Despite Recommendation, Judge Denies Probation for ‘Youthful’ Defendant for Domestic Violence, Strangling Dog and Resisting Arrest

By Angie Madrid and Stephanie Boulos

FRESNO, CA – The probation department here this week recommended probation and no jail for a 23-year-old defendant, but a Fresno County Superior Court judge sent him to jail for five years because of the “violence of his conduct.”

Department 10 Judge Francine Zepeda denied defendant Bryan Cervantes Adame’s request for probation, which would have also included placement in a substance abuse program, despite his eligibility and the probation officer’s personal recommendation for the program.

Instead, Judge Zepeda sentenced the defendant to the middle term of five years and complied with his defense counsel’s request by sending him to the local prison.

Judge Zepeda stated, “I am concerned about Mr. Cervantes’ conduct… but just given the conduct against the confidential victim where she is in a residence screaming ‘help me, help me,’ and not complying but actually being aggressive and trying to strangle the dog and the officers, I will deny probation despite the fact that probation recommended it.”

Cervantes Adame was found guilty of two counts of domestic violence and resisting an executive officer in his arrest.

Once the three-year lid for the case was reiterated, defense attorney Sydney Pack introduced Cervantes Adame’s request for probationary sentencing and placement in the program, because both cases involved alcohol intoxication.

“He is statutorily eligible for that probation,” asserted Pack, adding, “He has a minimal history which includes a DUI and he is youthful.”

Despite the defendant’s eligibility, Judge Zepeda expressed disapproval for the request, “He is youthful. He is eligible for probation. Just the violence against his partner, I understand but…I am concerned when people act that way against law enforcement officers.”

Judge Zepeda added, “I am concerned that he did that and that he acted that way against officers who are already having a hard time in this environment right now.”

Deputy District Attorney Carl Monopoli remarked he also disagreed with probation as there have been two cases, one which also included the strangling of a dog.

Although the court appeared to have made a decision, Cervantes Adame asked to address the court.

“I would like to say I’m sorry,” declared Cervantes Adams, adding, “I let one bad moment go way too far where I should have stopped. I let my emotions and my drinking take control…I don’t want to throw myself away,”

Appearing to show some sympathy, Judge Zepeda asked the defendant for his age, which he stated, “I am 23 years old and I have been here in America for a little over four years.”

Judge Zepeda appeared thoughtful and taken aback after hearing this, but denied the request.

Angie Madrid is a fourth year at UCLA, pursuing a degree in Political Science with a minor in Public Affairs. She is from Los Angeles, CA, and would like to pursue law in the future.

I’m a second year Political Science and Philosophy major at UC Davis from SoCal, hoping to pursue a career in law!


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