Judge Grants Defendant a 17th Chance to Appear in Court – Sets 1 Penny Bail

By Ascari Bryant, Paulina Buelna, Sophia Barberini

ALAMEDA, CA – Defendant Christopher Reilly missed 16 court dates.

But Judge Stuart Hing of Alameda County Superior Court this week granted yet another chance to Reilly, who is charged with car theft and was out on $50,000 bail.

Reilly failed to appear for his April 8 court date following a COVID-19 diagnosis. The defendant continued to miss court dates following a car accident in May that left him injured and his fiancée in a coma.

Reilley claimed that these unexpected turbulences left him unable to appear. However, his lack of communication and unwillingness to cooperate with the public defender’s office left Deputy District Attorney Brooke Perkins unsympathetic.

Reilley’s lack of communication demonstrated incompetence in Perkins’ eyes.

“Given his multiple failures to appear just on this docket, as well as his total 16 failures to appear, I do think that he is a flight risk. Bail should be set so we can ensure he will appear at his future court date,” the DDA said.

In response to DDA Perkins’ suspicions, Deputy Public Defender Michael Wasserman provided evidential support for the defendant’s failures to appear, citing documents that proved his COVID diagnosis and car accident injuries.

PD Wasserman pleaded for Reilly to get another chance, attempting to mitigate any of Judge Sing’s concerns.

“I have been in a lot of communication with his family in a very short period of time, so I do have confidence that he will remain in contact,” stated Wasserman.

PD Wasserman also argued that if the defendant remained in custody, he would not receive adequate medical care for the injuries he sustained during the car accident.

DDA Perkins, however, still wasn’t convinced.

“I’m not confident he is going to return,” argued Perkins. “I mean you would have thought posting a $50,000 bail would’ve assured him to return, and if he couldn’t have returned, at least communicate with the public defender’s office.”

Despite Perkins’ vehement objections, Judge Hing granted Reilly a bail of 1 cent.

Giving the defendant one final warning, Judge Hing stated, “Mr. Reilly, just keep in touch with your attorney. I’m giving you a chance but if you don’t appear again, I don’t have any other options.”

Despite the defendant’s success here, he will remain in custody for a $5,000 out-of-county hold. Reilly’s next court date is July 29.

About The Author

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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