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Jackson Probation Hearing Delayed Until February

EL CENTRO — El Centro Mayor Pro Tem Jason Jackson appeared in the Brawley department of Superior Court on Jan. 8 for an evidentiary hearing on a violation-of-probation allegation and had his case postponed until Feb. 11 at 10 a.m.

After exhausting all appeals, Jackson had been led from the Brawley court Nov. 19 to serve a 10-day county-jail sentence for his 2017 guilty plea on one count of animal cruelty.

He served his time but in December was ordered back to court to face allegations he violated probation due to traffic infractions and alleged perjury over those infractions, a prosecutor said at the time.

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Robert Espinosa, the new attorney for Jackson, on Jan. 8 appealed to Judge Christopher J. Plourd to reschedule the case because Espinosa had several witnesses to testify on behalf of Jackson but only one was able to attend the  hearing. Raj Singh, Jackson’s former attorney, was the one witness in court to testify.

“We already agreed on today’s date a month ago and it was scheduled to accommodate Mr. Jackson,” said Plourd.

“I need to bring forward witnesses and only one is here today,” said Espinosa.

“It’s a simple matter, I don’t know what evidence or witnesses there are,” said Heather Trapnell, deputy district attorney.

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Plourd proposed proceeding with the hearing to hear the testimony of the one present witness, Singh, yet Espinosa protested his health was impaired

“You can probably hear it in my voice … We deny allegations of violation of probation and I’ll have other witnesses,” he said.

“How long will another hearing take, so we can schedule an appropriate date?” asked Plourd.

“About a half an hour,” said Espinosa. “I’m going to Cuba on Sunday. Can we have the last week in January or first week of February?”

Trapnell recommended a Tuesday or Wednesday in February. After a brief recess, Espinosa and Jackson returned to court. Plourd asked if Feb. 11 was a viable date. Espinosa, Trapnell and Singh all agreed.

“I’m ordering a filing of discovery by Feb. 3. Names and addresses of witnesses,” said Plourd. Jackson was originally charged with a felony, later reduced to a misdemeanor, for failing to provide his horse with proper food.


This story is featured in the Jan 09, 2020 e-Edition.