By Jose Medina
SACRAMENTO, CA – Defendant Anita Drew—accused of a string of robberies—has special medical needs, but despite a passionate appeal from her representative, Sacramento County Superior Court Dept. 63 Judge Patrick Marlette refused to release her from custody this week.
Under the supervision of defense attorney David Anguiano, legal intern Christopher Conde represented Drew and made a motion asking the court that Drew be released under her own recognizance, or at the very least reduce her bail amount on her alleged charges in light of her medical condition.
The defendant is charged with three robberies, petty theft, and hit and run
Drew was in custody and refused to appear in court. Noticing Drew’s absence, Judge Patrick Marlette impassively asked, “Can I take Drew’s refusal to appear in court as a failure to appear?” Conde then grew silent, not finding the judge’s comments amusing.
Judge Marlette then eased Conde’s concern by uttering, “I’m kidding.” Defense counsel can appear for most clients “977” (referring to Penal Code section 977 allowing a waiver of appearance) unless the court demands the presence of the defendant.
Conde then proceeded to make his case for Drew’s release by explaining “she does have a couple of medical issues that requires her to visit her medical providers here in Sacramento two to three times a month.”
He added that “she does require an in-home nurse to help her out with her day-to-day activities.”
In an effort to ease the court’s concerns about tracking down Drew if she were to be released, Conde stated “she does live with her husband and two children in Sacramento (and) she does not have a passport.”
He also tried to appease the court’s concerns by adding “as for the court’s concern for the community’s safety and safety of the victims, none of the victims needed medical attention.”
Conde added that Drew is willing to comply with any release conditions that the court deems necessary.
Despite Conde’s reassurances, Deputy District Attorney Heather Phillips disagreed on releasing Drew under her own recognizance/with no bail required.
Phillips stated that Drew “has three pending robbery charges. She is actually three strikes eligible…her newest case is still going under strikes review given the facts. I don’t anticipate we are gonna go three strikes.”
DDA added that in these three incidents, Drew “enters three different locations and takes things and uses force on her way out either, pushing, shoving, hitting one of the employees into a corner to leave with whatever she had in her hands.”
She then drew the court’s attention to two previous robbery incidents involving Drew, noting “in her prior 2015 strike she entered the victim’s house and stood over the victim who was asleep, without any provocation. She grabbed the victim’s purse, punched her in the nose causing a gash on her nose…the victim was bleeding. The defendant then ran away with the purse.”
The prosecutor then drew attention to another incident that took place back in 2004 where “she left the store that she had stolen from. The victim and the employee actually pursued Ms. Drew (who) got into a vehicle and the employee jumped into the front window of the vehicle to stop her from leaving. She ended up running his leg over.”
Realizing that these incidents were small and took place a few years ago, DDA Phillips continued to argue against Drew’s release.
She noted that “while these crimes may appear on their face small, they lead to results that happened to her in 2004, so I do think she is a danger to the public, I think she has no regard for the law,” and “continuously reoffends…she’ll take what doesn’t belong to her and use force to retain the items.”
Judge Marlette ruled Drew will be held in custody, without bail, on the three robbery charges and released her on her own recognizance on the petty theft and hit and run charges.
He explained that his decision comes from Drew’s repeated robbery offenses, noting that when she failed to appear in court for the misdemeanor petty theft charge filed in March of last year, she allegedly committed three robberies on three separate occasions thereafter.
The judge argued “after each of these arrests she has allegedly gone out and committed them again.”
Judge Marlette suggested he was more concerned with the public’s perception of Sacramento’s courts than the defendant’s medical needs.
He postulated that if the court were to have released Drew, “any citizen in this county will look at this court releasing this person to the street and say ‘Judge, you have put a person on the street who is a danger to this community and why would we have any thought that when she is on the street she would comply with requirements to the law?’”
Jose graduated from UC Davis with a BA in Political Science and has interned for the California State Legislature. He is from Rocklin, CA.
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