By Ayanna Gandhi
SACRAMENTO – Defendant James Wallace didn’t like his $1 million bail here—he wanted to get out of custody and go back to building ponds and mini-golf courses, he said.
But the court wasn’t having any of it. Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Sweet denied Wallace’ request after defense attorney Larenda Delaini started the proceeding by asking the judge to decrease Wallace’s bail from $1 million to $250,000.
Delaini pleaded that the defendant’s wife had just been in car accident and was finding it hard to walk, so would need assistance. And, Wallace has four children whom his wife is taking care of without him. And not only does Wallace have a home to go to, but also a job waiting for him with Eddie’s Construction and Landscape, where he builds ponds and mini-golf courses in backyards.
However, Deputy District Attorney Jesse Saucedo immediately opposed the request for bail reduction, recounting a story to the court about how, on March 2 this year, Wallace and his co-defendant were found in possession of two guns, more than 1,000 prescription pills, and cocaine.
DDA Saucedo informed the court that Wallace was then released over the People’s objections because of COVID issues. Wallace was released on April 8, 2020, on detention and ankle monitoring.
But then, three weeks later, Wallace choked and struck his wife (the alleged victim) in front of their four children. He allegedly threatened her with a gun and stole her car. Saucedo said a police chase took place that day where Wallace was driving at a speed of 100 miles per hour, and at many instances on the wrong side of the road. Due to a car crash, the chase was put to an end and the defendant was once again arrested.
But Wallace walked out of jail again when he was mistakenly released—but he was back in custody again after his latest domestic violence crimes and a July 5 police chase that started in the Arden area and ended in El Dorado County.
The defendant was once again driving at speeds upwards of 100 miles per hour, claimed the prosecution. Wallace and his passenger were arrested with an “ample”’ amount of drugs—when the police searched his hotel room, they seized more than 700 pills.
DA Saucedo insisted that bail reduction should not be made because he believes that “Wallace continued to commit crimes every time he was released.” He also pointed out that the defendant had two other arrest warrants, in addition to the ones which he recounted in court.
Wallace openly denied only one claim. Delaini asked the DDA to drop the charge of possession of the stolen property, because Wallace claims that the car he was in was the family car, even if it was under his wife’s name. Saucedo agreed to drop that misdemeanor charge.
After hearing both sides, Judge Sweet agreed with DDA Saucedo, saying, “Wallace’s past actions show that pre-trial release cannot be granted.” He did not change bail nor did he release the defendant. Wallace’s next court date is July 27, 2020, at 8:30 AM.
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