Judge Sustains Felony Charges for Woman for Allegedly Helping Ex-Partner Evade Justice – Sets Trial


By Silverio Rizo Llamas and Eshita Seshadri

SACRAMENTO, CA – Superior Court Judge Donald J. Currier confirmed felony charges against a woman for allegedly helping her ex-partner—who was wanted for his role in a jail escape—evade justice, and for being in possession of “large amounts” of methamphetamine.

Katie Marie Anderson was charged for allegedly helping her ex-partner Frank Romano “escape arrest, trial, conviction, and punishment.” Anderson was also charged for being in possession of 89 grams of methamphetamine, about half a cup, with the intent to sell.

Sacramento Police Officer C. Shippen testified there was an ongoing investigation of Frank Romano, who was wanted for his role in an escape from Merced County Jail. Officer Shippen explained that as part of their investigation they investigated Romano’s associates, including Anderson .

Officer Shippen alleged that from their investigation into the defendant they “learned that” she was likely “helping him.”

He stated one example was a call they intercepted between Anderson and an inmate in a Sacramento County Jail. Officer Shippen alleged that “based on the content of that conversation (they) knew that Katie knew that Frank was wanted for the Merced case.”

The prosecution asked about the content of the conversation. Officer Shippen stated that Anderson gave the phone to Frank and indicated that she was keeping her phone off so that she wouldn’t get tracked by the police.

The prosecution then asked if Officer Shippen’s investigation took him to a “particular address.” Shippen testified that they had been “conducting surveillance and (were) following Katie,” which took them to a residence on Palm Avenue, in North Highlands.

The officer stated that they followed the defendant’s car which then parked next to a “silver Lexus.” The silver Lexus was later confirmed to be Romano’s car which had been registered in the name of a different woman.

Officer Shippen testified that they later witnessed Anderson leave with Frank in the silver Lexus. They followed the car which drove to a nearby Little Caesars and then a liquor store.

According to Officer Shippen’s testimony the two were detained and then arrested as they made their way back to the residence on Palm Avenue. Upon searching Anderson they found a pipe “used to smoke methamphetamine… along with some crystal methamphetamine,” estimated to be “89 grams” in three separate bags.

Officer Shippen said he believed that the meth was for sale due to the large quantity recovered. He explained that a single dose is about “two-thirds of a gram,” and that he believed it would take “about a month” to get rid of all the meth by consuming it. However he admitted that it was a “usable amount.”

Defense Attorney Richard James Hogan questioned Officer Shippen regarding the content of the conversation that had been intercepted.

Attorney Hogan asked if “Ms. Anderson clearly stated that she was keeping her phone off so as to not be tracked by the police?” Officer Shippen stated he could not state whether she had said that “verbatim” but that it was the “gist of the conversation.”

Shippen said although Anderson “frequented several locations,” he admitted to being unsure whether Katie leased any property in that area

The defense then asked Officer Shippen if he had any evidence that Frank and Katie were living together. Shippen stated that he did not but knew they were associating with each other.

Attorney Hogan then asked Officer Shippen if in his opinion it was a crime to be “associated with an individual who is outstanding.” Shippen answered that it is not.

Officer Shippen stated he had attempted to track Anderson through her phone, but admitted that he did not include the attempts to track Anderson’s phone in his report, and charged that Anderson helped.

The officer said Katie had “provided a phone” call to Romano, purchased a pizza, and met up with him to provide clothing.

Attorney Hogan emphasized that the defendant provided Frank the clothing because they had recently split up and he was “requesting his items back. Officer Shippen affirmed his statements, but insisted she “was providing material support for him.”

The defense then asked how “did Katie help Frank to escape arrest, trial, conviction, and punishment?” Officer Shippen stated that she was “providing material support to him…with purchasing a pizza, clothing, and phone communications”

Attorney Hogan asked if in Officer Shippen’s “opinion any individual, who purchases a pizza, provides the person’s clothing back or uh provides a telephone to a person who is outstanding” is guilty of a crime. Officer Shippen stated he would consider such a person as an “accessory to a crime.”

The prosecution then asked if Anderson stated “any awareness of Frank’s fugitive status?” Officer Shippen answered that she had stated Romano considered her a liability.

Once arguments were submitted, Judge Currier mentioned that the standard of proof at a preliminary hearing is low and thus that there is reason to believe that the defendant is guilty and is therefore ordered to answer to both charges.

Anderson’s trial was set for Jan. 24, 2022.


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