Defendant’s Posted Bail Falls Short of $5,000 in Domestic Violence Case

By Julietta Bisharyan

FRESNO – A defendant here in Fresno County Superior Court this week came up just a few bucks short of making bail – but the judge said it was close enough.

Defendant Michael Lewis Romero appeared for an arraignment without a lawyer after posting bail for $85,000 for beating up his girlfriend –– an amount slightly lower than the judge’s scheduled bail of $90,000.

“Are you going to remand me today?” asked Romero, who is charged for corporeal injury on a spouse/cohabitant, false imprisonment with violence, dissuading a witness from reporting a crime and for kidnapping.

Judge Glenda Allen-Hill then said that the court will most likely leave Romero out of custody on the $85,000 bail since he posted a substantial amount on that matter.

“The court will probably want to impose some no-alcohol terms, but it looks like to me you already have those terms,” said the judge.

On Mar. 19, 2020, the defendant and his girlfriend of three months were drinking in a hotel room together. After she woke him up, he became upset and grabbed her by the hair. He allegedly pulled her back and forth, pushing her onto the ground.

He then, according to the court report, punched her multiple times with his fist on the back of the head.
The victim tried to kick him away and threatened to call the police. When she reached for the phone, the defendant took it from her and pinned her down on her neck.

The defendant, it was alleged, told her that if she called the police then he would “make it worth it.” Eventually, she ran down the hallway before the defendant caught up to her and dragged her by the hair back to the room.

Once the defendant left the room again, the victim raced to the front office and called the police. By the time law enforcement arrived, the defendant had already fled the scene.

The alleged victim estimated that the assault lasted about three to five minutes. An emergency protective order was declined at the time of the incident.

Standing alone at the podium, Romero asked Judge Allen-Hill for 30 more days to “shop around for a lawyer” that best fit him. The court accepted his request.

Although Deputy District Attorney Samantha Dukes said she has yet to speak with the alleged victim, she believes that the scheduled bail amount of $90,000 is appropriate, given the seriousness of the case. She also asked for a criminal protective order to be set.

According to Dukes, Romero has no prior convictions of domestic violence, but has multiple DUIs. The last three were in 2019 –– one a felony.

Deputy Probation Officer Lisa Bezzant noted that Romero is on a grant of felony probation and was cited to appear in court today for that matter in a different department. For the felony DUI case, Romero had hired a private attorney, Michael Mitchell, to represent him.

“He’s still supposed to represent me. I got out of custody, I already signed that and got released to a program. I completed the program,” said Romero. “I thought I was already over that already.”

“I don’t know if you’re over that. Lots of things have happened in the pandemic, and we haven’t been able to get them all in the court file,” responded the judge, searching for the case number.

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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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