Possible decision today in Nevada County kidnapping, false imprisonment case
February 7, 2018
The judge in the kidnapping and false imprisonment case of Layla Callahan and David Munoz said she hopes to rule today on whether prosecutors can add a robbery charge to the pair's accusations.
Nevada County Superior Court Judge Candace Heidelberger also hasn't decided whether she'll lower Callahan's bond to $88,000 from $295,000, which would enable Callahan's mother to make a property bond.
"I don't want to rush this," Heidelberger said during a Wednesday hearing. "I think it's very serious."
The issue of bond dominated the hearing. Attorneys already have argued whether a robbery charge, previously levied against the pair and then removed, should again be added.
Defense attorney Zenia Gilg, who represents the 23-year-old Callahan, said her client has medical issues that would be better tended with her family. She also has an employment opportunity waiting for her.
Gilg cited a recent ruling by a higher court about bonds, saying judges must examine more factors than only the charges a defendant faces when setting bail. Those factors include a person's background and prior criminal history.
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At one point Gilg scanned the courtroom, searching for the victim or his family members who Deputy District Attorney James Morris said had contacted his office, some out of fear of Callahan's potential release.
"None of these people are here," Gilg said.
Morris said that Callahan's actions warrant no bond.
Callahan has an unrelated charge of leaving the scene of an accident. Morris said she lied to police about that incident.
Morris also pointed to a carjacking case involving James Jerold Zinola-Young. Callahan faced no charges in that case, though Morris said the accusations against Zinola-Young put her at the center of another kidnapping-related crime.
"The victim in that case said Layla Callahan was threatening him," Morris said.
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4239.