Judge Keeps Suspect in Jail to ‘Detox,’ Offers Another Chance at Rehab after Failed Pretrial Release

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By Sofia Leguria

WOODLAND, CA – Michelle Pena is being held in jail for violating supervised own recognizance release on felony vandalism and misdemeanor battery charges, according to an arraignment in Yolo County Superior Court last week.

Pena’s supervised OR release was revoked, and now she is currently in custody again after the court was informed she also never made contact with the probation officer after her previous pretrial release.

Deputy District Attorney Deanna Hays said, “The People are fine if she wants to set her preliminary in two weeks instead of four weeks now that she is back in custody. If the court decides to keep her in custody I would be fine moving it up so she has it sooner.”

This case was assigned to the Deputy Public Defender Daniel Hutchinson, but this was the first he seemed to be hearing about it.

Pena kept trying to talk over her lawyer, until Hutchinson said, “Do you want to let me talk here for a minute, let me represent you.”

He then went on to tell the judge that she would like the court to know that she missed her court dates due to her father’s passing and would like the court to reconsider revoking her OR.

The judge informed Hutchinson that she has not missed court dates but she has not contacted probation at all, which is a violation of the conditions of her release.

Probation tried to find Pena in the location she said she would be staying, but they could not find her, so they issued a warrant for her arrest.

Later officers found Pena and arrested her on the street.

Judge David Reed explained, “Ms. Pena, when people are on supervised OR there are rules that include keeping in touch with probation, meeting with probation if they ask you too, and participating in services if they direct you to. You had a very bad start because you did not do any of that.”

Pena tried to complain and she was told by her lawyer to stop.

Judge Reed asked her if she were to be released on supervised OR would she be able to comply, and Pena answered, “Yes,” adding, “Your Honor, I am actually accepted into a rehabilitation program, and that is where I am going, so I will check in with them and let them know before I go anywhere.”

When asked about the rehab facility she did not have much information, and when Judge Reed asked her when she is scheduled to go there, Pena did not have a date.

Apparently, she had also told the court that she was going to go to this rehabilitation facility the last time she was trying to be released.

Pena stated, “I needed to find a detox, and this time I detoxed in jail. So as soon as I can get ahold of them they will come pick me up and I can go.”

She admitted that she did not detox last time she was in jail.

Probation Officer Nicole Whitten informed the court that she was the one who had released Pena before, and Pena told her the same thing, that she was detoxed and headed to rehab.

When Whitten called the rehab facility they knew nothing of her prior to her release, adding, “I am not sure that she will reappear to us at all; therefore, release is not recommended.”

Judge Reed then attempted to mediate and proposed that they hold Pena in custody until a bed and transportation can be arranged with this facility.

Everyone agreed with this arrangement, and Pena is going to stay in custody until a bed is available at the rehab facility.

Bail will remain at $10,000 and the next court date is set on March 8, at 9 a.m.

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About The Author

Sofia is a third year undergraduate student at University of California, Davis. She is a Managerial Economics major and pursuing a minor in Communications and Professional Writing. She plans on attending law school after graduation in 2023. In her free time she likes to play with her rescue dog named Harvey!

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