Public Defender Cites Constitutional Violation When Judge Denies Bail to Man Who Allegedly Threw Rock through Parole Office Window

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By Dario McCarty and Maia Surendra

WOODLAND, CA – Terrance Miles was charged with three alleged felony counts of criminal threats, resisting arrest, and vandalism last Thursday at the Yolo County Superior Court, and was denied bail.

But his defense attorney claims denial of bail is a gross violation of the California State Constitution.

The Yolo County Deputy District Attorney stated that Miles was, before this complaint, on parole for a prior charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

The DDA alleges now that Miles threw a rock through two separate windows of the parole office, and when a parole officer came outside to investigate, Miles subsequently began threatening to break more windows.

The DDA added that once Miles was arrested he “threatened the parole agent by indicating that he should put a bullet in their head and that he knew how to get a gun.”

Due to the violent nature of these alleged threats, and the fact that Miles had 12 prior parole violations, both the DDA and the parole officer present requested Miles be denied supervised release as well as denied bail, arguing that no amount of set bail would keep the public safe.

Miles, however, stated that he was on social security and could not afford any bail, and as such was requesting supervised release. “Your Honor, I can’t afford bail,” said Miles, “So if I don’t get OR, I guess I’m just ass out.”

Further, at various points throughout the DDA’s retelling of these alleged events, Miles interrupted the courtroom to protest the allegations were not true, declaring, “That’s a lie,” when the prosecutor alleged he had violently resisted arrest.

Judge Tom Dyer grew increasingly upset with these interruptions, and issued three separate warnings to Miles to cease. On Miles’ fourth interruption, Judge Dyer asked the bailiff to escort him out of the courtroom.

Judge Dyer, after listening to the parole officer in the court allege that Miles used methamphetamine and alcohol, refused to come to psychological counseling, and had threatened to harm parole agents on multiple occasions, ultimately decided to deny Miles supervised release and deny him bail.

However, Miles’ attorney, Deputy Public Defender Erin Dacayanan, did not agree, noting that representatives of the parole office were being taken at their word for the decision to deny bail, despite the fact that the parole office was the alleged victim in the case.

“I think it is a conflict of interest for (a parole officer) to be letting the court know about Mr. Mile’s dangerousness or compliance with parole when they’re alleging parole is the victim here. In addition … if (parole) is the victim, perhaps the (parole officer) should have been placed under oath if she wants to give testimony against my client.”

In light of this, Dacayanan asserted that denying Miles bail was in violation of the California State Constitution.

“We are not within the realm of Article 1, Section 12 of the California Constitution as far as what the court can set no bail for,” said Dacayanan. “It states that a person shall be released on bail except for capital offenses or violent felony offenses where the facts or evidence are great.”

According to Dacayanan, because of the conflict of interest with the parole office, the facts of the case were not clear enough to satisfy this condition.

Nevertheless, Judge Dyer remained committed to his initial decision, stating that Dacayanan could bring up these concerns at the preliminary hearing, set for July 15.

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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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