On April 30, the courtroom of Department 6 in the Yolo County Superior Court was filled with an air of apprehension as defendant Kenneth Cooley waited for his preliminary hearing before the Honorable David Reed. The defendant’s mother sat in the gallery along with his wife Danielle Arambula, who was called to testify on behalf of the prosecution. Defendant Kenneth Cooley was being charged on four counts dealing with domestic violence from the night of April 14, 2014, when the defendant was arrested in his home after a phone call to the police was made.
His wife, the victim Danielle Arambula, testified as the first witness. The prosecutor asked the witness to recount the events that preceded the night of the defendant’s arrest. Hesitating briefly and avoiding details, she responded with the testimony that the two of them were at a friendly barbecue, casually drinking and that when they returned home they engaged in a verbal argument, the defendant left the home, and police arrived at the house shortly after.
The prosecutor, who was referencing the police report given by the witness the night of the incident, asked a series of questions pertaining to any violent acts that the defendant may have inflicted upon her.
Arambula vehemently denied any physical abuse from that night and told the court that because she was intoxicated she simply overreacted and called 911 because she was needlessly afraid due to her intoxication. The prosecutor then reminded the witness that she was under oath and allowed her the chance to change any statements; the witness remained unmoved.
The defense conducted a short examination of the witness, reviewing the events of that night and asking if her husband had ever physically harmed her. Her testimony remained the same; they were drinking at a friend’s barbecue, got into an argument, he left, and the cops came because she had foolishly called them in her drunken state.
Beginning cross-examination of the witness, the prosecutor played a recording of the phone call conversation between defendant and the witness. The tape revealed the witness stating to her husband that the reason her uncle called the police was because he, the defendant, threw her head up against the wall and beat her. After admitting that the voice on the recording was her own, the witness broke out in tears, hysterically asserting that her husband “is not a violent person, that night was a mistake!”
Next on the stand was Woodland Police Officer Swonger. He told the court that on the night of the defendant’s arrest, the victim was hysterically crying and feared for her and her children’s safety. The victim’s story to the officer that night differed greatly from her testimony today. She told the officer that when she locked the door and called 911 the first time, her husband kicked the door down, ripped the phone line off, and struck her twice across the right side of her face.
As she fell to the ground the defendant demanded that she give him the keys to their car, and in fear for her life she crawled to her purse, handed him the keys, and he left. The officer confirmed these events, stating that the door hinges were splintered, the phone line ripped, and that there was some marking on the victim’s cheek where she had been struck.
In her final statements to the witness, the prosecutor brought up the fact that the defendant was the primary bread-winner for Danielle and their two children, a fact that perhaps prompted Danielle’s decision to falsify testimony, that is, before the recording was played indicating the impeachment.
Before dismissal Judge Reed denied the defense’s request to lower bail, agreeing with the prosecution’s assertion that lowering bail would facilitate the release of the defendant, a man who made clear threats against his wife and her uncle when he suspected they would call the police. The defendant’s bail remains at $50,000, and the trial is scheduled for continuation on Thursday May 15 at 10am.