Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Friday, Sept. 1 @ 2:37 p.m.
Parents Lose Contact With Mentally Ill Son After A Del Norte County Judge Released Him From Jail; Ogden Had Allegedly Crashed A Stolen Car Into A Crescent City House
The Del Norte County District Attorney’s office is still pursuing a case against a 22-year-old Coos Bay man who allegedly stole a car, led police on a high-speed chase and crashed into a house in Crescent City in July.
But nearly a month after a local judge released him on his own recognizance, citing a 2021 California Supreme Court case restricting the use of cash bail for defendants who can’t afford it, the man’s parents say they’re worried they’ll never see him again.
“The possibility of him dying out there, getting a hold of Fentanyl, is huge. It’s happening every day,” said Clarissa Ogden, whose son Jacob Euen-Burnell Ogden has bipolar disorder and depression and was arrested in Eureka on an outstanding warrant from Del Norte County on Monday, but was cited and released.
Clarissa Ogden says a phrase she hears often concerning her son is “everyone’s hands are tied,” which she finds frustrating.
“They released him knowing he had a warrant out of Del Norte County. A judge from Humboldt County let him go, which now voids the warrant out of Del Norte County, so he’s a free man,” she told the Outpost.
Jacob Ogden allegedly led law enforcement on a high-speed chase in a stolen Porsche, starting in Bandon, Oregon, on July 27. The chase ended after he allegedly crashed the car into a home at 9th Street and U.S. 101 in Crescent City. One victim was sent to the hospital with a possible broken hip and other suspected injuries.
The other victim in the case, the Porsche’s owner, stated that he felt the defendant targeted him because he allegedly stole the car while it was in front of his business, Del Norte County Deputy District Attorney Eric Bryant told Judge Robert Cochran at Ogden’s arraignment on Aug. 2.
Bryant argued that because Ogden has no ties to Del Norte County he was a flight risk. The defendant has a history of being held in contempt of court in Oregon for failing to comply with a restraining order.
Bryant further argued that Ogden poses a risk of harm to the community because of the injuries the victim in the house sustained when the defendant allegedly crashed the Porsche.
Cochran said he felt his hands were tied.
The judge released Ogden on his own recognizance, referring to In re Kenneth Humphrey, as to his reasoning. Cochran ordered the defendant to report to probation daily and to submit to twice-weekly and on-demand drug tests. Ogden was also prohibited from leaving Del Norte County unless probation authorized it.
“I don’t think this comes to the level that allows me to keep him in jail,” Cochran told Bryant. “Had he beat him up and carjacked him and threatened to kill him if he talks to the cops, OK.”
In an email to the Outpost on Aug. 1, Clarissa Ogden also argued against her son’s release from jail.
“There is a huge gap between our laws for Oregon as well as California and the mental health guidelines for people,” she said.
On Monday, the Eureka Police Department encountered Ogden at about 5:30 p.m. near Zane Middle School. Someone had reported seeing a male on campus with a hatchet, according to EPD Public Information Officer Brittany Powell. Officers found Ogden near the back field — not on campus — with the hatchet and arrested him when they found out he had an outstanding warrant from Del Norte for failure to appear, Powell said.
Clarissa Ogden obtained a copy of the bench warrant against her son, signed by Cochran on Aug. 22, stating that Jacob Ogden should not be cited and released.
Clarissa Ogden also forwarded communication between the Humboldt County Sheriff Office and the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office stating “per our conversation, we will cite and release (Ogden) with a court date of 10/06/2023 @ 10:30 a.m. (sic).”
“Somebody took it upon themselves to make the call without the judge’s authorization and through communications between the Humboldt County sheriff and the Del Norte County sheriff. Somebody decided to authorize that cite and release from the Del Norte County Sheriff’s department,” Clarissa Ogden told the Outpost in a text message. “The person I received those documents from is in the legal field and they have told me that nobody can change a cite and release warrant without a judge’s signature.”
On Friday, HCSO spokeswoman Samantha Karges confirmed that the communication occurred via teletype between staff at the Humboldt County and Del Norte County jails.
"The teletype you sent was actually authorized by a legal office assistant in our Correctional Facility, whose name is below Sheriff Honsal's on the record, in response to a teletype received by our facility from the Del Norte County Jail advising our staff to cite and release Ogden," Karges told the Outpost via email. "So he was cited and released with a court date upon request by the Del Norte County Jail."
Karges said the teletype exchange was the extent of the communication between the two counties concerning Ogden.
On Wednesday, Del Norte County District Attorney Katherine Micks said her office does have an open case against Jacob Ogden. Ogden had stopped checking in with probation, so they filed a petition to revoke his pretrial supervision, Micks told the Outpost.
A warrant was issued for Ogden’s extradition to Del Norte County when he didn’t show up for that court appearance, Micks said. She said she hadn’t heard about Ogden’s arrest in Eureka.
Ogden was scheduled to appear before Cochran for a preliminary hearing on Monday, but failed to show up, Micks said.
According to Clarissa Ogden, the only interaction her son has had with law enforcement prior to June occurred about two years ago when a former girlfriend, and the mother of his daughter, filed a retraining order against him. Clarissa Ogden said this former girlfriend coaxed Jacob over one night and “turned him in” for violating that retraining order.
In June, Jacob Ogden suffered a mental breakdown, which, Clarissa Ogden said, has led to the legal problems he is currently dealing with. Stealing a car is completely out of character for Jacob, his mother said.
“(With) his manic depression he goes into psychosis and he thinks he has super powers,” she said, adding that her son also often uses methamphetamine as a way to self-medicate. “He calls himself Michael Archangel when he’s having this psychosis. He feels he’s above everyone and knows more than everyone. His mental health has deteriorated significantly.”
Clarissa Ogden said her son was receiving treatment and medication from a doctor about two years ago. But she doesn’t know who that doctor was. One challenge, she said, concerns HIPAA privacy laws, which keeps her from being informed about her son’s condition unless he grants her power of attorney status or consents release the information to her.
Jacob Ogden lost his insurance and, as a result, wasn’t able to continue with his medication, his mother said.
“He would call me at 11, 12, or 1 in the morning in tears because he was so depressed and I’d talk him through some of it,” Clarissa Ogden said. “I have some of his belongings in my house. He has a journal where he used to write everything down. It makes me cry when I read it. The disappointment, and hoping God gets him through it. And then when he started to go downhill, he took a big black Sharpie and x-ed out a lot of these pages.”
In the middle of June, Jacob Ogden lived on the streets of Coos Bay. According to his mother, he was staying in a small park in front of the police station. The officers knew Jacob, she said. But eventually her son had overstayed his welcome and the police department tried to get him trespassed out of the park, she said.
About a week later, Jacob Ogden was cited and released from the Coos County Jail on suspicion for breaking into the Edgewater Inn, a local hotel, and damaging a lamp, Clarissa Ogden said. It was about 24 hours after that, she said, that her son allegedly stole the Porsche.
Clarissa Ogden said she was in Cochran’s courtroom on Aug. 2 when her son pleaded not guilty. She said she had known Cochran since she was a little girl and approved of the way he talked to her son.
“I’ve known him as a fair person and the way he chewed Jacob’s ass that day in court made me so happy,” Clarissa Ogden said. “I looked at my son’s face and he got teary-eyed and I thought there’s my son. He’s very softhearted. He helped his dad get through cancer a couple years ago. Stayed with him and helped him. Took him to appointments.”
When her son was released from jail, Clarissa Ogden got him a motel room since he was prohibited from leaving the county. She got him clothing, socks, toiletries, a cell phone and a cash card, thinking that at least she’d know where he’d spend it.
Jacob Ogden was supposed to have stayed in the motel over the weekend and then stay with someone else in the Crescent City area “who had been through what he’d been through,” his mother told the Outpost.
On Thursday, Aug. 24, when she didn’t hear from him, Clarissa Ogden said she pinged her son’s phone and found that he was in Klamath. She lost track of him after that until EPD arrested him on Monday.
“We get on the phone and call the (Humboldt County) sheriff’s department, knowing he has a warrant out of Del Norte County. They told us it’s not their jurisdiction, we have to talk to Del Norte County,” Clarissa Ogden said. “My ex-husband called Del Norte and they said, 'Yes there is a warrant, but we’re not going to go pick him up.'”
Both Clarissa and Tim Ogden say they’re considering legal action against both counties for gross negligence. Tim Ogden, who is a truck driver, said he already spoke to an attorney in Eureka who advised him to contact a civil rights attorney from the San Francisco Bay Area.
“My son’s life is in their hands and they don’t give a damn,” Tim Ogden said. “All they care about is, ‘Oh, my hands are tied.’ Grow a set and do something about it!”
Ogden faces charges of vehicle theft; possessing a controlled substance; driving under the influence resulting in death or great bodily injury; evading a peace officer with wanton disregard for safety; evading a peace officer causing serious injury or death; providing a false ID to a peace officer; excessive blood alcohol; and driving 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.