Judge Does DA’s Job, OR Request Denied after Additional Facts Revealed

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By Dorrin Akbari

SACRAMENTO, CA – Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Savage called out Assistant Public Defender Naomi Coady here this week for omitting key facts regarding her client’s case in her request for his release on his own recognizance, without bail required.

From that point on, the district attorney’s office wasn’t even needed. The judge made its case.

Defendant Mani Arfa was in court on a felony vandalism charge and a misdemeanor charge of drawing a deadly weapon. Arfa’s bail was set for $25,000, but APD Coady implored Judge Savage to release her client on his own recognizance instead.

Initially, Coady’s request appeared rather standard.

She argued that her client could not afford his bail because of his indigent status by case law standards. Arfa was said to be homeless and living locally in his car with his mother, who is “basically disabled.”

The defendant had been helping care for his mother throughout the four years in which they’d experienced periodic homelessness.

Coady briefly noted that her client had a “minor record,” outlining three misdemeanor charges in total from 2008 and 2016.

Following the establishment of her client’s financial limitations and ties to the community, PD Coady launched into a discussion of the events of the case. She was careful to emphasize that, as it stood, the case against Arfa was a matter of allegations and not facts.

The complainant in the case had indicated that the window in his apartment was broken. Armed with a baseball bat, the complainant went outside to determine what had happened. It was then that he saw who he believed to be Arfa.

Arfa had a knife in his hand when the complainant approached him. The complainant alleged that he heard Arfa say that the complainant was “keeping someone against their will.” Arfa repeatedly yelled at the complainant to “let them go.”

At one point, the complainant also heard Arfa yell something about the FBI.

Coady closed her request for her client’s release by reminding the court that he could not afford to pay any bail and noting that he promised that he would return on any future court dates.

The defendant’s promise fell on deaf ears.

“His promise is not helpful. His reliability to return to court is zero,” said Judge Savage, noting a 2016 diversion case in which the defendant failed four times to appear in court.

Judge Savage noted to the PD, “You left out a critical fact in your recitation of the facts.”

Reading from the probable cause statement, Judge Savage revealed that Arfa not only pointed his knife at the complainant but also allegedly said, “Do you want to die, too?”

Judge Savage concluded that he would keep Arfa’s bail as set in light of the omitted facts.

PD Coady asked that “not guilty” pleas and denials be entered on behalf of her client, and a date was set for Arfa’s preliminary hearing.

Despite being present via Zoom, the deputy district attorney did not utter a word during the exchange. The judge made the case for the DDA.

Dorrin Akbari graduated from UC Berkeley in 2019 with a B.A. in Legal Studies and a minor in Persian. She is from San Jose, CA.


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