Judge Warns Defendant to Obey Terms of Release or He Will Be ‘Out of Options’

By Derrick Pal

FRESNO, CA — A judge here in Fresno County Superior Court last week made it clear—abundantly clear—that a defendant follow a series of orders, or he’ll wind up back in jail.

And if the defendant does not follow the long and detailed orders, the judge said he will be “out of options” and won’t think twice about putting the defendant right back into custody.

Defendant Jadden Harrington is charged with one count of misdemeanor battery.

Judge William Terrence began the arraignment hearing, stating, “Mr. Leitner-Zieff, are you asking that your client be released on his own recognizance?”

Deputy Public Defender Jacob Leitner-Zieff confirmed that, and noted his client “has lived in the area for nearly all of his life except for a bit of time when he served in the military…has his family in the area, four kids, and his parents live in the area as well. Mr. Harrington…understands that he has some issues to work on, and he is ready and willing to do so.”

“And the facts that give rise to the necessity for that criminal protective order?” asked Judge Terrence of Deputy District Attorney Brian Exline.

“On the day of the incident, the victim believed the defendant was drunk,” explained DDA Exline. “They had spent the day with the family at the lake, and upon return, the defendant wanted to buy drugs and was upset with the victim.

“They began to argue at home. The defendant began throwing items around the house and onto the floor. The defendant had told the victim she needed to leave and pushed her in the chest with both hands multiple times, causing her to stumble,” said the DDA.

“She does corroborate that the defendant may have a drug problem…The People are asking for a full criminal protective order in order to ensure the safety of the victim in this case,” stated DDA Exline.

PD Leitner-Zieff argued, “I just want to let the court know that at the time of the incident, the complaining witness told the police that they haven’t had any DV (drug violation) incidents recently or anything of that sort.”

“This court is going to grant a full no-contact order in this case, and Mr. Harrington, you are ordered not to have any contact—not personal, electronic, telephonic, or any sort of contact with the [victim],” said Judge Terrence.

“You are to stay at least 100 yards away from her person. You are not to have contact with her through a third person unless the third person is your attorney of record. In the meantime, I’m going to release you from the custody of the sheriff today,” added the judge.

He continued with a string of orders for the defendant.

“I’m going to grant your release on your own recognizance with several orders. The first one, sir, is that you abide by the terms of the criminal protective order that I have just issued in this case. Additionally, you are to complete three AA or NA meetings per week, and you are to bring proof with you to your next court appearance which is now on May 19.”

Judge Terrence added, “Mr. Harrington, that means you’ll need to provide proof of at least six meetings that you have attended between the time that you are released and the time that you are back in this department.

“Sir, if you do not have proof of those meetings, or if you violate the other term of your release, meaning that you violate the criminal protective order or the term that I’m going to order at this time, which is that you not use or possess any alcoholic beverage, and you are not to use or possess any illegal narcotics.

“And sir, if you are found in possession of any of those items, or if you are found to be under the influence of any of those items, this court will essentially be out of options, Mr. Harrington, and you will likely find yourself right back in custody here at the jail, do you understand that sir?” warned Judge Terrence.

With those “marching” orders clearly and completely ordered by the court, defendant Harrington stated a sort of, “Yes, sir.”

The next hearing is set for May 19, 8:30 a.m. in Dept. 1.

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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