Not Every Day Occurrence; Court Sends 3 Defendants Home without Bail

By Koda Slingluff

SACRAMENTO, CA – It’s not every day that a judge gets to send a defendant home, much less send them home without bail, but Wednesday, in Sacramento County Superior Court’s Dept. 62, Commissioner Ken Brody did just that…for three people.

Monessa Carthen was in custody for violating a restraining order and her probation terms. In addition to the restraining order, Carthen also failed to abstain from drinking alcohol despite it being part of her probation terms.

Carthen was represented by Assistant Public Defender Kate Carlson, who argued that Carthen had a place to stay and should be released until her next hearing date in May.

“I have reminded her of the importance of the no contact order and I believe she is willing to abide by it at this time,” Carson said, as Carthen nodded next to her.

Commissioner Brody agreed to release her on “pretrial level four”—short for pretrial monitoring of a moderate security level. Carthen was able to return, under some observation, to her adult daughter’s home to await her next hearing.

Also represented by PD Carlson was Michelle Johnson, who faced a felony complaint of burglary. For Johnson, Carlson requested same-day release with a pretrial monitoring level of six.

As Commissioner Brody agreed and moved on to reading her conditions of release, defendant Johnson excitedly said, “OK,” Brody paused to suggest that she hear his conditions first and then see if she has any questions.

He continued to explain that, given the higher level of monitoring, she would be required to wear an ankle monitor. The monitor would be “at no cost to you [Johnson], so you don’t have to pay for that,” the commissioner explained.

The last release of the day was Angelo Corona, who was scheduling to return on what the commissioner called a ‘soft warrant.’ This term is unofficial, but likely indicates that the warrant was obtained by police officers in order to detain Corona while looking for evidence or a particular suspect.

Again, PD Carlson requested release for her client. And again, Commissioner Brody granted the release. On his own recognizance, Corona will be released this Friday as he awaits the return on his warrant.

Koda is a junior at UC Berkeley, majoring in Philosophy and minoring in Rhetoric. He is from Ventura, CA.


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