An attorney representing a defendant on trial in Sonoma County Superior Court has been arrested on suspicion of possessing methamphetamine at the courthouse.
The arrest of Shell Kaminsky has the potential to spill over into an assault case involving her client and four other defendants, other lawyers involved in the case contend.
Kaminsky, 31, of Brentwood was arrested July 17 after she tried to pass through the north security entrance of the courthouse with drugs, according to Sheriff's Lt. Clint Shubel.
Private security personnel spotted what appeared to be the illegal drug among her belongings, he said.
Everyone entering the courthouse must pass through a metal detector and surrender their purses, briefcases and bags to be examined through an X-ray machine. Shubel wasn't sure whether the packet of drugs was in her purse or briefcase, or what caught the eye of security screeners.
But Kaminsky apparently then tried to leave, he said.
“She started to walk away and one of the security guards followed her and called for a deputy,” he said. Sonoma County sheriff's deputies provide law enforcement services at the Santa Rosa courthouse.
A deputy arrested Kaminsky on suspicion of possessing the drugs, a felony, and attempting to avoid the courthouse security screening procedures, a misdemeanor. She was released on $10,000 bail.
Kaminsky, who was admitted to the California Bar just under a year ago, is representing one of five defendants being tried on assault and gang charges in the beating of a man in June 2012 at a car show at Youth Community Park.
Defendant Robert Flett, 27, of Rohnert Park is out of custody during the trial. He could face 20 years or more in prison if convicted of assault causing great bodily injury and a gang enhancement. He also has a prior conviction.
The day she was arrested, Kaminsky's co-counsel, Peter King of Pleasanton, continued the trial in Kaminsky's absence.