Man Released before Trial – Prosecutor Disagrees with Judge, Finds Accused to Be ‘Public Safety Risk’

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By Ramneet Singh

WOODLAND, CA – In Yolo County Superior Court here Friday, Judge David Reed granted supervised release to Steven Todd—despite pushback from the prosecution—and set an arraignment for absent co-defendant Alejandro Gutierrez.

According to the court calendar, Todd is charged with felony retail theft, recruiting for theft, two counts of grand theft, two counts of second-degree burglary, and deadly weapon charges, with an enhancement for a prior conviction.

Judge Reed did not mention the deadly weapon charge or the enhancement when he listed the counts.

Todd was in custody and was present through Zoom; conflict panel member Rodney Beede was the defense attorney while Deputy District Attorney Deanna Hays prosecuted. PD David Muller spoke for Gutierrez.

In the early portion, it was discussed that co-defendant Gutierrez was meant to be arraigned with Todd and that both had been in quarantine. It was later determined that Gutierrez was still isolated.

Judge Reed mentioned that probation had suggested release for Todd.

Beede entered not guilty pleas and asked for a preliminary hearing without time waivers unless prior arrangements had been made; they were not.

When directed, DDA Hays said “I get that he kinda commits these low level crimes consistently” then referenced failures to appear. Hays noted that “he is not local” but from Lodi.

Hays stated that “as the court can just see from this complaint, that often these type of low level retail thefts can turn into violent crimes very quickly where his codefendant is actually pulling a weapon.”

DDA Hays clarified that Todd was not charged with the weapon charge “but I do believe there is significant public safety even with Mr. Todd.”

Hays was concerned about the court’s ability to bring him to court. She referenced his living in a different area and that supervision would be difficult as probation does not tend to go out of county.

Hays described him as a “public safety risk” and ultimately requested that Todd stay in custody. She asked “for a time not waived order just because I believe that the codefendant has a hold.”

Reed ultimately decided on supervised own recognizance release with no bail required, and explained it to Todd. A preliminary hearing was set for May 6 at 9 a.m. in Department 11.

Reed stated that Gutierrez might be arraigned early next week “at the earliest.”

When prompted, Hays asked “if the court is gonna put over the co-defendant to either like Tuesday, could we have Mr. Todd also appear at that time?” There was some confusion over the dates within the court, but Reed stated “we haven’t set any dates for Gutierrez since he hasn’t appeared.”

Hays noted that it would allow the court to see if Todd would be compliant and determine his probation status.

She stated “the worst thing that could happen is we set it for two weeks from now, Mr. Todd’s not gonna show up, and we’re gonna have these two split up into two different cases.”

Defense Counsel Beede noted “that means that Mr. Todd would have to come back here within a couple of days” and then also have to come back for the preliminary hearing. He did not find that “reasonable” and asked for him to not appear, partly due to his attorney not being present.

Hays countered by saying he could appear remotely, which was affirmed by the court.

Reed stated that Todd needed to appear on April 26 at 1:30 p.m. in Department 1.

Judge Reed stated Gutierrez had been in quarantine and he had a “hold from another county.” Probation confirmed that he had “Sacramento County felony warrants.”

After Muller asked for a Monday hearing, Judge Reed stated that Gutierrez has a hearing on April 26 at 1:30 p.m.

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