By Jordyn Gleaton
DUBLIN, CA – Sometimes an apology can go a long way.
Despite defendant Robert Vines’ extensive 15-year criminal history—and he’s just 35—the court here in Dept. 702 of the Alameda County Superior Court agreed to have Vines released on his own recognizance, without bail, to a residential treatment program this week.
But that was over Deputy District Attorney Christine Oh’s objections.
Vines returned stolen items and apologized within an hour of allegedly committing a crime.
But DDA Oh argued Vines be placed in pretrial detention to guarantee Vines’ court appearance and for the safety of the public, emphasizing Vines’ extensive criminal history and noting that he has not been free from arrest for more than a year since he legally became an adult.
Vines’ criminal history includes multiple drug offenses, burglary convictions, and, in this current case, a charge of armed robbery. Oh revealed that Vines has rap sheets in Utah, Ohio, and California, with 18 warrants and eight probation violations in California alone.
Countering the search by the defense for a year-long residential treatment program and written notion of Vine’s apology to the police officers, Oh argued that these efforts only took place after he was caught and charged with a violent offense after 15 years of crime.
Defense Attorney Stephanie Clark insisted that, according to the Humphrey case, Vines should be allowed to attend the residential treatment program.
Clark summarized the Humphrey case ruling as “a person should not be held pretrial unless there is clear and convincing evidence that no other alternatives to incarceration can protect the public or ensure future appearances,” with the goal of sending fewer people into prison awaiting trial amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite his extensive criminal history, Clark argued Vines is now 35 years old and this is the first time he has ever been charged with an act of violence. She asked the court to note that all of his priors were burglary or drug offenses, which Clark described as “crimes of survival.”
Clark explained that, while this case involved a firearm, she was not aware of any threats to kill made by Vines, despite what Oh has previously stated.
Clark revealed that less than one hour after the robbery, Vines was arrested, all of the stolen items were returned, and Vines immediately made a statement to the police where he expressed regret and begged for help.
Despite what Oh had stated, Clark insisted Vines’ apology was sincere, that he told the police that he had hit rock bottom, was in need of help, and had to change his life. Clark continued by explaining that Vines has stayed true to his words since his arrest by looking into this residential treatment program.
The Alameda Superior Court ultimately sided with the defense, but stated that “there will be more conditions than simply released on OR to a residential treatment program.”
However, these conditions will be discussed with his other current charge for drug possession.
Jordyn Gleaton is a court watch reporter for The Vanguard at Berkeley. She is a first year student at UC Berkeley studying Political Science and Legal Studies. She is from Tracy, CA.
To sign up for our new newsletter – Everyday Injustice – https://tinyurl.com/yyultcf9
Support our work – to become a sustaining at $5 – $10- $25 per month hit the link: