By Max Kennedy
SACRAMENTO, CA — Just minutes before his potential release, defendant Jack Kirkman made an unusual request to the court: a request to remain in jail one additional night.
Judge Timothy Frawley granted the request in Sacramento County Superior Court, Dept. 63.
Kirkman pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor offense of violating a stayaway order, and as part of his plea agreement was sentenced to 52 days time-served and three years of informal probation. His probation included several conditions, including an order to avoid contact with his mother.
However, Kirkman claimed he and his mother were now on good terms, and he was expecting her to pick him up from jail, and to stay with her after release.
“My mother and I have recently rekindled our relationship verbally. We have been talking a lot while I have been in custody,” Kirkman said. “She was actually supposed to pick me up from the jailhouse.”
Kirkman, appearing behind bars in the courtroom, seemed surprised by the order, and was not sure where he would go after release, or how he would get there without a ride from the jail.
Judge Frawley noted that the order could be modified by Kirkman’s mother in the future, but for now it would remain in place. “That can be modified at some point with her consent, but she’s not here today to give that consent, so I will make it the order,” he said.
Deputy District Attorney Colin Stephenson supported leaving the order in place, noting the defendant had allegedly violated three restraining orders against his mother in the past.
“I would like to have it be no-contact, and if Ms. Kirkman wants to modify that, I’m sure she will be able to,” said Stephenson. “Given the volume of times it’s been violated, I don’t want to modify an order she already had in place.”
“If your mother wants to have it modified, she has to contact the District Attorney’s office. We are affording her legal protection that she has requested,” said Frawley. “It sounds like Mr. Stephenson does not want to make those modifications, and neither do I.”
After speaking to Kirkman off the record for a few minutes, Samantha Ting, the defense attorney, formally made the request to extend the jail sentence one night.
“So sorry your Honor, I have one more request for Mr. Kirkman,” she said. “He is asking that the court order him released when there is public transportation available, which is tomorrow at 9 a.m.”
“Okay,” said Judge Frawley, “I’ll make that order as you have stated it.”
Mr. Kirkman left the courtroom, expecting to spend one more night in jail.
Max Kennedy graduated from Harvard in 2016 with a degree in History. He is an intern with the San Francisco Public Defender and most recently worked as a digital organizer with Joe Biden for President.
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