By Anika Khubchandani and Macy Lu
WOODLAND – James Michael Saragoza was sentenced by Judge David W. Reed in Yolo County Superior Court Tuesday for violations of probation.
And it is not as though Saragoza just missed a meeting. His scrapes with the law are the proverbial laundry list of 25 cases, including many dealing with burglary, possession of controlled substances, and possession of narcotics paraphernalia, in addition to several counts of violating his probation.
Deputy Public Defender Erin Dacayanan, on behalf of Saragoza, requested to waive time and delay sentencing to a later date on the basis of the dire COVID-19 situation in California prisons.
Since “most of the counties in California are turning back into the purple range,” Dacayanan said that the defendant would like to serve his local custody time closer to home instead of possibly being transported to another facility, out of safety concerns.
Deputy District Attorney Jordan Greenburg said that if the prison is “not going to be transporting, [Saragoza] can still collect credits” toward his sentence, causing Judge Reed to agree that sentencing remains a top priority.
Reed then denied Dacayanan’s request to waive time and conduct sentencing at a later date.
Before being transported to CDCR, the defendant agreed to take part in the substance education program and counseling services. Judge Reed then proceeded to sentence Saragoza to 16 months at the CDCR due to a violation of Penal Code § 459, dealing with burglary.
The defendant must pay a restitution fine of $300 and restitution collection fee of $30 to the CDCR. Saragoza will pay additional fees including another $300 restitution fee, the execution of which will be suspended if he performs satisfactorily on parole.
Judge Reed terminated probation as unsuccessful for two of Saragoza’s other cases since he is now being sentenced under his burglary charge. Due to previous time served at the CDCR, Saragoza is eligible to apply his 161 actual days and 161 conduct days for a total of 321 days of credit to this sentencing.
Considering the defendant has been in and out of jail several times over past years, at the end of the sentencing Judge Reed advised Saragoza to “look for ways…to find a different path.”
The judge suggested that “there are ways to change that direction if you seek our services that might help you survive without breaking the law,” in order to leave the “revolving door lifestyle of being in and out of custody.”
Anika Khubchandani is a 4th year student at UC Davis majoring in both political science and economics. She is from San Jose, CA.
Macy Lu is a junior from Orange County, CA studying Communications and English at UC Davis. She loves meeting people, reading books, and writing creatively.
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