A Couple of Interesting Tidbits Sitting Around in the Courtroom

One of the more interesting things about sitting in a courtroom is listening to the conversations that take place when there is no judge or jury around.

I was sitting around Department 7 Wednesday morning waiting to see when the jury might return in the case of Maria Pastor charged with possession of 0.0118 grams of meth.  The conversation between the Deputy Sheriff and Deputy DA Sean King quickly turned to the case.  It was not about the absurdity of charging someone with possession for that small of an amount of meth, but rather the defendant’s excuse that it was someone else’s purse.


The Deputy Sheriff remarked that it was a “crankster” purse, stained brown from the substance and it stank.

One of the staffers for the court remarked that they should stay away from her purse, implying hers was stained and smelly as well.

They then joked about the defense’s claim that it was not her purse, that she had borrowed it from someone she barely knew and did not know her name.  Sean King, the Deputy DA remarked that he has seen “they weren’t my pants” work with a jury and the person was wearing the pants.  He said he didn’t blame the Public Defender, he was just doing his job defending his client.

* * * *

Later I moved on to Department 2, Judge Timothy Fall’s court, for a trial setting conference in a murder case involving Susan Sheppard.

The Deputy District Attorney Robin Johnson walked in a minute late.  One of the conflict attorney J. Toney remarked, “You’re a minute late, in this court that’s dangerous.” 
Judge Fall has a reputation for promptness and a lack of patience and sometimes a quick trigger.

A moment later Judge Fall enters the court and immediately makes the remark that someone was late.

Ms. Johnson immediately take responsibility and apologize.

“Good job falling on your sword,” Judge Fall said to Ms. Johnson and suggested he would make sure to tell her supervisor.  One of her supervisors Garrett Hamilton happened to be sitting in the court at that moment and everyone enjoyed a good and brief laugh before figuring out what to do with a defendant accused of murder.

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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