The man accused of vandalism and mail theft at the Princeton Post Office was allowed by the court to skirt off to a residential substance abuse treatment program before he enters a plea.
Joshua Pelfrey, 41, of Gridley, was arrested in September by the Colusa County Detective Unit on two felony warrants alleging burglary and identity theft, after investigators reportedly identified Pelfrey on the post office’s surveillance camera.
Pelfrey has a history of petty theft crimes in Butte and Colusa counties, court records indicate, and was wanted on a bad check charge at the time of his arrest.
Pelfrey’s newly hired private attorney made the request in Colusa County Superior Court on Nov. 18 for his client to be in residential drug treatment during the period of time the court would routinely allow him to receive and decipher discovery in the case.
While rare for an inmate to be released from jail on his own recognizance to go directly to treatment before entering a plea on charges, Chief District Attorney Brendan Farrell said he would not stand in Pelfrey’s way if a bed was immediately available, since substance abuse is an issue.
“It would benefit him down the road,” Farrell said.
However, since substance abuse treatment is not part of a plea negotiation to resolve the case without a jury trial, Farrell said Pelfrey’s time in treatment would not count as time served – as it would if treatment was ordered as part of his sentence.
Colusa County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Thompson ordered Pelfrey to be released from jail in order to be taken directly to treatment facility with out any stops.
Pelfrey was ordered to appear in court on Dec. 23 to enter a plea on the charges, and is forbidden to use or possess controlled substances in the meantime, Thompson said.