Appeals court overturns murder sentence in Pinol fatal accident

A California appeals court has overturned the murder sentence for a Sacramento woman who served life for the murder of a 28-year-old man in a car accident on Interstate 80 in 2016, ruling that a Contra Costa judge granted the defendant Did wrong to refuse a new lawyer.

Kerry Cashe, 37, was indicted in a crash in 2019 for the murder of Martinez resident Jose Daza Jr., who was convicted by authorities of Cash’s drunken driving. In its November’s verdict, the court found that Superior Court Judge Theresa Canepa should have allowed Cashay to substitute a private attorney for her public defender over prosecutors’ objection.

In the 25-page decision, the judges of the First District Appellate Court wrote that the request for cash should be allowed, citing a similar decision by an appeals court in San Diego last March where the court ruled that the defendant should be allowed to change attorneys, even though it was a costly inconvenience to the court.

“The record is devoid of any justification for requesting him to decline (Cash’s) offer to change counsel and be ready to defend the murder charges,” the First District’s ruling said. “We find it stating that the prosecutor said the situation would have been ‘different’ if Cashe had retained Vernell two weeks earlier, but other than that nothing changed or found out in those two weeks,” it is the morning of the trial. When both sides are ready to go.”

cash day was away testing In September 2019 when she petitioned to hire attorney Christopher Vernell to replace deputy public defender Jennifer Welch. It was the last of several unsuccessful similar motions Cash made over the three years he had spent in prison, during which time he was represented by a separate public defender and a private attorney before returning to Welch.

During the hearing, Vernell said he would be ready for trial after six to eight weeks. Deputy District Attorney Kabu Adododji protested, arguing that the delay would upset the aggrieved family and further stall the court process. Noting the long history of trial delays and attorney replacements, it then said it “smacks the court of sportsmanship” that Cash will try and replace his attorney on trial day.

For her part, Cashey appeared completely dissatisfied with Welch, at one point referring to her as a “surrogate prosecutor” and refusing to meet with her several times, writing the judges, “We are not ready to indicate any decision.” does not mean or criticize Ms. Welch’s performance.” When her final offer was rejected, Cashe broke down in court and began screaming and crying while the deputy attempted to remove him, according to court papers.

The appeals court justices wrote that they were unheard of by the argument that Cashe should have informed the parties he soon wanted to replace Vernell, noting that Cash’s family had paid for their previous personal counsel. and to come up with the money to hire Vernell.

“Cash could not alert the prosecutor and the court of his efforts to substitute a lawyer until he had obtained funds to hire a lawyer and identified an advocate who was willing to retain on his terms.” was and was able to prepare for trial as soon as possible, given the imminent trial date,” the judgment says.

Successful appeals are generally a rare occurrence, but they have been something of a recent trend in Contra Costa County. Seven murder or attempted murder cases have been at least partially flipped since last July, when an appeals court ruled that a man from Sacramento had ineffective attorneys during his trial, where he was arrested in the 1980s. He was convicted of the murder of an ex-girlfriend.

In the past month, the appeals court also upheld the conviction of three murders Contra Costa – Guillermo Sánchez, a gang member convicted of stabbing his girlfriend before serving Thanksgiving dinner, to Marcón Ardoin, of his friend. Found guilty of committing murder and dumping the body. Bay Point, and Thomas Williams, who fatally shot his ex-girlfriend at an Antioch convenience store, but claimed at trial that he had no memory of the incident.

Cache is lodged at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chochilla, pending transfer to the Contra Costa County Jail.