Judge Sets $450,000 Bail for Homeless Man Facing ‘Life Crime’

By Roni Ayalon, Jariah Moore and Ramneet Singh

WOODLAND, CA – Yolo County Superior Court Judge Daniel Wolk set an aggregate $450,000 bail for a man in alleged burglary and vandalism cases, despite the deputy public defender’s assertion the accused is homeless and could not pay.

Court records show a first degree burglary charge and “another person” enhancement from this year. There was also a prowling misdemeanor, a “prior felony conviction” enhancement, repeat offender enhancement, two “habitual criminals” enhancement, and committing a crime on bail/OR release.

A second case, listed for review but not the lead case, was a felony vandalism with an unlawful possession of paraphernalia misdemeanor. There was a repeat offender and a prior felony conviction enhancement.

A motion was granted for OR release last November “subject to conditions of parole,” and a PX Prehearing conference in December and it shows he remained on OR.

Concerning custody, Deputy Public Defender Peter Borruso explained to the court “there wasn’t an SOR report filed,” due to the nature of the charge, and stressed the accused “can only afford a nominal amount of bail.”

Parole Officer Jennifer Martinez confirmed “he is still on parole…the hold was dropped today and we will not be filing a revocation at this time.”

Judge Wolk noted that in the December court hearing for the second case, the accused was in treatment and was remotely present.

Parole Officer Martinez clarified the accused was at Cache Creek Lodge, but was told that he wasn’t being compliant—Martinez stated that “we went to talk to him and he said I’d just rather be in jail.” The man was sent to jail briefly and released.

Deputy District Attorney Melinda Aiello detailed the current charges against the accused, noting the alleged victim woke up and found the accused in her home and he pretended to fall asleep when she told him to leave.

Eventually, he did leave the victim’s home and someone else called “the police because he was peering into other windows.”

Aiello stated the accused is facing a “life crime” because the felony was violent, and because the accused has “two prior violent or serious felonies.”

She continued, saying that “the fact that he was on parole and the fact that the court did grant an OR on a vandalism case…and he has indicated an unwillingness to comply with a drug treatment program, I don’t see how the court can seriously entertain any type of release. I think the question should be what amount of bail, if any, would protect the public.”

Aiello then recommended setting bail which, for a life crime, she said is $400,000.

DPD Borruso responded by stating we don’t know the intent, but that it will get “worked out.” He stated we don’t know “whether or not this was an actual intent to commit a felony or theft inside or if this was someone trying to squat in property.”

Borruso asked for the bail to be affordable and that “the court still has to engage in a Humphrey’s analysis” (which mandates courts consider ability to pay when setting bail rather than just using the county bail schedule).

But, according to DPD Borruso, the accused is “homeless and doesn’t have any income.”

Still, the court agreed with “the guideline” and set bail at $400,000 for the burglary case. The court would set bail at $50,000 for the vandalism case. A total of $450,000 bail for a near penniless man, according to his public defender.

Judge Wolk set a court date for Jan. 27.


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