Stephen Kinzey prepares to enter a San Bernardino courtroom on Friday. (Stan Lim/Staff Photographer)

12:07 AM PDT on Saturday, September 17, 2011


A Cal State San Bernardino professor charged with operating methamphetamine sales out of his home made his first court appearance on Friday, pleading not guilty and successfully defending his bail.

Stephen Kinzey, clean shaven and in a well-fitted black suit, ran a media gauntlet in the hallway outside the San Bernardino County courtroom. He ignored questions and smiled tightly as news photographers and onlookers nudged and dashed in front of him to get a picture.

Kinzey, whom authorities identified as the head of the local chapter of the Devil’s Diciples motorcycle club, is an associate professor of kinesiology — the study of body movement.

But it was Kinzey’s legal moves last week that left authorities dismayed. After being declared an armed and dangerous fugitive, he walked into court Friday free on bail.

After the hearing, San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney Steven Sanchez said “It was a shock to everybody” when Kinzey, 43, avoided arrest.

It appeared that Kinzey, his attorney and a bail bondsman supplied the $24,000 required to meet the $300,000 bond and had the arrest warrant suppressed at the clerk’s office, without the intervention of a judge.

“I don’t know how it happened,” Sanchez said.

Kinzey’s attorney, James Glick, has said that paperwork filed by prosecutors to seek a hearing if Kinzey sought bail had not been processed at the courthouse.

Sanchez challenged the source of the bail money supplied to the bondsman, which totaled $115,000 including collateral.

Glick said the money came from his client’s businessman father in Michigan. Henry Kinzey was in court Friday to swear the money came from him.

During brief testimony before San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Barr, the elder Kinzey identified as accurate copies of two documents that showed the paper trail of the money from his bank accounts.

Barr found that the money came from “separate funds, not associated with the conduct in this case.”

Sanchez had one more effort: With the revision of the complaint and the filing of an additional loaded weapon enhancement, prosecutors wanted Kinzey’s bail amount increased to $425,000. Barr put off that matter until an Oct. 28 hearing.

He did order Kinzey to undergo the routine he missed by not being arrested — to be photographed and fingerprinted and processed.

With that, Kinzey was free to leave the courtroom. Officials at Cal State San Bernardino said they are uncertain of Kinzey’s status, but he remained a faculty member in full standing this week. Classes begin Thursday.

Authorities said Kinzey trafficked methamphetamine from his Highland home.

The case was announced Sept. 1 after the San Bernardino County Gang Impact Federal Task Force ended a six-month investigation. They intercepted more than one pound of methamphetamine being delivered to Kinzey’s home and several alleged dealers arriving to pick up their supplies.

Among the charges Kinzey faces are possession of a controlled substance for sale, conspiracy and participation in a criminal street gang.

Charges also have been filed against 10 others in the case, including Holly Vandergrift Robinson, who authorities say is Kinzey’s live-in girlfriend. She faces drug and weapons charges and is due to be arraigned Oct. 28, the same court date Kinzey received.