Showing posts with label hit-and-run. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hit-and-run. Show all posts

Joe Valley Pleads No Contest But Questions Remain About Shelley Lubben's Involvement in Fatal DUI Crash

Porterville, Calif -- Joe Valley was brought into Tulare County Superior Court Friday morning, Sept. 28, 2018, with a white short-sleeved v-neck shirt over his county jail orange top, and his hands shackled to a chain around his waist. He grinned slightly at the sight of his mother who was seated in the courtroom, but did not immediately react to the presence of his girlfriend, anti-porn crusader Shelley Lubben.

Joe Valley


Lubben, who had missed Valley's last court date, was seated in the back row of the Department 17 courtroom, alongside her local barfly friend Jana Hougen, and a shaven-headed stocky male mutual friend known as 'Taz' who had arrived at the courthouse after the two women. The bloated Mrs. Lubben, her hair white and wearing glasses, looked at least a decade older than the photographs she publishes online.

Valley had recently changed his plea from Not Guilty in the hit-and-run drunk driving death of cyclist Octavio Munguia, to a plea of No Contest. His new plea accepted by the court, he now stood convicted of Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated and Leaving the Scene of an Accident. 



At the time Valley's new plea was accepted,  Judge Michael B. Sheltzer indicated that a nine-year prison sentence would be in order, subject to modification by the presence of any mitigating or aggravating factors in the case.

Judge Sheltzer is the same judge who dismissed Shelley Lubben's trumped up charges against her ex-husband, Garrett, in February 2017.



Friday's court appearance had been slated as a sentencing hearing, so the family of the victim were in attendance with written Impact Statements to be read into the record. However, Joe Valley's Public Defender asked the court if Valley could read a short statement first, and the judge permitted it.

Looking pale but composed, Valley apologized for his actions, and claimed that the day he ran down Mr. Munguia was a "blur" to him. 

Valley's apology was not accepted by the members of Munguia's family, including his wife of 30 years and his younger brother. Their heartbreaking statements moved many in the courtroom to tears, but it was something the victim's brother said that generated an unusual reaction in the room.

Addressing Valley directly, the moment the victim's brother mentioned Valley's "toxic relationship" with Shelley Lubben which had been marked by substance abuse and domestic violence, Lubben stood up and dragged her two companions out of the courtroom, never to return.

Having ostensibly come to learn her boyfriend's fate, Lubben instead fled when her name came up in a negative light -- without learning Valley's sentence!

Aggravating factors


Following the family's statements, which were added into the court record, Judge Sheltzer announced that he would need time to consider the fact that there had been no mitigating factors in the case but several aggravating ones: Valley was on probation at the time of the crash; his probation performance "had been unsatisfactory"; and Valley had failed to stop and render aid to Mr. Munguia or even call 911 to seek help for the man who lay dying on the side of the road because of him.

Judge Sheltzer re-scheduled sentencing in the case for 8:30 am on Oct. 12, and assured the victim's family that under no circumstances would the sentence be any less than nine years, but possibly more after his research on sentencing in similar cases had been completed.



On May 18, 2018, Shelley Lubben (seen here with Joe Valley in 2016) turned 50 years old. Hers was one of the most turbulent and dare I say corrosive half-centuries in the life of any modern-day public figure.


Questions still remain


Joe Valley's No Contest plea obviated the need for a criminal trial, and with no testimony to be heard by the court, we may never know the full story of exactly what happened on Nov. 7, 2017.



What we do know is that Joe Valley drank at a local bar, The Antlers Roadhouse, some time before the fatal collision with Mr. Munguia, and that witnesses state Valley was already intoxicated when he arrived in his car. It was after he left that his car ran down Munguia.

But Valley told Highway Patrol investigators he had been drinking at a nearby lake earlier that day, and made no mention of visiting The Antlers.

Could there be anything else Valley left out?

Following the fatal collision, Valley's 2005 PT Cruiser was driven straight home to the property on Balch Park Road where he resided with Lubben. Shortly after his wrecked vehicle returned to the Lubben Ranch, Shelley Lubben got behind the wheel of her Jeep and drove off the property alone.

Lubben then flagged down a neighbor, and told the woman that she was her "witness" that Lubben was leaving home at that time, and then drove off.

This struck the neighbor as odd, and she told an investigator for the victim's family that Shelley Lubben was intoxicated and looked like she hadn't showered in days at the time she flagged her down.

Highway Patrol officers arrested Valley on Lubben's ranch property, and took him to jail. But because Lubben had already left, they were initially unable to interview her.

It wasn't until the following morning that Highway Patrol got a statement from Shelley Lubben -- under circumstances that were objectively suspicious.

It turned out that Mrs. Lubben's iPhone was in the car that killed Octavio Munguia. 

The presence of Lubben's cell phone in the vehicle was discovered after the wrecked PT Cruiser had been brought to Wallace Towing on Orange Belt Drive in Porterville.

It was there that Shelley Lubben was interviewed by the California Highway Patrol, when she came to retrieve her iPhone on November 8.

If Shelley Lubben -- who a witness stated was intoxicated at the time of Mr. Munguia's death -- hadn't been in the vehicle, then what was her cell phone doing in the car that killed Mr. Munguia?

Now that Joe Valley has pleaded No Contest to Gross Vehicular Manslaughter, we may never know the answer.

UPDATE: Eyewitnesses confirm that after leaving the courthouse, where Joe Valley stood condemned due due to a devastating death caused by drinking, Shelley Lubben, Jana Hougen and their friend Taz retired to The Antlers for drinks.

Shelley Lubben's Boyfriend Now Faces Mandatory Consecutive 5-Year Prison Term for Fleeing Crash Scene

Joe Valley, charged in a November 2017 DUI collision, remains unlikely to be able to plea bargain

Shelley Lubben, Valley's lover and owner of the car that struck and killed a 51-year-old cyclist, did not bother to attend Thursday's hearing 




Porterville, Calif. -- Joseph Valley, the live-in boyfriend of disgraced anti-porn crusader and minister Shelley Lubben, was back in Tulare County Superior Court Thursday morning, February 8, three months after he allegedly struck and killed a 51-year old cyclist less than 2 miles from the Lubben ranch property and fled the scene, according to witnesses.

Valley faces two felony charges -- Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated, and Hit And Run Driving -- in connection with the fatal collision.



Joe Valley Faces Prosecution For 'Serious Felony': Criminal Complaint
Joseph Valley. Courtesy: Tulare County Sheriff's Office

Thursday, Valley was re-arraigned in conjunction with an amended criminal complaint, which added the "Special Allegation" of Fleeing The Scene of the Crime. 




Under the California Vehicle Code, individuals who are convicted of Gross Vehicular Manslaughter who also fled the scene of the crash face a mandatory consecutive five-year state prison sentence. 


Prosecutors specifically allege a violation of subdivision (c) to ensure that they have provided a defendant adequate notice under the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that he faces the mandatory consecutive five year term. (Thus, the "Special Allegation" in the Amended Complaint against Valley.)

DUI


Witnesses say Joe Valley was already intoxicated when he arrived at a local bar prior to the crash, and was cut off from ordering more alcohol before he allegedly ran down the cyclist while driving Shelley Lubben's car. 

Valley's mother, Christina, maintains that Lubben had been feeding Joe wine and prescription pills prior to the crash.

The hit-and-run collision occurred at Balch Park Road and Battle Mountain Road in Springville at around 4:40 p.m. on Nov. 7.

According to the California Highway Patrol, 27-year-old Valley hit the cyclist while driving a silver 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser with a convertible top. A witness at the scene saw Valley take off "up Balch Park Road to his house" after the collision. The cyclist died at the scene.


Valley, who has a prior criminal record, was booked later that night, and held on $100,000 bail. District Attorney Tim Ward later filed criminal charges against Valley, upping his bail to $145,000. Joe Valley is being held at the Adult Pre-Trial Facility in Visalia.

The charges were followed by Ward's announcement of a $153,620 California Office of Traffic Safety grant. The grant will be used to help prosecute cases of drunken and impaired drivers.

"No one should be injured or lose their lives due to the reckless and risky behavior of a drunk driver," said Ward. "We look forward to continuing our focus on prosecuting this dangerous and avoidable crime."

"I honestly think she [Shelley Lubben] was driving, always drinking and driving," Mrs. Valley said. She went on to say that she believes Joe may be taking the fall out of some sense of duty to the woman he believes loves him.

A 'serious felony'


The criminal complaint filed by the Tulare County district attorney charges Valley with felony hit-and-run driving resulting in death or serious bodily injury to another person, as well as the 'serious felony' gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

The California Penal Code stipulates:

1192.7. (b) Plea bargaining in any case in which the indictment or information charges any serious felony, ... or any offense of driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, or any other intoxicating substance, or any combination thereof, is prohibited....

1192.8. (a) For purposes of subdivision (c) of Section 1192.7, "serious felony" also means any violation of Section 191.5, paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 192, subdivision (a), (b), or (c) of Section 192.5 of this code, or Section 2800.3, subdivision (b) of Section 23104, or Section 23153 of the Vehicle Code, when any of these offenses involve the personal infliction of great bodily injury on any person other than an accomplice. . . . 

In addition, the complaint against Valley states that "the People hereby put the defendant on notice that the aggravated sentence may be sought in this case." 

California's “three strikes” law significantly increases the prison sentences of persons convicted of a felony who have been previously convicted of two or more violent crimes or serious felonies. The law also limits the ability of these offenders to receive a punishment other than a life sentence.

Valley does indeed have a prior criminal record.


Shelley Lubben and Joe Valley met when her husband hired him to work at the Springville property in the spring of 2015. Shelley began an affair with Valley, and her husband later filed for divorce.

On Christmas Eve 2015, Lubben phoned 911 and reported that Valley had sexually assaulted and battered her. She later recanted the sexual assault claim, but Valley served 90 days for domestic battery in Porterville. Further charges by Lubben led to additional minor convictions for Valley.

In Porterville, Thursday, the court also held a brief pre-trial hearing on three probation violations stemming from his prior convictions. The terms of Valley probation(s) were violated by his DUI hit-and-run arrest last November 7.



Valley returns to Tulare County Superior Court March 1, at 8:30 a.m.  He is currently being held on bail.

UPDATE: Valley’s case has been continued to the morning of March 15, 2018.

Shelley Lubben Gave Wine and Xanax to Boyfriend Charged in DUI, Says His Mom

Joe Valley's mother thinks Shelley Lubben is complicit in the tragedy, and even suspects that Joe might be taking the fall for Shelley!



Porterville, Calif. -- Defendant Joseph Valley was led into Tulare County Superior Court December 7, at a preliminary hearing in the case of the hit and run death of cyclist Octavio Munguia. Valley is charged with Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated, a felony, in the fatal Nov. 7 collision.

Valley was on probation at the time of the deadly collision, so at Thursday's hearing, the court also considered three probation violations that were triggered by Valley's arrest last month.

Readers may recall that disgraced anti-porn crusader Shelley Lubben called 911 and accused Valley, then her boyfriend, of rape and domestic violence on his 26th birthday (Christmas eve) in 2015.  Valley was arrested and later was able to plead to one count, while the others were dismissed. 

His charge of domestic battery lowered to misdemeanor-level, Valley was sentenced to 90 days in jail, with credit for time served, given probation, and released on March 22, 2016.



However, in court, Thursday, discussion of Valley's probation violations brought to light two additional convictions of Valley's in 2016, during his relationship with Shelley Lubben.

On June 26, 2016, Joe Valley was arrested for the crime of Possession of a Controlled Substance after being found to have a quantity of Alprazolam, a drug marketed under the name Xanax, without a prescription.

Xanax is a potent, short-acting benzodiazepine anxiolytic—a tranquilizer.




Where would Joe Valley obtain Xanax without a prescription? According to Joe's mother, Christina Valley, he got the pills from Shelley Lubben.

This narrative corresponds with Garrett Lubben's recollection as well: in August 2015, when Garrett visited the ranch property in Springville that he then co-owned, he personally saw bottles of Xanax at Shelley's residence that she had purchased in Mexico. He has never known Shelley to hold a valid prescription for Xanax.

These drugs were alluded to in Garrett's affidavit in support of restraining order he sought in July 2016 to protect himself and his daughters from Shelley.




A fatal collision


"He's a young man that just wanted to be loved and to love back," Valley said of her son's volatile relationship with Shelley Lubben. "She fed him wine and pills!"

"My son never really went to jail before her, some drunk in public, panhandling that sort of stuff," she added. And indeed it is true that, like others before him, Joe Valley's life took an unfortunate turn after hooking up with this pill-popping narcissist.


The deadly hit-and-run crash occurred on Balch Park Road near Battle Mountain Road in Springville at around 4:40 p.m., November 7.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Valley hit the 51-year old cyclist while driving a silver 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser with a convertible top. A witness at the scene saw Valley take off "up Balch Park Road to his house" after the collision. The cyclist died at the scene.

The mystery surrounding the provenance of the vehicle, and how Valley, whose license had been suspended for failure to make child support payments, had gotten back on the road, was settled by Mrs. Valley.

"[Shelley] paid the the the money to get my son's license back," Mrs. Valley said. "She paid everything: insurance, bought [the car], in her name. She paid for the insurance, also.

"I remember she said something about insurance only covers up to $1000.00, [the victim's family] won't be able to get anything else [from the insurer]." If that coverage limit is accurate, this suggests Shelley Lubben will personally be on the hook for a substantial sum of money.


"I honestly think she was driving, always drinking and driving," Mrs. Valley said. She believes that Joe may be taking the fall out of some sense of duty to the woman he believes loves him.

Lubben and Valley met when her husband hired him to work at the Springville property in the spring of 2015. Shelley soon began an affair with Valley, and her husband later filed for divorce.

Christina Valley views Lubben as a manipulative predator: "When I first heard about her and how they came to be, I cried. She found a man with emotions and needs of a lonely boy, desperate to belong somewhere, to someone he can say it's real. . . . I see the text[s] that were sent between her and Garrett; as seems to me, [it] went just the way she wanted it to."


The other conviction


On April 13, 2017, Shelley Lubben got Joe arrested again. 

Even though he had moved back in with Shelley following his release from jail in March 2016, and she regularly posted photos of the couple out and about, taking road trips to Las Vegas, and even at a polling place on Election Day 2016, there was a criminal protective order -- a stay away order -- in place that legally prevented him from being around her. At risk to Joe's freedom, the couple ignored the order.





Something Joe said or did must have provoked Shelley's ire on April 13, and Joe was again taken into custody.





Joe Valley's next court date is scheduled for 8:30 am on January 18, 2018. We will be providing continuing coverage of the case as it unfolds.

GoFundMe Campaign for Family of Cyclist Police Say Was Killed By Shelley Lubben's Boyfriend

Visalia, CA -- A GoFundMe campaign has been established to help the family of Octavio Munguia, 51, the cyclist who authorities say was run down by drunk driver Joe Valley on November 7, 2017.

The fatal hit-and-run collision occurred down the road from where Valley, 27, resides with his girlfriend, disgraced anti-porn crusader Shelley Lubben, 49.

Munguia is survived by his beloved wife, Maria Elena, his daughter Jessica, his son Alexander, his brother Juan Pablo, and three grandchildren.


GoFundMe Campaign for Family of Cyclist Police Say Was Killed By Shelley Lubben's Boyfriend Joe Valley
Maria and Octavio Munguia
According to the , Maria Munguia was tracking her husband's ride through a smartphone application when she noticed something was wrong. Immediately, she reached out to her two children. 
“When my cousins showed up on scene, the first responders were already there," said Laura Cuadros, Munguia's niece.  
Ten days later, Octavio Munguia's friends and loved ones are still in shock after receiving news of his sudden death.  
Munguia's son, Alex Munguia, said two years ago his father began exercising. His favorite way to stay fit was cycling. 
"He really loved it," Alex Munguia said. "It became a passion for him." 
Ben Blankenship, a member of Southern Sierra Cyclist Club, said that in the past two months, Munguia had accomplished great feats in his cycling career.  
In October, Octavio cycled 345 miles, which included the San Luis Obispo Lighthouse Century, riding 100 miles between Morro Bay, Atascadero, and San Simeon — he climbed more than 7,300 in elevation.
It was his biggest cycling endeavor and accomplishment.
"Octavio was riding more and more, and picking up new cycling friends with every ride," Blankenship said. "In total, Octavio had ridden over 3,500 miles and climbed more than 77,000 in elevation this year."


The monies collected by the GoFundMe fundraiser will go directly to Octavio Munguia’s wife and children to help them transition to life without him. Please help them make every effort to not lose the home they shared with their beloved husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and friend.

Donations may be made here: gf.me/u/d5apxu

Joe Valley Faces Prosecution For 'Serious Felony': Criminal Complaint

Shelley Lubben's boyfriend will likely be unable to plea bargain


Springville, Calif. -- Joseph Valley, the live-in boyfriend of disgraced anti-porn crusader and minister Shelley Lubben, faces two felony charges in Tulare County Superior Court.

Valley was arrested Tuesday Nov. 7 after he allegedly struck and killed a 51-year old cyclist less than 2 miles from the Lubben ranch property. 

Witnesses say Joe Valley was already intoxicated when he arrived at a local bar, and was cut off from ordering more alcohol before he allegedly ran down the cyclist driving Shelley Lubben's car and fled the scene.

Joe Valley Faces Prosecution For 'Serious Felony': Criminal Complaint
Joseph Valley. Courtesy: Tulare County Sheriff's Office
The hit-and-run collision occurred at Balch Park Road and Battle Mountain Road in Springville at around 4:40 p.m. Tuesday.

According to the California Highway Patrol, 27-year-old Valley hit the cyclist while driving a silver 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser with a convertible top. A witness at the scene saw Valley take off "up Balch Park Road to his house" after the collision. The cyclist died at the scene.


Valley, who has a prior criminal record, was booked later that night, and held on $100,000 bail. District Attorney Tim Ward later filed criminal charges against Valley, upping his bail to $145,000. Joe Valley is being held at the Adult Pre-Trial Facility in Visalia.

The charges were followed by Ward's announcement of a $153,620 California Office of Traffic Safety grant. The grant will be used to help prosecute cases of drunken and impaired drivers.

"No one should be injured or lose their lives due to the reckless and risky behavior of a drunk driver," said Ward. "We look forward to continuing our focus on prosecuting this dangerous and avoidable crime."


A 'serious felony'


The criminal complaint filed Nov. 9 by the Tulare County district attorney charges Valley with felony hit-and-run driving resulting in death or serious bodily injury to another person, as well as the 'serious felony' gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

The California Penal Code stipulates:

1192.7. (b) Plea bargaining in any case in which the indictment or information charges any serious felony, ... or any offense of driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, or any other intoxicating substance, or any combination thereof, is prohibited....

1192.8. (a) For purposes of subdivision (c) of Section 1192.7, "serious felony" also means any violation of Section 191.5, paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 192, subdivision (a), (b), or (c) of Section 192.5 of this code, or Section 2800.3, subdivision (b) of Section 23104, or Section 23153 of the Vehicle Code, when any of these offenses involve the personal infliction of great bodily injury on any person other than an accomplice. . . . 

In addition, the complaint against Valley states that "the People hereby put the defendant on notice that the aggravated sentence may be sought in this case." 

California's “three strikes” law significantly increases the prison sentences of persons convicted of a felony who have been previously convicted of two or more violent crimes or serious felonies. The law also limits the ability of these offenders to receive a punishment other than a life sentence.

Valley does indeed have a prior criminal record.


Lubben and Valley met when her husband hired him to work at the Springville property in the spring of 2015. Shelley began an affair with Valley, and her husband later filed for divorce.


On Christmas eve 2015, Lubben phoned 911 and reported that Valley had sexually assaulted and battered her. She later recanted the sexual assault claim, but Valley served 90 days for domestic battery in Porterville.

The complaint


Joe Valley Faces Prosecution For 'Serious Felony': Criminal Complaint

Joe Valley appeared in court Nov. 17 for a preliminary hearing setting. His next court date will be December 7, one month after the car he drove struck and killed the cyclist on Balch Park Road.

Shelley Lubben's Boyfriend Drank at Local Bar Before Fatal Hit-and-Run

Joe Valley was already intoxicated when he arrived, say locals

Springville, Calif. -- Joseph Valley, the live-in boyfriend of disgraced anti-porn crusader and minister Shelley Lubben, drank at a local bar before he allegedly ran down a motorist and fled the scene, according to sources in Springville.

Shelley Lubben's Boyfriend Joe Valley Drank at Local Bar Before Fatal Hit-and-Run
Joe Valley
Valley was arrested Tuesday Nov. 7 after he allegedly struck and killed a 51-year old cyclist less than 2 miles from the Lubben ranch property. He is charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run driving, resulting in death or serious bodily injury to another person.

According to a patron of The Antlers Roadhouse, Joe Valley came into the bar that day already intoxicated, drank a shot of alcohol and was "cut off" by the bartender because he was so drunk.

Valley then attempted to leave without paying. The bartender followed him outside to have Joe pay the cheque.

Witnesses say Valley was "pretty drunk" by time he left the bar to head home.

Shelley stops by

Shelley Lubben's Boyfriend Drank at Local Bar Before Fatal Hit-and-Run

The Antlers, located at 30990 Highway 190, Porterville, stands 16 miles down the road from the collision site.

When Shelley Lubben visited the bar today, Nov. 13 (after the original version of this article had been posted), employees informed her that Valley was already intoxicated when he arrived last Tuesday. They also mentioned that he had used Shelley's credit card to pay for his drink.

How well must this establishment know Shelley and Joe to permit him to use her card? According to a source, Shelley and Joe have been known to come in before,  adding that they would drink "a lot" and "she would dance like a stripper."

Lubben was accompanied by a woman named Jana Hougen, who'd been 86'd from the bar for begging for drinks, and "acted surprised" to learn that Joe had already been drinking. Shelley claimed that he had stolen her card.

Yet, somehow it took Shelley nearly a week to investigate.

By distancing herself from Joe and proclaiming herself a victim, it appears that Shelley believes she can avoid being ostracized in the community.

Hit and run


The hit-and-run collision occurred at Balch Park Road and Battle Mountain Road in Springville at around 4:40 p.m. Tuesday. According to the California Highway Patrol, 27-year-old Valley hit the cyclist while driving a 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser with a convertible top. A witness at the scene saw Valley take off "up Balch Park Road to his house" after the collision.

The cyclist died at the scene.

Valley, who has a prior criminal record, was booked later that night, and held on $100,000 bail. District Attorney Tim Ward later filed criminal charges against Valley, and at his arrangement Nov. 9, his bail was increased to $145,000. He is currently being held at the Adult Pre-Trial Facility in Visalia.
Shelley Lubben and Joseph Valley on the road
The charges were followed by Ward's announcement of a $153,620 California Office of Traffic Safety grant. The grant will be used to help prosecute cases of drunken and impaired drivers.

"No one should be injured or lose their lives due to the reckless and risky behavior of a drunk driver," said Ward. "We look forward to continuing our focus on prosecuting this dangerous and avoidable crime."

Lubben and Valley met when her husband hired him to work at the Springville property in the spring of 2015. Shelley began an affair with Valley, and her husband later filed for divorce.

On Christmas eve 2015, Lubben phoned 911 and reported that Valley had sexually assaulted and battered her. She later recanted the sexual assault claim, but Valley served 90 days for domestic battery in Porterville.

[This post was updated and modified from its original version.]