Half Million $$ Bail Adjustment Denied in Light of Extensive Criminal Record

By Hannah Adams

MODESTO, CA – During a pretrial hearing in Stanislaus County Superior Court last week, Judge Shawn Bessey declined to reduce Gary Parchem, Jr.,’s bail amount because of his extensive criminal record.

Parchem is charged with felony domestic violence. Parchem’s bail was set at $500,000.

Parchem’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Jed Herrington, asked the court to consider Parchem’s financial situation, proposing a $200,000 bail that “still considers the severity of the incident.”

Additionally, PD Herrington argued the lower bail is a more realistic bail considering Parchem had just been released from his other cases.

“Getting down to a number like that is something more in the range of possibility for him to make rather than $500,000 where that functions basically as no bail for him in his situation,” Herrington said.

PD Herrington, who had just been given Parchem’s case this morning, added Parchem is unemployed and transient.

Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Lee countered the proposition by citing Parchem’s criminal record, which includes his most recent domestic violence charges.

DDA Lee stated that the victim “was left with injuries that she didn’t even remember happening, which happened right after she was strangled, which tends to indicate that she had lost consciousness.”

DDA Lee said Parchem has other domestic violence citations as well as at least four prison commitments in the past 10 years. In 2017, he was sentenced to 80 months in prison for dissuading a witness about abuse.

Before reaching his decision, Judge Bessey asked Lee if there was anything else that he wanted to mention, and DDA Lee responded with yet another charge on Parchem’s record: an attempted escape from confinement.

In the DDA’s eyes, this deemed Parchem not only as a threat to the community, but a flight risk as well.

Judge Bessey then concluded that Parchem’s bail would not be adjusted because the judge was “looking at a 23-page criminal history with a variety of convictions, warrants and arrests” that go back to juvenile records.

Judge Bessey reasoned that Parchem’s bail is appropriate because such a record is a public safety issue since it indicates continued criminality.

Parchem is set to appear before the court for his recent case and other matters on March 15.

About The Author

Hannah is a first-year undergraduate student at University of California, Santa Barbara. She is majoring in English and currently is involved with two campus newspapers. She is anticipating on graduating early and attending law school. She hopes to continue her passion for writing in a law-related career.

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