Judge Denies Prosecutor Request to Have Grand Theft Accused Released Only If ‘Tracked’

By Ivan Villegas

WOODLAND, CA – After Judge Tom Dyer was about to release the accused in a nonviolent grand theft case on supervised release without bail, Deputy District Attorney Alex Kian tried his best to convince the Yolo County Superior Court judge that the accused should be released only if he’s tracked with an intrusive GPS.

It didn’t work.

The accused was charged with felony grand theft, possession of controlled substances and possession of burglary tools, on April 3, 2021.

Initially, DDA Kian asked for a continuance for the hearing, effectively pushing it to two weeks.

The accused’s court-appointed defense attorney, James Granucci, conceded on this continuance request, so long as the accused would be released under supervision.

Confused, DDA Kian told Judge Tom Dyer, “I believe he was previously on SOR [supervised release].”

After checking with the probation officer, Judge Dyer replied, “I don’t believe he’s been on SOR before.”

Judge Dyer then reminded the accused that he had not shown up to a previous hearing and added, “I can keep you in custody for two weeks, and we can come back at that time.”

However, in a change of heart, Judge Dyer changed his mind, noting, “I’m going to give you an opportunity, I’m going to release you on supervised release.”

After reminding the accused that he must follow all the requirements under supervised release, Judge Dyer turned to DDA Kian for any special terms.

“I would ask that the defendant be placed on GPS,” said the DDA.

Granucci retorted, “[but] it’s not a crime of violence, it’s the theft of one catalytic converter…so I don’t think the GPS is needed.”

Judge Dyer granted DDA Kian’s request to continue the hearing in two weeks, and decided against the condition that the accused be released under GPS monitoring.

“It looks as if Mr. Granucci is accurate, as I would expect him to be, and in light of that I’m not going to issue the GPS device.”

Judge Dyer concluded the hearing by sternly reminding the accused that, again, he must follow all the requirements under supervised release.

“[I]f you’re not in compliance with SOR, you’ll be back in jail and it makes your life much more complicated. I’m going to release you today. Comply with SOR.”

About The Author

Ivan Villegas (he/him) is a criminal justice graduate from CSU Sacramento. He wishes to continue his studies in law school starting in fall 2023. He is interested in immigration and international law, and hopes to use his degree for a career as an immigration attorney.

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