COURT WATCH: Officer Fails to Read Required Miranda Rights Warning before Interviewing Accused; Judge Refuses to Release Prisoner 

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By Julie McCaffrey and Joey Lo 

WOODLAND, CA — In a preliminary hearing at Yolo County Superior Court last week, a probation officer testified he did not hear the accused get read his Miranda Rights, despite the accused being arrested.

Despite that revelation, and over the objections of the defense, the judge refused to release the accused.

The accused is being held for several charges, including possession of a controlled substance, possession of a narcotic controlled substance, unlawfully possessing paraphernalia used to injust/smoke and an enhancement for circumstances in aggravation.

Probation Officer Sergio Pimentel of Yolo County Probation testified he arrived at a residence where the accused was handcuffed outside.

Allegedly, officers searched the accused’s person and his home and found two bags filled with a white powder, which was later tested and confirmed to be fentanyl, as well as three glass pipes.

Deputy Public Defender Danielle Craig asked Pimentel questions about the conversation the officers had with the accused, directly asking, “Did you or did you not hear whether the officer Mirandaized (the accused) before the conversation began?”

Officer Pimentel responded that he did not hear the required warning.

DPD Craig asked what the first words of the conversation were, and Pimentel stated he overheard an officer asking the accused why he would continue using drugs when he has lost friends to them.

During the conversation, the accused allegedly admitted to purchasing, using and selling drugs. He then handed his phone over to Pimentel, who saw numerous text exchanges regarding the distribution of the fentanyl.

Toward the end of the conversation, Pimentel testified he realized it was not being recorded. He then took out his phone and asked the accused to repeat himself.

DPD Craig requested for the accused to be released despite probation being opposed to his release at this time.

Judge Daniel Wolk disagreed, and stated the minute order “should not reflect that language, at least right now.” Judge Wolk then set another hearing for Feb. 23.

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About The Author

Julie is a third year at UC Davis majoring in Communications and Psychology with a minor in Philosophy. Following graduation, she plans on taking a gap year and then attending law school. She hopes to advocate for women's reproductive rights and make the justice system fairer for sexual assault survivors.

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