COURT WATCH: Yolo County Judge Rules Sufficient Evidence to Uphold Charges, Overriding Defense Arguments

By Lily Rusk 

WOODLAND, CA – Defense Attorney James Granucci argued to the judge here in Yolo County Superior Court Tuesday there was not sufficient evidence to charge the accused with Count 3, felon in possession of a firearm, and Count 4, possession of ammunition by a prohibited person.

Judge Sonia Cortés, however, found there was sufficient evidence at the preliminary hearing and held the accused to answer to Counts 3 and 4.

More than a year after a complaint was filed against the accused, Deputy District Attorney Aaron Rojas filed a motion to add two new counts, in addition to the two counts already charged. But, the DDA’s motion to add additional counts was denied by the court, leaving only Counts 3 and 4.

During this preliminary hearing, the prosecution called Reiko Matsumura, a sheriff’s deputy, who testified to responding to a text message sent to her personal phone number from a business owner who was a friend of hers, bypassing the normal channels. This business owner asked Matsumura to come to her florist shop in connection with a check fraud case.

Upon arriving on the scene the deputy said they saw a vehicle in the parking lot with the accused in the passenger seat. The accused willingly opened the door for Matsumura at which point Matsumura questioned the accused and discovered a relationship with a suspect in the florist’s  check fraud case. Another deputy arrived on the scene and they both searched the car.

Matsumura testified the other deputy on the scene, not present in court, found the firearm in the car in a Walmart bag and that deputy relayed that information to Matsumura, who did not see that take place. Matsumura could not testify as to whom the car was registered to or what fingerprints were on the firearm.

Along with this, Matsumura testified to the accused giving a fake name, but the deputy handcuffed the accused before finding out this was a fake name, so it wasn’t a factor in the initial detention.

After the testimony from the deputy, DDA Rojas moved to enter the accused’s rap sheet. Defense attorney Granucci objected to the lack of foundation and hearsay of this document. DDA Rojas argued it was a public record. Granucci argued that the rap sheet was not certified by the Department of Justice which is the custodian of record so it was not admissible.

Despite arguments for the defense, Judge Sonia Cortés let the rap sheet come in as evidence.

Defense attorney Granucci argued there was not sufficient evidence to charge Counts 3 and 4. Judge Sonia Cortés found there was sufficient evidence and held the accused to answer to Counts 3 and 4.

About The Author

Lily Rusk is a first-year student at the University of California, Davis majoring in Philosophy with a Pre-Law focus. She hopes to go to law school and pursue a career in Criminal Defense. In her free time, Lily loves to read and listen to music.

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