By Aryal Aglugub
SANTA BARBARA, CA – Carlos Zavala, charged with murder, involuntary manslaughter, and use of a deadly weapon, was released from custody Wednesday on reduced bail here in Santa Barbara Superior Court.
Zavala’s attorney, Public Defender Joaquin Nava, told the court that this case has not followed the proper proceedings, noting, “I do not believe that Mr. Zavala was represented by counsel at the time that the first court set bail.”
He added, “I also believe the issue of bail was reserved, which is why the arraignment was continued.” He suggested there was a conflict of interest with the previous judge, “who set bail without Mr. Zavala having co-recused himself due to his relationship with me as a mentor.”
These circumstances should allow the court to make an order reducing bail, argued PD Nava, also arguing the court could find a good cause based on the lack of analysis that the first court conducted on this case.
PD Nava also brought up new evidence that was presented to the court: “The victim in this case was very violent, and a bully. He attacked people in the past, including Mr. Zavala.”
While this does not excuse the actions of Zavala, he admitted, PD Nava said his client was acting in self-defense.
It was also noted by PD Nava that Zavala was not a flight risk, and has agreed to wearing a tracking monitor such as a SCRAM bracelet.
The PD also said Zavala would agree to all search and seizures, no drugs and alcohol, no possession of weapons, turning in travel documents, having no contact with anyone in this case, and staying in the city of Santa Barbara.
Concluding his argument, PD Joaquin Nava asked the court to set bail at $500,000.
Judge Thomas Adams noted PD Nava made a distinguished argument, and agreed to reduce bail to $200,000 as long as all of the terms presented were followed by Zavala.
Zavala’s next court date will be on Aug. 9 for a preliminary hearing.