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Attorney hired, arraignment finished

CHP officer will return for early status conference May 25
By: Bridget Jones Journal staff writer
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The California Highway Patrol officer arrested May 11 remained jailed after an arraignment Tuesday. Ruben Salgado hired Daniel Nicholson of the Law Office of Daniel Nicholson in Sacramento to act as his attorney. Salgado’s arraignment began last week. During Friday’s arraignment Nicholson said someone asked him to represent Salgado. Nicholson would not say who contacted him. Salgado was arrested in a Rocklin shopping center May 11 and charged with five felonies including being in possession of methamphetamine with a loaded handgun and being under the influence of methamphetamine with a loaded handgun. Salgado’s additional misdemeanor counts include being in possession of drug paraphernalia. Salgado was also charged with being in possession of a controlled substance. This count is a “wobbler,” which means it can either be charged as a felony or misdemeanor. Later court dates should determine the status of this charge, according to Art Campos, spokesman for the Placer County District Attorney’s Office. In a previous report, Robert Watts of West Sacramento, who has known Salgado for more than 20 years, said he was shocked when he found out about Salgado’s arrest. “I was just dumbfounded when I saw the news,” Watts said. “I actually thought there had been some mistake. I did not believe it until I started going from news site to news site to confirm what had happened to him. (It was) never something I expected to see happen.” During Tuesday’s arraignment at Auburn’s Placer County Jail, Jeffrey Wilson, deputy district attorney for Placer County, said he was concerned the court was not fulfilling Salgado’s right to a speedy trial. “My concern is that he has in fact been arraigned and that the clock has started running,” Wilson said. Nicholson asked Judge Robert McElhany Tuesday if Salgado could officially be arraigned and re-enter his not-guilty plea, because Salgado pleaded not guilty last week without an attorney present. “He was not represented by counsel,” Nicholson said. “I don’t believe that arraignment was valid.” McElhany approved the request, and the arraignment process was completed. Salgado is scheduled for an early status conference at 8:30 a.m. May 25 in the Placer County Jail courtroom. The court has filed a motion to examine the source of any bail posted in the case because of Salgado’s drug-related charges. The bail could be discussed at the conference, Nicholson said. Salgado is being held at Auburn’s Placer County Jail with a $200,000 bail. Nicholson said if everyone is up to speed with the case then it might be discussed in the judge’s chambers May 25 and the case could move on after the conference. For now, Nicholson said he needs more time to review case documents. “Right now I’m blind,” he said. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com