Families staring each other down, confusion about what happened, Judson Stiglich's private counsel Russ Clanton claiming to be unaware of what his own office requested at the last court hearing.
End result Judson Stiglich's bail remains set at $300,000 and he remains in custody. Preliminary hearing is set for February 17 at 8:30 a.m. in Courtroom 2.
Mr. Clanton wanted bail reduced, DDA Stacey Eads who is prosecuting the case wanted bail increased. Both families in a lot of pain and each with their own perspective.
While we were waiting for the Stiglich case to be called, both his family members and the victim's family members were in court. Stiglich smiled at his family members who were in court before victim's family .When Ryan Robinson's family came in to Courtroom 2, wearing RIP Ryan shirts, they glared at Stiglich's family.
The case got moved last minute to Courtroom 2 instead of Courtroom 4. I had checked on my own, and headed to Courtroom 2 well in advance. Judge Timothy Cissna announced the change so Will Houston from the Times-Standard came over as did Stiglich and Robinson family members. The only one who claimed he didn't know was Russ Clanton whose office represents Stiglich and this is what he told Stiglich family members in hallway and later told Judge Marilyn Miles. Because Mr. Clanton was not in court when Stiglich's case was initially called, Stiglich's case was called after drug court.
While Will and I were in the hallway since all the courtroom seats were filled with drug court attendees Mr. Clanton told the Stiglich family they could go home, if they like. He said "basically I will make a pitch for him to get out of jail but that's not going to happen. I am looking forward to the preliminary hearing. That is when I get to cross-examine people and I can bring up self-defense." He mentioned someone named Jennifer was avoiding and the office was trying to get hold of her.
All this was in the hallway with him being aware Will and I could overhear his conversation.
The real soap opera started once we were in the courtroom. Things were so tense that each family sat on separate sides of the courtroom and there were two extra bailiffs when this case was being heard. Robinson's mother and another family member were crying inside the courtroom.
When the hearing started, it was stated on record that time has been waived in the case. Bail was set at $300,000. Mr. Clanton did not ask for Stiglich to be released on OR. Instead , he requested that Stiglich's bail be reduced to an amount that he could make and that his client would make all future court appearances.
Judge Miles looked at the charges and the bail amount and came up with presumptive bail being $150,000. She read some rules, wondered why bail was set at $300,000. Ms. Eads said that Ryan Robinson's mother "had very strong feelings about Stiglich being released and personal concerns" and wanted to address the Court, she had also written a letter. She asked the Court if Mrs. Robinson could speak and then the People would present their reasons for opposition to reducing bail.
Judge Miles then pointed out that the Court first decides about OR and then decides about safety concerns and since Mr. Clanton was not asking that his client be released on OR, that had already been denied. She also said that at this hearing they were addressing bail, there would be other opportunities for Mrs, Robinson to provide input.
At this point, the People interjected instead of reduction, they wanted an increase in bail to $500,000. Mr. Clanton objected saying he needed notice. Judge Miles said she didn't realize there were going to be issues. She had also just received the file and the case last minute. She looked at the rules and basically, score Ms. Eads, loss Mr. Clanton because if the police are requesting a bail increase, they have to give a written declaration but once in court, either the prosecutor or the defense can "ask for departure from bail."
At this point, Mr. Clanton said he waived the hearing, he wanted to address this in motion. He also pulled the time waiver in the case and wanted a date set. Mr. Clanton kept saying that this was the first time he had appeared. Which is true but his office was represented at the other hearings.
It was very frustrating to sit in the audience and Will and I both looked at our notes and we were present at the other court hearings. It was Mr. Clanton's office that requested the OR hearing today. It was Mr. Celli, who works with Mr. Clanton, that had the preliminary hearing vacated.
Kudos to Judge Miles for her patience in clearing the confusion which would not have been necessary had Mr. Clanton talked with his office and been prepared for a case before he comes to court. At the last hearing, Mr. Celli was prepared and coherent in his request. Kudos to Ms. Eads who knows the law and kudos to Mr. Kamada for communicating with his co-worker. The only loss is certain defense attorneys who don't have Paul to make deals and don't get to run the courtroom anymore.
Links below give background on the case, preliminary hearing.