COURT WATCH: Past Comes Back to Haunt Man – Judge Keeps Him in Jail

By Citlalli Florez

MODESTO, CA – A judge here in Stanislaus County Superior Court has denied a no bail release for an accused, in part because of the man’s juvenile record.

The pretrial conference was in reference to a felony charge. Meanwhile, the man has a case on hold for a misdemeanor awaiting sentencing.

The bail for the felony case was initially set to $5,000. Another case has $10,000 bail. They were later, in each case, cut in half by the court.

The assigned public defender stated they would be requesting the accused be released on his own recognizance with no bail because the accused does have a place to live in Modesto, with family away from the victims; there is also a protective order in place to protect the alleged victims in the case to maintain public safety.

A cousin of the accused agreed to house him if he were to be released. But, the judge didn’t see this as convincing and didn’t believe this would count as a means of housing away from the alleged victims, although there were no injuries in the alleged incident.

The alleged victims were the grandfather, the owner of the house which the accused allegedly vandalized, and his father, who was present at the scene.

The defense attorney stated the accused was able to get to work by himself and is able to use public transportation to get there. The accused also has been doing odd jobs in Turlock, said the DPD, adding, “he does have some criminal history, however it’s relatively minimal.”

Deputy District Attorney Ney Montenegro countered “though this is property crime and nobody was injured, the people would oppose releasing the defendant on his own recognizance.”

The prosecutor argued the accused came into the house by banging and damaging the door as well as the screen and allegedly caused about $800 in damages by doing so.

DDA Montenegro continued, saying “the defendant was making incoherent statements, made very aggressive, and again nobody was injured, nonetheless the defendant has extensive criminal history.”

The court was told the accused had some marks on his record from when he was a juvenile and as an adult he had convictions for misdemeanors and felonies based on property crime. He is on probation for a driving under the influence case and has had multiple low level offenses.

The DDA stated that “the People are definitely concerned the defendant will be allowed into the public again, to commit new crimes and for those reasons, the People would object to any bail reduction for him to be released on his OR.”

When the judge asked if the anger management program, which was assigned from a different case, was completed by the accused, the DPD responded that the agreement was made last month and work-related constraints had prevented the accused from attending yet.

The accused revealed he works a series of odd jobs for 20-25 hours a week with a pay of $17 dollars an hour.

The judge responded, “I won’t release him on his own recognizance, I’m thinking about lowering the bail for both or one, but I am concerned…you’ve had crimes of violence as a juvenile, although they weren’t called crimes at that time of your age, they were still acts of violence and then we have property damages after that.”

He continued, “And I don’t know anything about your cousin or the situation of your family to be able to say that you will be able to stay away from your grandmother and your father at this point in time, so the most I can do is to reduce bail ($5,000 in one case and $2,500 for another).”

Although the bail was reduced, the accused was not allowed to be completely released on OR due to the public safety threat arguments conducted because of the accused’s juvenile history and reported low level offenses. The judge also did not think the accused had a proper place to live, despite an appropriate one being referenced.

About The Author

Citlalli Florez is a 4th year undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley. She is currently majoring in Legal Studies, Chicana/o Studies, and Art Practice. She intends to attend law school in the future with the purpose of gaining skills to further serve her community.

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