Judge Refuses to Release New Mother without Bail, Despite Her Pleas

By Sophia Barberini

ALAMEDA, CA – Judge Stuart Hing of Alameda County Superior Court refused to release Etienne Collin without bail Tuesday despite Collin’s plea that she must get home to her newborn child.

Collin, who currently has four open cases, was initially released on Aug. 27 without bail due to her status as a new mother, but she failed to appear on Sept. 10 for her court date. Due to her failure to appear, a bench warrant was issued for her arrest.

Judge Hing decided to institute a bail of $2,000, in hopes that would encourage her to appear at her next court date.

Immediately, Collin interrupted Judge Hing to beg for a lower bail.

“I had a positive COVID test so I could not come to court,” asserted Collin, explaining that she had to quarantine for two weeks and could not contact her attorney.

Further, she pleaded, “My daughter is only two months old. I breastfeed… It’s not that I’m not trying to make court appearances.

“I want to get these charges handled; I want to do the right thing,” Collin continued, “I am begging you, please don’t keep me any longer from my daughter. I’ve spent four days in custody. She’s a newborn.”

Collin explained more about the hardships she faces while in custody, including that she is stuck in her cell, quarantining and unable to contact her child.

“I’m not trying to give you excuses or some pity party. I am really working on trying to utilize the services I can gain from my social worker,” said Collin.

Interrupting Collin as she spoke to the judge, Deputy Public Defender Elizabeth Rogers explained that she would be willing to contact Collin’s mother to verify the information she provided.

“Her court date was Sept. 10. It’s not like she’s been in the wind for six months,” explained PD Rogers.

Despite the pleas, Judge Hing refused to reduce Collin’s bail, citing a history of failures to appear.

In response, Collin made one final appeal to Judge Hing in an attempt to get him to lower her bail. “I am homeless at the moment. I am staying in cars. I am staying in hotel rooms when I can. I don’t have money. I don’t have income.”

Still, Judge Hing refused to change his mind, setting bail at $2,000 cash. However, If she uses a bail bond company she could be released for $200 or less.

About The Author

Sophia Barberini, from San Mateo, CA, is a fourth-year student at UC Berkeley. She is double majoring in Political Science and Legal Studies and hopes to pursue a career in law.

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