Superior Court Judge Diana Hall is contesting the six criminal counts she faces, including a felony count for driving under the influence on Dec. 21. However, don’t expect to hear anything about it from the attorneys involved in the case.
Hall pleaded not guilty Friday to drunk driving and brandishing a firearm – both felonies – as well as spousal abuse, dissuading a witness from reporting a crime, destruction of a telephone and driving with a blood-alcohol content greater than 0.08. If convicted of any of the charges, Hall will be removed from the California bar; the gun-related charge carries a mandatory 90-day jail sentence.
Retired Kern County Superior Court Judge Robert Baca issued a gag order in response to statements made by Hall’s attorney, William Gamble. Baca said the gag order would prevent the contamination of the jury pool. No one involved with the case may make any statements to reporters.
Hall’s charges stem from a Dec. 21 altercation with her partner of four years, Deidra Dykeman, at their Santa Ynez home. Hall allegedly threatened to shoot Dykeman’s dog with a loaded .38 caliber handgun, smashed the telephone Dykeman was using to call the police and drove away intoxicated.
A sheriff’s deputy pulled Hall over at gunpoint just over a mile from her house and arrested her after she failed a sobriety test. Dykeman filed a permanent restraining order against Hall after the incident, requiring Hall to maintain a distance of 100 feet from both Dykeman and her dogs. Hall has since moved from her home and been reassigned from her position as a Lompoc criminal judge to a Santa Maria civil law jurist.
Hall must appear at the sheriff’s office station in Santa Maria before Feb. 12 to be booked and have her mug shot taken. Baca will hear any further motions on March 7 before the preliminary hearing on March 21.
The hearing also was the first installment of Hall’s legal ordeals to involve Jack Earley, who defended David Attias in his quadruple murder trial last year and now serves as part of Hall’s defense team.