Defendant Files False DMV Reports, Steals Car of In-Custody Inmate

By Lizet Gonzalez and William McCurry

SACRAMENTO – Defendant William Stanley is—if the District Attorney’s office is right—a pretty creative thief. His defense attorney said it’s all a fiction.

Stanley is accused of filing false DMV reports including a certificate of title, bill of sale, and transfer of ownership—in effect, a paper theft of a car of an in-custody inmate—and now faces felony charges of three counts of perjury, one count of grand theft auto, and a false report to the Sacramento Police Department.

According to the facts presented in Sacramento County Superior Court this week by Deputy District Attorney Kendra Havlick, Stanley stole the registration and a vehicle card on Jan. 23, 2020, from the victim’s car while the victim was in jail.  After Stanley stole the registration, he transferred the car into his name and reported the car as stolen.

When victim was first released from jail, he entered his car and it appeared that someone had rummaged through his vehicle, but he didn’t report it because the doors were still locked.

In fact, when Stanley stole the victim’s registration from his car he filed a false certificate of title, false transfer of ownership, and false bill of sale to the DMV. In the files he submitted to the DMV, he claimed that he was the son of the victim and the car was gifted to him. Stanley listed the value of the car as $200.

A DMV fraud investigator verified the false documents submitted by Stanley and said the true value of the vehicle was $3,500.

A community services officer who took the phone call from Stanley reporting that the vehicle was stolen said Stanley claimed that he left his car running and did not see who took the vehicle. This officer only spoke with Stanley over the phone.

The third, and final, witness was then called. This deputy pulled over the victim that was driving the alleged stolen vehicle. On Jan. 7, 2020, this officer was on patrol and received information of a stolen vehicle in the area. This officer shortly noticed the vehicle behind him and then performed a traffic stop on the vehicle.

During this traffic stop, the officer detained the driver. The driver was the victim from whom Stanley stole the information. While the victim was detained, he told the deputy that he was confused about why they were arresting him, that he just got out of jail.

Defense attorney Martin Tejada told the court, “I think there are three major issues that the court must examine before they decide that they should hold Mr. Stanley to all these counts.

“First, in regard to ID, we have only one officer who actually ID’d Mr. Stanley” and, “The other two witnesses could not identify whether Mr. Stanley was in fact the person they spoke to.”  And “in regards to Mr. Stanley submitting this paperwork to the DMV there is no video, there are no witnesses saying that he was the one who actually went to the DMV and submitted the paperwork.”

Second, counsel said jurisdiction was problematic, insisting, “No one testified as to which county, what address, that the paperwork was actually submitted to. If it was submitted outside Sacramento county. I don’t believe that this court would have jurisdiction.”

Third, the defense attorney believes that the issue is whether it is one document with multiple signatures or if the application is three documents signed on different occasions. It shouldn’t be treated as three different counts if it happens to be only one application, he said.

The judge hild that there was enough evidence identifying Stanley, and that there is “a series of dominoes that establish (jurisdiction) in the county of Sacramento. There is more than enough to keep jurisdiction to this venue,” he said, noting,“There is sufficient cause to believe that the defendant William Stanley…(should be) held to answer at trial.”

Trial date is set for March 22 and trial readiness conference on March 17.

William McCurry is a fourth year at Sacramento State, majoring in Criminal Justice. He is from Brentwood, 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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