COURT WATCH: New Prosecutor on Case Insists on Pretrial Jail; Judge Disagrees

By Adam Solorzano

WOODLAND, CA – Deputy Public Defender Stephan Betz, filed a SOR (Supervised Own Recognizance) motion for the accused here in Yolo County Superior Court Friday, but a newly appointed prosecutor opposed the motion, calling the accused a public threat, despite the defense arguing the accused had a minimum criminal record and was not a public safety risk. 

After back and forth, the court disagreed with the prosecutor and released the accused pretrial.

DPD Betz argued the accused be released from jail after his mother found a faith-based residential program for her son, and they had a bed awaiting him upon his release.

The public defender stated the faith-based organization, known as Victory Outreach, also supported members in substance abuse counseling and employment training. He added the program also supported individuals by transporting them to probation and court.

DPD Betz noted the accused’s daughter would be turning five years old in a few days and that, if the court granted the SOR, the accused would be able to spend time with his daughter on her birthday. 

“As we know it is not only the person in jail who suffers but also (the) family. If the SOR would be granted this would help the accused to rebuild this relationship with his daughter and begin to correct his life through the program,” said Betz.

However, Deputy District Attorney Ching Chuanbg Ko, who was new to the case and taking the place of previous DDA David William Robbins, insisted the accused be held in jail pretrial, despite the defense arguments.

The DDA listed previous misdemeanors as the reason for the accused to be held in custody, and, although acknowledging she was new to the case, still said the accused was a public risk.

 Ultimately, Judge Daniel M. Wolk decided to release the accused to his mother and for him to participate in the residential program. The accused will return to court in mid-September for an arraignment on information. 

About The Author

Adam Solorzano is a second year student at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism where his focus is on documentary filmmaking. He has created different short form documentaries in the Bay Area ranging from Oakland street safety, art therapy, R/C lowriders, and deported veterans. He has also worked in Guatemala on a short form video on native bees. Moreover, he has reported on topics of illegal cannabis and criminal records after legalization, the closing of juvenile prisons in California, and the prison to college pipeline for formally incarcerated deported U.S residents. Prior to his graduate career, he majored in comparative literature at UC Berkeley. During this time he focused on English and Spanish literature. In addition, he has also worked as a reentry navigator for formally and incarcerated youth at the Division of Juvenile Justice facilities in California.

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