COURT WATCH: Judge Denies Release for Homeless Man, Who’s Desperate to Visit Dying Brother

By Madison Whittemore

MODESTO, CA – Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Jeff Mangar denied the accused’s request to be released on his own recognizance (OR), despite acknowledging and “sympathizing” with the accused’s wish to say goodbye to his terminally ill brother.

The accused, a homeless man, has five misdemeanor cases in total, three of which are for violations of probation after the accused violated criminal protective orders (CPO) against the protected party, the accused’s ex-wife.

“I notice that there’s a history here,” Judge Mangar stated, citing the accused’s prior failures to appear and violations of probation before questioning private defense attorney Amy Konstantelos about the request for OR.

However, according to the defense, the accused acknowledged and took responsibility for his prior failures to appear, but wanted the court to know that some of the failures to appear were not intentional because of confusion about court dates he received from the DPD’s office.

“He’s not saying that he does not have those failures to appear, rather he told me that he came to the public defender’s office since Nov. 1 and was told he had put the cases back on for January and February dates,” Konstantelos asserted to Judge Mangar.

Additionally, Konstantelos stated the other failures to appear could be explained by the accused having to take care of his terminally ill brother, who “has full blown AIDS and is passing away from that.”

Defense attorney Konstantelos noted her client was desperate and was willing to do anything to be released on OR to see his brother, even noting the accused offered to take a felony on his misdemeanor cases—which Konstantelos clarified was not a “legal sentence.”

Concluding her remarks about the accused, Konstantelos explained the accused would have a stable place to stay upon his release, which would help mitigate the future risk of the accused failing to appear, since he would have an accessible and consistent address where law enforcement could find him if needed.

Despite acknowledging the defense arguments, the Deputy District Attorney (DDA) Robert Warren vehemently opposed the defense OR request, once again referencing the accused’s numerous failures to appear, which according to DDA Warren occurred in November, August and several other months.

Concurring with DDA Warren, Judge Mangar denied both Konstantelos’s requests for OR and reduced bail, citing the accused’s 44-page rap sheet.

“I sympathize with his current living situation but…there’s a reason why bail is set at $100,555,” Judge Mangar asserted.

Upon hearing the judge’s decision, the accused hung his head, appearing defeated.

The case will remain as is and the accused will remain in custody until Jan. 10, when the court will hold a violation of probation hearing and set a jury trial date.

About The Author

Madison Whittemore is a rising junior at the University of California, Davis where she studies political science and psychology. After completing her undergraduate studies, Madison wants to go to law school and study criminal law while working to improve efforts for prison reform and representation for lower income citizens.

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1 Comment

  1. marlena martinez

    Seriously!! His charges are for probation violation and his request was denied!??! This judge is ridiculous!!! He did not even consider the situation but rather just took what the DA had to say as a ruling!! Funny thing to me is how that’s not a conflict of interest being that both the DA and the judge both work for the State! This judge is making a life altering decision for this guy and couldn’t give 2 fu**s. It’s probation violation not murder or child pedophile. This judge is heartless. If I was that guy and this happened to me. Everyone better stay out my way. Bc I would be a ticking time bomb. I bet if dude was a white collar the judge would do it. This judge is bias and I wouldn’t stand for it. I would do everything in my power to make this judge hate me

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