17-Year-Old Case Brought to Court; Judge Delays Decision – Wants Prosecution to Respond

By Ramneet Singh

WOODLAND, CA – Judge David Reed here in Yolo County Superior Court last Friday presided over a case with charges from 2004—he determined that further proceedings were necessary to understand the arguments.

From the court records, the prosecution had charged the accused with threatening to commit a crime as both a felony and a misdemeanor. There was also a misdemeanor violation of a protective order. These charges occurred in early November of 2004.

Deputy Public Defender Richard Van Zandt represented the accused while Deputy District Attorney Deanna Hays prosecuted.

After Reed acknowledged that the case was from approximately 17 years ago, he stated “I’m glad he’s here” to which the accused laughed over Zoom. He was not in custody.

Reed stated the accused had been “on probation and he was supposed to come and show proof of enrollment in domestic violence counseling and then stopped coming to court in January 2005.”

DDA Hays stated that the accused had cases in Texas and Nevada, partly related to assault.

She said, “Honestly, if he would’ve been crime free, I wouldn’t have had a problem.”

Judge Reed noted that the accused owed jail time of 115 days with 25 days credit from a 2004 minute order. He also brought up a failure to appear and a surrender date scheduled for 2005, 17 years ago.

In considering further action, Reed asked for a response from PD Van Zandt, who said his client “did 17 actual (days) back in 2004, he’d be entitled to at least 16 conduct credits, then he’d have 33 days on a misdemeanor time served.”

When the judge noted other cases, Van Zandt responded “that is completely irrelevant because we only have the Yolo County case in front of us.”

PD Van Zandt brought up changed probation laws and that “we’re going away from having cases go through the criminal justice system over and over.”

Van Zandt noted the protective order misdemeanor conviction, but Judge Reed brought up the misdemeanor threats. It was not clear if the felony was included in this.

Van Zandt queried, “Why hasn’t Yolo County done anything on this case for so long if he’s had a warrant and if he’s been in the system since?”

Judge Reed believed there needed to be formal documentation of his argument so the prosecution could reply and can bring up other details.

The next court date is Apr. 29 at 9 a.m.

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