Probation Violation leads to Arrest of Defendant; Teacher Accused of Stealing Student’s Medicine

Yolo-Count-Court-Room-600by Saghi Nojoomi

Judge David Reed of the Yolo County Superior Court reprimanded and arrested Defendant Samuel Morgan for a probation violation involving an ankle monitor.

Mr. Morgan was placed on a reasonable probation, from a previous battery case, that included an ankle monitor and forbade both alcohol consumption and contact with the victim of the case.

On Monday, a probation revocation hearing began with probation officers accusing the defendant of being present at a bar without a fully charged and traceable ankle monitor – a clear violation of his agreed-upon probation. According to the officer, the defendant was untraceable for several hours on July 19 after his ankle monitor was depleted of battery power at Ace of Spades in Sacramento. Although it’s questionable, the officer referred to Ace of Spades as a “bar,” with access to alcoholic drinks, while claiming that the defendant could have had contact with the victim of the previous battery case during the hours that he was untraceable.

Deputy Public Defender Lisa Lance changed the perspective of the accusation after she claimed that her client went to Ace of Spades for a concert and had had his hands marked indicating that he is unable to drink. After stating that the officers failed to provide a copy of the report to the defense, Ms. Lance claimed that the defendant called probation officers several times throughout the night to assure them of his location and to confirm that the device was working properly.

According to the probation officer, contact from the monitoring device was lost late afternoon on the 19th and regained at around 1:00 A.M. on the 20th.

Using the defendant’s phone, the defense read out the apparent times of phone calls between probation officers and the defendant. Calls were recorded at 11:29 P.M. and 11:30 P.M. on the 19th and at 1:01 A.M. on the 20th. At approximately 9:25 P.M. on the 19th, the defendant claimed that he was able to speak to a probation officer on the phone.

When asked by Judge Reed if the probation involved a curfew or permission for travel to areas, the probation officer stated that there was no agreed-upon curfew and that the defendant was allowed to travel within close proximity around California without permission.

Judge Reed provided insight into the hearing by claiming that Ace of Spades maintains areas where drinking is forbidden for those underage and that concerts are the main functions of the venue.

Ms. Lance once again questioned the validity of the accusation when she claimed that her client felt vibrations from the monitoring device. Before providing a ruling, Judge Reed asked the probation officer to confirm the ankle monitor’s battery life for the date in question.

According to the probation officer, vibrations from the ankle monitor indicate that the device is not working properly and needs charging. Contact with the device was lost from 9:45 P.M. on the 19th to 1:41 A.M. on the 20th.

The defense continued their claim by explaining that, during a call, probation officers had told the defendant that should the device lose contact or not properly function a call would be received indicating the issue. Although the defendant cannot confirm if the device did lose contact or die from a low battery life, the defense stated that the defendant did make an effort to arrive back to his residence immediately once he received a call from officers asking if he was still at Ace of Spades. Once he was aware of an issue, the defendant called a friend to arrange a ride back to his residence since he did not have his own mode of transportation. The defense continued by explaining that the defendant was present at all required court cases and hearings and that he showed great interest in the court proceedings by conferring with his attorney beforehand.

Judge Reed concluded the hearing by explaining that he usually believes statements made by probation officers and that he understands that the defendant did not consume any alcoholic beverages at the venue. Although he credited that decision, Judge Reed reprimanded the defendant and explained that he questioned his overall judgment. Defendant Morgan was placed into custody and handcuffed with a promised release on Friday.

prescription-drugsHearing Delayed for Special- Ed teacher Accused of Stealing Student’s Prescription Medication

by Ibraham Dbouk

Former special education teacher Sheri Haselhuhn appeared for her preliminary hearing on July 21, 2014, at 10:00 AM in Department 6 of the Yolo County Courthouse. Ms. Haselhuhn was a teacher at the Delta Elementary Charter School in Clarksburg with 14 years of teaching experience, and is being charged with burglary and possession of a controlled substance.

She is being accused of stealing and using prescription medication belonging to one of her former students. The medication was supposedly kept in a locked cabinet located in a room at the end of the school. The school’s administration noticed that some of the student’s “Adderall” prescription was coming up short. Adderall is typically prescribed for those who are diagnosed with attention deficit disorder.

The school contacted local authorities to investigate, and a surveillance video of the room led to the arrest of Ms. Haselhuhn at her home in West Sacramento. According to authorities, the video surveillance shows Ms. Haselhuhn taking and consuming one of her student’s prescription medication.

Her bail was set at $20,000 which was posted the very next day.

The defense, with the approval of the court, rescheduled the preliminary hearing until August 18, 2014, in order to finish the investigation.

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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  1. D.D.

    Re: the Nojoomi article, this sentence is crucial:
    The defense continued their claim by explaining that during a call, probation officers had told the defendant that should the device lose contact or not properly function a call would be received indicating the issue.

  2. D.D.

    “he defendant called probation officers several times throughout the night to assure them of his location and to confirm that the device was working properly.”

    “the probation officer stated that there was no agreed upon curfew and that the defendant was allowed to travel with close proximity around California without permission.”

    “Defendant Morgan was placed into custody and handcuffed with a promised release on Friday.”

    Did this man commit a violent crime? If not, they are just tossing him in county to make money for the county. The county gets a flat fee for every citizen they lock up, as I understand it. Re: ankle monitors, they make up a bunch of rules that the probation officer is supposed to follow. The probation officer can break every single one of these rules with no real consequence. The defendant can simply stretch a rule to its limit and be locked up in county, so the county can make more money.
    By reading this, unless I’m missing something, the man went to a concert venue, not a bar. He didn’t break any of their “rules”.

  3. D.D.

    If the probation officer breaks a rule and they are the one who has control over the probation period, and they have the ability to suggest you be thrown back into jail, is the defendant really going to file a complaint about the officer? No. The officers know this, so they can pretty much do whatever they want, without any real consequence.

    1. Davis Progressive

      i don’t know that you’re right here. the defendant always has the option of putting it on calendar and raising the issue before the judge who has the ultimate authority.

  4. D.D.

    Davis P:
    If you were on probation, and the probation period was going to last, say, a year or longer, would you make a formal complaint against the person who can suggest you be tossed back into jail? Would you tell your lawyer to have it put on a court calendar? If the officer is removed from your case, one of their coworkers will be assigned to you, right?

    1. Davis Progressive

      that’s proper procedure, the court has oversight. it’s actually a bit of an advantage, if you have a complaint against a police officer you don’t have an attorney representing you and automatically get to have a judge hear your complaint.

  5. D.D.

    The judge in this article stated he normally believes the probation office. If I wasn’t clear, I meant probation officer, not police officer.
    But thanks for making the distinction, I didn’t know that info re: complaints against cops where the person is in proper.

    1. Davis Progressive

      i brought up the police officer to point out the difference in safeguards. the judge of course is going to believe a probation officer over a convicted criminal – UNLESS there is information to corroborate the allegations.

  6. D.D.

    I’d be afraid to complain about a cop without a lawyer because wouldn’t the D.A. be there to represent the cop? And I’d be there all alone, in proper? That sounds a little overwhelming.

    1. Davis Progressive

      no that’s not how the process works. you file a complaint internally in a police department and the police department internally investigates. some jurisdictions like davis have independent oversight – such as the police auditor to review complaints.

  7. D.D.

    Re: complaints: What if one complains verbally to another police officer within the dept. and asks her to pass the information along? Is she required by law to pass your suggestion along? I made a suggestion to a cop instead of filing an official complaint. I asked a woman officer if she would forward my suggestion to the other cop’s superior, but all she did was nod her head yes, she would not speak the word “yes”.

  8. D.D.

    Therefore, when citizens make an effort to solve police problems (or probation officer problems) at the lowest possible level and try to keep things civil, it can be detrimental. My complaint/suggestion may not have been taken seriously. I never heard one word from the cop that misbehaved; apparently the complaint/suggestion was brushed off by one of the cops involved. If the misbehaving cop had come to my home and faced me, we probably could have worked it out in an amicable, professional manner.
    I documented everything but more than 2 years have passed so the statute has run.
    Lesson learned. The proverbial squeaky wheel.

  9. tj

    Shame on Judge Reed for not evaluating the testimony. Very telling that he openly admitted to supporting law enforcement on a regular basis rather than keeping an open mind.

    Law enforcement is a brotherhood, like a gang, and they don’t usually rat each other out.

    Internal affairs’ main function is covering up wrong doing, and if the issue is serious and public, the officer is selected as “officer of the year”.

    Re the school teacher, hat’s off to school admin who took her theft of pills seriously. The school “nurse” used to steal my son’s pills. We had no recourse unless we wanted retaliation.

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