Felon gets a pass on Solano case after DA’s office misses deadline

By From page A1 | October 02, 2013

FAIRFIELD — A hardcore Fairfield gang member found guilty of felony assault and mayhem charges for his role in a brutal gang fight in front of Anna Kyle school has been given a freebie by the Solano County District Attorney’s Office.

In spite of a jury’s guilty verdicts for crimes that could have landed Hamlet B. Solis, 36, more than 12 years in prison, he will not do a day of time behind bars for his crimes.

“We are looking into what happened and conducting an internal review looking at whether or not internal administrative remedies were followed,” District Attorney Donald A. du Bain said Tuesday. “We are actively pursuing all legal remedies, which include possibly appealing the ruling.”

Du Bain learned of the highly unusual circumstances surrounding Solis’ case after being contacted last week by the Daily Republic.

Solis had his case thrown out by Judge Donna Stashyn in August.

The year: 1999

On the night of March 11, 1999, Solis, then 22, was involved in gang fight with several fellow gang members. One rival was stabbed three times, another rival nearly had an ear sliced off his head and other victims were beaten and stomped.

Solis was no stranger to gang violence. Four years earlier he was convicted of battery causing great bodily injury in another gang dispute.

Fairfield police arrested Solis and three of his fellow gang members. One of them got a 12-year prison sentence, another got 10 years and the third, a codefendant at Solis’ trial, was faced as long as 20 years behind bars.

Unlike some of his fellow gang members, Solis had posted bail, more than $100,000, and was out of custody before and during his jury trial.

On Dec. 7, 1999, the jury found Solis guilty of five violent felonies with a gang enhancement.

Judge Harry S. Kinnicutt could have remanded Solis after the verdict, but he did not. Instead, Kinnicutt ordered Solis back to court the next day because the prosecutor in the trial wanted to make her case about why Solis should be locked up.

“We have not found any records about why the judge did not remand him,” du Bain said.

Solis did not show up.

Kinnicutt ordered a warrant for his arrest. Since then, Solis has been in and out of the system and in and out of the country. He is currently locked up in a federal prison in Mendota under the name of Marco Soarez. A check of court records turn up six other aliases for Solis.

The year: 2002

In 2000, the bail bondsmen who secured Solis’ $100,000 bond told Kinnicutt that Solis had gone to Mexico and had spent several days in a Mexico City hospital. Except for the lingering dispute about whether the bail bondsmen should pay for their bond, Solis disappeared from Solano County.

Oakland police arrested Solis in 2002 for fighting in the backyard of a home. As police put him into a patrol car, he slipped loose of his handcuffs and fled. In 2005, he was found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon after firing five or six gunshots outside a grocery store. He was deported back to his home country of Nicaragua.

The year: 2011

Oakland police arrested Solis again in 2011. A search of his bedroom turned up a stolen gun and ammunition. After being locked up in the Alameda County jail for nine months, a federal grand jury indicted him for being a felon with a gun and for being in the country illegally.

Solis could have received 30 years in federal prison. Instead, he got a four-year plea deal.

The year: 2012

Solis was sentenced on Dec. 12, 2012. An order for his deportation back to Nicaragua after he does his time accompanied sentencing records.

Days later, from his prison cell, Solis wrote a letter to du Bain seeking dismissal of his 1999 Solano County case or an offer to serve a 40-month sentence concurrent to his federal sentence. The 10-page letter included Solis talking about his tough childhood and how much he has changed in recent years. He wrote that he now wants to either be a minister or a chef when he gets out of prison.

The letter was received at the Solano County District Attorney’s Office on Dec. 24, 2012.

California law includes a provision that any person sentenced to federal prison has the right to be sentenced on unresolved state court charges within 90 days of making a request.

The year: 2013

Solis’ next letter to the District Attorney’s Office was received in May 2013. He knew the law and, after months of delays, and after repeated objections by prosecutors, Stashyn agreed with Solis and dismissed his case.

“This is not an area of law commonly known among our rank-and-file prosecutors,” Du Bain said Tuesday.

Du Bain said his office is still investigating how Solis’ case was handled and that it was “not necessarily the result of a mistake.”

Prosecutors have until Oct. 20 to decide whether or not to file an appeal.

“We want Mr. Solis to serve out his sentence for his conviction,” du Bain said.

The other freebie

In 2000, Kinnicutt ordered the bail bondsmen who put up Solis’ $100,000 bail, Marty Bail Bonds and Solano Bail Bonds, operated by Marty Maciel and Charles Turner, respectively, to pay the county for the bonds they had insured. The bail bondmen challenged the order, saying a clerical error by the court invalidated the bond.

In January 2001, lawyers for Solano County said they were not opposed to Kinnicutt setting aside his previous order. Three months later, Kinnicutt did just that.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

Discussion | 13 comments

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  • cee ripOctober 02, 2013 - 12:10 am

    Gotta love it. I guess you should know in advance , Mr. DA, there are No pay raises in your future. I propose a demotion and pay cut.

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  • cee ripOctober 02, 2013 - 12:11 am

    We're tough on crime, why not be tough on ignorant, overpaid public officials with exorbitant salaries?

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  • Roy WarbisOctober 02, 2013 - 6:35 am

    The last DA was a DO NOTHING guy & I thought we had voted in a DO SOMETHING guy this election. Wrong. I wonder why we can't get a DA in this county who actually can do his job?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • FF64October 02, 2013 - 10:01 am

    Broken Record time. WE allowed Mr. Du Bain to BUY the DA election. His family has deep pockets. He dropped $100k into his campaign fund and scared away the competition. He obviously has his eyes on higher office and doesn't make a decision without asking his political advisor. I personally have issues with his failure to seek the death penalty for Ricardo De Leon. If DeLeon didn't deserve it, no one does. With that said, this was a failure in the DA's Office before Du Bain's election. Unfortunately two of the best prosecutors in the DA's Office have become judges in recent years and other top officials (The one's who messed up) have retired. Learning experience for the current DA admin. We still need to find someone to run against Du Bain who can actually do the job!

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  • S KOctober 02, 2013 - 6:42 am

    Well y'all know what do do come election time, pull a Trump, "YOU'RE FIRED!!!"

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  • CD BrooksOctober 02, 2013 - 7:01 am

    Wow, ♪ same song and dance ♫ from this office. This story certainly isn't going to help. Le's hope dude somehow "rolled over" and bought his way outta there! ٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶

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  • Rich GiddensOctober 02, 2013 - 7:07 am

    Many thanks to stellar Daily Republic Reporter Jess Sullivan. Investigating and researching the facts in this case was not easy and it costs the Daily Republic TIME and MONEY to accomplish this. Mr. Sullivan has to spend considerable effort to gain access to public documents and interview the principals along with percipient witnesses to discover the facts in these cases. Its not easy to do but Jess makes it look easy. We need more articles like this from Jess Sullivan---The voting public needs to be informed of Government incompetence, misfeasence and malfeasence because its our tax dollars that are being wasted and our security that's clearly been endangered.

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  • Juan MendotaOctober 02, 2013 - 7:29 am

    Perhaps the only consolation here is, that more than likely Solis will do life in prison on the installment plan. Whuttup, Mr. D?

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  • cee ripOctober 02, 2013 - 10:31 am

    Another thing that kills me is when he said "“This is not an area of law commonly known among our rank-and-file prosecutors,” Du Bain said Tuesday." Really??? Inmates in prisons and jails send hand written petitions for writs of habeas corpus to the Solano Superior courts on a daily basis. Typically a judge's clerk is the one who opens the letter. And in any case, any prosecutor, who has about 11 years of education, would know that an open letter to the court, much less a petition for concurrent time served, would be something that would have to be entered into public record. Now my curiosity is piqued, going to check online and see if we can find anything else.

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  • Impartial OneOctober 02, 2013 - 11:14 am

    I don't know this DA, his employees, or otherwise have no bias one way or the other. However, isn't the fair thing to do before blasting someone for an oversight made by one the Department's employees is to first determine if there is a pattern or practice that suggests a real problem with the Department? In all occupations, employees will occasionally make an error, and a Manager or one overseeing a large Department will certainly have occasional instances of an employee performing in a substandard fashion. The fair thing to do would be to first have an investigation of the DA's office to determine if there's a real problem there or whether this very unfortunate situation with Solis is simply an isolated or rare occurrence.

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  • cee ripOctober 02, 2013 - 11:43 am

    @Impartial. Do you read this online publication on a regular basis? The last month has at least two stories of the DA's office screwing up and prosecuting for lack of a better term "wobblers" Go look back at how many cases this office has bungled in the last 6 months and you will see why we are irate. Do you realize that last week there was a mistrial called on a murder case because the prosecutor uttered words in open court? Please check YOUR facts before you take up sides.

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  • Laura KellyOctober 02, 2013 - 8:20 pm

    Once again the DA is letting gangs and other thugs know this is a good place for crime. We need our streets cleaned up and also the DA's office.

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  • R.solisOctober 30, 2013 - 12:17 am

    First and foremost. It is about time that an individual such as MR.SOLIS get's not a freebie but justice. From all the wrong unjust and cruel Racist profile and that we as people have Endured in the world past from the Racist system that designed to oppress Minority.How many times have the system have wrongfully tried or Convicted an individual based on a Bias system.This one is for all those who took the time to read the Law. Can't stop! Won't stop!

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