Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Judge Who Was a Deputy PD Reversed for Denying Defendant’s Rights
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A Contra Costa Superior Court judge who was appointed to the bench in 2012 after 29 years in several public defender offices was reversed yesterday because she failed to accord a criminal defendant his right to a hearing on a probation revocation.
The judge, Terri Mockler, was a deputy public defender in Tulare County from 1983-84, in Solano County from 1984-85, and in Contra Costa County from 1985-2009. She then served as assistant public defender in Contra Costa County from 2009 until her appointment as a judge.
Court of Appeal Justice Kathleen M. Banke of the First District’s Div. One said in a brief memorandum opinion:
“It has long been settled that a court may not revoke probation without first holding a hearing….The attorney general concedes defendant should have received a hearing. All agree the order executing sentence should be reversed.”
Mockler is quoted in the opinion as having insisted in ruling on the petition to revoke probation that “sentencing issue, not a probation violation issue” was before her, and no hearing was required.
The notice of appeal was filed Jan. 16. The defendant’s appointed counsel, Roseville attorney Jeremy T. Price, on May 15 filed a motion for an expedited appeal.
Four days later, the division said in a “By the Court” order:
“In light of the Attorney General’s concession that appellant Demarco Lamar Wooten is entitled to a probation-revocation hearing as appellant argued in his opening brief, Wooten has informed the court he does not intend to file a reply brief and waives his right to oral argument. He also has requested that the consideration of his appeal be expedited and that he be granted calendar preference. The request is granted.”
Yesterday’s opinion noted:
“The parties are invited to stipulate to an expedited issuance of remittitur.”
The case is People v. Wooten, A143982.
Mockler gained attention in the press in January when she placed a former California Highway Patrol officer on three years’ probation for looking at sexually explicit photographs on the cellphone of two women who were under arrest and forwarding the images. The judge quoted a socialist activist as saying:
“Women’s degradation is in man’s idea of his sexual rights. Our religion, laws, customs are all founded on the belief that woman was made for man.”
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