By Shady Gonzales
MODESTO, CA – Dorothy Skinner, a pregnant woman facing drug and other felony charges, asked the judge in Stanislaus County Superior Court this week for a reduction in her bail—it was reduced but it’s still a hefty number.
Skinner is currently employed as a caretaker and told the court she takes home roughly $5,000 per month. She claims that she is not able to afford the cost of bail as it is currently set. Skinner also receives CalWorks in the form of $600 per month for her pregnancy.
The defense attorney arguing in favor of Skinner’s request argued Skinner is not a flight risk. She is a native to Stanislaus County and currently lives within the county premises, defense counsel contended, adding Skinner also has multiple family members living within the county premises alongside her.
Judge Dawna Reeves then asked Skinner’s attorney if he had prepared the financial declaration that is typically required in the Stanislaus Superior Court Department 1 in bail reduction cases.
Apologizing for his mistake, the defense attorney revealed that he did not prepare the paperwork.
Deputy District Attorney Sara Sousa argued why a reduction in bail is not appropriate in Skinner’s case. Although much of Sousa’s argument was incomprehensible through the zoom livestream, she revealed that Skinner has a significant criminal history—most of which are misdemeanor charges.
Surprising to all counsel present in the hearing, it was also revealed that Skinner has an outstanding felony warrant in San Joaquin County.
Sousa explained that the felony charges made against Skinner were in relation to possession of controlled substances and false impersonation of another individual. These substances have not been tested by the Department of Justice for identification.
However, one of the substances in Skinner’s possession was identified as fentanyl.
Judge Reeves raised the following questions in response to Sousa: “Are we talking about pills? Are we talking about powder? If so, are we talking about grams, ounces, or pounds?”
From what could be heard in Sousa’s statement, Skinner had four grams of an unidentified substance, 49 grams of another unidentified substance, and 2.4 grams of another unidentified substance in her possession at the time of her arrest in the felony case. There were more quantifications given that could not be heard.
Following Sousa’s arguments, Judge Reeves asked Skinner’s attorney where Skinner would reside if her bail were to be reduced. The defense attorney testified that Skinner would reside at her residence in Stanislaus County that is owned by the father of her child.
Judge Reeves declared she would reduce Skinner’s $350,000 bail to $150,000.
Judge Reeves stated that this reduction would also require Skinner to submit her person, vehicle, residence, and any property under her control to search for controlled substances and drug paraphernalia.
The next hearing in Skinner’s case will be on June 28, 2022.