The Vanguard learned from a juror that a trial held nearly two weeks ago ended in an acquittal and a hung jury. But the jurors became angry that the case went to trial in the first place and so apparently informed the prosecutor that the jury, which acquitted defendant Tyler De Anda on the first count, also hung 11-1 for not guilty on the second count.
The jury said that, as a result of the trial, 11 people will not be voting for the current district attorney in the upcoming election, as they were angry that the DA’s office moved forward on a case with such weak charges, forcing them to waste their time in court for nearly a week.
The deputy DA in the case, Shelby Davitt, after talking to the jury dismissed the remaining charge. The defendant was charged with two misdemeanor counts, a domestic violence battery and a regular battery charge.
The case marks the sixth acquittal or hung jury resulting in a dismissal in recent weeks.
The prosecutor alleged that, in 2017, Mr. De Anda showed up at his ex-girlfriend’s house, as he had followed her new boyfriend back to her house. The three of them knew each other and were involved in somewhat of a love triangle.
Mr. De Anda is alleged to have jumped out of his car and challenged the new boyfriend to a fight. The new boyfriend rushed into the girlfriend’s house and Mr. De Anda is alleged to have pushed the girlfriend out of the way, knocking her down and attacking the new boyfriend.
At trial, the girlfriend told the jury that Mr. De Anda had never pushed her. She wrote a letter to the district attorney, telling the prosecutor that she did not want him to be prosecuted, she didn’t feel like he did anything wrong and she was pressured into implicating him to police because the new boyfriend was present in the room during the interview.
She also testified that the new boyfriend had contacted her during the lunch break of the trial, apparently upset at the way she was testifying. This made the new boyfriend appear less than sympathetic to the jury.
The fight between Mr. De Anda and the new boyfriend was also questionable. A few months prior, the new boyfriend had attacked the girlfriend in September of 2017. He entered her house, confronting the woman, choking her and slapping her, then he left. During the trial, he denied having done this.
During his testimony, the man claimed he was attacked by Mr. De Anda and did not fight back. The woman, however, testified that De Anda was in a fight and therefore fighting back. She even testified that her new boyfriend had initiated the fight after she had broken them up. Mr. De Anda had injuries on the back of his neck consistent more with mutual combat than a one-way attack.
Clearly, the new boyfriend had fought back and may have re-engaged the fight. The man’s denials made him look less than credible to the jury.
There was also an issue as to whether Mr. De Anda was acting in self-defense when he hit the man initially. There was some evidence that the old boyfriend made a gesture suggestive of having a firearm while they were driving around town and made an aggressive move toward him. Mr. De Anda said he confronted him initially because he was concerned about the man breaking into his house again, as he previously done.
The defense argued that Mr. De Anda, knew that the man was violent toward the woman and was making an aggressive move, and it was reasonable for Mr. De Anda to lunge at him and attempt to subdue him.
The jury didn’t see evidence of domestic violence. The jury was skeptical as to why the prosecution would proceed in a case like this when the witness had clearly recanted. There was no independent evidence of the act.
The two men were fighting and the question to the jury was whether it was battery or self-defense. The jury saw this more as two guys fighting over a woman. No one was really injured. One guy ended up being charged and the other guy was not charged.
Furthermore, the new boyfriend committed what would appear to be the much more serious offense when he broke in and choked the woman previously, and yet he was never charged with a crime.
The jury was surprised that a case like this would end up in trial or charged at all.
—David M. Greenwald reporting