COURT WATCH: Judge Sets Bail at $51,000 in Domestic Violence Case, Despite Accused Being Unhoused, Unable to Pay 

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 – Judge Manuel A. Almada set bail at $51,000 for the accused here in an arraignment and plea hearing in the Los Angeles County Superior Court Friday, although the accused said he was unhoused and wouldn’t be able to pay the bail.

The accused was charged with injuring a spouse, cohabitant, fiancée, or parent.

According to Deputy Public Defender Marcus Williams the accused “is currently unhoused but was in the process of having housing lined up. However, he was worried that being in custody would prevent him from being able to secure the housing.”

DPD Williams requested the least amount of restrictions for the accused so he could obtain housing and was even agreeable to electronic monitoring.

DPD Williams asked Judge Almada to release the accused on his own recognizance (OR), a release without the requirement of posting bail, contingent upon the accused appearing to court when told to do so.

Deputy District Attorney Heather Myers objected to DPD Williams’s oral argument, stating the existence of a warrant out of the State of Indiana for a domestic violence case against the accused, in addition to prior domestic violence cases, all with the same victim.

DDA Myers argued, “It is not appropriate to release him on OR [the accused] due to his prior convictions.”

DPD Williams reiterated the accused hasn’t been in contact with the victim, also stating she moved to a different location and the accused would continue to refrain from any interactions or communication with her.

Judge Almada denied the motion to release the accused on his own recognizance, stating that “there were previous cases involving petty theft and drug possession.”

Judge Almada set bail at $51,000, and the accused immediately conveyed to DPD Williams, “I don’t have family that can help pay for it…I have children to take care of.” The accused asked DPD Williams if he could make a statement to Judge Almada, at which point Judge Almada ended the hearing, setting a new court date of March 21 for a pretrial and bail review.

The accused continued to convey to DPD Williams that he wouldn’t be able to make bail. Williams responded, “I would be upset too, but we’ll have another chance.”

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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