COURT WATCH: Prior Juvenile Cases from Age 16 Cited in Denial of Release by Judge 

By Audrey Sawyer

MODESTO, CA – While a Tuesday bail review hearing in Stanislaus County Superior Court did see bail reduced to $100,000, the request for releasing the accused without bail was denied by Judge Linda McFadden, who referenced juvenile history from when the accused was 16, more than 15 years ago.

Defense attorney Kirk Holmen argued the accused (currently a full time healthcare worker) did not have much criminal history, along with having strong community ties.

Holmen added the accused has two children while working full time, and that the accused would abide by any condition that was not detention, such as ankle monitoring, any criminal protective orders, or regular probation check-ins.

A public defender who was recently anticipating possibly standing in for the case told the court that one of the kids of the accused has disabilities and the accused needs to be there to care for him.

However, Judge McFadden noted the current charges (alleged assault on two people, breaking into a home), and said if they were to be found true, the accused will be in prison for a long time.

The PD concurred with what defense attorney Holmen had stated previously, that the accused would abide by any protective orders put in place, and the accused does not live with the person referenced in the complaint.

The PD elaborated the accused did not want to lose their job in healthcare because the job provides benefits that help provide for the accused’s children, and would make it difficult for the accused to “properly care for him,” a child with disabilities, if the job was lost.

Judge McFadden brought up the accused’s juvenile history, stating that it was concerning, noting the accused had a juvenile wardship with assault of a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury, along with another assault with a deadly weapon to a vehicle.

The PD explained the juvenile cases took place when the accused was 16 and emphasized the time that has passed since, arguing, “These cases were regarding their mother who had been abusive… They have reconnected, and (the) mom now helps (them) with childcare. The accused is now 30 and those juvenile matters were over 15 years ago.”

The PD added the accused has since attended counseling and done a significant amount of work,

Judge McFadden said that the court would have to assume the allegations in the charge are true for the purposes regarding bail, but that these “may not” be true.

The PD asked the court if they would be willing to lower the bail so the accused could return to work and assist with the children, explaining the accused also pays $500 a month in rent residing with their parents.

Judge McFadden did reduce bail to $100,000, with some conditions. One condition is that the accused abides by a criminal protective order, and does mental health counseling for at least one session a week.

The case returns May 30 for an early case management conference.

About The Author

Audrey is a senior at UC San Diego majoring in Political Science (Comparative Politics emphasis). After graduation, Audrey plans on attending graduate school and is considering becoming a public defender.

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