Man on Zoom Live from Custody Cell Requests No Bail Release Despite 12 Open Cases

By Taylor Smith

WOODLAND, CA – Out of an abundance of caution in light of COVID-19, the accused was present here Friday morning in Yolo County Superior Court on Zoom live from what appeared to be a cell at Monroe Detention Center. 

Despite having 12 open cases—but just one felony—against him, the accused and his attorney requested that he be released on supervised release and no bail.

“The request today is that we do a pre-plea report for probation in case 0021. That’s the sole felony, as I recollect, as 2705 was reduced by the People. [The accused] is asking the court to be released on supervised OR,” said Deputy Public Defender Joseph Gocke.

Though he may only have one remaining felony, the accused is also accused of 11 misdemeanors—some of which include burglary/theft, trespassing, possession of drugs and unauthorized drug paraphernalia, and writing fraudulent checks.

Judge David Rosenberg confirmed there was only one count on the felony. He then asked for thoughts on the request from Deputy District Attorney Michael Vroman, who displayed dwindling tolerance for the request being made. 

Vroman explained that the last time the accused was released, it took him less than six weeks to violate his terms of release and get arrested again.

“The defendant had been released from custody here in Yolo County, I believe sometime in March of this year. He was placed in Salvation Army as of March 17. By April 26, the defendant had left Salvation Army and didn’t show up in court, so bench warrants were issued for his arrest. He didn’t return until he returned in custody back in July, about a couple weeks ago,” the DDA asserted.

Vroman added, given the recent failures to appear, he does not believe that SOR would be appropriate for the accused and his situation.

At this point, the accused decided he needed to explain himself. He stood up in front of his Zoom camera, lowered his mask, and spoke to the judge.

“I came back from San Jose and reported to probation. I had a job and they told me to go back to San Jose, and I missed a court date, unfortunately, because it’s expensive to go from San Jose back and forth,” he explained. 

But, he added, “I worked for two months in San Jose, and then I came back here on the Fourth of July. Then I was arrested, but I did check in with probation. I didn’t not sustain contact with probation.”

After this statement, Judge Rosenberg asked for second opinions once again—this time from Guillaume Denoix from probation. Although it may have seemed to be a reasonable excuse that the accused had given, Denoix showed little mercy on the premise of his past.

He said he would concur with the DDA that the accused would not be suitable for SOR, telling the court, regardless of his excuses, last time they tried this the accused was not compliant, explaining, “He did check in that following day, but upon leaving the program according to my notes here, immediately following that he had admitted to getting back into drug use, and I see shortly thereafter he was revoked.”

Judge Rosenberg ruled, “I will ask for an SOR report from probation before I set that for return, so we can consider it.”

The case will be brought back on Aug. 15, for a return and review of the requested report, and then again Sept. 2 for a pre-plea report.

About The Author

Taylor is a second year student at UC Davis pursuring a degree in Communication with a minor in Philosophy. She plans to graduate in 2023 and hopes to attend law school post-graduation to explore her many passions.

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