Man released from jail by mistake appears in court

 A 28-year-old man who was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend and then accidentally released from San Mateo County jail in late July appeared in San Mateo County Superior Court Wednesday on felony charges that he intentionally missed a court hearing after his release.

Alfredo Guadalupe Ortiz was convicted July 25 of felony domestic violence that occurred in July 2007 and was facing nine years in prison, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.

He had been free on bail for the duration of the trial, but was supposed to be taken into custody on no-bail status upon conviction. However, a clerical error enabled his family to post $25,000 bail, and Ortiz was subsequently released.

The error wasn't realized until Ortiz failed to show up for a court hearing July 28.

At about 10:30 a.m. Aug. 10, however, he was apprehended by Bakersfield police after trying to run away during a traffic stop, according to the sheriff's office.

He allegedly gave officers a fake name and was arrested on felony charges for the transportation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, conspiracy, resisting arrest, false identification and the no-bail felony warrant for his failure to appear in San Mateo County Superior Court.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Wednesday charges relating to the traffic stop were dropped when Bakersfield authorities turned Ortiz over to San Mateo County prosecutors.

Ortiz now faces a felony charge for willfully failing to appear in court July 28 after being released on bail in the felony domestic violence case, Wagstaffe said. He faces up to six years in state prison if convicted on the new charges, Wagstaffe said.

Ortiz, wearing an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs, appeared briefly in court with a new attorney, Paul De Meester, who plans to also take over Ortiz's felony domestic violence case and file a motion for a new trial.

Ortiz will return to court Friday for Judge Clifford Cretan to set a date for him to be sentenced in the domestic violence case, and the two cases will be heard together, Wagstaffe said.

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