Nevada County judge says she’ll sentence man to probation in robbery, kidnapping case
October 12, 2018
David Munoz, facing up to life in prison on second-degree robbery, kidnapping and false imprisonment charges, pleaded no contest Friday to the accusations and likely will receive probation.
Munoz, 27, is accused along with Layla Callahan of holding a former boyfriend of Callahan's over a drug debt. Arrested in February 2017, Munoz was released Friday. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 16 in Nevada County Superior Court.
"They overcharged the case," said defense attorney Greg Klein, who represents Munoz. "The DA overcharged the case. False imprisonment was all it was. It's a drug deal gone wrong, is all it is."
Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh said he respects Judge Candace Heidelberger, but disagrees with her decision.
"This was a case we drew a hard line on," Walsh said. "We strongly disagree with either of these defendants getting probation."
Prosecutors made no plea deal in Munoz's case. Instead Munoz pleaded no contest to all his charges after the judge indicated the sentence she'd impose.
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Munoz faces seven years to life in prison if he violates his probation. Additionally, he'll face that stricter sentence if he fails to appear at his sentencing hearing next month.
"It would be extremely bad if you did not show up for sentencing," the judge told him.
Deputy District Attorney James Morris asked Heidelberger to keep Munoz jailed until his sentencing, though the judge declined. She then ordered Munoz to stay away from Callahan and the victim in the case.
Callahan, 24, also appeared Friday in court. Her kidnapping and false imprisonment case remains pending. Heidelberger said Callahan would likely receive the same probationary sentence as Munoz, if she pleaded in the case. Additionally, the judge called probation an appropriate sentence if Callahan were convicted at trial, and no new information was revealed.
The judge dismissed unrelated charges of child abuse and leaving the scene of an accident against Callahan.
Callahan is next scheduled for court on Oct. 29, when she'll either enter a plea or have a trial scheduled.
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4239.