By Claudia Gutierrez
SACRAMENTO – Sacramento Judge Scott Tedmon refused to release a domestic violence defendant without bail, and he upped the COVID-19 “zero bail” to $10,000 in the case of defendant Steven Sanchez here in Sacramento County Superior Court this week.
Judge Tedmon said he found that there were facts and circumstances provided about Sanchez’s prior criminal history and his alleged conduct in his recent domestic violence case, as shared by Deputy District Attorney Renishta Lal, that warranted the need to set bail above the schedule.
Sanchez was in court for a hearing on two prior misdemeanor cases involving his violation of a protective order in a pending domestic violence case.
Assistant Public Defender Samantha Ting asked the court to release Sanchez, on an “OR” or “Own Recognizance” or set his bail at zero dollars as per the schedule.
Ting argued Sanchez has no failures to appear in court in the past two years and no prior felony convictions. She added that in one of his misdemeanor cases, Sanchez contacted the mother of his children, also the alleged victim in the case, because he needed to drop off their daughter’s tablet she had left behind.
Ting then told the court that Sanchez “would be willing to abide by a no-contact order if he were released.”
District Attorney Renishta Lal insisted, however, that the court make an exception and set Sanchez’s bail at $10,000 for each of his cases, adding “It is very concerning to the People that the defendant was on probation for violating a restraining order in a case involving the same victim, so he is relentlessly harassing the same victim.”
Lal disclosed to Judge Tedmon that Sanchez has had six prior reports of domestic violence for restraining order violations involving the same victim. She also mentioned that there are two active no-contact orders in place against the defendant.
Lal then disclosed that in the defendant’s first case from April, “the victim got a call at 10 a.m. from a blocked number, and then later she saw the defendant’s car parked in front of her house and she saw the defendant standing near her front porch.”
The victim then closed all the windows and shades in her house and shortly after the defendant began calling the victim’s phone nonstop. He then entered the victim’s backyard and that is when the victim called the police. The victim escaped to the master bedroom with her children.
Lal continued reading from the report stating that “the victim believes that the defendant is on drugs and she has no idea what he is capable of, she is scared of him.”
After he managed to enter the victim’s home, the victim then confronted the defendant, to which the defendant responded by saying that he needed to do laundry.
Lal said the public defender was correct regarding the events that occurred in the second case in this month—the defendant had called the victim about 30 times to try to return their daughter’s tablet that had been left with him.
Lal then told the court that her office was in contact with the victim earlier, and the victim told them “he’s called me from jail after he was arrested, I’m afraid something worse is going to happen and I feel unsafe in my house like somebody is watching me. He took pictures from inside my house.”
District Attorney Ting then responded by correcting Lal’s previous statement and saying that there is only one no-contact order in place against the defendant instead of two because one of the two orders was never served.
In response to this information, Lal also disclosed to the court that Sanchez allegedly broke into the victim’s Apple ID and transferred all of her messages and pictures from her phone to his phone.
After this information was presented to Judge Tedmon, he concluded that it was enough to set bail above the schedule and deny the defense request to set a zero bail or release with conditions. Judge Tedmon ruled that Sanchez’s bail will be set in each case in the amount of $5,000—making it a total of $10,000.
Mr. Sanchez was then served with two no-contact orders, to be effective immediately. Each matter is set for further proceedings on August 12, at 8:30 a.m.
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