By Ascari Bryant
SANTA BARBARA, CA – Judge Clifford Anderson in Santa Barbara County Superior Court this week oversaw a lively back and forth between the defense and prosecution about the conditions of a defendant’s release.
Defendant Olivia Story appeared in Dept. 8 this week seeming somewhat flustered. Story, on Zoom, appeared to be crying because she believed Assistant Public Defender Ian Morse had no interest in helping her. That wasn’t the case as it turned out.
Story was in custody and appeared in court for an arraignment. PD Morse spoke on a pre-trial report indicating recommendation for the defendant’s release with conditions, noting “she has a very low risk assessment score, she has no prior criminal record beyond the pending matter.”
Morse then went on to speak of the mental health condition of Story where he presented to the court of how she has been clinically diagnosed with being both bi-polar and having PTSD. Morse then explained to the court that because of her conditions she does receive treatment in the form of seeing a psychiatrist.
Morse explained Story is able to seek treatment through Santa Barbara Life-Stance which, in his words, “is a form of behavioral health.”
Morse further detailed the aspects of how Story seeks treatment, explaining she has an appointment with her psychiatrist this week and takes a variety of medications. Morse tried to argue for the release of Story stating, “I believe release with conditions would be appropriate in this case. I don’t know if the court would also make a condition, she sees her psychiatrist, but we would have no objection if that was a condition.”
Deputy District Attorney Justin Greene responded to PD Morse’s argument, stating he had previously shared with Morse he had concerns about the defendant after reading the two police reports and probation report on Story.
Greene explained he wasn’t totally opposed to the defendant’s release, but conditions presented by Morse were not enough and more conditions should be enacted.
DDA Greene felt that reporting to probation was too lenient in terms of being released, adding there should be an abstinence clause because the defendant’s last incident involved alcohol. He added that she possess no weapons, search and seizure, obey all lawful orders of law enforcement, take all prescribe medications, and have weekly counseling.
PD Morse then responded, explaining the case in further detail, noting that Story had a “manic episode” and her neighbors called the police. Upon the arrival of authorities Story refused to calm down, then she was physically apprehended and suffered a black eye.
Morse explained that the conditions that DDA Greene proposed were unnecessary because Story was a victim of her own mental health condition and abused by police, not a threat to society.
DDA Greene then responded that even the defendant’s husband had concerns for his wife in relation to their child. However, Morse interrupted and explained the expressed concern was a year ago and since then she has been seeking counseling like the husband wanted.
Judge Anderson seemed to fall on the defense argument, and said, “I’ll grant pre-trial release terms (which) would include obey all laws, report to pre-trial supervision within 24 hours, abstain from alcohol, obey lawful orders of law enforcement.”
Story is due back in court on Aug. 24.