By Peter Eibert
WOODLAND, CA – Madison Joy White, charged with possession of controlled substances with the intent to sell, saw her bail increased by Yolo County Superior Court Judge Tom M. Dyer from $20,000 to $50,000 Wednesday, after detailed new evidence about the amount of drugs she allegedly possessed came to light.
In White’s vehicle, police allegedly found 3,021 grams (6.6 pounds) of methamphetamine, 268 grams of heroin, and 102 grams of unidentified blue pills, which were purportedly fentanyl.
She also had an envelope with $4,900 in cash, several cell phones, and multiple empty plastic bags, which could be used as packaging for the other drugs in the vehicle.
White’s initial bail was set at $20,000. However, that bail amount was set in an arraignment where the court did not know the extremely high amount of drugs in question.
Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Palumbo argued that the bail schedule for this particular case should be $50,000, “based upon the amount [of drugs], based upon the cash, and based upon the fact that she [White] has a prior [drug] sales conviction.”
Deputy Public Defender Daniel Hutchinson asked the court to leave bail at $20,000, as “[White] appeared as directed. And these are not crimes of violence despite the volume [of drugs].”
Judge Dyer questioned whether it was appropriate for Palumbo to request that the court increase bail, and if he had the authority to look at the police report Palumbo’s request was based on, adding “there are limited purposes for which a police incident report under the law can be reviewed by the court [while in the stage of setting bail].”
After a short recess to address the matter, Judge Dyer held that he could look at the specific report in question as it was “clearly marked as a declaration of probable cause.”
Judge Dyer then confirmed that the bail schedule for White’s crimes, based upon her prior convictions and possession of large amounts of drugs with intent to sell, was indeed $50,000.
While the controversy over the bail amount was settled, another issue arose: whether to put a hold on the $20,000 paid by White’s friend to cover her bail and any other of her future bail payments.
Palumbo argued that the funds White’s friend used to post her bail may have been illegitimately, or feloniously, received. She suggested the funds could have been from drug sales, citing the probable cause report, which “indicate[d] that there were bags located in the vehicle with large amounts of cash.”
However, Palumbo also left the door open for the friend, who was present in court, to resolve the issue by testifying that the funds were indeed legitimate.
PD Hutchinson rebuked DDA Palumbo for suggesting that the funds were illegitimate. He also added that “there has been no declaration set forth by Ms. Palumbo establishing probable cause to believe that the bail posted was feloniously obtained.”
Judge Dyer subsequently questioned White’s friend under oath, who confirmed that she posted White’s $20,000 bail with her own funds and that she would use her own funds to post the rest of the recently increased bail. She also confirmed that she was employed.
Judge Dyer firmly held that “the court does not find probable cause to believe that [White’s friend] is in any way connected with the charges in this case. Any amount that she pays for additional bond premiums are exempt from [exclusion].”
The preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 11 in Yolo County Superior Court Dept. 7.