COURT WATCH: Defense Argues No Reasons to Keep Man in Jail – DDA, Judge Fear for Victim Safety, Bail at $20,000

By Leslie Acevedo

WOODLAND, CA – A man was arraigned here in Yolo County Superior Court and sent back to jail this week on two felony charges, inflicting corporal injury on a spouse and prior felony conviction enhancement, despite defense claims there were “no reasons to keep (him) in custody.”

Yolo County Superior Court Judge Daniel M. Wolk commented that “(the accused) had a number of rights in today’s arraignment and in the course of criminal proceedings.” The accused said he could not afford an attorney and was appointed Deputy Public Defender David Lawrence Muller.

DPD Muller, on behalf of the accused, waived formal readings and entered pleas of denials, time not waived, and noted “probation is not recommending release on (the accused’s) own recognizance (meaning no bail required).”

Muller argued the accused does not have any prior criminal history, scoring a one on probation pretrial assessment, adding that “the only reason (the accused) would not be released on his own recognizance is probation not being able to contact the complaining witness.”

Probation Officer B. Morgan testified that “we made contact with the victim,” and the accused scored a four on a form, explaining that “it is a higher risk score, conflicts with his own risk score on the basic assessment,” giving the accused the potential to re-offend.

Deputy District Attorney Martha Lorraine Wais said that “(the victim) does not feel safe should (the accused) be released from custody,” as (the accused) would “find a way to find her.”

DDA Wais said she was concerned the accused will not follow court orders and will try to contact the victim. Wais requested a no contact criminal protective order, on behalf of the victim not present.

DPD Muller argued, saying “at some point in time (the accused) is going to be released out of custody” despite the victim’s fears, adding that “there is no reason to keep him in custody.” Muller recommends supervised own recognizance with a GPS device, and a criminal protective order to manage the victim’s fears.

DPD Muller told the court the accused is employed, and if he remains in custody, he will no longer be employed, and may lose his housing.

Judge Daniel M. Wolk agreed the accused is low-risk, but added the court had concerns about the safety of the victim and the “egregious nature of what happened (allegedly).”

Judge Wolk said he assumed the accused cannot afford the $20,000.00 bail per schedule, adding “by clear and convincing evidence for all these reasons stated, non-financial conditions of release for a lesser amount of bail will not reasonably protect the victim and (the court) sets bail at the $20,000.00 amount.”

The accused was sent to county jail. The next court date is May 18.

About The Author

Leslie Acevedo is a senior undergraduate student at California State University, Long Beach, majoring in Criminology/Criminal Justice. She intends to pursue a Master's Degree in Forensic Science or Criminal Justice. She aspires to become a forensic investigator.

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