COURT WATCH: Accused Not Released, Facing Difficulty Continuing Mental Health Treatment – But Prosecution, Judge Agree Accused Is a ‘Danger’

By Melinda Kukaj and Citlalli Florez

SACRAMENTO, CA – In Sacramento County Superior Court this week, a man is accused of  allegedly kicking and breaking a Starbucks’ window despite claiming it was an accident because his hands were full.

Now, because he was not granted release from jail, he will have difficulty receiving court-mandated mental health treatment.

But the prosecution and judge agreed the accused is a danger to the community.

The accused was arraigned on a felony complaint, charged with vandalism. He was also either out on bail or pretrial release at the time and has a prior strike conviction.

According to the deputy public defender, the accused went into a Starbucks and asked to use the bathroom. His request was denied and he was then asked to leave. He was allegedly holding many shopping bags so he attempted to use his foot to open the door and in the process he accidentally kicked the window, breaking it.

The DPD asked, on behalf of the accused, that he be released so that he could continue to receive mental health treatment, noting the accused had a parole hold but “they have indicated that they will lift it if he is released.” The DPD requested the court approve a pretrial release.

“He was previously released for mental health diversion so that he may be treated in the community. When he was released he was initially housed with room and board where he has been staying,” said the public defender.

The DPD added the accused has been checking in with his mental health provider. He has also been checking in with his parole and probation officers, and the DPD argued, “We would ask that (the accused) be released so that he can continue on his mental health treatment appointments.”

The accused said he is worried that if he stays in custody now, he will lose his spot in the mental health program he is enrolled in and be homeless once let out.

The DPD noted it would also be impossible for him to receive the same treatment if he were in jail. Additionally, the accused has to come back to court to follow up on his mental health diversion plan regardless of whether he was able to attend or not.

Regardless of this argument, Deputy District Attorney Anissa Galata objected, and argued that “the People are objecting and ask (the accused) remain in custody. I am concerned (the accused) continues to engage in criminal conduct putting the community at risk.”

DDA Galata added another case the accused is being tried for is a felony and is set at no bail and listed two misdemeanor cases are set at no bail as well. He also has another pending misdemeanor case and has had other felony and misdemeanor convictions throughout the last 10 years, the DDA said.

In agreement, Judge Alin Cintean ruled, “I am going to deny the release at this point…(the accused) has four active cases, two of them are felonies. He was out on bail already or out on release at the time of this violation and the other cases as well as this case do indicate that he is a danger to the public.”

About The Author

Citlalli Florez is a 4th year undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley. She is currently majoring in Legal Studies, Chicana/o Studies, and Art Practice. She intends to attend law school in the future with the purpose of gaining skills to further serve her community.

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