COURT WATCH: Judge Denies Request for Release on Accused’s Own Recognizance Despite Ongoing Health Concerns 

By Enola Gueta, Nevya Patel and Madison Whittemore

MODESTO, CA – In a hearing for a violation of probation case in the Stanislaus County Superior Court Tuesday, Judge Carrie Stephens denied Deputy Public Defender John Ambrosio’s request to release the accused on own recognizance/no bail (OR).

Stephens refused the OR request despite the defense’s arguments regarding the accused’s health issues prohibiting him from appearing in court, asserting confidence “the jail will address those medical issues while he’s in custody.”

The accused currently has two cases in progress, both probation violations. Judge Stephens stated in the hearings the accused “in a little over a two-year period of time…has only once reported to probation.”

The accused, the judge said, entered a plea in January 2022 with a 210-day sentence and was released from custody on May 21, 2022. He did not report to the jail as was required, and a warrant was issued with the accused reporting Jan. 19 of this year after accumulating a third probation violation.

Discussing his client’s custody status, DPD Ambrosio explained the accused, who suffers from a “myriad of health conditions,” had frequented the emergency room before being taken into custody and “has not been hiding” from the court.

DPD Ambrosio also asserted the accused was not aware of the court date and would have appeared in court if “given notice of the court date.”

If released on OR, DPD Ambrosio stated the accused would “seek medical attention” for health issues and would appear for the contested violation of probation hearing in late July.

Deputy District Attorney James Langston had no comments regarding DPD Ambrosio’s request to release the accused on OR.

Despite conceding the accused may suffer from medical issues, Judge Stephens denied DPD Ambrosio’s request to release the accused on OR, stating, “So, I’m denying that request.”

Judge Stepehens ultimately concluded the accused would have to receive treatment for health issues in custody since the accused “has proven that he hasn’t followed the Court’s orders.”

The accused will remain in custody until a contested violation of probation hearing July 26.

About The Author

Enola Gueta is fourth year at the University of California Davis, majoring in Political Science and American Studies currently working on her thesis. She has interned at the American Bar Association Commission on Immigration in Washington D.C., taught a Law and Social Movements class to high schoolers in Wellesley Massachusetts, and is a board member of a Latine Pre-Law Association at UC Davis. She also works at a coffee shop and loves making and recommending drinks to her friends. At the Vanguard she's looking to expand her writing skills and be able to get a closer look at the law at work to eventually work in human rights law in the future.

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