Sobbing Defendant Begs Judge for the Chance to Find Her Son

By Carlos Ramirez

SACRAMENTO – Taisha Washington stood in court crying—begging for the judge to allow her to find her son, whom she hadn’t seen since being arrested.

Washington was brought before Judge Laurie M. Earl in Sacramento County Superior Court June 25 following a bench warrant placed on her after she failed to appear in court on June 16.

The original June 16 court date was ordered because, with several co-defendants, she was accused of robbery. According to the victim, she, along with her accomplices, entered a FoodMaxx, robbing the store and assaulting employees.

Washington allegedly pepper-sprayed a pursuing officer who was attempting to retrieve the stolen items, as stated by Deputy District Attorney Amanda Sanchez.

On June 25, Washington was taken to Sacramento Department 62 in custody. Washington was crying and clenching her hands before her chest as she entered the courtroom.

Proceedings started with Defence Attorney Jeanne Munoz requesting to have a word with her client. Their conversation was lengthy, and lasted until Judge Earl requested their return in the interest of time.

Munoz claimed that Washington was, in fact, present on her June 16 court date, but was turned away by officials claiming her hearing was not on the calendar. Therefore, Munoz continued, the bench warrant was unrightfully issued on Washington, and her arrest was unjust.

While Munoz was informing the court of this, Washington was teary-eyed, audibly breathing, and raising her hand to her side.

Hearing this, Judge Earl requested any confirmation of Munoz’s statements from District Attorney Sanchez. Sanchez had been reading the report on Washington during the time offered to Munoz and her client to converse.

Sanchez stated to the court Washington’s original offense and the nature of the crime, explaining in great detail exactly why Washington was being charged. Sanchez, however, could not bring forth any confirmation or denial of the claims made by Washington through her attorney.

Munoz took advantage of this opportunity, by request of her client, to speak about Washington’s situation.

Munoz declared that Washington was born and raised in Sacramento, and had worked for FedEx, but was laid off because of COVID-19. Washington also had recently purchased a car, with the full intention to live within the law.

Furthermore, Munoz continued with the statement that had the greatest magnitude. Due to very recently changing residence with her mother, Washington was unaware of her son’s whereabouts, for whom she is the sole provider.

Once again, while Washington was pleading through APD Munoz for the judge to allow her to find her son, she was taking tearful deep breaths with her hand up. She assured in between sobs her attendance at her previous court date and promised attendance to her next.

Munoz offered a possible explanation for the court date misunderstanding by disclosing that the phone number submitted by Washington to the court system belonged to her brother because law enforcement officials possessed her own cell phone.

Judge Earl considered the information given, and decided to give Washington the “benefit” of the doubt. However, the judge ensured that the defendant understood the necessity of attending each of her court dates, including the scheduled July 16 hearing.

Washington thanked everyone in the courtroom, concluding an emotional hearing that began with the defendant begging for the chance to see her son.

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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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