COURT WATCH: Bevy of Felony and Misdemeanor Cases Leads to Judge Setting Bail after Prosecution Calls Man ‘Safety Risk’ 

By Kevin Barragan and Ramneet Singh

WOODLAND, CA – There was discussion here on a bevy of cases—felony and misdemeanor—involving an accused here last week in Yolo County Superior Court, with the main cases seemingly surrounding felony and misdemeanor vandalism charges.

After a wide-ranging court discussion where the public defender argued his client should be released, and the prosecution that he was a public safety risk, the judge set substantial bail so the accused remains jailed.

The court noted four cases initially, with others being referenced throughout the proceedings.

From the calendar, one of the cases was set for a sentencing with the lead felony count of bringing a controlled substance to “prison/jail” among other charges from October 2022. The next case included three counts of felony vandalism from Nov. 22, 2022.

The third case had one case of felony vandalism from earlier in 2022 set for admit or deny of mandatory supervision. The fourth was a misdemeanor vandalism from Nov. 16 listed for pretrial conference.

One case was an arraignment which included three counts of felony vandalism from Nov. 22. Another case discussed in court involved admit or deny of mandatory supervision, with counts including felony vandalism and misdemeanor unlawful entry.

Deputy Public Defender Johnathan Opet wanted to address this case on arraignment. He brought up Count 5, a misdemeanor vandalism, which he believed was charged in a separate case.

After deliberation in the court, Deputy District Attorney Martha Wais stated the separate misdemeanor case would be dismissed.

DPD Opet entered not guilty pleas and asked for the accused’s release, noting that if the accused’s mandatory probation had not expired he should be released under that, and if it had he should be released on his own recognizance.

DDA Wais stated, “Mr. Jones has been in custody since this case occurred. He was on mandatory supervision in the two cases Mr. Opet named, when he committed these crimes.”

She said the accused’s release on Nov. 14, 2022, was followed with alleged vandalism and drug violations Nov. 16 and 22.

The DDA added that “he’s never, according to the notes in our cases, appeared out of custody, each time he is let out, he FTAs (fails to appear),” opposing his release and calling him a public safety risk.

Moreover, she insists they hold a preliminary hearing based on this matter.

The judge noted “as to whether we have a correct computation that time is run under supervision, I do not have enough information to entertain that, of course you can renew that…probation hasn’t had enough time.”

“Mr. Opet, your request for the accused to be released under mandatory supervision—the request is denied and the request for supervised OR is denied as these are tentative rulings,” the court added.

The judge set bail for each case at $10,000 and set a preliminary hearing for the recent case.

DPD Opet argued, “We contest against all the charges, as they have been proven by a jury to be not true,” adding the accused is “close to being timed out on timely supervision (probation),” the accused has “served time for the two felony vandalism charges,” and “is a long-term resident in Woodland, on waitlist for a drug treatment program.”

The public defender insisted his client had been in custody for several months and the court should review his release conditions during the preliminary hearing, which the judge set for mid-April.

About The Author

Kevin Barragan is a first-generation senior at California State University, Los Angeles majoring in political science with an emphasis in prelegal studies and minoring in criminal justice. He plans to attend law school after undergrad in hopes to pursue a law career in advocating for social and civil rights.

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