It had been over a month since Jazmin Paramo, the woman facing hefty charges after killing four people in early August, had stepped foot in the South County Justice Center to be seen by a judge. On Monday morning she was seen again, but not many advancements were made in the case.
The doors to Department 23 of the South County Justice Center in Porterville opened to the public around 9:50 a.m., and the courtroom was packed with bodies. Although judge Gary M. Johnson had not entered into the courtroom yet, Paramo was escorted into the room and the silence was broken as her shackles clinked together. An entire bench in the courtroom was dedicated to the families of Jose Vargas, Rita Vargas, Gilbert Vargas and Mitzi Rodriguez, the victims who lost their lives after Paramo was driving under the influence and struck the four motorcyclists.
Paramo and her lawyer, Jamil Nushwat, sat near each other before court came to order, and in hushed whispers, discussed the case together. Paramo furiously nodded her head throughout the conversation.
Once Johnson was in his seat and the court was called to order, three cases were heard before Paramo's was called. After Johnson took up her case, Paramo stood and the lawyers stated their appearances. Nushwat presented for the defense and Deputy District Attorney Brittany Knotts appeared for the prosecution.
Nushwat told the judge that additional discoveries had been made since Paramo was last seen in court, and that the defense needed time to further examine those discoveries. He stated that he was still waiting on the prosecution to review the new information. Nushwat also requested that the defense have time to inspect the vehicles involved.
Judge Johnson inquired as to an estimated time for a preliminary hearing. Knotts replied that the hearing would take at least two hours, and Nushwat agreed, stating that it would probably take at least half of a day.
The judge ultimately decided to set the hearing for January 3, 2020, in Department 17 of the South County Justice Center in Porterville beginning at 8:30 a.m.