By Sofia Leguria
SACRAMENTO, CA – A man who had his preliminary hearing in Sacramento County Superior Court Tuesday was charged with felony burglary, but he claims that he was there to spiritually meet his son.
On Nov. 21, 2021, Paul Frye allegedly broke into Iron Mechanical, according to the prosecution, and Sacramento Police Dept. Officer John Lenoci testified that he found and arrested Frye inside the business.
When the officer found Frye, the suspect allegedly said he entered Iron Mechanical by going door to door of the building until he found an open one.
Officer Lenoci said he found a small set of file cabinet keys that belonged to the business in Frye’s pocket.
When asked what Frye was doing at the business, Lenoci told the court, “He (Frye) advised that he was there to meet his son…after further questioning he said it was in a more spiritual way not actually physical.”
Frye told the officer in a statement that the keys that were found in his pocket were hanging on the outside of the file cabinet.
Assistant Public Defender Robert Woodard argued Frye did not use forced entry to break into the building, and that the door was open. Woodard said nothing else besides the keys were taken from the business, and nothing was ransacked or rifled through.
“I briefly argue that this appears to be more of a trespass, there was no property that was taken from the business, it would appear that the defendant couldn’t see the keys from outside the business so there was no intent to steal those keys,” added Woodard.
Deputy District Attorney Teal Ericson noted that the legal standards have been met for these charges, namely that Frye entered the business while it was closed, walked around to all the doors to find an open one, and took something once he was inside.
Judge Shelleyanne Chang agreed that there is sufficient evidence to hold the defendant and this case will go to trial.
Woodard then argued that the bail was inappropriately set, suggesting bail should be set at zero.
However, the prosecution noted Frye has eight different misdemeanor convictions since December of 2020, and has four bench warrants based on failures to appear.
When he was arrested for this case, he was released per the emergency order and then was arrested on another misdemeanor trespass two days later at somebody’s home.
DDA Ericson stated, “Based on that record I think we can all conclude that he is at risk for another failure to appear in this case.”
Judge Chang decided that normally the threat of COVID would be enough reason to let the defendant out on his own recognizance, but Frye’s history of failures to appear gave the judge some concern.
Frye interrupted the judge to exclaim, “How am I supposed to come to court if I am homeless?”
The judge denied the defense request for no bail release, and Frye remains in custody with bail.