November 10, 2017 12:24 AM
Judge Leticia Astacio, the city court judge convicted of drunk driving in 2016, has been sent back to jail for a third time.
Astacio was removed from the courtroom Thursday afternoon after a hearing. The hearing was scheduled after Astacio's attorney asked to be removed from the case.
In court, Astacio also faced new probation violations regarding her alcohol monitoring device (SCRAM device). The court can order a defendant to wear one, but the court can't force a defendant to pay for it and Judge Astacio said she wouldn't pay for hers.
"I told the probation officer that I would be more than happy to have a SCRAM bracelet, but that I would no longer pay for it as there is no authority for the court to order me to pay for it," the judge said.
Judge Stephen Aronson stated he had been informed that Astacio had refused to wear a court-ordered alcohol monitoring SCRAM bracelet. The conversation seemed to quickly become heated and Aronson seem to lose his patience with Astacio, sending her to jail.
"There is no legal authority for the court to incarcerate me. I came here today willingly of my own volition with one hour's notice that I had a court appearance," says Astacio.
Aronson: "You are remanded without bail until Monday at 11 a.m."
Astacio: "You cannot incarcerate me just because you are able to."
Aronson: "We are concluded in this proceeding."
Astacio: "This is illegal. You are illegally incarcerating me again. This is the third time you've illegally incarcerated me. There's no actual violation of my conditional discharge. You are not able to just make the law."
The exchange came after what seemed a routine start to the hearing addressing reported a probation violation. Astacio had no attorney - after her lawyer asked the judge to remove him from the case. She walked into court alone and was led away in handcuffs. Outside of court, I spoke with Prosecutor Zach Maurer. He says Astacio is correct, she can't be made to pay for the SCRAM, but she has been ordered to wear it.
"If you're unwilling or unable to pay for it then you bring that to the court's attention, and then you let the court decide an issue of ruling about whether or not the probation department would be obligated to pay it instead," he said.
This is Astacio's third time being jailed since her DWI conviction. She just got out last Friday after being held on separate probation violations.
Updated: November 10, 2017 12:24 AM
Created: November 09, 2017 04:40 PM
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