215

Carlos Zapata Wastes No Time Testing Gag Order

Once again, Carlos Zapata is his own worst enemy. The most damning information we know about him has come directly from his posts, interviews, podcasts, Tweets, texts, Instagram posts and, of course, the Red White and Blueprint company that he’s openly said he leads. He’s the leader.

This week a jury was selected for the People v. Carlos Zapata, Christopher Meagher and Elizabeth Bailey trial. Presiding Shasta County Superior Court Judge Jody Burgess made it abundantly clear that he would not tolerate any violations of his courtroom’s rules, protocol and orders. Burgess’s goal is to have a fair trial, one free of jury tampering and intimidation.

As we’ve learned about Zapata for more than a year, he believes he’s so special that established societal rules do not apply to him.

The state mandates bars and restaurants closed during a pandemic?
Zapata leaves his Palomino Room open.

The state mandates that passengers wear face masks on flights to reduce the spread of COVID-19?
Zapata brags that he got around the rules on a flight from California to Florida last year.

A victim of assault by Zapata files a restraining order against him?
Not a single Shasta County Sheriff can be found to serve Zapata.

Time after time, Zapata gives authorities a one-finger salute. He’s Teflon, with super powers that protect him from consequences.

This time, though, Zapata may have met his match. Emiliano Luis Zapata, meet Jody Burgess, the Shasta County Superior Court Judge assigned to your trial. Of course, Zapata is familiar with Judge Burgess. I was in the same courtroom as Zapata when Burgess gave a a very specific, very long list of trial-related rules.

Generally speaking, Burgess’s gag order extends to those involved with the trial, and prohibits them from making public comments about the trial. In its most basic definition, a gag order bans trial participants — including attorneys, litigants, and witnesses — from discussing trial related material outside the courtroom. Discussing includes texting, talking and yes, internet posts.

Picture, if you will, that a gag order serves as a big piece of duct tape over Zapata’s mouth, over his computer keyboard and over his phone that prevents him disclosing a shred of information or opinion about the trial. A gag order is a full stop STFU issued by the judge who has absolute authority over the trial in his courtroom.

Burgess isn’t messing around.

But Zapata is.

The sun had barely set on Thursday’s trial proceedings before Zapata took to social media to – WHAT? – discuss the very case that Burgess ordered him to NOT discuss.

First is this post that appeared on Red White and Blueprint’s Facebook page in which Zapata’s film crew complain about what appears to be a grand conspiracy against them.

Let’s pause here and remember that Zapata is Red, White and Blueprint’s leader and founder. Perhaps Zapata thinks that he’s so smart and that Burgess is so dumb that the judge wouldn’t figure out that a Red White and Blueprint Facebook post is actually a de facto Carlos Zapata post.

It would be as if someone filed a restraining order against me that banned me from contacting that person or writing about them, but I got sneaky and instead contacted the person via A News Cafe’s Facebook page, as A News Cafe, not Doni Chamberlain. Clever, huh? Not really. After all, I, Doni Chamberlain, am A News Cafe’s boss, just as Carlos Zapata is Red White and Blueprint’s boss. He’s the puppeteer, and he pulls RW&B’s strings.

Zapata the man and Red White and Blueprint the organization are interchangeable. Just in case RW&B removes the post, I’ll include the post’s text, below. The video is part of a Red White and Blueprint episode in which one of Pinkney’s colleagues offers his version of what happened on May 4.

The person speaking, Ken Sciallo-Becker, is no doubt on the witness list for the trial. Yet here he is giving his “testimony” on RW&B, a company founded by Zapata. This was posted after Zapata’s trial began.

Red, White and Blueprint Facebook page, Sept. 3, 2021

“Yesterday was VERY interesting. Two Shasta County DA deputies were staked out in front of our producers office all morning. 30 minutes prior to Carlos Zapata’s trial regarding the May 4th incident, Edwardson exited his office and was quickly approached by the deputies serving a subpoena to appear as a witness in trial. Edwardson proceeded to the courthouse and just before trial began, the DA prosecutor informed the judge that a witness had just been served and should not be allowed in the chambers. The DA prosecutor turned to Edwardson, verified his identity and the judge asked him to exit the chambers.
The Shasta County DA office does NOT want the public to see this sham of a trial unfold. #splashgate is what happens when corrupt politicians who hold the purse strings (Moty), force an investigation and charges that even local PD laugh at.
This case will not bid well for district attorney Stephanie Bridget at re-election. There are stacks of real prosecutable cases being overlooked for #splashgate which is said to last until late September. What an unbelievable waste of taxpayer dollars.
Thankfully there are many crew members on the Red White and Blueprint team. We are capturing EVERYTHING. We were told today we cannot capture audio because we didn’t request audio on the media form. Of course… we 100% did request audio but somehow, despite being on the list of allowed press on the door of the court house for this particular trial, our request form is missing from the computer system. The clerks were baffled by this today as it’s highly unusual and they’ve never seen this before.
Do you think this trial should be cloaked in Shasta County secrecy? Should our county judicial system follow suit with the supervisors, hiding the truth from the public? It’s time to WAKE UP!
It’s been a wild day for us here but we aren’t going to give up. We are determined to fight for Shasta County and set an example for every county in the US. Let’s turn the tide, Patriots.”

Oh, brother. For one thing, Edwardson is a witness. His removal wasn’t personal. There’s no vendetta. Edwardson is not allowed inside the court chambers, any more than any other witness is allowed inside, whether it’s Nathan Pinkney, Rebecca Zapata or Jeremy Edwardson.

For another thing, it’s ludicrous to say that the Shasta County District Attorney  didn’t want the public to see this “sham of a trial unfold” after you’ve just spent an entire day there filming with the judge’s permission. Check the form, kids. They’re a tiny box designated just for audio. It’s right above “other”. No check, no permission.

Finally, if it’s true that local police officers are laughing at this case, then the district attorney may want to check that out, too.

Moving along. Notice on this thread below people sending good thoughts about the trial, and how Carlos responds when he writes: “All is going VERY well and I look forward to sharing once it’s done.”

Busted, Carlos. The trial isn’t done, and yet here you are, sharing. And in this post, he talked about the trial when he said, “All is going VERY well.”

Notice the person on his thread who writes, ” ’nuff said, will wait until you are good and ready to share.” That statement looks like Alvin Cortez’s subtle attempt to get Zapata to shut his mouth, for his own sake.

Congratulations on committing another gag order violation.

Here’s another social media post by Zapata, who gives thanks for all the support (“hundreds of you”) from people about … WHAT? – why, once again, he’s discussing the trial. How sad that a guy who couldn’t attract more than a few people to watch his trial, now says hundreds are asking how he’s doing. Sure, Carlos, sure.

Friends and family: From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate and love all the concern and support. Please realize that by the end of a long day in court, the LAST thing I can and want to do is talk about court. I have hundreds of you asking me how things went I truly appreciate you all. Please understand that I won’t be replying, for my own mental state to remain calm and focused.

How about this, Carlos: “I am under a strict gag order and cannot talk about the trial.”

That means zero references to court. He knows that. He’s just so accustomed to doing what he wants that he truly thinks the rules don’t apply to him.

Where are all the patriots?

I’m a bleeding heart snowflake, which is why I felt sorry for Zapata when I saw this post a day after his trial:

The jury has been selected and tomorrow Carlos Zapata’s trial begins. Show up and support Carlos tomorrow September 2nd! Opening statements begin at 10 am Dept. 4 on the 3rd floor of the Shasta County Courthouse.  Let’s show this DA just how many patriots in Shasta County see the corruption and will stand together.

Here’s the sad part: Just a few people showed up Thursday, and that’s counting his family, including two kids who looked like they’d rather be anyplace else, and the woman behind me with a little dog on her lap. Even the regulars were missing: Cottonwood  Militia buddy Woody Clenenden, State of Jeffersonians Terry and Sally Rapoza, Vladislav Davidzon, Elissa McEuen, Jon Knight, Lani Bangay, Patrick Jones, Les Baugh, etc.

Crickets.

What’s missing is an organic outpouring of support for Zapata, not one manufactured on this Red, White and Blueprint page, where some people said they wished they could be there, but they had to work, or they would be there, but couldn’t, so instead they send thoughts and prayers and good-luck-wishes. RW&B diehard Kathy Stainbrook responded with three praying hands emojis.

Yes, I hope the District Attorney took note of “just how many” many Shasta County patriots “see the corruption and stand together”.

I’ve seen better turnouts for pee wee football signups.

Who’s not defying the gag order?

Nathan Pinkney is not violating the gag order. Pinkney’s lawyer is not violating the gag order. You don’t think that Pinkney, who lives on the computer, wouldn’t love to create and post a parody of what it’s like to be in the same courtroom as those who assaulted him? You don’t think it’s difficult for everyone else to adhere to the gag order, and not say or write or post a peep about the trial anywhere?

Rules are so hard.

Can you say orange jumpsuit?

Because of the Labor Day weekend, the trial will not resume until Wednesday. This gives the court and the District Attorney plenty of time to monitor Zapata’s willful online disobedience.

Who knows how Shasta County Superior Court Judge Jody Burgess will handle Zapata’s gag-order violations. The consequences could be strict, and can potentially range from contempt of court charges and stiff fines to jail time.

Imagine, if you will: Carlos Zapata in an orange jumpsuit, with a mask, released from the Shasta County Jail only to attend his trial.

This may be one of the first times in Zapata’s life when he faces true consequences. Stay tuned.

UPDATE:

As many predicted (hence, the screen grabs), Zapata has removed his from-the-bottom-of-his heart post from social media. However, to make up for the loss on Friday he posted a quote, followed by his opinion: ” If you don’t get wrongfully charged, you aren’t doing it right.”

See how he’s covering his bases? Now he’s claiming being wrongfully charged, because obviously, he was doing something right. Confusing? Yes. Welcome to Zapataland.

Meanwhile, one of the most damning posts by Zapata’s Red, White & Blueprint of the featured clip “Ken’s Testimony” of someone who is highly likely to be called to testify in the trial as a witness, is still up.

Doni Chamberlain

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
215 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments