COURT WATCH: Judge Denies Defense Claim Accused Needed More Time to Consider Offer because Not Properly Advised 

LOS ANGELES- CA, MARCH 2: Los Angeles Superior Court Stanley Mosk Courthouse March 2, 2004, in Los Angeles Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

By Jenna Tooley

LOS ANGELES, CA- Deputy Public Defender Eric Samuel Adams charged the accused wasn’t properly advised during the preliminary hearing and needed more time to discuss the implications of sentencing at a probation and sentencing hearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court Friday.

However, Judge Lauren Weis Birnstein ultimately denied DPD Adam’s argument and proceeded with sentencing.

A preliminary hearing had already taken place, where the accused was charged with injuring a spouse, cohabitant, fiancé, or child’s parent, and assault with a deadly weapon but not a firearm.

Deputy District Attorney Lillian Lee O’Neill agreed to dismiss Count 2 if the accused pleaded to the terms of sentencing.

At the start of the hearing, DPD Adams stated that “my client wasn’t advised properly and didn’t know what he was agreeing to…(DDA O’Neill) should’ve been willing to give something more beyond the police report.”

Adams added matters weren’t addressed under testimony and “would like time to talk with my client about the implications of sentencing.”

The defender noted he didn’t know how the judge and DDA O’Neill could feel they were doing the accused any justice because further research wasn’t done to investigate the incident, and added the accused wasn’t aware of the circumstances he was agreeing to, and asked the sentencing hearing be delayed a couple of weeks.

Judge Birnstein denied DPD Adam’s statement, stating, “I don’t believe your client was prejudiced and he was properly advised.”

The accused promptly responded with “your mind was already made up…(the prosecutor) wouldn’t even negotiate a deal… you’re biased.”

Judge Birnstein sentenced the accused to an aggregate term of three years, although the accused already has more than 900 days of time served, having almost completed the sentence.

About The Author

Jenna Tooley is a third-year senior studying Political Science with a concentration in American Politics and minors in Global Studies and Public Affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has a passion for social justice and advocacy work and intends on pursuing Law School in the very near future, with a potential specialization in Criminal Law in aims of dismantiling the stigma around incarcerated people and addressing the root causes of recidvism to provides incarcerated people resources and rehabilitation to independently function upon re-entry into society. Outside of her advocacy work she enjoys traveling and sightseeing, aborbing the ambiance of coffee shops, and thifting as a form of self-care.

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