COURT WATCH: Public Defender Vouches for Client, but Judge Won’t Drop Arrest Warrant

By Ivan Villegas

WOODLAND, CA – “Is there an active warrant in this case?…There’s a new case?” Judge Tom Dyer began by asking Monday morning in a pretrial conference hearing in Yolo County Superior Court.

“This is news to me but I will take appointment in this new felony case,” replied Deputy Public Defender Katie De Anda, taking the felony case in addition to the misdemeanor case that the hearing was originally meant to address.

The accused was charged with unauthorized entry of a dwelling, a misdemeanor, in October of 2022. The new charges, including sexual battery, allegedly occurred while the accused was out free on the promise to appear at future court dates.

The PD explained that “we can’t do the formal arraignment but we will take appointment given that we already represent him in the misdemeanor case,” asking for the arrest warrant to be recalled, claiming the accused was maintaining good contact with his attorney.

“We could put it on calendar for later this week and we can try to get him in here maybe on Friday to do the arraignment on this,” the PD added.

In response, Deputy District Attorney Jose Figueroa objected, arguing that “this isn’t like he missed a court date, failed to show up and the court issued a warrant. This is a warrant because he committed a new law violation.”

The DDA then urged the judge to keep the arrest warrant active, charging, “I don’t know where [the accused] is but I think he needs to be in custody.”

PD De Anda then replied, “this [new charge] is from Oct. 23, 2023. We are now in April, so it’s not that new law violations have occurred recently, these are older.

“I understand the seriousness of the charges, that’s why I’m saying let’s try to get him here in court on Friday to handle these issues,” argued DPD De Anda.

Judge Tom Dyer quickly concluded, “I’m not going to recall any warrant, what I’m going to do is put it out for Friday. However, I don’t know if you’re going to get him in by then.”

Both attorneys agreed on the next court date and Judge Dyer scheduled the arraignment hearing for April 21.

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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