Judge Decides Alleged Getaway Driver Wins Pretrial Release, Alleged Robber Back to Jail

By Simran Chahal

SACRAMENTO, CA – A Sacramento County Superior Court pretrial hearing saw the release of the alleged getaway driver, Adolph Williams, in a robbery case, but the alleged robber, Roderick Tinsley, was ordered to be detained in the Sacramento County Jail.

Tinsley and Williams are accused earlier this year of committing petty theft at a grocery store. Tinsley allegedly entered the store, threatened to use force, and stole items valuing up to least $20. Williams is suspected of only aiding and abetting Tinsley from fleeing the scene of the crime.

Assistant Public Defender Samantha Ting wanted the court to review Williams’ custody status in order to obtain pretrial release, arguing, “Mr. Williams never went into the store, he did not steal any property, and he did not interact with any store employee and use force.”

She further stated that his only felony conviction is a car theft and the only convictions he suffered are theft-related. “None involve any violence,” emphasized Ting.

Furthermore, Ting highlighted he has a place to stay in Sacramento if released and that he has significant health problems that would put him at much higher risks of complications because of COVID-19.

Tong concluded by stating, “Given his very de minimis participation, if at all in this alleged offense, I think he is a good candidate for release.”

Deputy District Attorney Colin Stephenson stated that “[Williams] is essentially the getaway driver” and did not dispute much of Ting’s argument. His only point of concern was guaranteeing Williams’ appearance in court because he had a history, since late 2019, of failing to appear in court.

As for the protection of the public, “while this is a robbery, his involvement in it is not to the level as [Tinsley] in terms of direct violence to the community,” stated Stephenson.

Ting added that she has discussed the prior failures to appear in court with Williams, and stated that those were due to “lack of stability, housing, and transportation. None of those barriers exist anymore.”

Judge Kevin McCormick reviewed the conditions and granted pretrial release to Williams.

Criminal defense attorney James Clark Head moved to review the bail status of suspect Tinsley, and believed the probation department recommended release with conditions.

However, Judge McCormick remarked that “that’s not true. They recommend he be detained.” He added the probation department will recommend conditions if the court decided to release him.

Head stated he might have mistaken the probation department’s recommendation. He added that only “$20 was taken in merchandise,” and requested pretrial release.

DDA Stephenson objected to Tinsley’s release. “I understand the items [Tinsley] takes are not of significant value, but he threatened to shoot several employees when they confronted him,” he argued.

In addition, he stated that Tinsley also had a history of failing to appear in court since late 2019. The DDA said his concerns about Tinsley’s release were the protection of public safety and having him appear in court.

After reviewing the arguments, Judge McCormick stated Tinsley will remain detained.

“It’s not just the failures to appear, it’s not just the criminality in this case. It’s not just his prior criminality…it’s also his failure to comply with court orders,” ruled McCormick, adding “He doesn’t take seriously any obligations that he has” remarked McCormick as he listed his previous parole and probation violations.

The next hearing will be Nov. 29 for further proceedings.

About The Author

Simran is a senior at UC Davis, majoring in Political Science. She is originally from Ceres, CA.

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