By Ximena Cesa
MODESTO, CA – Here in Stanislaus County Superior Court Tuesday, during a case management conference, presided over by Judge Valli K. Israels, the inability to secure a concrete housing location for the accused could lead to more days in jail.
During the conference, the accused sought to be released from jail until the trial takes place. Deputy Public Defender Serenity Wang said the only reason the accused has not been released on bail is because he cannot afford it.
The accused is charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly looking through the windows and trying the door knobs of his neighbors in an apartment complex. With this, Deputy District Attorney Daniel Newton argued the accused asked two separate individuals if their husbands were home, suggesting he was trying to get into the apartments.
The judge ruled that because the alleged victims are in the same apartment complex the accused would not be able to be released from jail.
DPD Wang assured the court that if released, the accused would have somewhere else to stay, such as with his grandmother—away from the complex.
In addition to this, Wang pointed out the accused has no violent convictions or records and is an active member of the community with almost all of his family members living in the area.
Considering these factors, the judge asked those in court attendance if any of them were there for the accused. Two men raised their hands.
Of the two men one of them identified himself as the accused’s nephew. The judge then asked the man if the accused could stay with him. The nephew replied that he lived with his mother, who was the accused’s aunt, and that the accused could stay with them.
Judge Israels then asked DPD Wang if she had consulted with the nephew prior to the conference. Wang, however, had not, and took a minute to talk to the nephew.
DPD Wang returned to her seat and DDA Newton continued to state that if granted release, the accused should still not be allowed near the apartment complex even to collect his things.
With this arrangement seemingly in place, Judge Israels asked the nephew one more time if he was promising the court to assume responsibility for the accused’s new housing location.
The nephew, however, seemed to backtrack his previous statement and stated he would first have to ask his mother, and the judge said, “Oh so [the accused ] does not have a place to live?”
The nephew did not reply and the judge advised Wang to consult with the court attendee.
Despite having no violent convictions and multiple possible places to live, through the accused’s aunt and grandmother, without a solidified housing plan, Judge Valli was not willing to grant bail at this time—leading to a postponement in the conference.