Mother Stays Out of Jail, Man Keeps Home as Sacramento Deputy DA Agrees to Withdraw Requests

By Linhchi Nguyen

SACRAMENTO – In Sacramento County Superior Court this week, Deputy District Attorney Frederick Gotha decided to amend his sentence recommendations, and allowed a mother to stay out of jail, and a man to keep his home.

Gotha dealt with two different cases: one involving a mother, Tiffany Crafts, who was charged with possessing firearms and stolen property, and a second one involving a man, Marcus Williams, who was facing a protective order that would affect his living situation.

In both of these cases, Gotha eventually changed his mind about his requests regarding their charges after hearing about their circumstances in court.

For defendant Crafts, Gotha initially offered her a plea deal where she would have to serve 90 days in custody. In accepting the offer, she would plead to her two misdemeanors, which collectively could amount to one and a half years in prison.

However, Assistant Public Defender Michael Mullan explained to the court that Crafts “currently lives with her 14-year-old child” as the child’s primary caregiver, adding, “She’s currently looking for jobs in McDonalds and Ross. So she’s kind of doing some positive things and has some obligations. Right on top of the current situation with the pandemic, I think it might make sense to keep her out [of custody].”

After giving it some thought, Gotha then spoke up, “Frankly your Honor, I’m looking at it. None of these crimes are violent. I’m not concerned in that regard. So I’ll agree to a work project disposition on this case.”

“So you’re giving her one more shot?” Judge Michael Sweet asked him in a surprised tone.

“I suppose I am,” Gotha responded.

As a result, Crafts was able to avoid going into custody that day. Instead, she has the opportunity to apply for a work project in order to complete the conditions of her probation. Judge Sweet attached to her plea some drug conditions and court fees and ordered her to talk to the sheriff’s department by Feb. 19.

In the second case, Gotha again showed leniency after first requesting the court to place a 100-yard no-contact order against defendant Williams to stay away from his victim. Williams contends that, although he was still living two doors down from the complaining witness in the same apartment complex, the actual victim of the case now lives in Rancho Cordova.

The defense thus objected to the order, indicating to the judge that there should be no issue with the defendant staying 100 yards from the victim.

Gotha explained that the order was actually requested by the victim of the case to keep Williams from her sister, who Gotha assumes is either a current or former girlfriend of the defendant. “It’s really a violence or incidence between family members.”

As Judge Sweet tried to review the matters with the court clerk, Gotha asked the judge to withdraw his request and strike the 100-yard condition from the order. Hence, Judge Sweet ripped up the no-contact order and allowed Williams to stay in his apartment.

Williams is ordered to return to court on April 7 where the parties will review his case once more.

Linhchi Nguyen is a fourth year at UC Davis, double majoring in Political Science and English. She currently lives in Sacramento, California.

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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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