Sacramento Judge Grants Rare Demurrer; Defendant Case Still Proceeds


By Kelly Moran

SACRAMENTO – In a moment not often seen in pretrial motions, Sacramento County Superior Court Department 60 Judge Scott L. Tedmon granted Assistant Public Defender Dena Stone’s demurrer for Raymond Santos, who is currently in custody at Sacramento County Main Jail.

Santos was arrested by University of California, Davis Medical Center police on a felony charge of threatening to commit a crime resulting in death or great bodily injury April 6. His bail was set at $100,000.

On Friday, he returned to court to hear the court’s decision on Stone’s demurrer complaint, which refuted two elements, the timeliness and particularity requirement of the district attorney’s response to the defense’s initial motion to demurrer.

“Obviously, Mr. Santos had already entered a plea where a demurrer should have been entered, but the court has the latitude to allow Mr. Santos to withdraw his plea for the purpose of entering a demurrer,” explained Stone over Zoom to Judge Tedmon and Deputy District Attorney Nikita Skokov.

“In section 1003 of the Penal Code,” Stone continued, “it says that the demurrer must be made at the time of arraignment or at such other time that may be allowed to the defendant for that purpose, and so based on that, the court could allow Mr. Santos to withdraw his plea and enter a demurrer instead.”

Speaking to Skokov’s argument that the victim of the case is the staff of the UC Davis Medical Center, Stone pointed out that the medical staff at the institution consists of 11,555 people, suggesting that “UC Davis hospital staff” is too broad and does not meet the particularity standard.

The judge agreed with Stone’s point about the opposition’s over-generalization of identifying the alleged victims.

Skokov offered to change the wording to “UC Davis emergency room doctors,” but insisted that, no matter what, the facts of the case were already sufficient enough to move forward.

Judge Tedmon agreed to amend the complaint, and allowed the motion for requested demurrer to proceed.

Because the judge allowed the complaint by Stone to be fixed by Skokov, the case will still move forward as scheduled, with the preliminary hearing set for August 14 at 8:30 a.m. in Dept. 9. Santos will have a bail hearing on that date as well.

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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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