Defense Cites Lack of Criminal History to Prevent Bail Increase – Judge Sides with Prosecution, Increases Bail to $200,000 – Cites ‘Witness Threats’

By Michael Apfel

MODESTO, CA – Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Linda McFadden increased a man’s bail from $100,000 to $200,000 here this week following a preliminary examination despite the defense providing evidence of the accused’s minimal criminal history.

Following witness examinations, Judge McFadden ruled there was sufficient evidence to go to trial, and arguments regarding a potential increase or outright revocation of the accused’s bail ensued.

Bail had originally been set to $100,000, consistent with the sentencing guidelines, but the prosecution argued for no bail because of alleged threats made by the accused against the witnesses.

“Given what I heard today, I’d ask for no bail,” the deputy district attorney argued. “(Accused) is a danger to his family, and he’s a danger to the public.”

Defense attorney Ryan Roth objected to a revocation or increase in bail, citing the minimal criminal history and arguing that it was not sufficiently clear that the accused had threatened to kill the witnesses.

“We would ask that bail remain at $100,000,” Roth said. “The accused has a limited criminal history, and it’s unclear exactly what (accused) had said to the witnesses in today’s case.”

The judge ultimately sided with the prosecution, stating she believed enough evidence was presented of threats made against witnesses.

“He does have a minimal criminal history, but I think bail should be set (to) at least $200,000” Judge McFadden said. “Whether the witnesses actually heard the accused say ‘kill’ or not doesn’t matter. I’m very concerned, and I’m going to also order a protective order in this instance.”

Bail was finalized at $200,000, protective orders were issued to the witnesses to further provide insurance, and trial dates were scheduled in the upcoming weeks.

About The Author

Michael Apfel is a second year at USC majoring in Legal Studies and minoring in Sports Media Industries. He plans on law school after his undergraduate studies looking to work in social justice.

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