COURT WATCH: Man Kept in Custody for ‘Public Safety’ Reasons; Defense Argues All Charges Are ‘Non-Violent’ 

By Audrey Sawyer 

WOODLAND, CA — A man who has an apparent string of various cases (four) consisting of both misdemeanors and a felony saw his probation revoked and was sent back to jail here in Yolo County Superior Court this week because the judge agreed the accused wasn’t following conditions of his release.

Judge Daniel M. Wolk denied a request for the accused to be released on supervised probation, ruling the accused has been granted release without bail four times in the past year.  

Regarding bail, the judge said that a lesser amount of bail will not reasonably protect the public or assure his presence in court. The misdemeanors are $1,000 each, with the felony at $10,000. 

Allegations against the accused include vandalism, trespassing, possession of a controlled substance and not attending court and having spotty contact with probation. The defense said all charges are nonviolent, and questioned whether it is a public safety issue, as cited by the judge, to release him.  

Deputy Public Defender Jose Gonzalez pointed out the accused is not committing any new offenses. He added the main point of revocation is that he has spotty attendance at DRC, but that the accused is local and around and reported to the probation office before getting arrested there and being taken in custody. 

The accused is primarily living on the streets, said the DPD, who argues it “should not be surprising that he has issue with keeping attendance, but is keeping in contact with probation and not committing new offenses.” Gonzalez added the accused is not missing court and is not habitually missing his probation appointments, asking the court to give the accused another chance, which the court did not do.

Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Palumbo charged the accused is on probation (for vandalism) and that a month after his placement,  he was charged with a felony vandalism. Palumbo added the accused only reports to probation when he wants to, not when he is asked to come.

According to Palumbo, the court on April 21 had warned the accused about a lack of compliance with supervised release conditions, and ordered him to go to probation in person later that day, and he did not, noting, “If he does not report (until) a day after court says so, he is not in compliance.”

Palumbo said the accused, when he does attend court, usually does so via ZOOM.

Gonzalez, in defense of the accused, said that when he was representing the accused, the accused came to court. 

About The Author

Audrey is a senior at UC San Diego majoring in Political Science (Comparative Politics emphasis). After graduation, Audrey plans on attending graduate school and is considering becoming a public defender.

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