By Annie Rudolph
MODESTO, CA – Judge Valli Israels denied a defense attorney’s request to release an accused man on his own recognizance (OR) from jail, despite confusion in the courtroom about the man’s identity Monday here in Stanislaus County Superior Court.
The accused claimed he was not the man arrested in either of the matters before the court, both pending misdemeanor charges—no one in the court appeared to have proof of his identity.
Neither Judge Israels nor Deputy District Attorney Jared Carrillo could confirm the accused’s identity due to the scarcity of discovery materials.
Finally, the defense urged the judge to release the accused on his own recognizance, and not bail because the accused posed no danger to public safety and he would be able to live with his parents.
The judge agreed the accused posed no threat to the public but added she was worried he might be a flight risk for the court because one of the pending charges involved a failure to surrender to arrest as well as a previous bench warrant the court imposed.
The defense argued that without proof of his identity, the accused may well not be the person who resisted arrest, and therefore the accused posed no flight risk.
The DDA countered the accused’s prior criminal record gave reason for continuing to incarcerate him while awaiting the next hearing.
DDA Carrillo agreed to send in a request for the relevant discovery after the hearing which he admitted would take at least four business days to obtain.
The defense attorney requested the ID hearing be set on the “earliest possible date” in order to confirm the accused’s identity regarding the pending charges.
The judge agreed to set an ID hearing in a week but in the meantime denied the OR request. In doing so, she kept bail at $5,000 for the accused’s release.
After the accused man left the courtroom in custody and off the record, the DDA summoned the defense attorney over and exclaimed, “Okay, here’s what I’m gonna tell you… If it turns out to be him I’m gonna be really pissed that you sent me on that wild goose chase. Not you but if he wastes my time…cause I’m gonna have to bring cops in here for an ID hearing and if they point at him and they say, ‘Yup that’s the dude I cited.’”
The “wild goose chase” cited by the DDA referred to obtaining essential information to confirm the incarcerated and accused person’s identity.