Judge Unsympathetic to Mother of 8 Living in Hotels after House Burned Down; Cites Her Multiple DUI Charges


By Angie Madrid, Sophia Barberini and Joe Cormac

SACRAMENTO, CA – When a defendant claimed dire circumstances left her unable to afford a court-mandated SCRAM device—it tracks alcohol consumption—Judge Geoffrey Goodman of Sacramento County Superior Court dismissed her request, claiming “public safety requires it.”

Goodman this week denied defendant Shanice Boone’s request to no longer utilize a SCRAM device, which was a condition of her bail, after she argued it was too expensive for her to maintain, given recent extraneous circumstances.

Prior to coming to this decision, private defense counsel Stratton Barbee requested a continuance for the defendant’s DUI case, asserting that he recently received evidence of the defendant’s alcohol content during her arrest.

Accepting the continuance, Judge Goodman attempted to quickly move to his next case when he was interrupted by the defendant asking if she could speak to her lawyer.

Goodman swiftly dismissed her, stating, “We can’t have this as a conference.”

Barbee attempted to mediate the situation, pleading to the judge, “No, no…she has a very serious request. I just forgot to ask. It’s something very important.”

Reluctantly, Goodman decided to hear the defendant’s request.

Barbee explained that the defendant’s house recently burned down, leaving her with less than adequate financial means. Because of this, the defendant requested to no longer have the SCRAM device as a condition of her bail.

“The SCRAM device is $340 a month,” which she cannot pay given her circumstances, argued Barbee.

Deputy District Attorney Kitty Tetrault interjected, saying this SCRAM requirement was a response to Boone’s fourth DUI conviction in Sacramento. Tetrault also mentioned that Boone “had two arrest warrants out of Solano County for DUIs.”

Boone attempted to intervene and deny this claim, but Goodman quickly prevented her from doing so, agitatedly stating, “Hold on. Let’s not get into a general discussion.”

“It’s just very expensive and I’m living from hotel to hotel with my kids. I have eight kids. We’re a blended family and this is really expensive. I can’t afford it,” explained Boone.

Though she acknowledged that the SCRAM is expensive, DDA Tetrault still wouldn’t waiver, once again citing the defendant’s past DUI convictions.

Judge Goodman, siding with Tetrault, advised Barbee to help the defendant mitigate some of the costs associated with the SCRAM, though he provided no direction on how to do so.

“I am sure you have the wherewithal to work with the county or whoever runs that. I don’t know if they have any waiver of fees or proof of indigence or something,” stated Goodman.

Regardless of Boone’s financial stress, Judge Goodman insisted that possession of a SCRAM device would remain a condition of her release, arguing, “I think public safety requires it.”

Boone’s next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 3.

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.

Sophia Barberini, from San Mateo, CA, is a fourth-year student at UC Berkeley. She is double majoring in Political Science and Legal Studies and hopes to pursue a career in law.

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