Bail reduced in Callahan kidnap case
January 12, 2018
A Nevada County judge agreed that bail was not properly set for two suspects in a kidnapping and false imprisonment case, reducing the bail for Layla Callahan, 25, and David Munoz, 23, to $260,000 each.
But Superior Court Judge Candace Heidelberger postponed a request to reduce Callahan's bond further, to $88,000; she said she would issue a ruling prior to the next hearing, set to discuss whether Callahan's mother can put up her home as bond.
That hearing is scheduled for Jan. 26. Heidelberger will also hear a motion on that date to separate the court cases for the co-defendants, as well as a motion by Deputy District Attorney James Morris to amend the charges to add an allegation of having caused bodily harm.
Authorities allege Callahan and Munoz held a former boyfriend of Callahan's at his home over a drug debt early last year. At some point, the man was released; he went to police and officers arrested Callahan and Munoz in February. They currently are set for trial on April 17.
Callahan's defense attorney, Zenia Gilg, told Heidelberger on Friday that she had some new information to add to her bail reduction motion.
For one, she said, Callahan has been suffering from a medical condition that is causing her chronic pain. Gilg argued, too, that the alleged victim sustained only minor injuries during the incident and had been sending her multiple texts saying that he wants his "love," Callahan, out of jail and living with him on house arrest. According to Gilg, the man came back to Nevada County from Texas this season to work as a trimmer and obviously is far from traumatized by the alleged kidnapping.
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Gilg outlined a plan for Callahan's release that would include transitional housing, treatment for substance abuse and mental health issues, and a GPS monitor.
The defense attorney claimed that Callahan helped one fellow inmate get into a treatment center and saved another from a suicide attempt. Gilg also reiterated the point that Callahan's mother is "willing to put her house on the line — that's how much she loves and trusts her daughter."
Callahan, emotional after her mother started sobbing, told Heidelberger that she would not do anything to jeopardize her potential release on bond.
But Morris disputed Callahan's willingness to abide by bail conditions, telling Heidelberger she had multiple write-ups at the jail for "ongoing rude and disruptive behavior" and infractions that included tobacco use and needles found in her cell.
Gilg jumped up to object when Morris also brought up child custody concerns, saying Callahan had been disruptive due to pain but that she had those issues under control.
Heidelberger asked for Callahan's medical records, indicating she wanted to review them before making a decision.
Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at email@example.com.