DA’s office declares ‘no confidence’ in Kern judge who dismissed firearms enhancement during sentencing hearing

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Kern County District Attorney’s office on Friday denounced a Superior Court judge as biased and said it has no confidence in his handling of future criminal cases.

District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer said she will do everything she can going forward to prevent criminal cases from being heard by Judge Michael E. Dellostritto after he struck firearms enhancements in the sentencing of a man who shot and seriously wounded a man in East Bakersfield. The shooter could have received 32 years to life in prison, but with the enhancements struck he instead received a prison term of 18 years and six months.

“If ever there was a case that warrants the imposition of a life sentence for unlawfully injecting firearms into crimes and increasing violence and suffering caused by doing so, this is it,” Zimmer said in a release. “Judge Dellostritto’s refusal to impose an appropriate sentence in this case is an insult to the victims and law enforcement attempts to get the gun violence plaguing Kern County under control.”

The law allows the District Attorney’s office to refuse to accept a judge it believes is “so biased against the People that he cannot be entrusted with fair administration of justice in criminal cases,” Zimmer said. She said she will use that authority to stop criminal cases from going before Dellostritto.

The defendant in Friday’s case, Isaiah Marshall, 20, drove up to a man and woman loading groceries into their vehicle the evening of Nov. 15 last year at the Smart & Final on Mt. Vernon Avenue. Marshall argued with the man because he wanted a parking space then pulled a handgun and shot the man in the chest.

The man suffered a through-and-through gunshot wound and was treated at the scene by California Highway Patrol officers before being taken to Kern Medical. He survived.

Marshall got rid of the gun and car and fled to Las Vegas. He hid out there for two weeks before returning to Bakersfield. He was arrested in December.

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