Fight Over a TV Leads to a Felony and a Misdemeanor

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Yolo-Count-Court-Room-600by Silvia Ramos Medina

On November 9, 2013, following a foolish argument over the use of a television, the defendant and his roommate engaged in a physical altercation. The roommate and alleged victim reportedly spit in the defendant’s face; in retaliation, the defendant repeatedly punched the roommate and threatened to kill both him and his girlfriend.

Peter Edwards faces one misdemeanor battery charge and one felony charge for criminal threat (California Penal Code §422) with great bodily injury.

On the afternoon of July 15, with Judge David Rosenberg presiding, the preliminary hearing for People vs. Edwards commenced in Department Four. The defendant appeared in custody represented by Deputy Public Defender Dean Johansson. Deputy District Attorney Alvina Tzang made herself present for the People.

DDA Tzang called her first witness to the stand, a young woman who was living with the defendant on the date of the incident. The witness, along with the defendant and six other roommates, shared a house.

While examining the witness, Ms. Tzang asked, “On November 9, 2013, do you recall calling the police?

The defendant looked directly at the witness’ face.

“Yes. The criminal was beating an innocent individual.”

The witness testified that she was upstairs in her room when she heard yelling.

“Where was Mr. Edwards’ room?” inquired Ms. Tzang.

“The criminal’s room was downstairs.”

Judge Rosenberg interjected, “It would be useful if you did not refer to him as a criminal. Refer to him as the defendant.”

The witness did not respond to Judge Rosenberg, and awaited the next question from Ms. Tzang.

Upon further examination, the witness testified that she recalled the defendant punching the victim three or four times.

“He just kept punching him in the face.”

The witness then disclosed that the victim’s girlfriend was three to four feet away from the fight.

When asked if the defendant said anything during the altercation, the witness replied, “Um, he was very frustrated and angry and he said he would kill both of them.”

She then reported that the defendant had turned to the victim’s girlfriend and verbalized, “I’m going to f ‘n kill you.”

By the witness’ account, the victim had managed to push the defendant outside during the fight. After pushing the defendant into the backyard, he quickly locked the glass sliding door. While the witness called dispatch, the victim tried to stop and clean up the blood from his face. The defendant remained outside and the witness could not tell if he was verbalizing anything.

When questioned about the location of the victim’s girlfriend, the witness declared, “She was hiding in my closet because she was in fear of her life.”

“Can you describe the demeanor of the girlfriend?” “She was very emotional and terrified. She was a mess.”

Mr. Johansson then began his cross-examination of the witness.

“What kind of house is this? Does it have a special purpose?”

“To rent rooms to students,” the witness stated.

Mr. Johansson then asked if there were any requirements to live in the house.

“Have a full time job, pay rent on time, and get along with everyone in the house,” she responded.

Judge Rosenberg then interposed, “This is not discovery, Mr. Johansson.”

“Thank you, Judge,” the witness rejoined.

“Did you ever hear the victim say anything?” Mr. Johansson put forward.

“I heard him say, ‘What are you going to do? I’m right here.’ ”

“Other than ouch?” Judge Rosenberg joked.

“Your honor he didn’t even have time to say anything.”

“Where was the victim when you were upstairs?”

“Downstairs getting beat up.”

“No further questions,” Mr. Johansson concluded.

Ms. Tzang then called her second witness, Randal Krantz—a current Woodland Police Department officer.

Ms. Tzang began examining Officer Krantz. She asked him why he had been dispatched to the residence on November 9, 2013. He straightforwardly answered that there was a fight between two males.

“A male was covered in blood and a female told me the suspect was in the backyard.”

Officer Krantz further testified that, upon his arrival on the scene, he located the victim and two other females.

“Were you able to locate the suspect?”

“He was sitting on a couch outside. I just spoke to him. The victim had spit in his face.”

According to Officer Krantz, when he went out to the front, the ambulance was already there caring for the victim. But, he would not find out about the victim’s injuries until later. At the emergency room, Officer Krantz inquired about the victim’s injuries. He had a laceration near his left eyebrow and a circular abrasion on the back of his head.

“Any permanent or serious injuries?”

“I don’t think so.”

Officer Krantz would then describe the incidents leading up to the fight. He said the victim intended to hook up an Xbox on the back patio TV, but the defendant told the victim to step off. Once the victim asked the defendant what he was going to do about it, the defendant punched him in the face.

As matters escalated, Edwards and the victim argued in the kitchen, and this resulted in another punch—Edwards punched the victim on the back of the head. The victim pushed Edwards to the back of the house and locked the sliding door.

When asked if he could recall the girlfriend’s reaction, Mr. Krantz reported, “Frantic, I guess you can say. Adamant. Upset. She wanted the subject arrested immediately.”

Upon further inquiry, Officer Krantz stated that Mr. Edwards attacked the victim’s face and said he was going to kill him. As the fight continued, the victim’s girlfriend attempted to walk away, and Mr. Edwards questioned where she was going and told her to give him a purse she was holding. He managed to grab a CD case from her and threw it to the ground.

“She had briefly mentioned something about a purse. She reached inside her sweater to grab her phone. He said, ‘Don’t call nobody.’ ”

As Ms. Tzang finished examining Officer Krantz, he testified that the victim’s girlfriend was afraid for her life. There were knives in the kitchen; she was afraid Mr. Edwards would grab a knife and kill her.

Mr. Johansson then directed himself to Officer Krantz for cross-examination.

“Did you take photos?”

“My partner Esquibel did. I took photos of the house.”

“Did you take photos of Mr. Edwards?”

“No, he was acting kind of weird. He was collecting saliva in his mouth… He was holding all that saliva in his mouth. He was being minimal in his answers.”

After Mr. Johansson’s short cross-examination of Officer Krantz, Judge Rosenberg announced that Mr. Edwards’ arraignment would be set for July 30 at 10:00 am in Department Four.

In custody and with a blank stare on his face, the defendant was escorted out the courtroom.

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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10 thoughts on “Fight Over a TV Leads to a Felony and a Misdemeanor”

  1. TrueBlueDevil

    I find it odd and weird that Judge Rosenburg would laugh about someone getting punched in the face, a beating that would require a trip to the ER.

    Would he joke in public about one of his own family members this way?

  2. TrueBlueDevil

    I find it odd and weird that Judge Rosenburg would laugh about someone getting punched in the face, a beating that would require a trip to the ER.

    Would he joke in public about one of his own family members this way?

  3. tj

    Yes, very odd time for Rosenburg to make a joke, Also odd that he allowed the witness to refer twice to the defendant as the criminal.

    The whole case is odd — if the “victim” spit in the defendant’s face, why isn’t he on trial? And the “victim” forcibly moved the defendant from the kitchen to the backyard. That could be prosecuted as “kidnapping”. And it indicates the victim is bigger and stronger than the defendant.

    The officer thought the defendant might have been storing saliva, he claimed, but then again, how could he be sure of that?

    What a waste of time and tax payer money. Better ways to handle this.

  4. tj

    Yes, very odd time for Rosenburg to make a joke, Also odd that he allowed the witness to refer twice to the defendant as the criminal.

    The whole case is odd — if the “victim” spit in the defendant’s face, why isn’t he on trial? And the “victim” forcibly moved the defendant from the kitchen to the backyard. That could be prosecuted as “kidnapping”. And it indicates the victim is bigger and stronger than the defendant.

    The officer thought the defendant might have been storing saliva, he claimed, but then again, how could he be sure of that?

    What a waste of time and tax payer money. Better ways to handle this.

  5. Antoinnette

    I don’t believe Rosenberg meant any harm….we write what we hear but that part may have been best to omit as I do not wish for the public to be tainted about him.

    Judge Rosenberg is a fair and decent man.

    I will use more caution in instructing interns, however, David has final call.

    Yes, TJ, I agree, spitting can ne seen as aggravating…not sure why he held saliva but thete may be a mental health issue here.

    Thanks.for reading!

  6. Antoinnette

    I don’t believe Rosenberg meant any harm….we write what we hear but that part may have been best to omit as I do not wish for the public to be tainted about him.

    Judge Rosenberg is a fair and decent man.

    I will use more caution in instructing interns, however, David has final call.

    Yes, TJ, I agree, spitting can ne seen as aggravating…not sure why he held saliva but thete may be a mental health issue here.

    Thanks.for reading!

  7. Silvia

    I do apologize to everyone. I should have used better judgement on my choice of diction. I do not believe Judge Rosenberg was making a joke out of the situation. I’ve sat in his courtroom several times and he is a great judge. I definitely agree with Antoinette–he is a fair and decent man.

    Tj: I agree with you. If I’m not mistaken, spitting on someone can be deemed battery. Also, I am not sure how the officer knew the defendant was collecting saliva in his mouth. That is an interesting question.

    Antoinette: Thank you!!!

  8. Silvia

    I do apologize to everyone. I should have used better judgement on my choice of diction. I do not believe Judge Rosenberg was making a joke out of the situation. I’ve sat in his courtroom several times and he is a great judge. I definitely agree with Antoinette–he is a fair and decent man.

    Tj: I agree with you. If I’m not mistaken, spitting on someone can be deemed battery. Also, I am not sure how the officer knew the defendant was collecting saliva in his mouth. That is an interesting question.

    Antoinette: Thank you!!!

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