COURT WATCH: Possibly Mentally Ill Man Sent Back to Jail without Mental Competency Hearing

By Kristin Trent

WOODLAND, CA – A possibly mentally ill man—as noted by the court—Tuesday in Yolo County Superior Court was sent back to jail without a competency hearing, still facing two felonies for alleged vandalism and resisting an officer with threats of violence.

According to Judge Thomas Smith, the accused was brought to court after violating his parole of his prior vandalism conviction and resisting, with violent threats, an officer retrieving him with a warrant.

In court, the accused appeared to be in a state of delusion, stating how the charges against him were connected to his daughter’s kidnapping, mother’s death, and the construction of augmented reality.

“There is no evidence, this is all hearsay, I have done nothing wrong,” the accused said.

During Tuesday’s arraignment, Deputy District Attorney Martha Wais argued the accused’s attempts to escape custody were criminal, warranting pretrial detention.

DDA Weis stressed the importance of denying release to the accused because of his failure to appear in court previously, calling him a “public safety issue” and a “flight risk.”

“The defendant ignored commands for the officer to stop, he spun away from (probation) and fled,” said DDA Weis. “He ran into a civilian and was taken to the ground. He continued to resist and it took three officers to contain him. On the way to the jail the defendant was making threats that he would skin the officer’s face.”

The accused fervently argued over DDA Weis, begging for his release and a “better lawyer.”

Deputy Public Defender Jose Gonzalez-Vasquez kept his argument brief, pleading not guilty on behalf of his client.

Judge Smith, who presided for the first half of the arraignment on Friday, suggested a mental competency hearing at the time, but no hearing was arranged. DDA Weis opposed the mental competency hearing, believing that the mental health team from the public defender’s office was appropriate care, and assured him that “they are very skilled.”

The accused abruptly began speaking incoherently over the DDA, claiming the court’s involvement in the cover up of his mother’s murder.

DPD Gonzalez-Vasquez, DDA Weis and Judge Smith remained silent during the accused’s lengthy explanation, then proceeding to discuss pre-trial proceedings without acknowledging his claims.

Upon conclusion of the arraignment, the accused became unsure with what he was being charged and remarked, “I’ve been begging for someone to help me, please help me.”

The accused left court willingly after the DPD assured the accused of his help.

The accused is set to remain in jail with care from the public defender’s mental health team until his dual hearings Sept. 15. His bail is set at $10,000 and $50,000 for the multiple charges. No mental competency hearing has been scheduled.

About The Author

Kristin Trent recently graduated from UC Davis with a degree in English. She is currently involved in production of Davis Media Access's local radio station KDRT 95.7 FM and hosts DCTV's In The Studio Series in addition to her work for The Vanguard. Currently pursuing a full-time position as a journalist, she is deeply devoted to environmental and social justice journalism.

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