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"Judge Fernandez determined that the defendant (Trevor Mbakwe) was not a danger to the community, thus Judge Fernandez had the discretion to extend probation which he did, by two years. He did modify it to reporting probation instead of non-reporting probation, and ordered the defendant to perform 20 hours of community service a month and attend AA meetings three times a week," Griffith said via email.
"The victim's civil attorney was present and he and the criminal defense attorney knocked out a confidential civil settlement prior to the hearing. They refused to let any prosecutor or the criminal court know what the terms of that agreement actually were.
"The Judge was asked (by the victim's attorney) to extend probation to 4 years with early termination upon satisfaction of the civil settlement. The Judge decided to [give] him 2 years' probation and did not make the confidential civil settlement part of the criminal court probation. The judge indicated that if the defendant does not comply with the civil settlement, then the victim's attorney should go to civil court to enforce the settlement, not the criminal courts."
"You're not a cat; you don't have nine lives. You're going to do something and it's going to be the end of any chances you have. This may be it; this may be your last chance," Fernandez told Mbakwe at the hearing.