By Anita Woo
On July 9, 2018, Lesya Gorgal’s preliminary hearing proceeded with Judge Timothy Fall presiding in Department 14. Ms.Gorgal is charged with four felonies: two first degree burglaries within occupied residences and two attempted burglaries.
Lesya Gorgal was released from a mental hospital at 1:30am on May 19, 2017. However, she couldn’t afford a ride home and resorted to stealing to get some quick cash.
The first witness to testify was Morgan Hatcher, who has been a peace officer for five years. On May 19, 2017, she received alerts at 7:42 am of attempted entries at a Lake Boulevard apartment complex. After speaking with the resident at apartment 135, she received a call from a “Mr.B” in a nearby apartment.
According to Officer Hatcher’s summary of Mr.B’s account, Ms. Gorgal broke into his apartment with a stolen shovel. When he found her, he told her to stay until the police arrived. Ms.Gorgal complied with Mr.B.
It was there that Officer Hatcher found Ms.Gorgal on the floor surrounded by a pile of stolen property. Included in the pile were watches, kitty boxes, headphones, and a red Dell laptop. Ms. Gorgal was found wearing stolen shoes and a grey Montana jacket.
During cross-examination, the defense attorney questioned whether Ms. Gorgal had wounds from entering a broken window. The officer confirmed the alleged burglar had gashes on her leg but found no blood near the window.
The second witness was Officer Mathew Muscardini, who has 12 years of police experience. On that morning he investigated complaints from the residents of apartments 135 and 144.
Additionally, Officer Muscardini testified he returned the laptop to apartment 144’s occupant, “Ms.H,” through the verification of the laptop’s wallpaper.
The final witness was a UC Davis police officer, Officer Lopez. He testified that “Mr. G” in apartment 208 had videotaped someone jittering at doors and windows, getting a clear shot of the person’s face. The prosecutor asked Officer Lopez to identify the person, whereby he pointed to Ms. Gorgal, who sat next to her defense attorney.
The court determined there was enough evidence to suggest Ms. Gorgal had committed two burglaries and two attempted burglaries. Arraignment is set for July 23, 2018.