Woman Asks Judge to Forgive Her Non-Appearances in Court – Judge Does, This Time.

By Ava Schwartzapfel

RIVERSIDE, CA— Defendant “WT__”* (not her real name) pleaded with Judge Burke Strunsky for extended time regarding her charges in Riverside County Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon—WT__ was due to appear in court a few times prior to this date and was unable to appear, she said, due to numerous reasons.

WT__ was originally arrested on one count of vandalism, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, and three counts of possession of paraphernalia back in February of 2020. She pleaded guilty to the vandalism charge, and not guilty to the remaining two charges.

WT__ now remains in county jail custody. She appeared, virtually, in court on Tuesday pro per regarding a warrant arraignment on mandatory supervision, a trial regarding a warrant readiness conference, and a warrant pre-trial hearing.

When asked about her failure to appear for her previous court dates, WT__ explained her current situation to the court. She said she is currently experiencing homelessness and has been in and out of county-provided housing, including a hotel at one point.

“I have all of my belongings…” she explained, and added she has a daughter that she also is trying to look after in the meantime.

While unpacking her back story to the court, Judge Strunsky interrupted WT__ to explain that his request was quite simple.

“All I ask is that you appear in court,” Strunsky pleaded with WT__ , explaining that the court would be extremely flexible to whatever date may work. Once WT__ appeared, in person, in this matter, she would be eligible for release from county custody.

WT__ seemed extremely thankful for the judge’s understanding on this matter and explained that if a date is agreed upon by the court and herself, she will be present in person.

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