Victim Outburst in Court Claims Suspect Too Incompetent to Plead Guilty

By Tommy Nguyen

RIVERSIDE, CA – Tension heightened during James Brown’s felony settlement conference here in Riverside County Superior Court this week when the victim’s outburst in court claimed Brown is innocent and too incompetent to plead guilty to the charges.

James Brown, IV, is accused of inflicting corporal injury and deterring a police officer. Brown had pleaded guilty to these charges.

The hearing started out with standard procedures, in which the court confirmed the validity of the man’s guilty plea and reminded him of any consequences that go with this plea.

Brown then confirmed that on Feb. 5 he “inflicted corporal injury resulting in a dramatic condition” upon “Jane Doe,” and that on the same day, he “willfully and unlawfully attempted by means of threat and violence to deter officer Schmitz.”

However, Judge Judith Clark pushed the sentencing hearing over to March 7, and ordered the victim to step forward, as she wished for an opportunity to address the court.

“He was just trying to protect,” she exclaimed. “He has never hit me, has never been aggressive towards me.”

Judge Clark then confirmed Brown has some mental health diagnosis, but he has not had the chance to pursue any treatment because of personal reasons.

The judge reminded the victim Brown had already pleaded guilty, but she also put the sentencing hearing on March 7, leaving the victim plenty of time to contact the district attorney and the deputy public defender to provide documentation that would help file a motion to dismiss the Brown’s guilty plea.

The victim continued expressing her irritation toward the guilty plea, explaining Brown is “not competent” enough to understand what was happening in court, or the charges that he is facing.

Judge Clark again advised the victim to take the opportunity to set up an appointment with the attorneys outside of court, where she can “explain her concerns in a not-so-emotionally-driven environment.”

The judge reassured the victim that she will take into consideration documents from any mental health providers that are put forth before her, with counsel’s possible filed motion.

Since the victim wishes to contact Brown while he is still in custody, Judge Clark also modified the protective order into a no negative contact order and explained the standards for visitation.

Before the hearing concluded, Judge Clark ordered the attorneys assist the victim with setting up appointments, as well as reminded Brown of the restrictions while he is in custody.

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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