Man Facing Charges Following Police Protest Has New Charge; Judge Places Him in Custody after Pushback from Attorney

By Dorrin Akbari

SACRAMENTO, CA — After a series of probing questions from Assistant Public Defender Rodney Simpson, Judge Patrick Marlette threatened to revoke bail on both of defendant Orlando Alviar-Rios’s cases. Alviar-Rios’s first charge came after the police brutality protest last year that rocked Sacramento.

Alviar-Rios appeared Friday in Sacramento County Superior Court Dept. 63 to answer to charges related to two separate incidents. Probation was seeking to revoke the defendant’s pretrial release on his first case because he accrued new charges while out of custody from that case.

Representing the defendant on his initial charges, Assistant PD Simpson was present in court with Alviar-Rios. Jesse Garcia appeared on behalf of the defendant via Zoom, having been retained to defend Alviar-Rios on his most recent offense.

Alviar-Rios’s first case dated back to June 2020, when hundreds of Sacramento residents participated in Black Lives Matter protests. Alviar-Rios had been part of one such police violence demonstration, but allegedly broke off from the group at one point to steal headphones and other miscellaneous items from a local Target.

He was charged with both felony burglary and resisting arrest and was taken into custody. However, Alviar-Rios was released on his own recognizance shortly thereafter.

While out of custody, the defendant consistently met his obligations to appear before the court for his case. Before the pandemic, Alviar-Rios was attending nursing school. He had since secured a full-time job doing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) work.

“Every week [since his second charge] we tell him he may be going into custody, and every week he shows back up,” said Simpson.

“Knowing him as I do, the events that are recited in the police report for which I represent him are truly an anomaly and out of character for who he is,” contended Garcia, the attorney in the second and most recent case.

Deputy District Attorney Sterling Wilkins provided Judge Marlette with additional context as to the facts asserted in the police report Garcia was referencing.

In March 2021, the defendant, who was extremely intoxicated at the time, entered an Uber with his girlfriend. Without provocation, the defendant allegedly pulled out a gun and pointed it at the driver’s side and later his head.

Alviar-Rios then allegedly demanded that the driver say his name aloud and then say Alviar-Rios’s name. The driver claimed Alviar-Rios at one point forced him to run a red light as well.

The Uber driver ultimately pulled over, got out of his car, and ran from the defendant in search of help. Alviar-Rios chased after the victim with his gun in hand.

When police arrived, they found the defendant with a firearm. Police did not find a magazine with the weapon, but they recovered a 9 mm bullet inside the victim’s vehicle.

“I think the defendant’s actions in this case demonstrated a clear risk to public safety since there’s really no explanation for it whatsoever, and it’s really dangerous conduct—particularly when committed by someone out on pretrial release on another felony charge,” noted DDA Wilkins.

Judge Marlette was inclined to agree, charging, “For him to use a gun without apparently any provocation and in such a violent manner is remarkable.”

Based on the more recent incident, Judge Marlette found cause to revoke Alviar-Rios’s pretrial release and take him into custody. While rendering his decision, Marlette noticed the defendant had already posted bond on his second case.

In an effort to avoid Alviar-Rios having to forfeit the $10,000 premium on the $100,000 bond he’d already posted, Judge Marlette offered to revoke bail on his first case instead—despite Alviar-Rios’s second case being the more serious of the two.

“If you’d like me to do that, that’s what I’ll do,” asked Judge Marlette.

Garcia happily accepted the offer, but APD Simpson took issue with the arrangement because it would render Alviar-Rios in custody for his burglary charge until his hearing set for June 10.

Faced with pushback from Simpson, Judge Marlette revoked his offer and threatened to revoke bail on both of Alviar-Rios’s cases instead.

“Are you doing this, judge, because you’re frustrated with my questioning? Because that’s what it sounds like,” said Simpson.

Garcia attempted to regain control of his case by imploring Judge Marlette to reinstate his initial offer. Judge Marlette responded that the decision was in APD Simpson’s hands.

After further heated back and forth between Simpson and Judge Marlette, Simpson requested that his case be set for trial, arguing: “Get him in front of a jury rather than having him sit around on zero bail on a grand theft charge.”

Alviar-Rios’s trial was set for June 21.

With a final plea from Garcia, Judge Marlette agreed to reinstate his initial offer to revoke bail solely on PD Simpson’s case.

“I will back out of my order revoking his bail [on the second case],” said Judge Marlette.

Alviar-Rios will be detained without bail on his first case. His bail remains set at $100,000 on his second case.

Dorrin Akbari graduated from UC Berkeley in 2019 with a B.A. in Legal Studies and a minor in Persian. She is from San Jose, CA.


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