Facing 8-10 Years in Prison, Defendant Instead Takes on Year-Long Program

By Nickolas Kwok

SACRAMENTO- Joseph Nasca faced four cases against him ranging from small misdemeanors to felonies, including attempted murder, and was looking at nearly eight years in prison.

But on Tuesday, Nasca was told he only has to complete a one-year program with a special court-sanctioned class.

In Sacramento County Superior Court, Assistant Public Defender Courtney Zane filed a motion to have Nasca released into the custody of The Jericho Project, a year-long program focused on helping men who have been in and out of the jail system learn vocational skills.

Nasca was charged with many and varied counts of theft and different counts of assault with a deadly weapon. All of these counts would normally lead to a considerable amount of time in prison.

Nasca faced eight to 10 years of incarceration, but through this program Nasca will only have to complete the one year, along with being on formal probation following his release.

However, this program came with strict rules, as Judge Patrick Marlette made very clear to Nasca.

Judge Marlette clarified that the entirety of the program must be completed, noting that “If you[Nasca] get an A plus throughout the entirety of the program and on the last day you’re kicked out for playing the radio too loud, that is considered a fail.”

Judge Marlette clearly stated that all 12 months of the program must be completed starting Jan. 9, 2021, to Jan. 9 2022. Marlette explained that if there were any changes to the circumstances Nasca would have to notify the court immediately or else he would have a bench warrant put out for his arrest.

Along with this strict adherence to the rules, the sentencing also stated that Nasca could only be released directly into the custody of The Jericho Project.

The Jericho Project started in 1995 and is based in Brisbane, CA. This program helps men who are former criminal offenders, and usually dependent on drugs or alcohol, learn vocational skills in different fields. This is done with the hope that once the ex-criminal is released, they will be able to contribute to society and support themselves.

The Jericho Project also provides services of transportation to and from county jails. This also correlates directly to Nasca as The Jericho Project also specified that Nasca must be picked up directly from where he was being held.

Public Defender Zane made this clear as the records had to indicate a specific time, place, and person who would be picking up Nasca.

All of these terms were agreed upon by both parties, including Deputy District Attorney Nikita Skokov, who was supervising four cases against Nasca.

Judge Marlette then preceded to schedule the next date for Nasca to appear in court, scheduling on Jan. 10, 2022, the day after Nasca is set to finish his program.

Nick is a second year at UC Davis double majoring in English and Asian American Studies, and he is from Diamond Bar, CA (LA County)

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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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