Court Insists Homeless Man Remain Jailed, Sets Aggregate Bail at $4,000 for ‘Non-Community’ Non-Violent Offenses

By Brinda Kalita

WOODLAND, CA – In Yolo County Superior Court this Tuesday, Judge Daniel Wolk set an aggregate $4,000 bail for a homeless man for multiple misdemeanor charges and denied him supervised own recognizance release, forcing him to stay in jail.

The court calendar shows nine separate cases against the accused, eight misdemeanors and one felony. The felony case involves vandalism, Count 2 is a misdemeanor paraphernalia possession, and there is a prior felony enhancement to be heard Feb. 28.

Prior to the hearing, the accused bail was $18,000 for both his felony charge and misdemeanor charges.

Deputy Public Defender Stephen Betz asked for the bail amount to be reduced to the minimum amount for the misdemeanor charges.

“The defendant is homeless, and is currently living off of the generosity of others. Plus, these are property offenses, not community offenses,” PD Betz argued in his plea for minimum bail.

PD Betz also asked if the man could be placed under supervised own recognizance release rather than being kept in custody, because he has a place to stay in Woodland, meaning he would easily be able to come to court when asked.

“Supervised OR is a program to assist our clients, especially those who are suffering from poverty and homelessness and can help them with services that can assist them in moving forward,” PD Betz added in his request.

After hearing from PD Betz, Judge Wolk asked Deputy District Attorney Martha Wais her stance on the accused’s current custody situation.

DDA Wais opposed supervised OR for the accused, arguing “he is being charged for 11 cases, he has no desire to get treatment for his current substance abuse problems, and based on previously done risk assessments, he will continue to put the community at risk.”

Judge Wolk sided with the prosecution, and agreed that based on the fact the accused was deemed as a “9” based on risk assessment tools, he has no ties to Woodland, and the court fears the accused would not be able to comply with OR requirement.

Judge Wolk also reduced final bail amounts to $500 for each misdemeanor charge, which would be an aggregate total of $4,000.

The accused remains in jail prior to his preliminary hearing for the felony charge Feb. 28.

About The Author

Brinda is a student at UC Riverside, pursuing a degree in History with a Law and Society emphasis. She plans to attend law school after receiving her bachelors.

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