COURT WATCH: Man Issued a Protective Order Based on Outdated Charges, Claims Defense

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By Cheyenne Galloway 

WOODLAND, CA – Deputy Public Defender Dave Muller argued here in Yolo County Superior Court last week for his client to be released from jail because there was no report alleging the case for a domestic violence offense that supposedly occurred in January.

The court discussed the status of the accused’s custody and whether or not there should be a Criminal Protective Order (CPO).

After hearing the arguments of DPD Muller and the Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Palumbo, Judge Daniel Wolk ordered the release of the accused on supervised own recognizance, but also ordered the CPO.

Under the CPO, contact by the accused with the alleged victim cannot involve harassment, threats or violence. Moreover, the accused cannot own, possess or try to obtain any firearms or ammunition.

The victim/complaining witness asked for the charges and CPO against the accused to be dropped.

Public Defender Muller contests that under Marsy’s Law and due to the statements given by the complainant, the court must respect the wishes of the complaining witness. “And by imposing this [CPO] against his wishes (the court) is not respecting (the victim),” added Muller.

DDA Carolyn Palumbo argued a CPO against the accused is necessary despite the complainant’s request because, “Looking at the defendant’s rap sheet, he has two prior arrests for domestic violence, one in 2009 and one in 2015 (out of California), where charges were ultimately dismissed or not brought, but there were arrests.”

Palumbo then pointed to “2014 in the state of Alaska, he was convicted of statute 11.41.23 sub A sub 1 on June 23 of 2014. And subsequently, that is a statute that refers to recklessly causing physical injury to another person. Then on June 23 of 2014: shortly after that conviction, he was convicted of violating a domestic violence protective order which makes me believe that the 2014 conviction was domestic violence related.

“And I don’t know if it’s the same victim in those cases, as in this current one, I don’t have those police reports, so I don’t know the name of the victim in those cases,” concluded Palumbo. Based upon the defendant’s previous arrest history coupled with the facts of his current case, DDA Palumbo said she believes that some protection is warranted for the victim.

As for the prior arrest the prosecution invoked in argument, DPD Muller responded, “They [prior arrests] can’t come in during this prosecution. They can’t even come in under 1109 evidence, for they could skew the conviction results and hinder justice for the defendant.”

DPD Muller continued, “One is because an arrest is not a conviction, and it [an arrest] will not typically come in because people have to prove the facts behind the offense or the arrest.”

Muller added the offenses invoked by the prosecution to support its argument must occur within seven years of the current offense. And, said DPD Muller, the accused’s most recent arrest was eight years ago, which is a year shy of the required time period stated in the statute.

As a result, all of the defendant’s prior arrests (that exceed the seven-year threshold), do not matter and cannot matter during the course of this trial, said the public defender, adding, “So they shouldn’t matter here in a course of bail hearing or an own recognizance (OR) release.”

The preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 30.

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About The Author

Cheyenne Galloway recently graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a double major in Political Science and Italian Studies. Graduating at the top of her class and achieving the distinction Laurea cum laude in her Italian Studies major, she showcases her enthusiasm for knowledge, finding ways to think critically and creatively. She is particularly interested in writing and reporting on social justice and human rights, but as a writing/reporting generalist, she enjoys researching and communicating various topics through written expression.

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