By Tommy Nguyen
VENTURA, CA – Tension filled the Ventura County Superior Court at Deandre Simms’s warrant arraignment earlier this week after defense counsel claimed the accused cannot post bail in another state unless the Ventura warrant is withdrawn.
The judge vehemently disagreed to withdraw the Ventura warrant.
Simms is charged with a felony evading an officer and a misdemeanor DUI (driving under the influence).
According to Defense Attorney Victor Sherman, the accused was in custody at this time in Wisconsin and bail had been set on a federal matter there. He will not be released until bail is posted, and bail can’t be posted until the CA warrant is withdrawn.
Judge Patricia Murphy wondered why the Ventura warrant needed to be recalled in Ventura, to which counsel responded the accused just wanted to post bail for his case here, but he clearly cannot do that unless he is released from Wisconsin and makes an appearance in California, which can only be done with the warrant in CA recalled.
This request was also a suggestion from the bail bondsperson, who said that “as long as the warrant is out, he [the accused] can’t post bail.”
Judge Murphy expressed concerns the accused was charged with “a very serious offense with a strike allegation,” and there is no reason for her to recall the warrant and hope that one day he will post bail and physically appear.
Sherman insisted that Simms just wanted to post bail himself, and the clerk officer in Wisconsin will not accept it “as long as the warrant is out.”
And the judge, without hesitation, asserted she is not willing to trust the accused to do what he promised and lose jurisdiction over him.
The defense was concerned that there is no other way to resolve the issue, and Judge Murphy implied that she has no control over what happened in Wisconsin. She just wanted to make sure the warrant is in place to prevent the accused from disappearing.
Defense Attorney Sherman then noted Simms’ substantial bail of over $100,000 for the federal case in Wisconsin that he was not able to post as long as the warrant out of Ventura is outstanding.
The judge refused to take that into consideration. The only way the court can guarantee retaining jurisdiction over the accused is to either have him physically in the courtroom during the arraignment, or that he get transferred or picked up by the sheriff’s department on the warrant, according to the judge.
“I understand your goal is to have him post bail in Wisconsin and then come here voluntarily. I don’t trust that he is gonna do that, so I’m not willing to recall the warrant,” Judge Murphy insisted.
Defense counsel suggested that if Simms can afford the $100,000 bail then “maybe he can ‘satisfy the court’s warrant,’ or in other words, guarantee his appearance. The judge refused to comment.
Counsel then suggested the court make an order that the accused be released upon the posting of the bail (in Wisconsin), which Judge Murphy deemed no different from recalling the warrant.
Sherman also implied that he has the authority as the attorney who appeared on Simms’ behalf, and the court can still retain jurisdiction on the accused through him.
Before counsel could go on with his argument, Judge Sherman gave her final remarks and concluded the arraignment:
“Counsel, I’ve made my point, I can’t make it any clearer to you, I’m sorry if you don’t understand or agree, but I’m not recalling the warrant. If there’s any other way for you to post bond, then it can be done either with the clerk’s office or the bail bond company. But if it requires me to withdraw the warrant, I’m not doing it.”