By Danae Snell
SACRAMENTO — According to Defendant Julisha Douglas, Judge Patrick Marlette in Sacramento County Superior Court is biased and “racist as f***”—words she uttered after he sent her into custody with no bail.
Defendant Douglas is currently being charged with felony murder and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Deputy District Attorney Andrew Smith informed the court the background of the case by stating, “This is a case in which the defendant killed the victim while he was sleeping in his car and there was a witness in the back seat of the car, his girlfriend at the time.”
DDA Smith further added, “The defendant apparently did not know she was in the back seat because she was lying down sleeping. She (the defendant) wrongly assumed that the victim had something to do with her father’s drug overdose death, so it was kind of a revenge killing.”
Assistant Public Defender Brooks Parfitt requested a PC section 1270.2 review on behalf of his client to reduce the $2 million bail, because he believed it was excessive and unconstitutional.
APD Parfitt opened his argument by stating, “We were originally in court on bail in this matter on Sept. 3 and on that date, I pointed out that she was being held on no bail. Under the California Constitution, holding someone without bail is constitutional only in three cases under Article I Section XII.”
The three cases mentioned were a “capital crime with a factor evidence when the presumption is great, violent felony offenses where there is clear and convincing evidence that there is substantial likely of harm to others upon release and the factor evident or presumption great, and felony offenses where the defendant has threatened another person with bodily harm with substantial likelihood that would carry out threat if released.”
On Sept. 3, the court concluded that none of these scenarios applied to the defendant’s case—which led to Judge Marlette setting bail at $2 million at the defendant’s next hearing Sept. 25.
The basis of Parfitt’s argument stood on “Section XII and Section 28 of Article I of the California Constitution both clearly and unequivocally states that excessive bail shall not be required. In this case, unfortunately, Ms. Douglas’ $2 million bail is excessive because there is absolutely no way, she, her friends, or her family could reasonably post that bail.”
His argument acknowledged the court’s concern with public safety, which is the “primary concern in the setting of bail.”
However, Parfitt claimed “the court needs to understand that public safety is a two-part inquiry. First, we say that public safety requires pre-trial detention without bail and that is the Section XII analysis. Does public safety require detention without bail? If that is the case, then the court could set no bail or the court could set some obscenely high amount of bail that the person has no hope of ever posting such as $2 million, but the end result is the same.”
APD Parfitt advised the judge, “So you can take into account public safety, your honor, but in doing so you need to set her bail on the upper range or at the top of what she, her family, and friends can reasonably get together for bail, not $2 million which is far, far beyond and in fact is no bail in this case.”
DDA Smith disagreed with the defense’s argument by noting that during the hearings in September the defendant’s “relatives provided the court with those documents that listed that each one could put up $1,000 or $5,000….(but) were “unwilling to say where they worked or where the money was coming from.”
Their unwillingness led to the court to be “skeptical of their sources of funds.”
Smith concluded, “There is evidence of public safety for the two specific individuals, let alone the general public for someone who has two strikes already in their background and has committed a cold-blooded first-degree murder and bail should remain as set.”
Before the attorneys submitted their arguments, Parfitt mentioned, “The witness in the back of the car has never identified Ms. Douglas as the shooter. She told the police she thought it was a Mexican man who carried out the shooting.”
The defense argued that this inability to identify the defendant should ease the witness’s fear of any retaliation from the defendant.
After the attorneys submitted their arguments, Judge Marlette acknowledged his past mistake by stating, “I think I tried to accommodate the discussion of Humphrey within the framework of Article I Section 28, and I should not have done that because Mr. Parfitt is correct.”
Judge Marlette concluded, “I should not have tried to split the baby under Article I Section 28. I will detain Ms. Douglas without bail.”
This ruling caused the defendant to angrily state, “I want you off my case your honor, you’re biased. You’re biased!”
The defendant continued to voice her feelings and uttered, “I want you off my case, you are racist as f***!”
Judge Marlette seemed to be caught off guard with these remarks and simply continued to proceed with the remaining cases listed on the court calendar.
Once Defendant Douglas was escorted out of the courtroom, the judge asked the court reporter, “Am I racist, too, or just biased?”
Defendant Douglas will be back in her favorite judge’s courtroom January 13, 2021, for trial.
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