By Lea Barrios
SACRAMENTO-A man charged with burglary proclaimed his innocence and repeatedly spoke over the judge when he was asked for his consent to do his arraignment remotely here in the Sacramento Superior Court.
Due to the highly contagious nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, arraignments took place remotely through Zoom and were livestreamed on Youtube.
Judge James P. Arguelles asked each defendant for their consent to proceed with their arraignment remotely—three defendants did not agree and wished for their arraignment to be done in person. Their cases were continued.
Charged with burglary and attempted burglary, both with prior strikes, the defendant (his first name was unintelligible over Zoom), disrupted the process of his arraignment by talking excessively and not directly answering the question he was asked.
The defendant was called but when he was asked for his consent he began professing his innocence and told the court, “You guys do what you need to do.”
Judge Arguelles took that as his consent to proceed with his arraignment remotely, but told him that it is not in his best interest for the things he was saying to go on record and muted the livestream so his defense counsel could advise him.
“He continues to speak over me. You need to stop talking; it is not your turn to talk,” said Judge Arguelles.
The defendant is accused of breaking into a residential home. According to the accusation, the victim was asleep when her security alarm went off. She got up and went to her sliding door where she saw the defendant poking his head in. She screamed and he left, but she said he came back again.
The alleged victim identified the defendant later. The defendant insists that there has been a mistake and he is 100 percent innocent.
The defense counsel asked that his bail be set to $0 or he be released on his own recognizance because he has a stable address in Sacramento and is willing to comply with all court orders if he were to be released.
Deputy District Attorney Adrianne McMillian objected to the defendant being released and asked that his bail be $1 million because he attempted to burglarize a residential home and he has prior strikes. She also cited his behavior when he was talking over the judge and said he doesn’t seem stable.
Judge Arguelles appeared to defend the defendant, acknowledging that he is upset, he is in jail, and he is agitated.
However, the judge set the defendant’s bail at $1 million in accordance with the requirements of bail because of his priors and his new charges.
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