COVID Confusion: Man Claims May Have COVID, Still Present in Court

By Ramneet Singh

WOODLAND, CA – Judge Tom Dyer in Yolo County Superior Court, Dept. 1 Friday acknowledged the danger of remanding into custody a man who indicated he had contact with someone infected with COVID. 

On the court calendar, Frank Creamer had multiple felony charges alleged against him. The case types were for plea, sentencing, and “sentence on mandatory supervision.” 

Deputy Public Defender John Sage represented Creamer, while prosecutor Amanda Johnson represented the District Attorney.  

Dyer noted that this hearing was continued from Thursday. He asked for clarification from the attorneys. 

Prosecutor Johnson stated that “…there were no-bail warrants issued for Mr. Creamer. He failed to appear in September of 2020 for a sentencing on a state prison sentence. He was then booked into the jail and somehow released on…a dollar bail on each of those felony cases.”

Deputy District Attorney Johnson explained that a different judge ordered Creamer to “…be in court, today.” 

The prosecution asked for Creamer to be “remanded” because of “a state prison sentence and he now has a failure to appear with an out on bail or failing to appear for that sentencing. Yesterday he appeared on Zoom and informed the court he had COVID.” 

When asked to be tested, Creamer claimed that he had been in contact with a family member who had COVID. He was told to appear on Aug. 20 with the test results.

PD Sage gave his view of the situation. He established that “…there were no outstanding warrants for Mr. Creamer. So it was perfectly acceptable to appear via Zoom because he bailed out.” 

Sage wanted the “preliminary examination” to be done within four weeks to deliberate on his charges and get over his exposure. At this point, Creamer began to cough. 

Sage stated “He’s standing here only because the court ordered him, even though he told the court that he’d been exposed to someone and should be quarantined…I’m not gonna grab whatever he has if he’s been exposed to the Delta nine variant.” 

He argued, “I think it’s very dangerous for him to even be in the courtroom.” He said did not want to put others at risk by having Creamer remanded and explored remote options.

DDA Johnson countered this by stating his appearance was due to a clerical error regarding bail. Creamer coughed at this point too. She stated “he should have never been out in the first place.”

Sage stated that he understood that sentencing had to occur, but there was a new case for the “out on OR enhancement or out on bail enhancement and for the failing to appear.” 

He stated the sentencing should occur within adequate time, but “…he also has a right to competent representation on why he failed to appear and if there’s a defense.” He requested four weeks to account for quarantine and he could be remanded then if need be.

Judge Dyer said he understood the prosecution, but that he’s “also listening to a person who’s coughing in here in court. I don’t know what your COVID status is, I’m not asking for it right now. I’ve got some concerns on a health issue as well.” 

Dyer gave him the court date, but warned of a no-bail warrant and being taken into custody. He referred to the situation as having “unique circumstances.”

DDA Johnson asked for a “no-time waiver prelim. This is a failure to appear, it’s not that difficult.” Dyer initially set it for 10 court days.

Dyer asked “there’s no plea? Not guilty, Mr. Sage?” Sage affirmed “not guilty.”

There was deliberation on the nature of the case, that changed the court date and sentencing issues. 

There was confusion on the bail situation. Sage stated he was on a $30,000 bail bond. However, Johnson stated that he was on OR. She referred back to the one dollar bail and said “…on the new case he was just released.”

The court date was affirmed for Aug. 27 in Dept. 7 for a pre-hearing conference and preliminary hearing for the lead felony. The sentencing matters are for a pre-hearing conference. 

About The Author

Koda is an incoming senior at UC Berkeley, majoring in Philosophy and minoring in Rhetoric. He is from Ventura, CA.

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