Murder suspect used to regularly visit The Union

In this blog, I have shared some experiences at The Union newspaper — often “unique” in all the decades I’ve been a journalist at The Chronicle, CNET and other places.

One of them was witnessing the parade of colorful characters who arrived at the Union newspaper — often unannounced to meet with the publisher and editor.

Some of them wanted to discuss current events; another one wanted to share his pencil “drawings” and ask us to publish them; others wanted to drop off their “Other Voices.” All of them demanded time.

One of them was Robert Steuber, now 83. “Steuber regularly visited the Grass Valley offices of The Union when Jeff Ackerman served as publisher between 2002 and 2012,” as The Union reported this summer. “He liked discussing politics and current events. Over the years the men formed a friendship.

“He was a curmudgeon, in the classic sense,” Ackerman said.

In Steuber’s case, he also is accused in the fatal July shooting of Sandra Lebarron, who lived with him at their Penn Valley home. Authorities claim Steuber argued with the 67-year-old Lebarron, left to retrieve a gun and then returned to shoot her.

“Ackerman, however, also had his concerns. Steuber always possessed firearms, he said. Steuber kept three to four handguns in his bedroom — firearms that worried Ackerman during his recent trip here, he said.

“‘She did everything for him,’ Ackerman said of Lebarron. ‘I don’t know where he would have been without her. Her loss is felt.'”

Now Steuber is refusing to go to court, so a judge postponed his murder case until next week.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

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