No decision yet on bond in Layla Callahan, David Munoz kidnapping case
January 26, 2018
A Nevada County judge made no decision on Friday about lowering bonds for Layla Callahan and David Munoz in their kidnapping and false imprisonment case.
Superior Court Judge Candace Heidelberger also declined to immediately rule on a motion by prosecutors to add a robbery charge to the case — an accusation previously dismissed by another judge.
Callahan, currently held on $500,000 in bond, wants her bail reduced to at least $88,000, which would enable the 25-year-old's mother to use property as bond.
Heidelberger said she wanted Deputy District Attorney James Morris to review a First Appellate District ruling made this week about bond before making a decision. She also wants the victim in the case to have a chance to appear in court.
"Though I know you're anxious to have a ruling on this, that is what I would like to do," the judge said.
The appellate ruling states a defendant in an unrelated case is entitled to a new bail hearing, where the judge must consider his finances and alternatives to a cash bail.
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"The problem, as our Chief Justice has shown, requires the judiciary, not just the Legislature, to change the way we think about bail and the significance we attach to the bail process," the ruling states.
Attorneys are scheduled to return to court Feb. 7 on the bail issue.
Heidelberger also postponed a decision on Morris' motion to add a robbery charge in the case.
Judge Linda Sloven previously found that prosecutors didn't have enough evidence to warrant the charge. Defense attorney Zenia Gilg, who represents Callahan, agrees.
Gilg said that the victim had no fear when he willingly handed over his phone during the incident.
Fear and force are necessary elements of the second-degree robbery charge.
"I think I have my work cut out for me," Heidelberger said.
It's unknown when she'll rule on the robbery charge.
Callahan and Munoz, 23, face accusations that in early 2017 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 both in February.
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4239.
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