue at hand in this county. Your dumb comment is the easy way out. Use your brain open your eyes. Trump and Desantis want your fear so you can grovel at their feet. Grow a pair, quit hiding behind your BS.

    • The lack of truth at almost every turn is a heist on the American People. We must hold our media responsible for printing and speaking controlled narratives that hypnotize and motivate readers and listeners to engage in the break down of our Republic and failing Democracy. The crimes of the current sitting President along with many constituent’s is as previous as any horror thriller.
      President Trump has done more for this.country than all presidents combined outside of the Founder’s of this great Nation. He is the only reason we were not all rounded up by FEMA and placed in relocation camps to be executed and tested on my the controlling factions of the Globalists, New World Order, whom use the Human race as fodder in there quest for ultimate power and control. “We the People, for the People”, need to wake up and dump the current President including Obama, both Clinton’s, Bush and many sitting Congress people, DOJ, FBI, CIA , FEMA, HOMELAND SECURITY AND NSA and put them in jail. The crimes against Humanity are lengthy and beyond conceptual capacity in relation to the Evils being committed on the daily. It is up to US to take back control.of this great Nation. God help us.

      • Perhaps the American people are being lied to. We do deserve the truth however the actions you share to bring out that truth align very closely with that of a facist regime. Which in turn would lead to more lies and dishonesty. More rights are being taken away from “we the people” when megalomaniacs like Trump and his Supreme Court nominees are given power.

  2. Enablers listed below – thanks Matt

    Court papers reveal that just two days before allegedly casting these children aside Steele had stood alongside Public Defender Mary LeClair at the Mendocino County Superior Court. LeClair would recommend to Judge Carly Dolan that Steele serve the rest of his then jail term in the care of the Ukiah Recovery Center, also known as the Ford Street Project. Deputy District Attorney Ivan Abrams did not object to the proposition. On August 1, Steele left the Mendocino County jail and was subsequently relinquished into the custody of the residential program on Ukiah’s Ford Street.

  3. Why are we not hearing DETAILS about the babysitter? Were these babies actually ALONE in the motel room? And he just didn’t know how to take care of 2 precious sick babies with Covid? The mom should’ve never been out of the motel room away from her sick babies in the night fighting with and beating up on this man. She will live with that decision for the rest of her life. I suggest they both have a little talk with Jesus (Christ).

    I can’t judge one without judging the other.

    I can’t have mercy on one without extending that mercy to the other as well. I CHOOSE MERCY. Because t will receive the same mercy I show, from my Father in Heaven. I am praying over this whole heartbreaking situation. For ALL involved, the court, and the families.

    My heart breaks for both of them. The precious baby that passed is in the arms of our loving Savior (or will be for sure, that child knew no sin.)

    Call on Jesus and bring prayer and the Ten Commandments back to our public schools, jails, and courthouses.

    Things are just getting worse since we kicked God out of our country. Can’t you see it? It’s never gonna get better without Jesus Christ.

    WE NEED TO REPENT. AS INDIVIDUALS, AS A NATION. STOP HATING. A HOUSE DIVIDED CANNOT STAND. Jesus Christ is returning soon we ARE in the last days the Bible is true! Where will you be when the sky splits open and the end of time has come? Will your heart be right with God?

    You better think about it NOW. It’ll be too late then. Ask for forgiveness and REPENT. As Long as you’re alive it’s never too late to change your ways and start living for God. No matter what you’ve done in the past the He can forgive you. If you’re truly sorry. 🙏

  4. Prejudice in the law usually means “harm or injury that results or may result from some action or judgment.” DA Eyster needs to clarify what he meant in regards to Judge Nolan’s “prejudice.” In his mind was she inclined to treat Two Feathers harshly, or was she inclined to treat him with leniency that would result in harm to the community? If the second interpretation was the case, then in this case, Eyster was certainly on the right track. If not, he has a lot of explaining to do.

    Additionally, what kind of county to we live in? A one year old murdered; a two year old in the hospital and a host of public officials and do gooders contributing to these dark events. Sally Arellano? Did she ever name the so-called “baby sitter” and does this person exist, or was Two Feathers her baby sitter, which, more than likely, could be the case. If so, she should also be charged in regards to contributing to the death of her child. This case deserves national and state attention in relation to Mendocino County’s general dysfunction all around.

  5. Hey Matt Lafever I understand the need to kepp it fact based, but What about BKs nonsense? Your comment section has become a hotbed for misinformation, racism, and prejudice. I’ll stop the name calling.

      • It is pathetic that we have people commenting who want to divert attention from the problem in Mendocino County (crime, drug use, and police ineptness and brutality) and instead talk about the utter B.S.(in capital letters) being spread by the ignorant and/or by the power of money and greed. Two children suffered and one died because our system dropped the ball, starting with law enforcement, by arresting the mother and leaving the children at the tender mercy of a known criminal who was supposed to be in drug rehab but was instead out on the street with Covid. We need to clean up the system, including Ford Street and child protective services. Thank you to this news site for keeping us updated.

  6. Why didn’t the deputies who arrested Arellano contact CPS to check on the two children while Arellano was in custody? Her statement that they were with a babysitter at the motel sounds like additional questions about who the babysitter was and for how long the babysitter was engaged were needed. Perhaps this was done but your stories about this leave a big gap in understanding why CPS was not contacted and how the children ended in Steele’s custody.

  7. I would hope that this situation would alert that new policy be put into effect in regards to the danger and ememinent death that resulted due to the removal of the children’s mother by police. Officers should of been apprised of the current situation and at no time leave the children’s welfare unchecked prior to incarnation of their mother. This entire horrendous ordeal should of been avoided. Those children deserve the resources of the state as well as the protection of law enforcement. What possibly could have been a benefit in a 24 hour jail sit when their are defenseless small children without proper care or protection. I feel that the officers who made the decision to remove the mother made a gross and neglegent error in judgment. It is hard not to wonder if preconceived concepts in regards to the nationality of the family. They were not properly overseen and protected by the system as it plays out here. There is fault on more sides than one in this cruel unthinkable suffering of small children. All agencies involved did not do right in accordance with values preached. This tragedy could have been avoided. My heart holds out for improvement in all areas of discourse. Perhaps this can be handled differently in the future. God bless us all.

  8. So how can ford street just release an inmate with no supervision? And why are people who are quarantined roaming the streets?

  9. Why?…What do politics or Jesus have to do with this tragedy? Shame on you all for politicizing the death of a child!! Or using it to further your religious ideology. Maybe its as simple as some people are just rotten to the core! Neither republicans, democrats nor Jesus Christ himself can do anything about that! This story isn’t about your politics or religious beliefs. This is the human condition. There’s good & bad. With numerous reasons & conditions as to why we become one or the other or both. I dont have any answers but I do know pointing fingers isn’t one.

    • 🙏 Jesus has everything to do with everything. You don’t care for Him that’s your choice. God bless you…♥️

      If you don’t like my comments or my beliefs that’s your prerogative. I’m okay with that and I feel no need to insult you or throw shame at you.

      • I don’t believe I said anything insulting either. I have no problem with your beliefs! If Jesus/God gives you love & happiness in your heart & soul & purpose in your life & makes you a better person, im all for that! Some of us just aren’t believers. While Jesus might be the answer for you its just not practical for others. But I respect you & your kind heart!

    • Why?…What do politics have to do with it asks Common above?

      Politics have everything to do with it. Politicians get elected. They appoint many judges, though some do get elected. If the judges are catch and release progressive types and the District attorney goes along with it guys like this are turned loose and above is the result.

      When you don’t care about politics and the people in charge then you’re not safe, I am not safe, and that child is hopefully an angel now, but probably it’s just a child that never grew up

      Neil Young says it best:
      There’s one more kid
      that will never go to school
      Never get to fall in love,
      never get to be cool.

      • It is more likely a combination of unfortunate situations that caused this, first and foremost releasing the perpetrator from drug rehab without supervision (totally irresponsible), but also law enforcement leaving the custody of the children up in the air after arresting the mother,knowing that this criminal would return to the motel room and “take charge”. It makes you wonder how many criminal, or at least criminally negligent, offenses were actually committed here, by people who have not been, and probably will not be, charged. And I am not talking about the mother, who was pulled away from her children, on a likely bogus charge of “domestic abuse”, claimed by the supposedly abused boyfriend.

      • Politicians, judges, DA’s, progressive, liberal, conservative, republican, democratic or otherwise cant stop human beings from doing deplorable things to each other. Throughout the history of mankind its been this way. Threat of arrest or penalty, no matter the severity, has ever stopped people from doing harm to each other! If you knew you could go kill someone without threat of arrest or penalty, would you do it? Probably not! Because you know its wrong & you don’t want to cause pain & suffering. Its not because someone you align with politically is in office & is threatening you with harsh penalties. This guy probably should have been in jail & this shouldn’t have happened. There is too much leniency, you’re right! But nothing will stop people from doing the unimaginable to each other. I saw a lot of Trump & Biden being mentioned. People been horrible long before, during & after these guys. Its not political

    • There is too much leniency, you’re right!
      Common man said above ^
      Well some common ground there.
      But we need to hold those in charge responsible too.
      There are just some “bad” people.
      Tough love is best and protects society best.
      Do the crime, spend the time in stir, not in the streets.
      Even they don’t like being locked up.
      Elected officials need to apply this tough love
      Good chance this kid could still be rocking in the free world

      • My question is what is the protocol for transferring a prisoner to a rehab ? .The Mendocino county jail has Medical staff along with isolation for prisoners at the Mendocino County jail . Why didn’t the Mendocino County Sheriff Office take him back into custody until he was medical cleared by the staff at the jail . It seems that the Judge would have been Notified of Two Feathers being positive of Covid. Therefore CDC would have wanted to notify or whom Two feathers 🪶 was last in contact with at the jail to contain a outbreak causing staff and inmates to be tested. Question of asking Motel Six of who paid for the rooms along with how many people where in the rooms that are being quarantined . Each room at motel six has two double beds which would include cost of parties that where in the rooms. Mendocino County or ukiah PD have the same information on probation violations . The law enforcement officers 👮‍♀️ should have confirmed that the children and the positive Covid-19’s babysitter where informed of the mother being placed into custody and not to place a MMIW report on unexplained disappearance of Native American Women. It’s my understanding that mother and father should have been both detain while being in a D.V case . The children would have been placed under CPS custody had been placed in hospital for medical care before they were able to be released to proper custody of the Native American Tribes of two Native Americans children “all lives matter”. Why hasn’t there been any one from the Tribal Leadership of each of the Two feathers and the mother make a statement on behalf of the native children. It appears that nobody will take responsibility on negligence of welfare of the Native American Children Again “ All lives Matter”. I can clearly recall Round Valley Indian Tribal chairman statement of a Emergency on Native American Lives due to Covid-19’s. The United States President Trump issued a huge amount of Covid Welfare to the Native Americans . The last article of Mend fever I recall a recent article published regarding Covid 19 monies being embezzlement of 9000 of gift cards that the tribe along Mendocino County Sheriff did a investigation on. Apparently the Tribe is more worried of federal funding to embezzle instead of the welfare of the native Americans children lives. In my opinion that all responsible parties including MCSO , CPS ,Mother be held accountable along with Two Feathers.

  10. Will the Round Valley Chairman Of the Round Valley Tribes notify the Hastings Law Firm to representing on the behalf of the Native American Children? Or is does the Tribe do not care about the Welfare of Native Children Only when there is Federal monetary Gain is involved the Round Valley Tribes Leaders make a statement since the mother is a active tribal enrolled member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes?
    Two Feather will his tribe or Ranchia he is currently enrolled in speak on the behalf of the Native American Children?
    The mother of the children “Sally” did she notify the arresting officer that she had Covid-19’s and her sick children need her instead of child neglect and child endangerment.

  11. Does Sally Arellano Luna the mother of the murdered child have any open or prior cases that involve CPS with her other children ?
    Is Sally Arellano a relative of the suspect of involvement which was in Mendo Fever asking if you see this women please turn her in her name is Corina Luna Joaquin murder case that involves the Murder of Mr. Whipple that was shot in the face last September at Bar? If memory serves me correctly Corina Luna Joaquin is the Wife of the Murder of the Samson Joaquin “ Covelo six pack “ in the bead head the poor two white man and women . mrs Corina Luna Joaquin father is a mother is married was convicted for drug dealer in a high amount along with her Stepfather was convicted of Murder too .
    Sally Arellano Luna is a close relative of the two Native Americans that involved murderer by the name Jeramy Luna that stabbed his own brother to death.?
    Sally Luna Arellano is the cousin of Duran -Luna that beat a man to death then he got ran over in Covelo Road . I believe that Mendo fever reported that article of his murder Jim Buck.
    If I’m not mistaken It seems like there a history of drugs and alcohol and murder cases .
    Why is this women Sally Luna Arellano not charge for her part in the involvement of her own one year child Murder? There is a lot of patterns of violence within this family.

  12. Remember those commercials where theres some chaotic scene theres Ambulances,police sirens cut to crying toddler ,The amazing Hero of a Police officer steps into view and hands that poor little BROWN Baby a teddy bear and puts his arm around the baby to comfort them…????Well even then we knew as as society that was fake A.F. ,and at least they stopped airing those commercials in im assuming the aknowledgement of reality .So ive gotta give us props for acceptung reality,now what as Humanbeings will we do ….? What is the ukiah police department going to do?What will the Mendocin County Sheriffs office do ? Whatever it is ,it will not bring this forgotten natuve amerucan baby back.

    • Native American ,sorry for mis spelling there was no way to edit and i was emotional at the end and auto correct didnt recognize the correct spelling For (native american) shocker.

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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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