An arraignment hearing in Santa Barbara County Superior Court for an Orcutt wine bar owner has been continued to mid-June amid talks of a possible resolution.
Kurt Hixenbaugh, 49, has been charged with two counts of violating a stay-at-home order and two counts of failure to follow a public health order, according to the criminal complaint filed last month in Santa Maria Superior Court.
Some counts are related to COVID-19 public health orders issued Dec. 11, 2020, while the others are related to orders issued in January.
The criminal complaint alleges the wine bar owner violated public health orders on multiple days.
A former San Luis Obispo police officer, Hixenbaugh is co-owner of Vino et Amicis and hadn’t been shy about opposing the orders, posting several videos to his YouTube channel explaining his stance.
For Thursday’s court hearing, Hixenbaugh was represented by Jordan Cunningham, an attorney who also represents the 35th District in the California Assembly.
Both men, along with Deputy District Attorney Wynn (Nguyen) Tran, appeared virtually for the arraignment hearing before Judge Gustavo Lavayen, but the defendant did not enter a plea.
Because of ongoing discussions between Chief Deputy District Attorney John Savrnoch and Cunningham, the judge agreed to continue the arraignment hearing to June 15 for possible settlement or setting additional court dates.
Cunningham also said he intended to file a written demurrer to challenge the sufficiency of the pleadings.
“Obviously, if the case is dismissed at that time, the demurrer would be moot,” Cunningham added.
“We’re gonna fight it,” Hixenbaugh said in an April 6 video, adding that the legal battle would be “a little spendy.”
“That would be super helpful if you want to get behind us and help fight Sacramento and help fight this county,” he added.