By Leah Timmerman
WOODLAND, CA – A possible filing error in Yolo County Superior Court here Thursday led to one defendant’s five cases to each have bail set at $50,000 before the judge altered the amounts.
But another defendant’s bail was increased, with the addition of a new serious offense.
William Queen was set for a review hearing for his various cases before the question of his bail came up in court. Queen has five open cases against him—two felonies for burglary and for corporal injury to a spouse (domestic abuse). Three other cases were misdemeanors for burglary, possession of narcotic paraphernalia, and petty theft.
Bail was confirmed to be set at $50,000 for the felony burglary case by both sides, as there was a previous failure to appear that led Queen to be back into custody. Deputy Public Defender Richard Van Zandt asked whether the other matters had bail amounts set and, if not, for them to be set at one dollar.
Judge Tom Dyer reviewed his notes and stated that the other matters had already been set. Each charge was set at $50,000 for a total bail of $250,000, prompting a confused Van Zandt to ask for a bail schedule.
Deputy District Attorney Robin Johnson stated that she “didn’t know where the bails came from” and was also confused as to why this occurred. There was differing information in her notes. She asked for the court to at least keep the bail of the felony burglary charge as previously set.
Judge Dyer, after reviewing the bail schedule, decided to change the bail amounts for Queen. He kept the $50,000 bail for the felony burglary at the request of the district attorney and did not grant the request of the public defender for the remaining charges to be set at $1 bail.
The possession of narcotic paraphernalia charge was set at $3,000, the corporal injury to a spouse charge was set at $5,000, the misdemeanor burglary case was set at $3,000, and the petty theft charge was set at $1,000.
Overall, Judge Dyer—after the quick catch by Queen’s PD—lowered the total bail amount from $250,000 to $62,000, a decrease of $188,000.
The next hearing for Queen was set for June 1 in Dept. 7 for further review of the cases.
Another defendant, Christopher Ramirez, had his bail increased during an arraignment for his case charging sexual assault charge of a minor.
Defense Attorney Gilbert Vega argued to the court for Ramirez to be released on the $100,000 bail he put up in another ongoing case for unlawful sex with a minor. He wanted Ramirez to return to his status prior to arrest so the new charges don’t increase any risk to public safety.
The Deputy District Attorney, David Robbins, pushed back, asking for $300,000 bail because of the seriousness of the offenses.
He also mentioned that other women have come forward as possibly being assaulted by Ramirez. So, when considering the nature of the cases and additional allegations, bail should be high.
Vega countered this and reminded the court that Ramirez was previously keeping up court appearances when he was released on bail and this is a continuation of that status quo.
“I don’t agree with Mr. Vega that this is still the status quo from before,” argued DDA Robbins. He insisted that the defendant lied to the girls about his age and, with additional allegations against him, he is an increased public safety risk even if he has been keeping up court appearances.
Judge Dyer decided to go the middle route between the demands of both attorneys. He kept the $100,000 bail from the first case but added an additional $25,000 for the current case. Ramirez was also issued a no-contact order with a victim and banned from possessing a firearm.
A pre-conference hearing was set for June 11 for this case to reconvene with Ramirez’s other matter, and a preliminary hearing was set for June 24 in Dept. 14.
Leah Timmerman is a 4th year Political Science and American Studies major at UC Davis. She is originally from Los Angeles, California.
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