COURT WATCH: Accused Facing Homelessness, Substance Abuse/Addiction, Warrants Services Ordered by the Court  

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 Estrella Torres

LOS ANGELES, CA — At Wednesday’s bench warrant hold hearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the accused—living with homelessness and substance abuse—faced charges of identity theft and possession of a dagger, and gave updates on his ongoing substance addiction treatment.

Judge Kathryn Solorzano, who highlighted the “desperate” situation faced by the accused, thus mandating treatment measures through the court for his rehabilitation, noted reports stating the accused was “(w)orking on getting services from a community-based treatment” and that he has been in “contact” with his probation officer.

The accused provided proof to Judge Solorzano on his most recent “21-day treatment,” clarified Deputy Public Defender Marie Theresa Geelan.

Deputy District Attorney Juliet Evelyn Schmidt added the accused had recently tested positive for methamphetamine, demonstrating his ongoing battle with addiction.

The report also noted the accused should be required to take “(s)essions of NA (Narcotics Anonymous), a recovery program and support group for those attempting to recover from drug abuse and addiction. These NA sessions would allow the accused to attend regular meetings with people facing similar experiences to share their problems or stories,” the report added.

Shortly after, Judge Solorzano asked the accused where he is currently sheltered and residing. The accused promptly responded that he was homeless and was living “on the streets” and “sleeping in friends’ cars” at most.

In response, the DPD Geelan guided her attention toward the accused, asking him if he needed help looking for shelter so that she could provide some kind of service for him.

“You have to start doing NA,” continued Judge Solorzano, pointing out how the accused “looks like he is struggling.”

Based on the report criteria and the accused’s current status, Judge Solorznao ordered the accused to attend NA sessions “four times a week,” clarifying that such sessions are “free in the neighborhood” that the accused prefers.  She further mandated the accused keep up with his parole officer on his treatment progress.

“What you need to do for this case, is what you need to do for your life .. you need it,” asserted Judge Solorzano when referring to his NA sessions and treatment for substance abuse.

Judge Solorzano closed by characterizing the current condition and situation of the accused as “desperate. You must start doing things for yourself,” she clearly advised him in her final remarks.

About The Author

Estrella Torres is a first-generation Latina student in her 3rd year at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is pursuing a major in Political Science and a minor in Public Affairs. Estrella has a strong passion and dedication to addressing social justice issues and political activism both in her high school and university. Her positionality as a student coming from a Mexican immigrant household has fueled her to pursue career goals involved with social justice and immigration law. She hopes to help undocumented immigrants as a lawyer and promote policies that would better their lives and provide them with fair and equal opportunities. Because of this, she is planning to go on the pre-law track and foster her skills of reading, writing, analyzing, and critical thinking. She hoped to gain more experience in journalism as regards law, local government, and public policy that would further prepare her for her goals.

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