Confusion in Yolo County Court – Why Was Man in Custody?

By Susana Jurado

WOODLAND – There was more than a little bit of confusion in this Yolo County Superior Courtroom Friday after a man was found to be wrongfully placed in custody—he was later released by Yolo County after he was arrested in Sacramento for violating his probation in early June, but then released.

According to probation reports, it appeared that Jesse Paul Jacquez had in his possession methamphetamines, held with the intention to sell, and a loaded gun. Despite his criminal history, Sacramento County gave him a sentence of formal probation and released him.

Judge Peter Williams began the hearing by appointing counsel to Jacquez.

On receiving the charging documents against Jacquez, Deputy Public Defender Martha Sequeira directed a question at the present representative of probation in court, Stan Tupou: “So does the basis of the charges help you come up with a recommendation on sentencing since this is his first violation based on that conviction?”

To that the probation representative responded that they would defer their recommendation to whatever the district attorney’s office decides.

However, when Judge Williams referred to prosecutor Robin Johnson, asking if she had an offer on the matter for Jacquez, the prosecutor was at a loss for words, stammering, “Umm…I’m looking for his file, Your Honor, because this was a transfer here [from Sacramento County to Yolo County].”

At that moment, Ms. Sequeira highlighted a problem with all the documentation, stating, “That’s the problem too. It’s a transfer and I don’t have a file, so I don’t know anything about the underlying conviction but it says it’s his first violation and he looks kind of young.”

Judge Williams clarified the confusing situation by outlining what the violation entailed was and asking, “I guess here’s my question. It looks like for the violation of probation, the warrant was issued with a zero dollar bail. So, I guess my first bit of confusion is what is Mr. Jaquez is doing in custody?”

The public defender agreed, “But that’s kinda what I was wondering too? Why is he in custody (in Yolo)?”

Retracing the steps of the case Judge Williams stated, “The warrant was for zero dollars, issued by Judge Maguire in Sacramento.”

Confirming his sentence, the public defender added one important detail, stating, “On June 5.”

Judge Williams went on record to ask again, “Yeah, so I guess maybe I’m asking collectively (of) either Mr. Tupou or Ms. Johnson whether they have some information on why he is in custody?”

Finally, Ms. Johnson replied, “I don’t either. I mean, I don’t know, Your Honor.”

This prompted the judge to respond, “All right, that’s a fair answer.”

Ms. Sequeira suggested to the court that her client be released from custody and given a court date for the next hearing, seeing as there was no recommendation from prosecution or probation and he did not have to post bail.

Jacquez commented to the court, “Your Honor, I got an agreement with the DA if I was to sign up for court classes, I can do the rest of my time on an ankle monitor. “

“When you’re done here, are you going to go back to the Sacramento jail or have you already signed up for ankle monitoring?” asked the public defender.

Jacquez confirmed that he has been in custody and hopes to finish the remainder of his sentence with an ankle bracelet.

In the case that Jacquez would be transported back to Sacramento County Jail because he either had a hold or his ankle bracelet application did not go through, the public defender advised him to contact her at all times.

Judge Williams added, “Mr. Jacquez, it is important what Ms. Sequeira said. That is, if you do get transferred, there’s no way she can keep track of you unless you let her know. Your case isn’t going to go away just because you’ve been released. That’s the important thing that you need to know.”

Judge Williams set the next hearing date for Sept. 8 at 8:30 a.m.

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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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