News Coverage


Hung jury in reverend's trial

Hung jury in reverend's trial

Yuba County DA to decide if prosecutors should retry case against self-proclaimed Rastafarian church leader

- Appeal-Democrat
After two and a half days of deliberation, a Yuba County jury could not agree on a verdict in the marijuana conspiracy case against a Rastafarian church leader.
The five-day trial – in which prosecutors likened Heidi Lepp to a snake oil scam artist and the defense called her a holy woman who wanted to help others – ended in a hung jury Wednesday afternoon. Now, the Yuba County District Attorney’s Office will have to decide whether or not to retry the case.
Lepp was...

Reverend's Fate is Now in Jury’s Hands

Reverend's Fate is Now in Jury’s Hands

Rastafarian church leader could face prison term

- Appeal-Democrat
Jurors are now deliberating two felony conspiracy charges against Rastafarian church leader Heidi Lepp.
After hearing closing arguments from the prosecution and defense, jurors will now decide whether they believe Lepp is guilty of conspiring to cultivate marijuana and conspiring to sell marijuana, charges which carry a maximum of three years’ imprisonment. 
The charges stem from an incident Aug. 2, 2017, when two deputies were shot and wounded by an alleged disgruntled...

Yuba County DA rests case against reverend

Yuba County DA rests case against reverend

Trial of Rastafarian church leader continues; arrested after foothills

- Appeal-Democrat
Prosecutors rested their case Wednesday against a Rastafarian church leader and the defense called an expert in medical marijuana.
After two days off, the trial against Heidi Lepp resumed Wednesday with the prosecution’s last witness, Yuba County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brandon Spear, taking the stand. 
Lepp is charged with one felony count of conspiracy to cultivate marijuana and one count of felony conspiracy to sell marijuana, charges which carry a maximum of three years...

A holy woman or a scam artist?

A holy woman or a scam artist?

Trial of self-proclaimed Rastafarian reverend begins; arrested after foothill pot grow shooting

- Appeal-Democrat
Yuba County prosecutors want jurors to believe that Heidi Lepp’s Rastafarian church was a scam. The defense wants them to believe that she’s a religious woman who wanted to share the benefits of marijuana to those in need.
Lepp, 48, is charged with one felony count of conspiracy to cultivate marijuana and one count of felony conspiracy to sell marijuana, charges which carry a maximum of three years imprisonment. 
On Aug. 2, 2017, two deputies were shot and wounded...