By Eric Rodriguez
SANTA BARBARA, CA – In a Santa Barbara County Courthouse courtroom here Friday filled with alleged probation violations and other hefty draw-backs on proceedings—due to Zoom complications—Judge Thomas Adams lost his patience after a witty comment was made by a defense attorney.
Prior to Judge Adams losing his patience in the courtroom, a jail Zoom-room allegedly lost power which resulted in Medina Manolo Aguilar being kicked out of the court for the majority of his hearing.
It wasn’t acknowledged that Aguilar wasn’t present for his entire hearing while Judge Adams, District Attorney Aaron Corey and Defense Attorney Michael Carty discussed the sentencing for Aguilar.
Nearly five minutes after Aguilar’s case had finished and Carty had left the courtroom, Aguilar was able to rejoin the Zoom call and urgently stated to Judge Adams:
“Your Honor, the power went out… I didn’t hear what happened. The power went out. I didn’t hear none of the session. The power went out. I didn’t understand anything of what happened. I didn’t hear anything. That’s what I’m trying to say,” he said.
To that Judge Adam’s jokingly replied, “And you’re saying you couldn’t read my lips? I’m kidding. I-I’m kidding. Let’s get Mr. Carty back in the session.”
Aguilar is being charged with vandalism, assault with force likely to produce GBI, vehicle theft, and buying/receiving stolen vehicle/equipment, all felonies.
Aguilar will be sentenced to three years in state prison, with credits of 181 days with 91 in good standing.
Throughout the court session, there were times defense attorneys along with their clients were being kicked out of private group rooms while other sessions were still ongoing.
As the day was coming to an end, defense attorney Lauren Gartrell stated to the clerk, “If I had time to do it in advance I would, deputy, but seeing that I have 180 cases I do them when I have the chance. Since it is a court plea I am not required by law to send it to him.”
Which was interrupted by Judge Adams, “Please, please please. It’s a fricken long day for me. I don’t need this bullsh** between counsel and my bailiff. Do we understand each other?”
Which was met by a soft, “Yes.”
“I sure hope so because I’ll pull the plug right now and we’ll all go home. Don’t push me again on this. Wrong day to do that,” stated Adams.
The latter half of the day was met with defense attorneys requesting that their clients in custody be brought to the courtroom to make an appearance in person rather than through Zoom.