By Nicole Mayer and Ivan Villegas
WOODLAND, CA – “I think it’s a terrible choice that he [the accused] made, but it’s his life,” private Defense Attorney James Granucci told Judge Timothy Fall about his client’s plea decision during a sentencing hearing in Yolo County Superior Court earlier this week.
Marcus Daniel Tafoya pleaded no contest to a felony charge of theft or unauthorized use of a vehicle with a prior felony conviction. Tafoya was scheduled for a preliminary hearing for this charge and a sentencing hearing for three other cases he had Tuesday.
Granucci asked Judge Fall if they could consolidate the vehicle theft case with the probation report for the prior cases to get a sentence for all four of them in a single hearing.
Judge Fall then set the hearing aside while attending to the other hearings scheduled for the morning. Once returning to it, Judge Fall stated what he thought would be optimal.
“My thought was that he gets the jail time and credits as of Aug. 11 [when Tafoya was in custody]… and from Aug. 11 to today’s date all be assigned solely to the new [vehicle theft] case, because that’s what he’s held on right now,” said the judge.
After consolidating the cases, Judge Fall asked Deputy District Attorney Caryn Warren for any comments on the sentencing.
“Mr. Tafoya was reaccepted into AIC [a diversionary court] and has chosen not to do it… I think that probation is an appropriate offer in this case,” the DDA said.
Judge Fall then turned to Granucci for any comments. Granucci echoed DDA Warren’s comments.
“I did my best to try to talk him into AIC, I had to call in a lot of favors, personally attended quite a few of those meetings to get him back in AIC…I think it [the no contest plea with a probation sentence] is a terrible choice that he made, but it’s his life,” said the defense lawyer.
Judge Fall issued 108 days in county jail for the vehicle theft case and concluded the accused has received credit for it. However, Judge Fall told Tafoya, “You are not considered to have been serving time on the other cases, from Aug. 11 to today’s date.”