Client Gets Jail, Not Prison

Criminal Defense Attorney Ken Rosenfeld

Sacramento · San Francisco · Los Angeles · San Diego

By Monica Vaughan/

The teen who ordered another boy into a vehicle with a replica gun in a violent kidnapping plot will be sentenced to two years in jail and five years probation.

Yuba County Superior Court Judge Julia Scrogin on Friday called the crime “horrible” and said she wanted as much oversight as possible over Jacob Cadena, now 18, so he would be rehabilitated.

Cadena entered a negotiated guilty plea in October to kidnapping and dissuading a witness. He admitted he used a deadly weapon. A sentencing hearing will continue March 6.

Cadena, Frank Oddo and Jesse Murray were arrested in March after they kidnapped a teen boy at gunpoint (later determined to be an airsoft) in the Yuba County foothills. They had planned the kidnapping for about a month. The boy had met them under the guise of a marijuana transaction.

The victim’s aunt intervened and called 911 before the perpetrators could continue their plan, according to a probation report. What their plan was for their victim, is the most troubling, according to the report.

The night of their arrest, the boys independently told detectives a range of sadistic possibilities, from raping the victim, to “pig tying” him and slicing his throat, to breaking his legs and leaving him to die. A machete, knives, an ax, a rope and a pillow case were found in their vehicle.

Cadena was the teen with a motive who stood to benefit from the plan. Detectives learned the victim was dating a girl Cadena liked. Their plan was to use the victim’s cellphone to break up with the girl, and then Cadena would win her over.

The victim’s contact information was labeled “dead whore” in Cadena’s phone contact list.

When interviewed by probation, Cadena said the kidnapping “had nothing to do with the girl.” He denied he was the driving force in the plot. He said he thought it was all a joke and that the weapons in the car were meant to scare the victim. Cadena accused Oddo of driving the plot. Oddo placed the blame on Cadena. Oddo pleaded to the same counts as Cadena and has yet to be sentenced. Murray is scheduled back in court March 9.

Cadena’s defense attorney, Kenneth L. Rosenfeld, argued his young client had mental health issues and “is scared out of his mind.” They had images of grandeur, he said, but they had not considered the adult consequences of their actions. Rosenfeld raised the issue of the impacts of prison on Cadena, adding if he were sentenced to the maximum eight years, he would still be young when he is released.

Deputy District Attorney Shiloh Sorbello said he didn’t entirely disagree with defense. He said the plot is unusually scary and the potential consequences unusually tragic.

Scrogin had to make an unusual case finding to avoid a prison sentence. She said Cadena was 17 years old at the time of the crime and had no significant record.

“I want to keep the defendant more closely supervised than he would be if on parole,” Scrogin said. “No offense to parole,” she said, but they have a lot of people to monitor. If there is a potential to rehabilitate him, the system needs to do that now, Scrogin said. She said she will order mental health counseling, and she will refuse to transfer probation away from Yuba County.

Cadena lived in Oroville before he was arrested and had enrolled in the Art Institute of Sacramento, where he planned to participate in their culinary arts program, according to the report.

He remains in Yuba County Jail.

Credits:, January 2015, authored by reporter Monica Vaughan.

California mental health law, California sex crimes, San Francisco criminal defense attorneyNext Article

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