Judge Refuses to Release Woman in Custody for Alleged Probation Violation Despite Stated Heart, Other Health Concerns

By Mei Perez

SANTA MARIA, CA- Brenda Hidalgo —claiming she had serious health issues, including diabetes and heart problems—this week asked Judge Patricia Kelly here in Santa Barbara County Superior Court for permission to be released from custody.

The court records listed she was being held for an alleged probation violation.

Her attorney stated that a shelter had agreed to take her in if she was released from county jail and that the defendant would agree, if released, to a GPS monitor to reduce danger to public safety.

A major concern regarding Hidalgo staying in jail was her health, he said, noting that in addition to having diabetes, she needed an EKG for her heart, and had a blood infection. He argued that this made her especially “vulnerable” in prison, where COVID has been known to run rampant.

However, Hidalgo’s extensive history of probation violations and not appearing in court, which goes back to last year, complicated the matter. The district attorney pointed out that her record would make releasing her from custody unadvisable.

Judge Patricia Kelly agreed with the prosecutor and decided to keep Hidalgo in custody for the time being. The defendant’s next court date is Dec 10.

About The Author

Mairead Perez is a third year at UC Santa Barbara studying English and Biology. She hopes to attend law school after finishing her undergraduate degrees.

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