Judge Listens, but Still Sets $50,000 Bail for Woman Living in Car and Pleading to Find Her Lost Dog  

By Sunny Zhou

WOODLAND, CA – Yolo County Superior Court Judge Daniel M. Wolk last week set bail at $50,000 for a woman, who seemed most concerned about finding her missing dog and retrieving her life’s possessions from where they were stored in her car.

The accused was charged with receiving stolen property, identity theft, possessing controlled substances and possessing drug paraphernalia.

Deputy District Attorney Amanda Zambor and court-appointed Defense Attorney Rodney Beede debated the issue of whether to set bail in this case. The accused was out on a bail bond for a separate felony and had failed to make a court appearance earlier in January.

“A pretrial assessment was done not recommending SOR (supervised no bail release),” Zambor said, and clarified to Beede the prosecution would not be accepting a SOR.

Judge Wolk said, “She hasn’t appeared in court, she’s looking at two serious felonies and… an enhancement of committing a crime while on bail [and] also a prior felony conviction.”

Zambor argued that bail be set. “She’s high risk to reoffend, she’s proven that, because she’s been out and continues to reoffend, and in the drug case she had a significant amount of methamphetamine.”

When asked by Wolk what the bail amount should be set at, Zambor responded, “The enhancement adds an additional two years to maximum exposure, which would make it five years, so $50,000.”

At this point the accused attempted to address the court, though her audio was muffled. As a bailiff brought over a microphone, Judge Wolk reminded the accused of her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

But the woman spoke up about her concerns over being held in custody, noting, “I have a dog that I’ve had for 10 years. I don’t know who has her right now. My car is in a parking lot in Davis…and it is permit parking only and it possesses everything that I own in it.”

Addressing the court, the accused asked, “Is there any way I can be let out on supervised OR (own recognizance) so I can get the last of my belongings I have left and put them in a safe place? Ankle monitor, whatever, whatever it takes. I have to get my dog. I have to get my dog and I have to move my car.”

When asked if her dog was in the car, the accused clarified, “No, but I don’t know who has her.” She said she would do anything ”to get her from going to the pound.”

Zambor confirmed the car was towed to H&R Towing in West Sacramento, but was unsure of the dog’s whereabouts. “It was released to a person on scene, but I don’t have any indication as to where the dog is now.”

Even more agitated, the accused reiterated, “Can I please get to my dog sir, I will be on supervised OR, I will check in daily if I have to.”

Judge Wolk said he appreciated what she had brought up, responding, “I’m a dog owner myself. I understand that connection with a dog.”

Defense Counsel Beede proposed the accused be released on SOR on the basis that the offenses she was charged with were nonviolent.

The court acknowledged the accused’s inability to afford bail, but still set it at $50,000 to hold her in custody before trial.

“The court will find that out of an individualized consideration of the relevant factors, by clear and convincing evidence that nonfinancial conditions of release or a lesser amount of bail will not protect the public or any victim or reasonably assure the arrestee’s presence at trial,” declared Judge Wolk.

Addressing the accused, Judge Wolk said, “I’m going to ask the district attorney to just check in with the Davis Police Department and let them know about both the car and the dog, okay?”

A preliminary hearing is scheduled Feb. 2 in Department 10.

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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