Court Can Be Confusing – Multiple Co-defendant Cases that Are ‘Attached’ Dominate Hearing

By Eric Rodriguez

MODESTO, CA – Daniel Cantu Grajeda stood in court this week with his defense attorney, Alfaro Garcia, in Stanislaus County Superior Court, to settle on giving three other related cases connected to Grajeda to a single judge to make the proceedings more efficient.

Because defense attorney Garcia will be leaving soon, Deputy District Attorney Patrick Hogan began the hearing stating, “What I want to avoid is a situation where a brand new public defender comes on. Mr. Grajeda’s cases are many and there are some complications that relate to them.”

Grajeda is being charged with two misdemeanor infractions, adult traffic infractions and three felony charges, with at least one case being gang affiliated.

Alongside him in the courtroom, stood Ortega Carlos Palomares, Macias Isaiahez Israel, and Maldonado Manuel Junior, who are out on bond. Both Ortega and Macias are unrelated to the lead case that Grajeda is being charged for alongside Maldonado.

It was confusing, and much of the charge information wasn’t clear on the recording of the proceeding.

DDA Hogan continued, “…There’s a lot of different parts we want to put together, but we want to keep all of these individuals together because otherwise it is becoming a scheduling nightmare because Mr. Grajeda will be coming to court every other day. Which, I don’t think anyone wants.”

The DDA also stated he wanted to give Grajeda more time to consider the offer made to him, or come back for a preliminary hearing.

The offer given to Grajeda is, if he pleads to Count 1, will result in five years, by admitting to the gang allegation he’ll receive five more, and by pleading to Count 5 it’ll add five concurrent years, totaling 15 years in person.

The cases of Maldonado—facing two felonies, Macias—charged with misdemeanors, and Ortega—facing one felony and infraction, were called at the same time.

The cases are scheduled to be heard Nov. 29.

About The Author

Eric is a senior at UCSB double majoring in Spanish and English Literature. He is from Oxnard, California and has an interest in law.

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