Court Watch: Judge Helps Skeptical Prosecutor Accept Plan for Accused to Avoid Jail, and Believe in ‘Glass Half Full’

By Hailey Cairns 

WOODLAND, CA – An accused’s sentencing hearing here in Yolo County Superior Court was originally scheduled for last Friday, but Deputy Public Defender Jonathan Opet requested Judge Sonia Cortes instead consider “keeping Stevens on the DEJ track.”

Deferred entry of judgment is where charges can be dismissed if the accused completes an education program.

Prosecutor Chris Bulkeley expressed concerns with this, stipulating the accused “has a series of misdemeanors and a significant felony… (which) is no small thing.” The multiple charges range from vandalism and court disobedience to disorderly conduct.

Despite this pushback, DPD Opet argued the court should consider keeping Stevens on the (deferred entry of judgment review) track, noting, the accused “is doing well, she is out of custody, she is out of warden care, and is currently in wraparound services, which the providers have reported that she is doing well.”

Prosecutor Bulkeley responded he understood Stevens was doing well, but due to her series of “missteps,” “jail time could be best.”

Still, Judge Cortes said she would like to give Stevens a chance, urging Prosecutor Bulkeley to have a “glass-half-full perspective.”

Ultimately, Prosecutor Bulkeley stated he would trust the recommendation of DPD Opet because he “knew him well,” but reminded the courtroom that if it does not work, then they will need to meet to figure something else out, leading Judge Cortes to set their next meeting date for Aug. 25.

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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