Jimenez plea delayed until May 15
Albert Jimenez Jr., the Truckee man accused of killing a one-year-old infant, will now declare a plea May 15 in Truckee, said Helen Miller, a clerk with the Nevada County Superior Court in Truckee.
John Kennelly, who was appointed to represent Jimenez after Nevada County public defenders declined appointment, is working on the case and could not be reached for comment.
Frederick T. Holmes, deputy district attorney with Nevada County, said it is likely that Kennelly will enter a plea of not guilty for Jimenez at this time.
Public defenders declined the Jimenez case because of staffing shortages, said Thomas Anderson, Nevada County public defender.
Normally, the Public Defender’s Office has a staff of seven attorneys including the assistant public defender. Currently two attorneys are out on medical leave and one position is vacant.
“Ethically we can’t provide really good, high quality legal work,” said Anderson of the decision to decline the Jimenez case.
The Nevada County Board of Supervisors voted to give the Public Defender’s Office additional money from the contingency fund in this year’s budget to help hire temporary help. It is not enough to hire an attorney, but it may relieve the attorneys from some administrative work.
“I’m going to ask for more money in the next budget,” said Anderson. “The board sees the necessity but it’s whether or not they can find the money.”
Anderson said his department needs a permanent office in Truckee.
“We have a small room. It was meant to be an interview room, but we are trying to get a regular office in the building. I think the board is looking into it,” Anderson added.
The Public Defender’s Office currently has three murder cases, “and a couple of cases where people are facing life in prison.”
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Three programs in Nevada County will get $6.6 million in federal funds, U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa and other officials announced Friday.