By Isabelle Brady
SANTA BARBARA, CA – The accused wasn’t at all a happy camper here Tuesday when Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Raimundo Montes de Oca denied his request to be released under Santa Barbara’s Pre-Trial Supervision and Assessment Program.
Jeremiah Diaz is currently in custody on felony charges of criminal threat, in addition to an older charge regarding a felony vehicle theft and misdemeanor possession of drug charges.
Judge Montes de Oca signaled his skepticism from the beginning.
Diaz’s defense attorney, Mary Huft, nevertheless requested for Diaz to be released with a Pre-Trial Compliance Officer. PTCOs are supposed to help ensure that those under their supervision don’t miss their court dates.
Huft explained that for “the new case…it appears he was in an area that was a private property. He was looking for his dog that had gotten out. His dog had gotten out a couple times. The last time he had been there, he was able to get his dog back in the car and left, and then it happened again.”
Huft added, “As he was leaving, the allegation is that he poked his head out the window and made a threatening statement to the owner of the property…and that’s the case.”
The accused’s comment to the property owner was allegedly “something to the effect of her being heartless,” said Huft, who suggested Diaz would abide by a protective or stay-away order.
Noting the accused is “already supervised by probation otherwise,” Huft said “I believe that he can reside with his father.”
“Well, maybe,” Judge Montes de Oca replied. “But I’m not gonna release him. I think that it’s concerning that so soon after being placed on probation there’s conduct that could arguably be considered a felony threatening.”
Judge Montes de Oca revoked Diaz’s bail in his older felony case and set bail at $30,000 for that case and for his more recent felony charges, for a total of $60,000 between the two.
Huft entered a not-guilty plea, denied all enhancements and did not waive time on behalf of Diaz.
At the end of the hearing, Diaz was informed that he would be back in court May 3.
“So I’m not getting released today?” Diaz asked from the jail cell, from which he attended the court Zoom.
“You’re not getting released today,” Huft told him.