By Ariella Seidman-Parra
SACRAMENTO – A man suffering from mental illness who has been in and out of residential treatments since high school and has assaulted two of his family members—his mother and great-grandfather—was hoping to be released on bail Friday in Sacramento County Superior Court.
Now he’ll need $200,000 to do that.
Benjamin C. Warren was arrested earlier this year after he assaulted his mother and his great-grandfather. During this incident, Warren allegedly strangled his mother, causing her to pass out.
The original preliminary hearing for this case was scheduled for January 21, 2020, but Warren failed to appear at this court date because the night before, according to his mother, he had a lot going on mentally and emotionally.
His mother, one of the victims of the assault, showed up at this hearing and claimed Warren had an episode in which he was very stressed out about his case, which led him to have a breakdown and get arrested for a new crime, his mother said.
On this evening of his breakdown, January 20, Warren grew upset, explained his mother, so he decided to leave the hotel that he was staying at with his mother. He later allegedly caused a scene trying to get back into the hotel. He began banging on the door, damaging the door, and so the police were called.
This second arrest for the vandalism occurred in Yolo County, where Warren has been in jail for more than three months, and why he was unable to attend his preliminary hearing in January. Finally, he was transferred back to a jail in Sacramento because it was decided that this assault case is more serious.
In the bail hearing Friday in Department 62 of Sacramento Superior Court, Deputy Public Defender Pamela Domenisse requested bail for the defendant at $50,000. Because of his severe mental health issues, Domenisse stated that his family was supportive of this and may be able to help out posting bail.
If he were released from custody on bail, he would be able to go to a treatment facility. Domenisse claimed that Warren’s family, both victims, want him in treatment and do not want him locked up.
But, argued DDA Deputy District Attorney Frederick Gotha, because of the severity of this incident, multiple serious injuries, and the fact that there are four victims, including a police officer and police dog, Gotha opposed the $50,000 figure, and proposed bail be set at $200,000.
Judge Michael Savage approved of the $200,000 bail.
Domenisse stated that the preliminary hearing should be scheduled in-person because it is especially important that the witnesses, who are the victims, are able to speak live in order to give better information about the initial event.
The preliminary hearing is planned for sometime in July, although the exact date has not been set yet.
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