CHULA VISTA, Calif. — A judge has restricted Larry Millete’s jail phone privileges after saying he amassed hours of time in calls with his kids despite being ordered not to do so.
A prosecutor said he had made over 129 calls since being taken into custody last week. At least nine hours of those calls were to his children, and that flew in the face of a court order not to contact them, according to Judge Maryann D’Addedzio.
“Let me explain what a court order is. It’s not a suggestion. It’s not a request. It’s an order,” the judge said Wednesday.
Larry’s attorney, Bonita Martinez, told the court that her client hadn’t understood the order, which was read aloud at his initial appearance last week. At the time, it wasn’t immediately clear to journalists covering the trial who the criminal protective order referred to, because no subjects were publicly named.
D’Addedzio said Wednesday that the court had not read the names out loud as a courtesy, but that she wasn’t buying the line that Larry didn’t understand who was covered.
“At the last hearing, out of deference to your attorney who didn’t want your children’s names read in court, the court specifically asked … whether you were aware that the orders that I was going to read applied to the protective parties listed on the document — who were your three children,” the judge said. “I don’t for a minute believe you didn’t understand who I was talking about.”
The prosecutor at Wednesday’s hearing detailed the contents of some of those phone calls, implying Larry’s conversations with the kids — which at times came during school hours or as late as 1 a.m. — were inappropriate.
In some calls, the prosecutor said Larry made disparaging comments about Maya’s family or asked them to read him news headlines.
In another, “he asks the 11-year-old that she and her 10-year-old sister should watch a movie called ‘Shot Caller,’ which is a rated-R movie that has warnings of bloody violence,” Deputy District Attorney Christy Bowles said. “It’s essentially a story about a businessman who goes to prison, and he suggests that they should watch it to understand the environment that he’s in.”
Ultimately Judge D’Addedzio ruled that Millete would only be allowed to contact his attorney by phone. His lawyer said she plans to appeal for a modification to the restraining order that would allow him to speak to the kids again.
Millete is due back in court next week.