Defense Complains DA Discovery Delays Keeps Accused Unfairly in Jail

By Mansour Taleb-Ahmed and Alex Jimenez 

OAKLAND, CA— In Alameda County Superior Court last Thursday, a defense attorney complained to the court about repeated prosecutorial delays regarding discovery in a current case and many of her other cases.

In the case at hand, Defense Attorney Marlene Jobe is representing the accused, charged with more than two dozen crimes and enhancements, including possession of ammunition, possession of an assault weapon, second-degree burglary, grand theft, receiving stolen property, alleged offenses in two jurisdictions, unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle, and evading an officer with willful disregard.

The accused has been held in custody since early April, according to Jobe, and Deputy District Attorney Malisha Jones was requesting a continuance because the main investigative officer, deemed a “necessary witness,” was unavailable until July. 

A frustrated Jobe told the court another officer could provide the exact same testimony.  The two officers were reportedly together during the entire time between the pursuit and the arrest.

“I don’t have any reason to believe that officer (no first name available) Gomez can’t give the exact same testimony,” said Jobe.

On Thursday, during a preliminary hearing, Judge Bowell Colin said to attorney Jobe that he was “not going into how the People did not approve that case, one way or the other.”

Attorney Jobe exposed the loopholes she identified in the case, and she responded, “Well, the reason they were off the record was that officer Gomez could not make an identification given that officer Gomez was almost there the entire time.”

Additionally, she stated that a lot of critical pieces of information from the prosecution were missing from this case, noting, “There must have been some other conversation they had (referring to Officer Gomez) and the prosecutor must give me more information on that conversation with that officer, and additional discovery they are not turning over.”

Jobe added she asked for that discovery at the beginning of April and she did not receive any of it.

She informed the court that it is not the first time and argued “it’s been an ongoing problem not just in this case but with many cases I have. With discovery not being turned over and DAs not being ready over and over again”

Finally, she said, because of those reasons, the accused is sitting in custody when, referring to the timeline, he should now be in a preliminary hearing.

The judge rejected the prosecution’s suggested continuance date, and stated that he was not going to keep the accused for that long, although court records note the preliminary hearing is, in fact, July 7. The accused is being held on $315,000 bail. 

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