Defendant Takes Plea in Sacramento Court Case

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By Armando Alonzo

SACRAMENTO – Michael Stuerke, an in-custody defendant stuck inside the county jail, accepted deals on a handful of charges Wednesday here in Sacramento County Superior Court.

For the felony case, the defendant pleaded “no contest” to a misdemeanor (for reckless burning), to which he was sentenced to 120 days in jail, and three years of informal probation. He also agreed to a stay-away from the light-rail station at 1715 16th Street in Sacramento, where the incident took place.

For the other misdemeanor case, Stuerke pleaded “no contest” to petty theft, for another 30 days and a stay-away from a Target located 10881 Olson Drive in Rancho Cordova, as well as a stay-away from WinCo Foods grocery store at 200 Blue Ravine Rd. in Folsom. Another theft case was dismissed, but restitution is to be determined for all three of those locations.

The defendant had 37 days of in jail credit, and must do 113 days with the sheriff’s work project. If he’s not accepted, he’ll spend that time in county jail. Normally people would be given five days to sign up for the program, but, due to the pandemic, the court will require Stuerke to sign up by July 31.

Restitution fines can still be required in the future, but Vadim Kobrya, defending Stuerke, noted to the court that Stuerke is unable to pay any fines because he is currently unemployed and is generating no income.

There is a mandatory restitution fine in the amount of $150 that Judge Stephen Acquisto will impose as the minimum. Should the defendant violate his probation there will be an additional $150 that will be imposed.

But, based on the representations made by the defense counsel, the judge found that the defendant has an inability pay, so he decided to strike the court operations assessment of $40, the court facilities assessment of $30, the main jail booking fee which is normally $453, and he will not enforce the main jail classification fee which is normally $90.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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