COURT WATCH: Probation Urges Judge to Keep Man with Mental Health Issues in Jail, Despite DA and PD Agreeing Accused Should Be Freed 

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By Bryan Miller

WOODLAND, CA –  A man struggling with mental health issues here was in Yolo County Superior Court this week for an arraignment on several felony vandalism charges, and was held in jail—at least for now—rather than being released before trial.

During the arraignment, Deputy Public Defender Aman Davtyan and Deputy District Attorney Jose Figueroa agreed the man should be released on Supervised Own Recognizance (SOR) while seeking treatment for any drug related problems.

Probation, however, asked Judge Catherine Hohenwarter to hold the accused because it allegedly was his third time facing similar charges, and because of his drug abuse issues.

The judge disagreed, but ordered the accused not to be released from jail until a facility was available to house him.

DDA Figueroa’s only requirement for this is that there was a place “with a bed” for the accused to stay. This was an idea that was supported by Judge Hohenwarter.

The representative from probation, when asked, was not supportive of the idea of the accused being released on SOR and requested the accused remain in custody, noting the accused has faced charges similar three times and often did not take the medication as required.

The probation officer argued SOR with drug treatment programs would continue to fail and, because of the repeated nature of the crime, the accused should be put back in the custody of the sheriff’s office.

Judge Hohenwarter did not agree with the representative from probation, stating not taking medications and drug program failure can be a result of mental health issues. She believed that it would be best to release the accused to a program that “best suits his condition” rather than keep him in custody.

According to the court report the accused will be released to probation “when a residential treatment facility becomes available,” but meanwhile will be held in jail.

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About The Author

Bryan Miller is a fourth year political science - public service major at UC Davis. He has a desire to pursue law in the future and has a large interest in the justice system and constitutional law. In his free time Bryan likes to spend time outdoors fishing and hiking.

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