Public Defender Insists Prosecution Doesn’t Believe Accused ‘Deserves Another Shot’ – Judge Sets Valentine’s Day Trial Date  


By Ivan Villegas

WOODLAND, CA – “I don’t know why these cases can’t resolve, but they [the prosecution] want a felony and we don’t,” said Deputy Public Defender Martha Sequeira this week in Yolo County Superior Court during a trial readiness conference.

DPD Sequeira was explaining to Judge Sonia Cortes why this case was moving to a trial instead of a reduced plea agreement, stating that it was because the prosecution was persistent in keeping the charge against the accused as a felony.

Sequeira explained how Deputy District Attorney Aaron Rojas made an offer, but the accused did not accept and instead the defense made a counter offer, leading to a disagreement, “so we are prepared for trial.”

Judge Cortes asked if anything more would be added and at that point DPD Sequeira explained their reasons for trying to get the charges reduced for the accused.

Sequeira said this about the accused: “He’s young and we’re trying to protect him from another felony, and we’re trying to take into consideration the fact that his [substance] addiction is what led to a lot of these problems.”

In addition, DPD Sequeira stated, “from a community standpoint I don’t know why putting a felony on a kid who’s young and has addiction issues is in his best interest or even good for the community as a whole.”

Sequeira continued, explaining how adding another felony to the accused’s record would only make it more, not less, difficult for someone with multiple felony convictions to be “successful.”

Sequeira conceded she understood the position of the prosecution with multiple cases against the accused besides this one, and a prior felony conviction, but remained steadfast in her argument.

DPD Sequeira concluded, “They [the prosecution] don’t think he deserves another shot… they rejected my misdemeanor offers and so now we’re going to do a trial. That’s all. Thank you.”

Judge Cortes surmised that “the parties may want to continue dialoguing about it,” but set the jury trial for Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.


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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