While facts remain scarce about the July 10 arrest of a couple whose house was searched without a warrant by San Luis Obispo police officers, law enforcement officials continue to claim that a computer database glitch is what ignited the situation.
SLO city and SLO County District Attorney's Office officials reiterated on Aug. 14 that the Criminal Justice Informational Database, which is used across law enforcement agencies, "clearly" showed that O'Connor Way resident Cheyne Orndoff was on probation and subject to random searches.
- FILE PHOTO
- WHO’S WHO A SLO County couple faces felony charges after SLOPD mistakenly searched their home without a warrant, mistakenly believing the man was on probation.
"We rely upon it routinely," SLO County Assistant DA Eric Dobroth said.
In reality, Orndoff was not on probation. But his brother, Cole Orndoff, is. In 2017, Cole pleaded no contest to a charge of falsely impersonating Cheyne. That's where police say the data error occurred.
Recent news reports and community discussion have challenged this version of events by asserting that Cole's probation conditions did not include any search terms.
While his plea form simply states "informal probation," other case documents confirm that Cole's three-year probation terms included searches without probable cause.
Per the conditions, he's required to "submit upon demand of any peace/probation officer" a search of "person, personal property, residence, and/or vehicle ... without warrant, with or without probable cause, any time of day or night."
Because SLOPD mixed up Cheyne for Cole, and due to an erroneous tip that Cheyne might be in possession of the weapon that SLOPD Chief Deanna Cantrell left in an El Pollo Loco bathroom on July 10, Cheyne and his wife, Vanessa Bedroni, face felony child endangerment charges from the DA's Office.
The couple has pleaded not guilty to the charges. Their next court date is Aug. 27. The couple's attorneys declined to comment on their cases. Δ