By Angelina Caplanis
SACRAMENTO – A defendant in Sacramento County Superior Court here last Friday for probation violations tried to explain to a judge that there should not have been a warrant for his arrest – he may have been right. Or wrong. It was difficult for the parties to tell.
Tony Jones was arraigned Friday on two violations of probation (VOP). According to the report from the probation office, Jones did not provide them with an accurate phone number and probation could not get in contact with him. Jones is obligated to keep in touch with the probation office as a condition of probation.
Jones said he was confused—that wasn’t the reason he was given for his arrest.
“I was told that I was arrested because I had a warrant for a case because I missed the court date,” Jones said. However, Jones was under the impression that the bench warrant was stayed until his next court date on August 6.
“As long as I showed up on Aug. 6, I would be fine,” Jones said. “So, when they arrested me the other day, I was confused because the warrant should have gone away.”
In support of Jones, Assistant Public Defender Maura de la Rosa said she did see “the motion to recall for the sixth.”
Deputy District Attorney Mitch Miller also confirmed the Aug. 6 date. “He does have a pending active case in addition to VOPs,” Miller said.
The pending Aug. 6 case involves a traffic stop that led to an arrest when police allegedly found Jones in possession of methamphetamine, $10,000, and a handgun.
Jones bailed out on this active case on May 21, and Judge Patrick Marlette confirmed he was ordered to come back to Dept 63 on Aug. 6.
“So, what happened is while you were out, probation filed a violation of probation on your other two cases. One is a burglary from 2017 and the other is a burglary from 2019. That’s how come you came back into custody,” Judge Marlette explained to Jones.
Public Defender de la Rosa asked whether it was possible for Jones to be released on zero bail on the VOPs so he can remain out of custody while he handles his other cases.
“If he posted on that and was appearing on [the Aug. 6 case], I don’t see why after the fact probation would create these problems. It makes me question how hard probation is trying when we have parole officers who can find people,” de la Rosa said. “A man can come to court but probation can’t find him? It just doesn’t make a ton of sense.”
Judge Marlette asked, “Was he making his appearances?”
Apparently not, according to Miller, noting he failed to appear on July 16.
“Can I please speak?” asked Jones, getting visibly frustrated. Jones again tried to explain himself, but was urged to stop talking by Judge Marlette and de la Rosa.
The judge advised Jones, “I have to tell you sir, that the DA is writing down everything you say, and can use it against you if you try to go to trial.”
Judge Marlette set Jones’ case over to Aug. 6, and set bail for the two VOPs at $25,000 each, totaling $50,000.
“I understand this is frustrating,” Judge Marlette told Jones. “This is going to take a minute to work it out, but I cannot work it out today.”
Jones, at this point muted over Zoom, could be seen gesturing and talking when the Department 63’s Zoom video shut off.
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