Defendant Refuses to Leave Cell for Arraignment; ‘Mental Health Issues’ Alleged


By Tanya Decendario

WOODLAND – Defendant Daniel Silva—facing multiple charges related to obstruction of a peace officer—was set to appear in Yolo County Superior Court last week for his scheduled arraignment, but decided not to appear

As Judge David Rosenberg announced Silva’s intended arraignment, he noted, “Mr. Silva apparently refused to leave his cell.”

Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Palumbo explained Silva’s charges, included three counts violating  California Penal Code section 69 (attempting threat or violence to law enforcement, interfering with their duties), violating Penal Code section 148 (resisting arrest), and a strike offense.

Judge Rosenberg inquired about Silva’s appointed attorney, and turned to Deputy Public Defender Allison Zuvela, asking, “Ms. Zuvela does your office represent Silva?”

PD Zuvela shook her head and said, “Not yet,” disclosing that the PD’s office has not had the chance to speak with him. She revealed, “I did see mental health issues…he’s diagnosed with anxiety and depression but doesn’t take his prescribed medications because (he said) he’s better off without them.”

In disbelief, Judge Rosenberg said that “those are the ingredients of a problem.”

Unsure of Silva’s decision to proceed with her PD office, Zuvela remarked that “I don’t know at this point if he’s willing to come to court… I don’t see how he could rationally cooperate with us.”

She clarified Silva failed to contact the PD office, noting, “They’re supposed to call us for a pre-arraignment interview. He did not and it might be because of the lines being down but I see mental health issues.”

PD Zuvela was speculating Silva is unable to contact the PD office due to the reported phone line outage in the Yolo County Jail. Because of the phone line disruption occurring in the jail, the judge agreed to postpone the hearing.

But Judge Rosenberg warned, “If he continues to fail to cooperate, declare a doubt in its own motion” and schedule Silva’s arraignment through a phone call.

Tanya Decendario is a third-year student studying Legal Studies at UC Berkeley. She is originally from Sonoma, CA, but currently resides in Albany, CA.

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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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