COURT WATCH: Judge Adamant, Chooses to Resolve Yolo County Case First Before Sacramento County Gets Shot at Accused

By Cynthia Hoang-Duong

WOODLAND, CA – “You’re asking me to add a whole other layer of complexity to resolving by sending (the accused) there and having him [brought] back. I’m not interested in that,” concluded Judge Samuel T. McAdam at the end of a man’s hearing in Yolo County Superior Court this week.

The accused is facing two separate cases. In an earlier case, he was charged with a felony for the theft of a vehicle and a misdemeanor for resisting a peace officer. He was also charged with violating his probation (VOP) twice, subject to an enhancement for committing the violation while on his own recognizance release (OR).

More recently, the prosecution brought a list of charges against him, including felonies for burglary and vandalism and misdemeanors for tampering with a vehicle, resisting a peace officer—subject to an enhancement for a prior conviction—petty theft, prowling, and possessing burglary tools.

The accused currently has another pending VOP case in Sacramento. He was arrested out of Fairfield in January after he failed to contact probation.

Deputy District Attorney Stephanie Allen informed Judge McAdam that, according to the Sacramento probation report, the accused is expected to face 30 days of jail time there and there is an active no-bail bond hold.

Because of this urgency to resolve the Sacramento case and the expected jail time, Deputy Public Defender Sarah MacDonald protested that if the court does not resolve that case first, it would prevent the court from resolving the current case in Yolo County.

This is because even if the accused accepts the plea deal in Yolo—probation with treatment—he still must return to Sacramento to resolve the pending case.

Therefore, elaborated MacDonald, it would disrupt any resolution where treatment would be contemplated by the prosecution—particularly because of the case’s no-bail bond hold and expected jail time.

She suggested the judge set the next court date and allow the accused to settle the case in Sacramento first and potentially avoid trial in the Yolo case through a resolution between the prosecution and defense.

DDA Allen disagreed with her claims, clarifying the prosecution had modified its offer. Previously, they offered probation with six months of mandatory treatment—as the defense assumed.

However, after discovering the accused had left treatment the last time he was granted a supervised own recognizance release (SOR), the prosecution increased the offer to a middle-based sentencing term. This is because the pending VOP in the Sacramento case violates the probation terms in this case. Therefore, treatment is no longer the current offer.

Further, the DDA noted the Sacramento case occurred before this case. Therefore, it would not hinder resolution in the Yolo case because the circumstances have remained the same.

“I don’t believe sending him to Sacramento and just playing a game of ping pong back and forth would do any sort of good or promote efficiency in this case,” said DDA Allen.

Considering the alleged crimes in both cases, the judge determined the cases in Yolo County possessed more serious charges. And when confronted with conflicting jurisdiction in the court, he concluded that the more serious matter should take precedence.

In response, MacDonald reiterated her concern that the offense in Sacramento could result in a potential prison term. However, the prosecution in that case estimated 30 days of jail time.

Regarding the DDA’s reasons to revise her offer, the DPD argued the situation in which the accused left treatment occurred more than two years ago. She maintained that he was “completely different” and had been in custody for awhile.

Although acknowledging her arguments, Judge McAdam denied the defense request to let Sacramento have the first go at the accused, who remains in jail, subject to the bail setting with the VOP trailing.

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