By Gabriel Eskandari
WOODLAND, CA – During a supervised own recognizance assessment this past week in Yolo County Superior Court, Judge Tom M. Dyer denied the release of Sean Mohnike, a man charged with felony vandalism involving a 100-pound rock, following a statement from the alleged victim in court.
Mohnike is charged with felony vandalism stemming from Nov. 27, when he allegedly threw an approximately 100-pound rock or boulder on a car.
The alleged victim addressed the court, stating that after the vandalism took place, Mohnike threatened to kill anyone who was with his ex-girlfriend, with whom the alleged victim said he is in a relationship.
The alleged victim stated that he and his girlfriend fear Mohnike will do something to them, asked for Mohnike not to be released prior to his next court appearance, and asked for the next court date to be in mid-Jan. when he returns from a vacation so that he would be able to attend.
Judge Dyer explained that if Mohnike were not released there are certain timelines that would need to be obeyed.
Deputy Public Defender Daniel Hutchinson, representing Mohnike, requested that he be released on his own recognizance, stating that he lives outside of Yolo County, and that the court could impose conditions for him to stay out of Yolo County.
PD Hutchinson also used the fact that the complaining witness will be on vacation in mid Jan. to argue for his release until then.
Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Palumbo argued against Mohnike’s release, noting, “I believe that this case is domestic violence motivated. This incident occurred—vandalism occurred—against the boyfriend of his ex-girlfriend because of that dating relationship,” DDA Palumbo stated.
DDA Palumbo also argued against PD Hutchinson’s use of the alleged victim’s vacation timeline as reason for release, stating, “One of the victims … is going to be on vacation, but the other person, who is his ex-girlfriend, there’s no indication she’s going to be on vacation, and she’s also indicated through the SOR report that she is in fear.”
DDA Palumbo also claimed that Mohnike has had spotty performance on probation and while released on his own recognizance in the past.
Probation Officer Nichole Whitten then mentioned that, per the police report, Mohnike was carrying a CO2 pistol during this alleged incident, which she stated could be a concern to public safety and would be difficult for probation to even supervise.
PO Whitten also stated that a GPS would not prevent Mohnike from going to the home of the alleged victims or contacting them.
Ultimately, Judge Dyer did not grant Mohnike’s release and set his bail for $10,000, citing concerns of public safety and concerns of ability to comply with the court’s orders.
Judge Dyer also issued a three-year complete stay-away restraining order of Mohnike from the alleged victims.
A pre-hearing conference and a preliminary hearing were set for Dec. 15.