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Williams man learns what not to wear in court

You might wear clothes that are a walking advertisement for a social or political group, but the courtroom is not the place for them.

Colusa County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Thompson, who is typically lenient with defendants who appear for a hearing not necessarily dressed to impress, showed he is far less lenient when it comes to wearing gang colors.

Jorge Rodriguez Tavera, 31, of Williams, who was out of custody pending the outcome of his three most recent criminal cases, was sent back to jail on Sept. 16, after appearing in court dressed nearly head-to-toe in red, the color associated with the Norteños, a California-origin street gang, and for violating a court order.

While red clothing and shoes don’t positively identify someone as being a member of a gang, courts are typically as intolerant of the attire as crop tops, shorts, and muscle t-shirts with beer logos.

After pleading not guilty last week to making criminal threats and cruelty to a child by endangering health, Judge Thompson had Tavera handcuffed by the court bailiff and returned to the Colusa County Jail on $50,000 bail.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 30 to determine if there is sufficient evidence for Tavera to be bound over for trial.

Tavera was arrested by Williams police officers on July 14, in the 100 block of Seventh Street, after an altercation with another individual. He was initially charged with threatening a crime with intent to terrorize, attempted burglary, and resisting a peace officer. The District Attorney charged Tavera with felony stalking on Sept. 3.

A pretrial conference is also scheduled Sept. 30, regarding his June 30 arrest on charges alleging domestic violence battery and interfering with a person trying to use a cell phone to call for help.

Tavera was previously convicted in Colusa County of “peeking,” a crime under California’s Peeping Tom law, and possession of a controlled substance, both in 2011.

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