Two Men in Yolo County Get to Go Home, Not Jail, after Court

By Brandon Blanco

WOODLAND, CA – Two accused here in Yolo County Superior Court this week found themselves going home, and not to jail—one man was charged with violating his probation while the other for discharge of a firearm, and both were allowed to be released from jail.

The first man appeared in court on Zoom, represented by Yolo County Deputy Public Defender Jonathan Oped, faced violation of probation charges. Later in the hearing, the accused stopped appearing due to technical difficulties on his behalf.

The accused was previously convicted before for petty theft and resisting a public officer in 2017. He was attending treatment engagement sessions and was free under SOR (Supervised Own Recognizance).

Supervising Deputy District Attorney Chris Bulkeley stated, “We’re having problems with his treatment engagement. I’d like to have a short review as we are hoping to have the court encourage him to take medication, not use illegal substances, advising him he was subject to a search and test, as conditions of his SOR. So that’s the feedback we’ve gotten from the treatment. We’re hoping to turn this around.”

However, PD Oped defended the accused, arguing, “I’d say you know, yes, there are concerns but overall, [he] was doing pretty good (treatment engagement), and he’s at his residence in West Capitol after spending a long time in custody.”

Yolo County Superior Court Judge Timothy L. Fall ruled, “The concerns that Mr. Bulkeley raises are not unusual for [the accused], but if he’s still engaging at some level, that’s hopeful for me regarding how he’s conducted himself.”

The next court date for further evaluation on the accused’s progress was set for May 19.

The second accused appeared in court at a pre-trial conference, represented by PD Oped, facing discharge of firearm (felony), gross negligence, two counts of possession of a firearm by someone prohibited from owning one, and an enhancement.

Yolo County DDA Aaron Rojas stated, “It looks like this is headed to mental diversion route. I believe that Mr. Oped has a request regarding treatment in another state.”

PD Jonathan Oped argued in favor of the accused being freed under SOR because his mother already found resource support for the man.

“[The accused] is going to ask to vacate the preliminary hearing and is going to enter in a general time waiver…we’re hoping the court will put in the minute order that [the accused] can be released on his SOR to his mother, who lives in Kentucky and that is where [the accused] is from. His mother set up to attend a residential program to address his needs and if [the accused] completes the program, he’ll be successful on diversion,” the PD said.

Judge Fall approved the accused to be released on his SOR and can reside either in California or Kentucky. He must engage in mental health programs, including taking medicines as prescribed for the accused, adding, “He’ll need to be released to his mother to be able to leave California for the State of Kentucky.”

An initial review court date was set on May 5.

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