Wrong Place, Wrong Time? No Bail Set for Alleged Firearms Maker Who Claims Just ‘Sleeping’ on Uncle’s Couch

By Peter Eibert

SACRAMENTO, CA – Isa Hutcheson was in Sacramento County Superior Court Monday afternoon for a bail revision hearing, charged with illegally possessing, manufacturing, and selling firearms and assault weapons.

Hutcheson had no bail set earlier on a “1275 hold,” which is when a defendants’ bail is placed on hold because there is reason to believe that the money being used to pay the bail was obtained through committing a felony.

In short, he can’t be bailed out of custody for any amount. And after the hearing, it remained that way.

But Hutcheson’s defense attorney, Joel Scott, who stood in for attorney Jonathan Gonzales, argued that the 1275 hold was unjust, and that Judge Joseph Orr should set bail to a reasonable amount.

Scott maintained that Hutcheson was unfairly charged for the crimes of his uncle while staying at his uncle’s house.

Scott held that “[Isa] was simply sleeping on the couch when law enforcement arrived and entered the house.” He also added that “the police report does seem to support [Isa] being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Scott explained that the firearm manufacturing equipment and the illegal firearms were “found in an attic that connected to the master bedroom, which was the bedroom of [his uncle].” Scott also said that the uncle had “six firearms,” “ammunition,” and other “firearms pieces” in the house “that he owned legally.”

Deputy District Attorney Saron Tesfai disagreed, and held that “it’s the officers’ belief that the defendant was in cooperation with his uncle making firearms.”

Tesfai mentioned how Hutcheson did in fact “self-admit” to living at his uncle’s residence at the time, rather than just temporarily sleeping on the couch.

DDA Tesfai also cited the overwhelming amount of evidence that officers found in the home, including “a firearms manufacturing milling station” and “a lot of firearms.”

There was also some controversy about the original search warrant used to enter the home.

Scott claimed that while the search warrant did list Hutcheson as the primary suspect, it listed the address of his uncle as the place to be searched, implying that the uncle was the true primary suspect.

Based on what the defense said was an erroneous search warrant, Scott believes that Hutcheson was unfairly charged with the “majority” of the charges instead of his uncle; hence, the 1275 hold was unjust.

Tesfai countered Scott’s assertion, stating that the officers “got a search warrant based on information they received that the defendant was in possession of firearms.”

Tesfai further defended his stance that the 1275 hold was justified by mentioning Hutcheson’s criminal history. Previously, while in possession of a handgun, Hutcheson ran away from police after he was stopped for a traffic violation. Furthermore, Hutcheson also had a prior juvenile strike.

After this exchange, Scott stated that Hutcheson usually lives with his mom and disabled older brother who he helps care for, and that he also works two full time jobs.

Tesfai, contrary to Scott’s wishes, urged Judge Orr to raise the bail to no bail – effectively making the 1275 hold moot, but still having the same effect of not giving Hutcheson the opportunity to be released on bail.

Judge Orr seemed most focused on the search warrant issue, as he questioned whether Hutcheson was the primary suspect listed on the search warrant, to which Scott replied in the affirmative.

Ultimately, Judge Orr kept bail as is and preserved the 1275 hold, meaning Hutcheson has no opportunity to be released on bail.

The case will continue with further proceedings Sept. 8.

About The Author

Peter Eibert is a fourth-year student at UC Davis, majoring in Political Science and minoring in History. He is originally from Half Moon Bay, California.

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