By Derrick Pal
SACRAMENTO, CA — Tensions rose here in Sacramento County Superior Court Tuesday when a defendant argued she has not been appointed an attorney, hasn’t had access to calls while in custody, and alleged her case is “retaliation for reporting a deputy that sexually assaulted me.”
Defendant Claire Boggus is charged with felony use of tear gas or any tear gas weapon, and misdemeanor trespassing.
Before the hearing began, defendant Boggus spoke to Assistant Public Defender Susannah Martin, concerned about why she has not been appointed an attorney.
“Oh, so I have to stay longer? When do I get a new attorney?” pressed defendant Boggus, adding, “I haven’t been able to make any phone calls either, and my mom tried to bail me out and they said something about warrants, and…tracking warrants, but I thought they had to see if those other counties want me.
“Because my mom wants to bail me out, and they’re not letting me make any phone calls. I just don’t understand what’s going on,” said an exasperated-sounding defendant.
“So, you can see that I’m appearing remotely today, I’m not in the same courtroom with you, is that ok with you today?” asked Judge Geoffrey Goodman.
“Um that’s OK, but it’s not OK that I don’t have an attorney after being here for so long,” said defendant Boggus.
“Ms. Martin are you representing Ms. Boggus?” asked Judge Goodman for clarification.
“Good morning, Susannah Martin on the behalf of Ms. Boggus. However, we have a legal conflict in this case. I have informed the conflict panel of this. I’m asking to put this over one week,” said the PD.
After hearing this, defendant Boggus became visibly panicked and upset.
Judge Goodman started, “Ms. Boggus, unfortunately, the public defender can’t represent you…” but he was cut off when defendant Boggus yelled, “Why didn’t you tell me this last time,” now seemingly frustrated and grabbing her head.
“OK, hold on,” stated Judge Goodman, trying to get control of the situation. “What did we do at the last appearance?”
“They yelled at me, she yelled at me,” stated defendant Boggus. “She yelled at me, they sent me out of the room…”
At this point, Judge Goodman interrupted, noting, “So Ms. Boggus, I appointed the public defender to you at the last appearance. Between then and now, they realized they can’t represent you; they have a legal conflict. So, all I can do is appoint you another attorney.”
The judge added, “And we’ll come back next week, and hopefully you’ll have had an opportunity to talk with that attorney. So…”
But Judge Goodman was interrupted again by defendant Boggus who stated, “No, I haven’t talked to an attorney. They won’t let me make phone calls.”
Judge Goodman tried to continue, asking, “This would be May 4, at 8:30, that would be the next appearance?”
However, defendant Boggus continued, unrelenting, “But what about my bail, my mom tried to bail me out, and they told her no because I have warrants.”
Judge Goodman continued to speak calmly, stating, “From what I’m looking at, you have a $7,500 warrant, a $26,000 warrant, and a $30,000 warrant. So we’ll address all of that, with you represented by counsel next week, OK?”
“But they’re not allowing me to make phone calls, I need to tell my mom, if she bails me out, and those other counties don’t want me, then I can go home by then,” argued Boggus.
“I have children and my mother to take care of…she can bail me out. If those other counties don’t want me, she should be able to bail me out here. But they’re not acting like they’re doing anything to see if those counties want me,” reasoned defendant Boggus.
Judge Goodman remained calm and explained, “I’m going to order the sheriff to allow her a phone call so she can call her mom, OK?”
After hearing this, defendant Boggus became somewhat satisfied, stating, “Thank you very much.”
“No problem, no problem,” stated Judge Goodman. “OK, we’ll see you in a week.”
As the defendant prepared to leave, PD Martin spoke with the defendant briefly, where the defendant stated, “OK, thank you very much, that’s all I needed to know.”
Before she left, however, defendant Boggus yelled, “And this is all because I reported [a] deputy for sexually assaulting me two days before this incident. Yeah, they opened an investigation in internal affairs, and that’s why it took them almost a year to arrest me. It’s retaliation for reporting a deputy that sexually assaulted me.”
A further hearing is set for May 4, at 8:30 a.m. in Dept. 61.
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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