By Ascari Bryant
SANTA BARBARA, CA – Judge Von Deroian in Santa Barbara County Superior Court late Thursday agreed – against the prosecution’s wishes – to release defendant Elena Figueroa for future Social Security appointments despite criminal history.
Assistant Public Defender Rebecca Seldin sought to get her client released from custody immediately because of medical changes surrounding Figueroa, who has been in custody for the past 30 days and appeared before the court today shackled and chained.
PD Seldin said Figueroa, “suffers from Venous Insufficiency which causes the swelling of both her ankles. She shackled down here and the shackles are interfering with her swelling.”
Seldin explained that because of Figueroa’s health condition she has a Social Security Insurance appointment for her condition, which is why Seldin sought to advance the case for Figueroa to have her released in time for her appointment. Figueroa is said to have had been waiting for this appointment for years.
The PD said Figueroa has failed to receive proper treatment for her condition while in custody. PD Seldin explained to the court that Figueroa’s probation was terminated as a result of an appeal.
PD Seldin pushed for Figueroa to be released on the zero-dollar bail system because of new status concerning her case, noting, “Initially when Ms. Figueroa was arrested, the officer submitted a request for bail to be modified based on her probationary status.”
Seldin also explained to the court how Figueroa has a job as a caretaker waiting for her which is why she asked to be released now.
Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth Branch said “she does have a very lengthy criminal history, it primarily involves drugs and stolen property and there is clearly substance abuse,” adding, “In this case she broke into a business, stole keys, and then was going to steal a car until an alarm went off.”
Branch asked the judge to not release the defendant, and increase bail to $50,000.