ShasCo DA’s Office granted TRO preventing CDCR from increasing credits for violent second-strikers
From the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office:
SHASTA COUNTY, Calif. — Shasta County District Attorney Stephanie A. Bridgett announced today that she and 27 other elected District Attorneys across California have been granted a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) preventing the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR) from enacting an increase of 50% credits to 66% credits for second-strikers with serious and violent criminal histories.
This newest “emergency regulation” comes after CDCR’s recently enacted so-called “emergency” regulations that allows for additional credits to be awarded to serious and violent felons, including credits that are not based upon completing any rehabilitation programs.
LEADING THE SCNS HEADLINES:
While CDCR’s newest regulations grant additional good conduct credits to inmates working in fire camp related activities, they also added additional credits to so-called “nonviolent” second strikers. Unrelated to fire camp credits, CDCR sought to increase credits to 66% conduct credits, two-thirds time off sentences, to second strike inmates housed at a minimum-security level A or B facility. CDCR did so amid litigation challenging additional credits for serious and violent offenders. This new class of credits will include convictions for domestic violence, human trafficking, animal cruelty and possession of weapons by individuals who have previous convictions for serious and violent felonies.
In order to stop the enforcement of this newest early release “emergency regulation,” the 28 DAs filed a TRO on December 22, 2021. On December 29, 2021, the Court granted the petition and issued the TRO against CDCR.
Since 2015, District Attorney Stephanie A. Bridgett, has been working alongside many other District Attorneys in California to oppose the early release of “nonviolent” second-strike felons. Under California law, “nonviolent” felonies include domestic violence, rape of an unconscious person, human trafficking, and assault with a deadly weapon. “Second strike” refers to an inmate who was previously convicted of a serious or violent felony.
“Releasing dangerous criminals after serving a small fraction of their sentence is detrimental to the safety of our community, it violates victims’ rights and does not hold offenders accountable for the full severity of their crimes,” said District Attorney Stephanie A. Bridgett. “We do not oppose good credits for fire camp work, but CDCR went too far when they snuck in additional credits for offenders with serious and violent criminal histories. I will not stand by and let this happen.”
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Here are two examples of Shasta County inmates who could potentially become eligible for release after serving only one-third of their sentence as a result of this new regulation:
Nicholas Baragno (case 21F5278)
In August of 2021, Baragno pled to theft of a vehicle with a prior conviction, evading law enforcement with reckless disregard for safety, and possession of ammunition by a felon. Baragno also admitted a prior strike allegation for a 2017 Butte County conviction of battery with serious bodily injury.
On July 26, 2021, Baragno stole a vehicle from a parking lot. Two dogs were in the car. After police attempted to detain him, Baragno led law enforcement on a high-speed chase in the stolen vehicle, driving in excess of 100 miles per hour in oncoming traffic lanes. After nearly hitting a motorcyclist head on, Baragno lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree. A stolen gun and ammunition were later located in the vehicle.
After pleading, Baragno was sentenced to 8 years, 8 months in state prison.
David Fuentes (case 21F2443)
In July of 2021, Fuentes was convicted of domestic violence with a prior domestic violence conviction, false imprisonment, and child endangerment. At trial, the judge also found true the allegation that Fuentes had been convicted of a strike offense, a 2018 Shasta County conviction for residential burglary.
On April 5, 2021, Fuentes got into an argument with the victim in which he repeatedly picked her up, placed her in a “bear hug” and threw her to the ground, causing physical injury. This assault took place while Fuentes’ young children were nearby. Fuentes also had been convicted of felony domestic violence in 2017 for assaulting the same victim.
Fuentes was sentenced to 9 years, 4 months in state prison.