COURT WATCH: Judge Denies Prosecution Request to Reprimand Accused

By Kayla Garcia-Pebdani

WOODLAND, CA –Deputy District Attorney Aimee McLeod last week motioned to reprimand an unhoused, accused man in Yolo County Superior Courthouse after the court’s appointed doctor found the accused mentally competent to stand trial.

The motion introduced by DDA McLeod was met with opposition by Deputy Public Defender Stephen Betz, who asserted the reason for reprimanding the accused had no relation to the accused’s mental competency.

As of February, the accused faced a felony charge for vandalism and an enhancement for circumstances in aggravation. As of March, a separate case was filed regarding three different charges, all of which were misdemeanors:  failing to register as a sex offender after prior conviction; trespass–entering an occupying real property; and disorderly conduct for peeking.

Thursday, in court, the deputy district attorney did not submit the doctor’s report regarding the accused’s mental competency. DDA McLeod requested a hearing or further information from the doctor to determine on how they should proceed.

Alternatively, DDA McLeod argued the accused should be reprimanded to ensure appearance at the next hearing. This is in light to the alleged circumstances with prior difficulty in reporting to probation.

DDA McLeod said it would enable probation to monitor the unhoused accused. Finding the accused if he were to not report to probation, would ensure SOR (supervised own recognizance) if the motion to reprimand was granted.

DPD Betz strongly opposed McLeod’s comments because, Betz said, the report did not indicate the accused was mentally incompetent for trial. Additionally, the reason for reprimanding him did not pertain to his mental competency.

Agreeing, Judge Daniel Wolk denied the motion to reprimand the accused.

The matter was set for a pretrial conference Friday, June 21, when the accused was ordered to appear. Here the court will re-analyze the doctor’s finding and determine if the accused is competent to stand trial.

The accused is now free on no bail/own recognizance release (OR); however, the additional motion to allow the accused to leave California if he were to be employed as a truck driver was denied.

About The Author

Kayla Garcia-Pebdani is a fourth-year student at UC Davis, studying Political Science–Public Service with double minors in Human Rights and Professional Writing. She actively engages in social justice issues and advocacy through her roles as an intern for Article 26 Backpack, the Co-Lead for Students Demand Action at UC Davis, and her previous involvement with Catalyst California as a Government Relations Intern. Kayla hopes to further expand her knowledge and skills during her time with the Vanguard. Through her experiences, she aims to highlight injustices in everyday life and provide means for the public to stay aware and hopefully become inclined to get involved.

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