Judge is asked to rethink sentence

archive_import

By AMY LINDBLOM

Tuolumne County Superior Court Judge Eric DuTemple on Monday may reconsider the prison sentence he ordered this week for a 21-year-old pregnant woman who pleaded guilty to one count of elder abuse.

DuTemple sentenced Amanda Valencia on Monday to two years in state prison. She was accused of stealing money, guitars and credit cards from an 82-year-old Sonora man suffering from dementia.

Her attorney, Tuolumne County Public Defender Jerry Osmer, told the judge in a written motion that "I cannot say that my handling of the matter, specifically the sentencing phase, provided adequate assistance of counsel to Ms. Valencia."

In that motion, Osmer said he advised her to plead guilty to the elder abuse charge. Osmer said he was under the impression the judge would sentence Valencia to Tuolumne County Jail for a year, but not to prison.

Valencia was originally charged with first degree burglary, grand theft, forgery and elder abuse when arrested on April 23. If convicted of all charges, she faced a maximum of six years in state prison and a "strike" on her record. But in exchange for pleading guilty to the elder abuse charge, Tuolumne County Deputy District Attorney Eric Hovatter agreed to drop the other charges.

At Monday's sentencing hearing, DuTemple called Valencia's crime "particularly egregious," and said she should be severely punished.

But Osmer said the two-year prison sentence was too strong, and was worried about Valencia's child, due in November, being born in prison.

"It's a terrible injustice," Osmer told The Union Democrat after the sentencing. "That's the problem with our criminal justice system today. It destroys the lives of young people for their first mistake."

The next day, Osmer filed the motion for reconsideration of the sentence.

11700874
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Friday August 26, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Sheriff’s Office responds to critical report

08/22/2016

The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office has responded to a grand jury report ... more

Nursed back to health, hawk flies free

08/19/2016

Sonora resident Laura Reid was driving on Tuolumne Road when she saw ... more

Woman dies of injuries in Highway 120 accident

08/24/2016

The woman who spent Monday night pinned in an SUV after an ... more

Convicted murderer Thomas Hyatt to remain in prison

08/23/2016

Convicted murderer Thomas Hyatt won’t be getting out of prison anytime soon. ... more

Three rescued from wreck near Yosemite

08/23/2016

Three German tourists were rescued Tuesday from the scene of a crash ... more