Co-Defendant in Shoplifting Case Denied Offered Plea Because Not All Present


By Dario McCarty

SACRAMENTO, CA – Early Monday morning in Sacramento County Superior Court, when one of the five defendants in a shoplifting case tried to take advantage of a plea deal previously offered by the district attorney’s office, the prosecutor apparently backed out, opting instead to postpone the deal until all co-defendants’ cases could be resolved at once.

Defendants Tanisha Armstrong, Patrice Williams, Antoinette Williams, Camry Williams and Breanna Jordan all stand accused of shoplifting. Monday, Patrice Williams, Camry Williams and Jordan all showed up in person, while Armstrong and Antoinette Williams both opted to have their defense attorneys represent them through a 977 waiver.

There was at first some confusion as to the whereabouts of Armstrong, according to the Deputy District Attorney, Colin Stephenson, who said Armstrong refused court, and for this reason the settling of the case would have to be postponed.

However, Armstrong’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Samantha Ting, clarified that Armstrong had not in fact refused court, but was actually in custody, and had allowed Ting to represent her on a PC § 977 waiver. PD Ting clarified that such an option is not available through the sheriff’s department, and so the sheriff’s department always defaults to sending out the message that the defendant refused court.

At this point, Jordan’s defense attorney, Ken Mayorga, asked Judge Timothy Frawley if they could go ahead and settle Jordan’s case, noting Jordan was ready to take advantage of the plea deal that had previously been offered to his client.

The DDA had offered Jordan, and co-defendants Antoinette Williams and Camry Williams, the opportunity to plead guilty to a misdemeanor shoplifting charge which would result in one year of probation and 30 days in jail. This deal was not extended to Armstrong and Patrice Williams because the DDA noted they had another outstanding case together and their cases would have to be settled separately.

However, the DDA responded that he did not want to settle Jordan’s case yet since Armstrong was not in court that day, instead postponing the offer until the next court date on Sept. 22, even though the Armstrong and Patrice Williams cases would have to be settled separately.

Ultimately, Judge Frawley agreed with Stephenson and set the next court date to Sept. 22.


About The Author

Dario is a rising junior at UC Berkeley studying Political Economy and English who is passionate about criminal justice reform.

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