Defendant’s ‘Bad Experience’ with Alternative Program – Assured by Judge ‘We’ll Get There’

By Derrick Pal

WOODLAND, CA — Judge David Rosenberg was part patience and part understanding in a pre-trial conference in Yolo County Superior Court Wednesday for a defendant who encountered some difficulties while enrolled in an alternative program.

Deputy Public Defender Teal Dixon began the hearing on behalf of defendant James Hughes, stating, “Your Honor, we’re asking to continue the preliminary hearing. I’ve spoken with Mr. Hughes, and he’s in agreement he would waive time.

“We are making an application to addiction intervention court, and also, if that’s not the right program, perhaps some sort of probation terms that would contemplate treatment, so we’d like time to do that,” the PD added.

“I would like the court to consider, since it sounds like Mr. Hughes really wants to go into treatment, whatever the results of this case may be, whether the court would consider if probation could find residential drug treatment that he could be placed,” said PD Dixon.

“I’m going to give him some credit for being thoughtful, he had a bad experience at the Salvation Army in Sacramento, and he said he’s hoping…what he would consider a better program, and I don’t want to set someone up for failure in going to a program that’s not a good fit that, we know that from the outset,” explained Dixon, concerned for the defendant’s success.

Judge Rosenberg responded, “Well, let’s take this a step at a time. First of all, Mr. Hughes, I’m about to vacate today’s preliminary hearing. Do you agree to waive time for your preliminary hearing?”

After defendant Hughes accepted, Judge Rosenberg stated that the court accepts the waiver, and he found good cause to vacate the hearing.

“We’ll go through the process of evaluating Mr. Hughes for addiction intervention court or another appropriate program,” said Rosenberg. “I personally think from what I’ve heard that this case is going to resolve, one way or the other.

“I’m not yet prepared to release Mr. Hughes on supervised OR, and one of the reasons being I know they’re really jammed for programs right now anyway, and there’s people that have been sentenced and they’re waiting. So, let’s not set Mr. Hughes up for false hopes, all right. We’ll get there,” reassured Judge Rosenberg.

A future pre-hearing conference is set for Tuesday, April 27, at 9 a.m. in Dept. 14.

Derrick Pal is a fourth-year student at Sacramento State, majoring in Criminal Justice and pursuing a minor in Sociology. He is from Elk Grove, California.

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