by Brooke Pritchard
Identity Theft and Break-in at Davis
In Department 11, Robert Paul Cantrell faces felony charges for identity theft and a break-in. There have been a series of occurrences when Mr. Cantrell pretended he was the son of a locksmith to conduct business without a license. While two of the locations are in Solano County, the most notable incident occurred at a law firm in Davis, which is part of Yolo County.
The preliminary hearing began with testimony from Corporal Gordon Brown, who is a Winters police officer.
According to Cpl. Brown’s testimony, the locksmith and Mr. Cantrell had a previous relationship. The locksmith once tried to take Mr. Cantrell under his wing, to mentor him in the business. That mentorship was terminated once the locksmith was constantly required to make remediations to Mr. Cantrell’s repairs. This termination also ended Mr. Cantrell’s process in being licensed. The
significant aspect to the end of that termination is that Mr. Cantrell claimed that the locksmith owed him 80 dollars. Another significant element is that the locksmith’s business resides within
the locksmith’s current residence.
In connection with the 80 dollars, Mr. Cantrell made a call that ended with his saying, “I am going to f***ing kill you” to the locksmith. The wife of the locksmith, who was listening in on the call, began to be fearful for her husband’s life. There is testimony from Corporal Brown that the wife claimed she would constantly check out any strange noises in the house due to her sustained fear. Calls like these occurred four to five more times, with Mr. Cantrell demanding the locksmith pay him 80 dollars. The locksmith has not given in to the demand, despite his wife urging him to do so.
After the several calls, Mr. Cantrell is accused of a series of cases of identity theft and break-ins by. In each scenario, the customers called from a Yelp ad. Cantrell would pick up and go to the job. At the site, Mr. Cantrell explained that he was the locksmith’s son and the locksmith was having heart problems. Mr. Cantrell overcharged compared to the locksmith’s usual cost of services. In one instance, Mr. Cantrell kept the money even though he did not fulfill the service.
According to Corporal Brown, each customer picked Mr. Cantrell out of a line up and there was an instance where one customer matched the type of car (a teal Honda Accord) registered to Mr. Cantrell.
The most noteworthy instance for the Yolo County Superior Court was the instance when Mr. Cantrell took a call from a Davis law firm on April 28, 2017. Corporal Brown testified that one of the paralegals found Mr. Cantrell to be awkward and that he was making weird comments to the female employees. Also, Brown testified that Cantrell asked to take the lock home with him to work on it, but the paralegal denied that request. This led to a 40-minute argument in the paralegal’s office over Cantrell being paid for his services, which he eventually received: a sum of 100 dollars.
When Mr. Cantrell gave her a receipt, the paralegal noticed that it did not say the name of the locksmith’s company, but rather of a generic company name.
The arraignment for Mr. Cantrell will be on May 28 at 9 am in Department 11.
Hearsay and Proposition 115
There was a preliminary hearing in Department 11 for a man with prior convictions facing consequences for possession of methamphetamines.
The defendant, Andre James Clark, previously served 29 years to life in 1996, due to the three-strike rule in California. Due to his previous convictions and the seriousness of them, he is not eligible for Penal Code section 17(b), which would lighten his sentence.
The hearing began with Officer Austin Schiber from West Sacramento, who was called to the scene at Motel 6. Inside the hotel room, there was a plastic bag found with a receipt to a cell phone belonging to Clark, a cigarette container with methamphetamines inside, and probation paperwork of another individual who was also found in the motel room. According to Officer Schiber, when he asked Clark if that plastic bag belonged to him, Clark responded: “It’s my bag unless there’s something illegal in it.”
The most interesting aspect to the case is not the criminal case itself, however. The subject of tension involved Proposition 115. When the deputy district attorney asked Officer Schiber if he completed a class in his police academy on Proposition 115, Schiber was unsure. This led to the prosecution rephrasing a few questions, and eventually moving on to different questions, until the defendant’s attorney began to object on the grounds that it is not proved that Schiber fulfills the Proposition 115 requirement. This led to an immediate recess. Thereafter, Schiber agreed he had fulfilled the requirements for Proposition 115.
This is significant since the police academy class that fulfills the Proposition 115 requirement is a testimony class. Proposition 115 permits the police officer to testify on hearsay during a preliminary hearing. Establishing that Officer Schiber completed the class on Proposition 115 is what permitted Clark’s quote that connects Clark to possession of an illegal substance.
An arraignment is set for May 28 in Department 11.