Man who threatened Women’s March organizers caught with ammunition, prosecutor says

Daniel Joshua Phares

The Atascadero man convicted of making criminal threats on Facebook against the organizers of the Women’s March San Luis Obispo was allegedly found with 100 rounds of ammunition following a court order that he give up his firearms and ammo. [Tribune]

Last month, Daniel Joshua Phares, 46, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of making criminal threats. San Luis Obispo County Judge Matthew Guerrero sentenced Phares to 18 months of formal probation and required Phares to complete 10 hours of anger management counseling and write letters of apology to three Women’s March organizers. The sentence also required Phares to refrain from owning or possessing firearms and ammunition for 10 years.

Days later, on Dec. 20, Phares was arrested for violating his probation and booked into the San Luis Obispo County Jail. He has since remained in custody.

On Monday, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office charged Phares with felony unlawful possession of ammunition. Phares appeared in court on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to the possession of ammunition charge.

Deputy District Attorney Chris Peuvrelle said during the hearing that Phares was found in possession of about 100 rounds of ammunition for the AR-15 he relinquished, as well as an undisclosed number of knives and a crossbow.

Peuvrelle requested that Judge Ginger Garret raise Phares’ bail to $35,000. Garret approved the bail increase request, saying Phares poses a public safety risk.

Phares’ attorney, Jim Royer, argued against the bail increase, saying his client was trying to sell the ammunition after the court ordered he give up his firearms. Royer said Phares was a little naive about formal probation.

During the initial court case, Phares trolled the victims, alleging hypocrisy by the Women’s March in not honoring Marilyn Pharis, a woman who was sexually assaulted and killed by an illegal immigrant. Phares also trolled Judge Guerrero during the sentencing hearing.

When Guerrero asked Phares if he understood the terms of his probation, Phares responded, “sure.”

Guerrero told Phares, if he was found in violation of his probation, he could be booked in jail on a flash incarceration without a court hearing for up to 10 days.

“Search away,” Phares said to the judge. “I’m not afraid of being searched.”

During the sentencing hearing, Peuvrelle said he had been extremely disappointed with Phares’ behavior since the plea agreement was reached and that he planned to ask for substantial time in custody if Phares failed to abide by the requirements of his probation.

Phares currently remains in jail in lieu of $35,000 bail, an amount $20,000 higher than the level at which his bail was set following his Dec. 20 arrest.

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