COURT WATCH: Accused Denied Bail after Judge Assumes Man’s Membership in Norteño Gang

By Isabella Walker

MODESTO, CA – Deputy Public Defender Jared Jordan argued his client should be granted bail for his felony assault charges here this past week in Stanislaus County Superior Court, suggesting the accused has “only done work in the past for the Norteño Criminal Street Gang,” and is not a member.

The defense maintained that loose affiliation with the Norteño Gang should not prevent the accused from being released pretrial on bail.

But the prosecution and most importantly the judge disagreed.

Deputy District Attorney Thomas Hogan and Judge Dawna Reeves both said they believed the accused was a full-fledged member of the Norteño Criminal Street Gang, and as such, could be a “risk” to the victim, the victim’s family and “the public safety with this level of violence.”

The defense continued to argue that, unlike the accused’s accomplice in the felony assault, there is no clear evidence confirming the accused’s membership in the Norteño gang.

The DPD said, unlike the accused, his alleged accomplice has a “D” tattoo on his hand pledging membership to the “Deep South Side,” bullet holes in his truck from being involved in a drive-by gang shooting, and additional evidence incriminating his membership in the Norteño gang.

DPD Jordan reaffirmed that not only does the accused lack tattoos necessary for the Norteño gang’s initiation, he is not linked to any of the crimes his accomplice is involved in other than a felony assault.

This felony assault was led by the accused’s accomplice, said Jordan. The pair were doing “donuts and peeling outside of the victim’s house” in a large truck. The smoke from the tires bothered the victim and his children playing outside in the street, so he asked the accused and the driver of the vehicle to stop.

A witness recorded the confrontation and the subsequent assault initiated by the accomplice—not the accused—against the victim. The accomplice began kicking the victim in the head and continued to do so after he fell unconscious.

The accused joined in the altercation by punching the victim once in the back and upper torso, but the video recording stopped shortly after.

The DDA Hogan explained the accused “attempted to pull the phone out of the hands of the witness” while the accomplice of the vehicle threatened, “This is our hood” and this attack was “for Norteño [Street Gang].”

Hogan charged, before “fleeing the scene,” the driver yelled that they would “come back” for the victim’s family.

The victim suffered “large gashes on his back and upper torso” that may have been inflicted by the accused’s punch, said the prosecution.

DPD Jordan said that although the victim had suffered severe injuries, the accused may not be responsible for most of them, noting the recording also shows the accused throwing one punch at the victim’s upper torso.

Prosecutor DDA Hogan charged, “(accused) does one punch, the (accomplice) does one kick—there is no difference,” suggesting that if the court does set bail, and the accused pays it, the family could be in danger.

Judge Reeves ruled in the prosecutor’s favor and the accused was denied bail.

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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