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Interview with Hugh, Jennifer and Johnny

JM: Tell us about the pre-sentencing process:
Hugh: I was pulled over and was in possession of a controlled substance.
Jennifer: I had a video arraingment wich was intersting. I have never been through the process before. When i went to pre-sentencing it was PAINFULL and awkward. Its deffinately an eye opener i would say so. Its hard to sit there in the court room cuffed seeing your family looking at you with disappointed faces and tears. I would not want to reapeat it thats for sure.
Johnny: The first time that I was arrested, I was intially held in a holding cell for roughly 1 hour. I was processed and then placed in a dorm-style housing unit with 52 beds. I first appeared in court 2 days after I was arrested. Between my first and second court appearance, I was transferred from the dorm-style housing unit to Unit B, which has single-bed cells. The second time that I was arrested, I was again held in a holding cell, this time for roughly 50 minutes. I was porcessed and again placed in Unit B. I appeared in court several times in regards to my second arrest.

JM: Did you have police stop by your house for questioning? If not please give us details on how you came to be arrested.
Hugh: No. See above.
Jennifer: The pliece arrested me at a school that i was working at currently. They questioned m both at the school and in a room at the police station. I knew what i did was wrong and i amitted that so im glad now that im trough it well at least the hard part.
Johnny: The first time I was arrested, police did not stop at my house for questioning. Someone called 9-1-1. The sherriff entered the house where I was on his own and proceeded to take me out to the driveway. Once we were in the driveway, the sherriff had em put my hands behind my back and he hand-cuffed and arrested me. I was taken to SLO County Jail after waiting in the patrol car for the sherriff to fill out paperwork and question witnesses. The second time I was arrested, police did not stop at my house for questioning. Someone called 9-1-1 and sherriffs came to the house where I was. They requested that I come out and I followed their directions. They handcuffed me, had me wait in the patrol car for roughly 20 minutes while they investigated the scene, questioned witnesses and filled out paperwork, and then I was taken to the SLO County Jail.

JM: What was court like? Please give as many details as you recall.
Hugh: I went to court within 72 hours. It was an arraignment, letting me know what I was being charged with. They threw out a ridiculous offer and told me to come back to court in another week. I plead out of that one by agreeing to go to a drug treatment to get out of jail.
Jennifer: Court is a place where you wana go with out the red or orange clothes without the cuffs. Its much better to appear before the judge and DA in some nice clothes; it helps your chances a bit. I was scared it was my first time but i got through it my whole case was on the news which was annoying.
Johnny: I appeared in court several times - approximatley 10 times - over 9 months. I was always taken to court from the SLO County Jail in the morning, immediatley following breakfast. I was shackled - hands and feet both - before leaving SLO County Jail for court and unshackled upon returning to my unit in SLO County Jail. It took roughly 20 minutes to drive to court in a van from SLO County Jail, and I was always with at least 1 other inmate. I would then wait anywhere from 10 to 120 minutes, along with the other prisoners, before I appeared in court. Also, on days in which I appeared in court, I would sometimes have to wait up to an additional 180 minutes in a holding cell at the courthouse. I was someitmes held on my own, which was traumatic. They would often serve us lunch (in brown paper bags) if we were at the courthouse during scheduled lunch time. When I entered the courtroom, I was lead to a seat in the jury box. My time spent in the courtroom each time ranged from 60 minutes to 150 minutes. I would usually meet at least once per court appearance with one of my lawyers. (I had 3 different lawyers altogether.) A meeting with my lawyer would usually occur in a small room ancilary to the courtroom itself. Some of my lawyers (2 of them) were public defenders, and I always found the public defender(s) to be professional and trustworthy. Court was alwasy very formal and impersonal. In hindsight, the judges's rulings were fair. There was one time, when I was in court, when I felt that the judge was being very unfair. I verbally objected to what the judge was saying, which was out of line for me to do. I was not punished for my outburst. On one occassion, I was removed from the courtroom after making several verbal outbursts.

JM: What were your original charges? What did you end up being convicted of?
Hugh: Original charges were possession of controlled substance and possession of concentrated cannabis. I was convicted of possession of a controlled substance.
Jennifer: 4Felony counts of unlawful sex with a minor. I got 1 felony count
Johnny: Charge 3 counts and 1 enhancement: Count 1: PC 594(b)(1), vandalism - $400 or more, a felony.; Enhancement 1: Special allegation that the defendant committed the above offense while released on bail in case #F450107, found true.; Count 2: PC 166(a)(4), disobeying a court order, a misdemeanor.; Count 3: PC 148(a)(1), resist/obstruct delay of peace officer or EMT, a misdemeanor. I was charged with the above offenses and plead No Contest to all of the above offenses.

Read about sentencing in the San Luis Obispo County Jail

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