Yuba County District Attorney Patrick McGrath is retiring after 34 years on the job. According to him, it's always been interesting, but often depressing.
"I've met serial killers and mass murderers and then people who have been just totally victimized, pre-verbal kids who have gone through some horrific physical abuse, the entire range. I mean, anything that could involve what somebody could do to another person I believe I've seen at this point,” he said.
He says some of the cases were more interesting than depressing.
"I prosecuted a witch doctor once,” he said. “There was somebody who opened up an office in Marysville and he was treating a large number of folks from the immigrant community and he was an honest-to-god witch doctor with the whole thing: the bones and the feathers, the whole deal. Yeah. That's something you don't run into very often."
And, there are regrets.
"Some of the things that haunt me in 34 years as a prosecutor are cases that I have not filed,” he said. “Cases that clearly impacted other people where the evidence simply wasn't there for us to file a case because. If we don't believe we can obtain a conviction in front of a jury, we don't file a case."
As for what McGrath plans to do in retirement:
"Be kind of like every other person and not be dealing with the kind of generally horrific things that are crossing our desks day in and day out," he said.
McGrath has been honored several times by colleagues during his time as prosecutor.
His work resulted in one of the first convictions of a drunk driver for murder in the state. He also developed a search warrant that involves part of the warrant being sealed. It's often used in gang cases.
He also served as the Marysville public information officer during several notable floods and fires.
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