Yolo Judge Not Happy Camper – Twice – After Court Mix-ups

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By Dylan Ferguson

WOODLAND – A day before the holiday last week, Yolo County Superior Court Judge Peter Williams was not a happy camper. Not once, but twice.

Attorney Johnny L. Griffin waited on the court’s livestream for at least 30 minutes before Judge Williams asked him why he was there.

Griffin said he was appearing as a co-counsel with Attorney Martin Tejeda for co-defendants Dom and Jensen Falk. But there seemed to be confusion over whether their case was even on the calendar.

When the defendants were arrested back in August, they were ordered to court on Nov. 25, and attorney Griffin said that he called the court and the DA’s office in the morning and “We could not find it on the court’s calendar.”

Also confused, Judge Williams said “I confess. I have nothing on my calendar and madame clerk has nothing on her calendar either.”

“I guess we will log off and the DA can send us a summons with charges and filing changes,” said Griffin.

Not entirely satisfied, Judge Williams asked Deputy District Attorney Alvina Tzang if she knew anything regarding this case.

Tzang answered, “Yes, I do. We need more time to go through the evidence before filing criminal charges.”

But she did not acknowledge any possible reasons why the defendants and defense attorneys were not informed about being taken off of the calendar.

Later in court, Judge Williams was not a happy camper – again – when defense attorney Shelley Dwyer appeared on the behalf of the defendant who had been accused of using an unauthorized vehicle and receiving a stolen vehicle.

DDA Tzang requested a search for stolen property as a condition of release by own recognizance (OR)/no bail required.

At first, Judge Williams said “Yes. I think that is reasonable,” but then retracted his statement, adding, “We encounter this a lot… When the DA requests a search for stolen property, but when the stolen property is a car, what would they be searching?”

Tzang timidly responded with “I don’t know… Like stolen keys?”

Not convinced by the DDA’s response, Judge Williams said, “I don’t think so. No.” And released the defendant without that condition for OR.

Dylan Ferguson is a second-year at Westmont College, majoring in kinesiology with a minor in Spanish. She is from Las Vegas, Nevada.


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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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