By Ned Meiners
WOODLAND, CA – In June of last year, Yolo County Superior Court dismissed charges of attempted murder against Dekiya Taylor – now she is seeking to have those charges reinstated.
Ava Landers, defense attorney for Taylor, argued this week in Yolo County Superior Court that the defendant did not fully understand the terms of her plea agreement and had not been adequately represented by her previous attorney, Robert Spangler. She is asking that the previous agreement be nullified by the court.
And the prosecutor is happy, he said, to set a jury trial for attempting murder.
She was held in custody until June 26, 2020, when, at the advice of Spangler, she pled no contest to charges of unlawfully discharging the firearm in exchange for having the attempted murder charge dropped. She was released on her own recognizance, under conditions of probation, and with a restraining order held against her.
After Taylor’s release, Spangler retired and ceased to appear in court on her behalf.
But, on Dec. 10, 2020, Taylor failed to appear for a hearing, a violation of her parole that could result in her being returned to custody.
“I think it is purely a factual issue as to whether she understood when she signed that plea exactly what she was agreeing to and the ramifications,” argued Landers. “It’s her allegation that Mr. Spangler did not explain to her the ins and outs of her plea, exactly what was going to be on her record, how long it was going to be on her record and what probation consisted off.”
In instances where a defendant feels their representation is inadequate, they can file a Marsden motion which, if granted, will result in the court appointing new council. According to Landers, a Marsden motion had been filed in this case but was withdrawn as Spangler had already ceased representing the defendant and a new attorney, herself, had been appointed.
It appears the prosecution sees no reason to prevent Taylor from altering her plea.
“I’m supportive. I’m just saying if she wants to reset and go through criminal proceedings again and go back to a jury trial status, I am more than happy to oblige her in that,” stated Yolo County Deputy District Attorney Preston Schaub.
The parties went into conference and upon their return Yolo County Superior Court Judge Peter Williams agreed to hear Taylor’s motion. The hearing is scheduled for April 26. Should the motion be granted, Taylor will again face charges of attempted murder.
Ned Meiners is a Legal Studies student at City College San Francisco. Originally from Maine, he currently resides on Bernal Hill in San Francisco.
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