Randy Joseph Severson, 46, of Tracy was in court for arraignment on charges he operated a stolen vehicle chop shop with co-defendant Steve Wayne Rodrigues, 42, of Manteca. Both men face more than 30 criminal charges related to the stolen vehicle operation in rural Tracy and central Manteca.
During the proceedings, Judge Ron Northup appointed attorney Jay Alan Childs to represent both defendants for only the initial hearing. He then appointed Childs to represent Rodrigues from there on out.
Without another defense attorney present in the court room, Severson agreed to allow Northup to enter a plea of not guilty on his behalf and to set his pre-preliminary hearing for Thursday, April 7.
During the arraignment, Childs asked Northup to consider releasing both defendants with a promise to appear and requested a lower bail for both men. Deputy District Attorney Timothy Healy told the judge he opposed the request, and Northup agreed, but Healy said he did question how high bail had been set.
Severson is being held on $2.1 million bail and Rodrigues on $593,625 bail. Northup agreed to a lower bail and ruled both be held on $511,375.
Both men were ordered back to court Thursday, Severson for pre-preliminary setting, and Rodrigues for further arraignment.
Although he didn’t enter a plea on Rodrigues’ behalf Wednesday, Childs said after the hearing that he would enter a not guilty plea Thursday morning.
Both defendants are being held in San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp.