Judge Refuses to Reduce Bail from $50,000 to $10,000, but Gives Prosecution ‘One More Bite at the Apple’ before Dismissing


By Simran Chahal

WOODLAND, CA – Yolo County Superior Court Monday heard a case regarding battery assault where defense attorney Rob Gorman hoped to reduce the bail amount to $10,000, but Judge Peter Williams denied the motion because of the prior criminal record of Gorman’s client.

The court was set to hear a jury trial, but three of Brian Lee McDonald’s cases were motioned to be dismissed for the purpose of being re-filed.

In July of this year, McDonald was charged with allegedly committing battery against a custodial officer and resisting arrest by a peace officer. Pleas of not guilty were entered for these charges.

On the matter of bail, Judge Williams stated that the bail on one count would be about $10,000, but the strike changed the amount to an upward of $50,000.

Gorman asked the court to deviate from the bail schedule because “Mr. McDonald has already spent, by my math, about four full months in custody, only to have the clock on the cases he was in custody for…reset.”

Gorman argued further that “if the court were to set bail at just the amount for the substantive offense at $10,000, Mr. McDonald would still be subject to parole supervision as well.

“It’s my understanding that his parole hold had been dropped…after the charges were filed. So, in addition to posting the bail of $10,000, he would still be under parole supervision. He would have a bail bondsman making he gets to court and a parole agent following his actions when he’s outside,” concluded Gorman.

Deputy District Attorney Amanda Zambor disagreed, arguing that “parole supervision was not helping him before he was in custody. He was absconding before he picked up three cases, and while he is in the jail, he’s still picking up new cases.

“His cases are violent. He has two strikes. He has been known to use firearms to shoot people, and I intend on re-filing that case, it’s not just getting dismissed outright. It will be re-filed. I don’t think deviating from the bail schedule would be appropriate in this case,” said DDA Zambor.

Judge Williams stated, “It is a problem, Mr. Gorman, when the supervision we would normally have, that would be an insurance for Mr. McDonald, haven’t worked in the past. Rather than allow history to repeat itself, I’m going to go with what the bail schedule says here with $50,000.”

But Judge Williams reminded prosecutor Zambor “you have one more bite at the apple with these cases and if there’s an issue with them, Mr. McDonald’s cases get dismissed and they do not come back.”

With that, the court moved into a motion regarding three of Mr. McDonald’s cases.

DDA Zambor stated, “The People would move to dismiss. We do intend on re-filing all three cases and I do have witnesses that are present today that I will coordinate with to reschedule.”

The motion was granted by Judge Williams. At this point, there is only one case pending against Mr. McDonald.

The preliminary for this case is set for Nov. 12.


About The Author

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

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