By Sophia Barberini
ALAMEDA, CA – Judge David Pereda of Alameda County Superior Court granted Josue Perezayala a one cent bail on Friday after he begged the judge to let him out so he could “fix all of [his] problems.”
Perezayala appeared in front of Judge Pereda for arraignment after he was taken into custody on a bench warrant for missing his Aug. 13 court date. Deputy Public Defender Benjamin Chiang asked that the defendant be released on his own recognizance.
Deputy District Attorney David Cook opposed Perezayala being released on his own recognizance, arguing he cannot be trusted to return for future court dates.
Interrupting DDA Cook, Perezayala attempted to explain that he missed his previous court date because he was in jail in Contra Costa County. “I just got out of jail,” said Perezayala “I didn’t have a chance…”
Judge Pereda, stopping the defendant, pleaded, “Sir, please let your attorney speak for you. That’s to protect your rights.”
DDA Cook continued, asserting that because the Perezayala missed his previous court date, he was unlikely to return for future court dates. Because of this, DDA Cook asked that bail be set at $25,000.
Unwilling to make a decision based on one failed court appearance, Judge Pereda inquired about past criminal history. DDA Cook could only cite the defendant’s hold in Contra Costa County.
PD Chiang, referring to Perezayala’s previous attempt to speak, asserted, “It seems like Mr. Perezayala was trying to say that he may have gotten released out of Contra Costa custody past the time for him to have been able to make the court date on the 13th.”
PD Chiang added, “I know that kind of cuts both ways, but given that we may already have known that he had a hold in Contra Costa, I would ask that not be held against him.”
Though Perezayala argued that he was in custody at the time of his last court date, PD Chiang admitted that he was unsure when he was released from Contra Costa County.
DDA Cook, skeptical of this claim, argued, “If the defendant was held in custody in another county when our bench warrant was issued, once he got released from that other county, he would have been brought to our county on that warrant. I don’t believe that’s what happened.”
Perezayala, interrupting his interpreter, pleaded with Judge Pereda, “Your Honor, I have court today too in Contra Costa. I am trying to attend to my court. I didn’t try to miss the court. I actually didn’t know that I had court today.
“I am just trying to fix all my problems,” said Perezayala. “So please, can you let me out? I promise I will come back to the next court date if you let me, okay? I am just trying to fix all my problems. I am not trying to escape anybody.”
Thanking Perezayala for his words, Judge Pereda decided to grant the defendant a one cent bail, setting his preliminary hearing for Sept. 20.
Judge Pereda, giving a final reminder, warningly stated, “You are ordered (to be) present.”