By Raya Zahdeh
The court gathered in Department 8 on the afternoon of August 30, 2016, for the People v. Brian Douglas Cassidy, Judge David Reed presiding. Back in 2015, Mr. Cassidy was charged on multiple counts, including a hit-and-run crash that resulted in the injury of an alleged motorcyclist victim in the city of Davis. He also faced other charges such as driving under the influence (causing injury and hit-and-run crash) and a misdemeanor count of driving with a suspended or revoked license. After this incident, Mr. Cassidy had most recently been on probation and ended up in custody due to multiple violations of his probation terms.
The first witness to give his testimony was Agent Gary Richter, with the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, who set out on a probation search for narcotics on January 25, 2016, at the mobile home in which Mr. Cassidy resided. Agent Richter stated that he found 1.6 grams and 0.4 grams of methamphetamine in separate containers, both in the bedroom of the mobile home. He also found a used methamphetamine pipe along with probation paperwork addressed to Mr. Cassidy by Yolo County. At one point, Mr. Cassidy confirmed to Agent Richter that the bedroom belonged to him.
According to Richter’s testimony, the methamphetamine belonged to “DY,” a friend of Mr. Cassidy’s, whom he met while in custody. Mr. Cassidy informed Agent Richter that DY had access to Cassidy’s mobile home even when he was not home.
Agent Richter proceeded to testify that he did not charge Mr. Cassidy for methamphetamine possession, as he had also found the drug in an outdoor shed right after someone fled on foot upon noticing the officers conducting the probation search. He believed Mr. Cassidy was just a methamphetamine user, and that DY was the supplier/seller of the drug. Furthermore, he stated that DY was the main target of the search at the mobile home that day.
The next witness to take the stand was Detective Justin Raymond of the Davis Police Department. Det. Raymond conducted a probation search on April 21, 2016, targeting Mr. Cassidy at the same mobile home as mentioned previously. During that search, Mr. Cassidy admitted to possessing heroin in his pocket. The officer retrieved the substance (1.5 fluid ounces) in its container from Mr. Cassidy’s pocket. Later tests revealed the contents to be positive for containing a heroin substance.
The third witness was Officer Mariano Lopez, also of the Davis Police Department. Officer Lopez conducted a search of the same Davis mobile home on June 7, 2016. Officer Lopez stated that, upon his arrival, Mr. Cassidy and two other adults were present in the mobile home (“MR” and “MR,” one male and one female.) After asking all three of the adults to step out, Officer Lopez conducted the search.
In the living room, he found a marijuana pipe, four methamphetamine pipes, and bottles of alcoholic beverages. He then found more alcohol and about five hypodermic needles that appeared to be used, all in the master bedroom of the mobile home (also identified as Mr. Cassidy’s bedroom.) According to the testimony, Mr. Cassidy told Officer Lopez that the needles were used for his “anabolic steroids” that he supposedly used as painkillers. The needles were not taken into a lab for testing.
The final witness to give a testimony was Officer Lance Dustin of the Yolo County Probation Department. Officer Dustin supervised Mr. Cassidy and is familiar with his probation terms.
On June 23, 2016, Mr. Cassidy had been ordered to report to Officer Dustin following a court appearance that day, which consisted of a SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor) device download and a drug test, in compliance with the probation terms. According to Officer Dustin’s testimony, Mr. Cassidy failed to report to the officer that day.
The following day, Officer Dustin attempted to contact Mr. Cassidy and was able to reach him on his phone. Mr. Cassidy informed the officer that he was out of town and therefore unable to report back to him on time. Officer Dustin then ordered Mr. Cassidy to report to him on June 27, and he once again failed to report on that day. After these many failed attempts and multiple probation term violations, Officer Dustin took Mr. Cassidy into custody and arrested him on July 3, 2016.
After the testimonies and closing arguments came to an end, Judge Reed found the following allegations to be true based on sufficient evidence presented to the court: possession of heroin, possession of paraphernalia, possession and purchase of alcohol (violation of probation term), and failure to report to probation officers. Judge Reed does not intend to reinstate Mr. Cassidy on probation, and has sentenced him to five years and eight months in prison, along with parole of up to three years following the jail sentence. The case is set for a post-sentence report hearing at the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on October 25, 2016, at 9 AM.