Domestic Violence Not Guilty Verdict – 9/27/17

The Alleged Crime:  My client was charged with one count of Battery Domestic Violence, a misdemeanor.

The Evidence:  The alleged victim claimed that her then-boyfriend and father of her child grabbed her arm and pushed her to the ground in the driveway of the house where he was living.  When she reported the incident the next night, the police took her statement and photos of her injuries, but did not further investigate the incident.

The Trial:  I cross examined the victim regarding her version of events and was able to show that she had at least four different versions of her story.  For example, on direct examination she claimed that she went home after the incident, where her brother called police about an hour later.  In fact, I was able to show that she did not report the incident to police until over 24 hours afterward.  I was also able to get her to admit that she probably made physical contact with my client first. No evidence was presented that my client pushed the alleged victim to the ground.

In addition, I called two witnesses to testify on behalf of my client.  One of the witnesses saw the alleged incident, but explained that he saw my client grab the alleged victim’s arm only after she swung at him, and only in self-defense.  His testimony came off as credible because he admitted that he felt both parties were in the wrong.  The other witness explained how the alleged victim stayed at the house for several hours after the incident and had no visible injuries at that time.

The Defense:  It was our position that my client acted only in self defense.  When arguing self defense, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self defense if any evidence of self defense is provided.

The Outcome:  My client was found not guilty of all charges.

Not Guilty Verdicts in Felony Jury Trial – 6/6/17

The Alleged Crimes:  The client faced nine felony counts, including Burglary While in Possession of a Firearm (Category B), Robbery with Use of a Deadly Weapon (Category B), Attempt Robbery with Use of a Deadly Weapon (Category B), and First Degree Kidnapping with Use of a Deadly Weapon (Category A).  The charges included three separate events at three separate locations.  Prior to trial, an Amended Indictment was filed, dropping two counts of First Degree Kidnapping with Use of a Deadly Weapon.

The Evidence:  The State alleged that the three separate events were robberies committed in a series, and linked them by the clothing worn by the suspect in each event.  At trial, the State produced evidence including testimony of several witnesses and surveillance video footage from each event.  As to the first event, the State was unable to produce any physical evidence directly tying the client to the crime.

The Jury Trial:  I worked with another criminal defense attorney, Jess Matsuda, during the trial.  Together, we were able to effectively cross-examine witnesses, including alleged victims, police officers, and expert witnesses such as DNA and Fingerprint Analysts, to show the weaknesses in the State’s case.

The Outcome:  After deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of NOT GUILTY on one count of Burglary While in Possession of a Firearm and one count of Robbery with Use of a Deadly Weapon.  The jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision on the remaining five counts.  Mr. Matsuda’s and my careful preparation, cross-examination, and argument allowed our client not to be found guilty on any of the seven Category A and B felony counts in this case.

Not Guilty Jury Verdict

 

Note: The State has announced its intent to retry the five counts for which the jury was unable to reach a verdict, and a new trial date has been set as to those counts.  Because those counts are still open, I have not included detailed information regarding those portions of the case.  Because the jury found our client NOT GUILTY on two of the counts, the State cannot retry the client as to those counts.

 

Disclaimer: My involvement with this case was not as the lead attorney; however, I served as second-chair at trial, including by assisting the lead attorney in preparing the case for trial, discussing the case with the client.

Domestic Violence Not Guilty Verdict + Reinstatement – 5/4/17

The Alleged Crime: My client had previously entered into a negotiation on a case where he had pleaded guilty to a Battery Domestic Violence charge.  The negotiation included, among other requirements, a “broad stay out of trouble order” (meaning no new arrests or citations) and a suspended jail sentence.  My client was charged with a Battery Domestic Violence Second Offense.  The City of Las Vegas sought conviction plus requirements on the new case as well as revocation and imposition of the suspended sentence on his older case for allegedly violating the stay out of trouble order by picking up a new case.

The Evidence:  The alleged victim claimed to police that the defendant had battered her during an argument regarding their children.  She told police that he pushed her up against a wall and put his hands around her neck.

The Trial and Revocation Hearing:  During the trial and revocation hearing, the alleged victim recanted much of her story.  She explained that she had been afraid of my client because of the argument, but that he did not actually physically touch her.  She had called police because she was intimidated by the nature of the verbal argument.

The Outcome:  My client was found not guilty on the new case and was given additional time to complete requirements on his old case without imposition of jail time.

Domestic Violence Not Guilty Verdict – 4/26/17

The Alleged Crime:  My client was charged with one count of Battery Domestic Violence, a misdemeanor.

The Evidence:  The alleged victim claimed that her ex battered her while kicking her out of the house, including grabbing her arm, hitting her, and knocking her to the ground.  Officers arrived at the scene.  No charges were filed at that time.  Several days later, the alleged victim sent photographs to police of injuries she said were a result of the battery.

The Trial:  After cross-examination of the alleged victim and two police officers, I was able to show that the alleged victim’s story didn’t ring true.  In fact, the responding officers did not even file charges at the time because they did not find probable cause to do so.  On the stand, the alleged victim claimed that she was so scared of my client that she barricaded the door of her bedroom to keep him out before he even returned to the residence.  She said he still managed to break down her door, grabbed her arm, took her phone, knocked her to the ground, and battered her.  She claimed that he took her gun from her bag so she couldn’t protect herself.  Only after the alleged victim provided additional information to police at a later date, were charges filed against my client.  By playing the alleged victim’s 911 calls, I was able to reveal that she had lied to dispatch and said there were no weapons in the home despite having a gun in her possession.  Moreover, I was able to reveal through cross-examination that her story didn’t line up and there was no evidence at the time of the officers’ arrival on scene to corroborate the alleged victim’s story.

The Outcome:  My client was found not guilty of all charges.

Domestic Violence Not Guilty Verdict – 12/12/16

The Alleged Crime: The client was charged with one count of Battery Domestic Violence, a misdemeanor.

The Evidence:  The alleged victim and her daughter claimed that the defendant battered the alleged victim when she went to retrieve her belongings from their residence.  They claimed that the alleged victim went to the hospital after the incident due to the alleged injuries.

The Trial:  Through cross examination of the alleged victim, her daughter, the responding police officer, and direct examination of an independent witness, I was able to show that the alleged victim and her daughter were not being honest on the stand.  Their story did not make sense and was inconsistent with the story they had told officers on the night of the alleged incident.  Moreover, despite claiming that the alleged victim had been slammed against walls and had vomited blood, there was no physical evidence or visible injuries to corroborate the story.  Moreover, my client and the independent witness had called police to the residence before the alleged victim because of her inappropriate conduct while retrieving her belongings.  I was able to reveal through testimony and photographs that the alleged victim had actually used a taser against the independent witness before leaving and telling hospital staff and police that my client had battered her.

The Outcome:  My client was found not guilty of all charges.