By Brittany Mason
WOODLAND – A man has been charged with three felonies after a concealed weapon was discovered between his groin and underwear during a search conducted while in custody for an outstanding warrant.
Trayon Finley, the defendant, has been charged with two felonies: prisoner possession of a weapon and possession of a firearm while being a previous felon. Finley has been charged with a third felony—however, it has been processed under the wrong count and is consequently being addressed at a later date.
The prosecution called the officer that arrested Finley, Officer Gina Bell. Officer Bell recounted that on Feb. 13, 2020, at around 2:42 p.m. she arrived at Freeman Park on her usual patrol. She recognized Finley at the park as she had previously been in contact with him multiple times as a homeless outreach street team police officer.
Officer Bell recalled Finley going to Freeman Park almost daily and that she had contacted Finley on the 13th, as she had seen that morning he had an outstanding warrant against him. She testified that when she first had contact with him that day he was compliant and assured her that he was following his probation.
Bell recounted beginning to search him and finding a marijuana joint that he admitted having after she had found it. She described her search process of persons including Finley on this day, first checking the waist area, then their right ankle and up. Bell then proceeded to take him into custody.
While at the booking station, an additional, more thorough search was conducted in which there was a firearm found on Finley. The firearm was hidden near the groin between the underwear, with the barrel facing up toward Finley, tucked by the groin. Bell testified that Finley had then begun to remark to “calm down,” stating that the gun wasn’t loaded and that if Bell had “been doing her job she would have found it.” Though he had admitted to the marijuana joint, Bell testified that he never mentioned concealing a gun.
The gun was a Ruger 22 semi-automatic that was registered to an individual living in Yolo County. It was confirmed to be unloaded and Finley did not have any bullets.
Finley’s defense attorney, Emily Fisher, questioned Officer Bell on her account of the sequence of events and her possible encounter with Finley’s parole officer. Bell then testified that Finley had begun to call his parole officer when they first started to talk but, when he handed Bell the phone, she put it down so that she could detain Finley.
She couldn’t recall if she had said something along the lines of “I’m busy” to the person on the line, nor confirm that it was his parole officer. She did communicate with Finley’s parole officer on her own phone through phone calls and text messages at a later time.
Fisher also questioned how Bell had somehow not located the firearm during her initial search. Bell was unsure how she could have missed it, recounting that she had searched his groin area during the initial search and also had to seat belt Finley into her patrol car and was unable to feel the gun while reaching across the groin area then either. Bell testified that she also searched him after she had handcuffed him and did not feel the gun itself nor an outline of one.
Judge Paul Richardson has held Finley to answer for Counts 1 and 2 that were addressed today. The arraignment has been scheduled for March 18.
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