Defendant Waives Rights, Accepts Deal, Pleads No Contest to Charges

By Joseph Shepard

SANTA BARBARA, CA – Defendant David Perlingos—charged with a violent felony and multiple misdemeanors—opted to accept an early offer extended by prosecutors and plead no contest in Santa Barbara County Superior Court’s Dept. 6 this week.

It took a little longer than normal after the judge’s computer stopped working.

Perlingos was charged with threatening a crime with intent to terrorize, a felony, for allegedly pointing a knife at a woman and saying to her, “I’m gonna slash that b***h’s throat.”

He was also charged with four misdemeanors, including brandishing a knife, possessing stolen property, and two for shoplifting, which will be dropped as part of the deal.

Perlingos appeared in court via Zoom while in custody, and he was represented by Assistant Public Defender Richard Addison Steele, II.

Deputy District Attorney Michelle Mossembekker opened the proceedings by attempting to send the plea form to Judge Pauline Maxwell, but Judge Maxwell was unable to open the form on her computer, claiming that it was “corrupted.”

At this point, the court became delayed for several minutes. Judge Maxwell asked Mossembekker to resend the file, but she still encountered the same problem.

After some troubleshooting, though, the file was finally sent successfully and the court resumed.

Mossembekker then began going over the plea form with Perlingos, asking if the initials and signature on the form were his and if he had reviewed the document and had an opportunity to discuss it with his attorney. When he answered in the affirmative, Mossembekker explained to him the terms of the agreement.

In return for pleading no contest, Mossembekker stated, “[Perlingos] will be granted probation for two years.” He must “enter and complete a residential treatment program of at least six months,” forfeit any weapons, avoid contact with several individuals, and “stay away from Cost Plus World Market.”

Despite a mistake in the form regarding case numbers, Steele had no objections to it, saying “no harm no foul, we all understand,” after the error was mentioned.

Mossembekker continued reading through the form, stating that Perlingos will get “364 days jail with early release after 90 actual days,” and that his probation period “will terminate upon completion of [his] sentence or early release to a residential treatment program, whichever comes first.”

Perlingos will also have to pay restitution.

Mossembekker then reviewed the charges that Perlingos will be pleading to and the charges that will be dropped, and outlined the rights that he needed to waive in order to continue with his no contest plea.

Perlingos initially responded, “Do I say no?” when asked if he wanted to waive his right to a preliminary hearing; however, his attorney explained to him that “part of why we got the deal that we got was it’s an early disposition, so you have a right to a preliminary hearing, but you’re gonna resolve it before the preliminary hearing. You have to say ‘Yeah, it’s okay with me to not have one.’”

After hearing this, Perlingos agreed to waive his right to a preliminary hearing, and then agreed to waive the rest of his rights in order to enter his plea.

Finally, Mossembekker asked Perlingos to affirm the factual basis of a statement attributed to him as a part of his criminal threat, which he did.

At this point, Perlingos entered his pleas, mistakenly stating “guilty” for the first charge before being quickly corrected by his attorney and instead entering a plea of no contest. He continued to plead no contest to the remaining charges.

Judge Maxwell accepted his plea and scheduled two future appearances. The first will take place on Aug. 24 in Dept. 7 for mental health screening, and the second, which will be for pre-sentencing and a firearms assessment, will occur on Sept. 1 in Dept. 6.

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