I hope I can find a better future for me out there.
Incarcerated: 8 years
Housed: Salt Creek Conservation Camp #7
At 25, I was looking at 40 years. They dropped the bomb at me. I didn’t know who to turn to. The first public defender I was appointed to saw how much time I was facing and he referred me to an alternate defender, one with more experience to fight my case.
I waited for my sentence in the county jail for two years. I started praying, reading, studying the bible, going to church, going to school and working out a lot. I was staying positive while my new defender was getting the best deal he possibly could for me.
When I took my plea bargain of 16 years and six months, I thought it was a lot of time and didn’t want to take it. I wanted to go to trial. He told me this was the last offer. I still didn’t want to take it, so he sent me back to the holding cell to think and sleep on it. When they came back to get me to talk, they locked me inside the courtroom.
I remember my mom was there and I was stunned. They called my mom, knowing that she would convince me. She was telling me to take the 16 years and six months because she didn’t want me to go to trial, possibly lose and get 40 years. I remember my mom shedding tears, so I finally took the deal.
In court, the judge shows up with his arms open, asking, “Are you finally taking the deal?” I said, “Yeah, gotta listen to mom, right?” When I walked into the court the next day to sign my paperwork I remember my defender was offering me candy and water. I thought that was kind of funny, I don’t know. Within two weeks, I caught the chain to WASCO State Prison in Wasco, California.
It took me 11 years and three prisons to get to where I am now in Salt Creek Conservation Camp #7 in Pascenta, Ca. I am getting close to my parole date and I hope I can find some kind of support and resources to assist me in transitioning to the free world. I hope I can find a better future for me out there.