Nevada County prosecutor pulls plea offer in kidnapping, false imprisonment case
David Munoz, who along with Layla Callahan faces charges of kidnapping and false imprisonment, wanted to plea to a deal prosecutors had put on the table, his defense attorney said.
Munoz, however, couldn’t. Defense attorney Greg Klein said in court Friday that prosecutors made the offer of six years and eight months on charges of simple kidnapping and robbery contingent on both his client, 23, and Callahan, 25, taking the deal.
Callahan’s attorney, Zenia Gilg, said she’d countered the prosecutor’s offer with one of five years in prison on the simple kidnapping charge only. Prosecutors declined.
That decision set both defendants on track for an April 17 trial date.
“It’s a package offer and my client has no influence on the other side,” Klein told Nevada County Superior Court Judge Candace Heidelberger. “We want out. As the parties are currently charged, this is a life case. My client does not want to take that risk.”
A defendant can plead to their charges at any time, though it wouldn’t include any deal offered by prosecutors.
Deputy District Attorney James Morris said after Friday’s hearing that some of his evidence is linked to Callahan. Other parts of it are connected to Munoz. The only way he can present the entire story of the case to a jury is by trying both defendants.
“It is a package deal,” Morris said of the offers, which were revoked at Friday’s hearing.
Callahan and Munoz face accusations that early this year they held a former boyfriend of Callahan’s at his home over a drug debt. The man was released at some point and he went to police. Authorities arrested Callahan and Munoz in February.
Both remained Friday in the Nevada County Jail under $500,000 in bond.
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4239.
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