Courtroom Security Scrutinizes Public Entry for Burglary Preliminary Hearing

By Joshua Cenzano

SANTA BARBARA, CA – Courthouse security for a preliminary hearing here at the Santa Barbara County Superior Court had some inconsistent procedures in place Monday, denying entry for a frequent observer and requesting credentials before being corrected by a supervisor.

The case involved Bryan Thomas McDermand-Wyland, accused of first degree residential burglary and of making a false police report.

Judge Jean Dandona presided over the preliminary hearing to determine if there was enough evidence to continue with arraignment for a trial.

The prosecutor led direct examination of one of the officers on the scene of the alleged burglary, who testified regarding McDermand-Wyland’s presence on the scene and specifically the inconsistency in his statements to police.

The court had heard witnesses that addressed forensic evidence that implicated McDermand-Wyland of the burglary earlier in the day.

The officer testified that McDermand-Wyland first claimed that he had been chased by an unknown man, but later recanted that and admitted that he was, in fact, at the scene of the crime.

Defense Attorney Christine Adams directed her cross-examination to the officer on several fronts, including whether or not her client was correctly read his Miranda rights as well as his detention for his admission into a mental health institution.

The officer testified that McDermand-Wyland asked to be self-admitted for mental health evaluation and possible treatment and was subsequently handcuffed and placed in a patrol car for transport, at which point he had not been read his rights.

The officer defended this action because McDermand-Wyland had requested this admission, and only when other investigators uncovered evidence implicating McDermand-Wyland did the officers place him in custody and Mirandize him.

The witness claimed that all procedures had been followed; defense counsel highlighted that he was already in handcuffs before being considered “in custody.”

Despite this, Judge Dandona found that there was sufficient evidence to proceed with arraignment and trial on both counts, as well as some others that had been decided previously.

Arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 4 at 8:30 a.m. and the judge affirmed the amount of $50,000 for bail.

About The Author

Joshua is a second-year student at UCSB majoring in history. He is from Port Hueneme, California and is pursuing a career in law.

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