Monday, July 12, 2010 at 10:04 a.m.
--According to police, Daniel Rojas attempted to murder two Vietnamese Americans in a store during the commission of a December 17, 2005, robbery. The OC District Attorney's office charged Rojas (now 30 years old) with seven felonies plus 12 sentencing enhancements due to the knife he allegedly used. Rojas paid 10 percent of his $100,000 bail to Penny Bail Bonds to get out of jail and, according to court records, attended 13 pre-trial court hearings.
But in May 2008 Rojas apparently decided that he'd rather flee than face the potential life in prison sentence if convicted.
For this defendant, 333 days of patience was more than enough.
International Fidelity Insurance Company, which guaranteed Rojas' appearances after he paid the bail to Penny Bail Bonds, asked Judge Patrick Donahue to excuse it from paying the county the $100,000. Donahue said no.
The insurance company appealed his ruling. In part, it claimed that the bond wasn't valid because a junior court clerk had signed the bail document instead of the court's chief executive officer.
But this month appellate justice rejected that argument as a meaningless technicality and upheld Donahue's determination. The insurance company has lost $90,000 and Rojas remains a fugitive.