Police / Fire

Juvenile involved in bomb explosion to be prosecuted locally

The minor was injured when a homemade device exploded in a Hollister home on Aug. 5.

A minor involved in recent Hollister bomb explosion is facing charges. However, the San Benito County District Office has not responded to multiple BenitoLink inquiries about what are the charges. 

Ellen Campos, San Benito County assistant district attorney, confirmed on Sept. 2 that she would be handling the case involving a minor who was injured Aug. 5 when a homemade device exploded in a home on Sierra Court in Hollister. During the investigation police found several more explosive devices.

“One of those explosives had unexpectedly exploded and caused traumatic injury to a resident,” police said in a news release. “Pursuant to a search warrant, the Monterey County Bomb Team responded and assisted in rendering the additional items safe.”

Hollister Police Chief Carlos Reynoso told BenitoLink that after further investigation it was decided the case would be handled by local authorities rather than federal. He said detectives had been dealing with the evidence left at the house and interviewing neighbors and other witnesses prior to talking to the suspect and family members.

Campos told BenitoLink, “Due to the fact that this is a juvenile case, I am limited in the amount of information that I can give due to provisions in the California Welfare and Institution Code 676 that regulates the confidentiality of the proceedings.”

She said it is the role of the District Attorney’s Office to prosecute state crimes.

“On occasion, the federal government may elect to take a case and prosecute it,” she said. “I am not aware of the decision-making process on the part of any relevant federal agency as to why they may have chosen not to be involved in this case.”

Due to the nature of the charges, the case is protected by rules of confidentiality, Campos said.

“This prohibits me from releasing the identity of the minor,” she said. “It has been my experience in the past, with juvenile cases, that most media outlets have their own policies that prevent them from disclosing this information.”

It is BenitoLink’s policy not to identify minors involved in criminal cases.

Campos also said that it was not appropriate for her to disclose the location of the minor involved in the case.

“Juvenile offenders are not entitled to bail,” she said. “In general, when they are released from custody, they can be released outright or released with conditions, including some kind of ankle monitor or other kinds of supervision. Under California law, we are no longer able to directly file cases against juveniles in adult court.” 

While adults can post bail in California, juveniles do not have that right, according to SHouse Law Group. A minor cannot “bail out” like an adult. If the probation officer wants to keep a child in custody, the only way to get them out is for a legal guardian to convince the judge at the detention hearing to allow it.

Another difference between juvenile and adult cases, Campos said, is that once the process is completed in juvenile court the person is found guilty, they are “adjudicated” rather than “convicted.”

 

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John Chadwell

John Chadwell is a BenitoLink reporter and an author. He has many years' experience as a freelance photojournalist, copywriter, ghostwriter, scriptwriter, and novelist. He is a former U.S. Navy Combat Photojournalist and is an award-winning writer who has worked for magazine, newspapers, radio and television. He has a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from Chapman University and underwent graduate studies at USC Cinema School. John has worked as a script doctor and his own script, God's Club, was released as a motion picture in 2016. He has also written eight novels, ranging from science fiction to true crime, which are sold on Amazon. To contact John Chadwell, send an email to: [email protected]