PD Argues Client Should be Released on House Arrest Since Police Illegally Confiscated Machine Gun, Other Weapons from House

By Alexander Ramirez  

WOODLAND, CA  – A defense attorney here in Yolo County Superior Court this week had an interesting argument on why it would be safe for his client to be sent home rather than held awaiting trial – police had confiscated guns, including a machine gun, and ammunition so the house would be safe for him to be in on release.

It didn’t work. And Demori Jelonny Fobbs is now in jail on $50,000 bail for an incident that occurred on Aug. 2.

Fobbs was in court on five separate counts, including possession of a firearm by a person previously convicted of a felony, possession of ammunition by a person prohibited from owning a firearm, importing of an assault weapon, unlawful possession or transportation of machine gun, and importation of a large-capacity magazine. The first four counts are considered felonies and the last is a misdemeanor.

Deputy Public Defender Aram Davtyan said one of the felonies was grand theft, but a non-violent offense.

Davtyan argued that since police confiscated whatever weapons were in Fobbs’ residence, then this should now serve as a valid, safe residence so his client could be released on supervised own-recognizance. Further search and tracking measures should be possible for probation, he said.

In response, Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Palumbo argued that Fobbs and his co-defendants were in possession of a machine gun in their residence and tools for manufacturing assault weapons in that same residence and thus pose a significant safety risk.

“This is a case where public safety is definitely a concern. GPS is not a less restricted means because it’s not a matter of trying to find him. We know where he is, he has a house. The problem is the manufacturing of assault weapons. So the people are concerned for public safety and would advise against OR.”

However, while Davtyan admitted it would be hard to argue against the possibility of Fobbs and his codefendants manufacturing weapons since they all live at the residence, he also argued that judging solely off the police reports that once released Fobbs will continue to manufacture weapons is a stretch.

Also in Fobbs possession at the time of his felony possession was a number of 9mm, 10mm, and AR15 jigs. Millimeter (mm) refers to the size of the cartridge of a bullet, meaning the size of the barrel that the bullet corresponds with. A jig is a set of tools, bolts, or drill bits for putting together the weapon they correspond with.

When it came to Judge Dyer’s ruling, he said, “As a convicted felon, Mr. Fobbs is not to be in possession of these types of items. That’s of huge importance to the court.”

The fact that Fobbs is in court again even after these charges is also a statement as to how serious he takes these charges, Judge Dyer also said, and he denied supervised release.

As for bail, DDA Palumbo noted $1,050 was found in Fobb’s vehicle and another $617 was found in a bedroom in his residence, so $50,000 bail is a reasonable amount.

Even after Davtyan argued that Fobbs money may have been confiscated by police, Palumbo responded by saying that “if he has that kind of cash lying around his house, there’s likely more.”

Bail was issued at $50,000 and a preliminary hearing set for Aug. 16.

About The Author

Alexander Ramirez is a third-year Political Science major at the University of California, Davis. He hopes to hone his writing skills in preparation for the inevitable time of graduation.

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