Compliance, Gratitude Earns Good Favor of Judge; Results in Same Day Release After Car Theft


By Derrick Pal

SACRAMENTO — Despite facing serious charges of possessing a stolen vehicle, a defendant’s compliance and gratitude earned him good favor of the court in a plea hearing here in Sacramento County Superior Court this week.

On Nov. 19, 2020, in the county of Sacramento, defendant James Majko is alleged to have committed a felony violation of unlawfully possessing a 2005 Acura that had been reported stolen and valued at more than $950.

Deputy District Attorney Lauren Weiss stated that in a prior case on December 1, 2018, “the defendant was a driver of the stolen vehicle (it) resulted in a collision of a parked vehicle. The vehicle had previously been reported stolen about a week prior.”

Assistant Public Defender Michael Mullan began the hearing, stating that there is a proposed resolution to the case.

“Mr. Majko is going to be entering a plea of no contest to a felony violation…for two years of formal probation, 180 days, and Ms. Weiss has indicated she is open to him being released to do that on work project (instead of jail),” said DPD Mullan.

“That’s correct, he also needs to admit his prior,” stated DDA Weiss, adding that the stolen vehicle was involved in a car accident.

Judge Joseph Orr ruled that “You’re placed on two years of formal probation following terms and conditions, 180 days county jail with credit for 23 days.”

“You’ll be released to apply for one of the alternative programs. I need to tell you that you need to sign up and participate in that program by May 28, that in the event that you don’t, you turn yourself into jail noontime on July 23,” the judge said.

“I will order restitution in an amount to be determined…You will be given a form, you’re to get that form filled out, you’re not to have any firearms in your possession or under your control,” he added.

After the hearing, defendant Majko concluded, “Good to go? Awesome, thank you. It’s much appreciated. Thank you.”

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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