By Gracy Joslin
WOODLAND, CA – After a Yolo County Superior Court was unable to determine why an accused man was in custody, Judge David Reed released him Monday.
The judge said, “Absent significant information, I would be inclined to release him on his own recognizance” (without any bail required), even though Deputy District Attorney Deanna Hays disapproved.
This arraignment hearing covered four misdemeanor cases from 2022 in which the man was charged with four counts of pulling a fire alarm when there was no fire, possession of a controlled substance, possession of paraphernalia used to inject or smoke, railroad trespassing, battery, and two counts of petty theft.
Although all the cases listed in the hearing were misdemeanor counts, DDA Deanna Hays said there should have been a felony charge of vandalism in which Judge Reed responded that the man was already arraigned and released on OR regarding that case.
Deputy Public Defender Valerie Nuding said that, according to Deputy Public Defender Monica Brushia, the accused has complied with everything that has asked of him and told her that he promises to check in with probation if released on OR.
Judge Reed then asked, “Well, I am curious what got him into custody this time because none of the new cases are within the last week… doesn’t seem like there were any warrants… Can anybody tell me why he is in custody?”
DDA Hays began to scramble through her records and requested that she could have a minute to find the answer.
Eventually, she said that she was unable to give further information to the court and PD Nuding said it must be an error.
Judge Reed attempted to give his ruling before being abruptly interrupted by DDA Hays who said, “Before you do that, I understand that is going to be your argument,” and proceeded to ask to be heard on why she believes he “is a very significant public safety risk.”
DDA Hays referred to the case regarding four misdemeanor charges for pulling a fire alarm stating that “this causes the Davis fire department to mobilize its entire unit each time he pulls the fire alarm,” adding the accused allegedly doing so “is a huge tax on public resources and safety should there be a legit fire department need for those resources.”
She also argued that the incident in which the man allegedly was trespassing on a railroad track was also a “significant public safety risk” since the Amtrak train driver apparently had to pull the brakes to avoid hitting him.
DDA Hays argued the accused is “a significant public safety risk… even though these are misdemeanors.”
Her arguments did not change the judge’s ruling to release the accused on supervised OR.
DDA Hays requested before the hearing was over that the ruling include he stay away from Pizza Guys in Davis, the 7-Eleven in Woodland off east Main Street, and railroad property.
PD Nuding then jumped in, noting the accused might have to cross over railroad tracks to get into town since he is homeless.
In addition, the PD added that she “would like him to not be on the railroad tracks and use alternative measures if he can… but I don’t want it be a condition that we would have to revoke him unless he’s doing something that is dangerous to the public or himself.”
Judge Reed then clarified that the accused is ordered to not “loiter” on railroad property.
The next hearing will be on Aug. 12.