Defendant Takes Stand in Felony Evading Case

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by Antoinnette Borbon

Jesse Trillo, a Woodland man accused of felony evading and reckless driving, expressed sorrow for his actions but felt authorities were watching him on other occasions leading up to the events in June of 2014.

Deputy Public Defender Dan Hutchinson reserved his opening until the beginning of his case.

“Ladies and gentlemen, Jesse Trillo is 49 years old and lived all his life in Yolo County, and like many of us, there are things in his life he would change if he could. Things he is not proud of, but in June of 2014, his future was looking bright. He got a job at the Walmart Distribution Center making 10 dollars an hour. He had been behind on his child support and this was an opportunity to get current. He bought a car to get to work, to better his life,” the defense stated.

“But Mr. Trillo found himself in a Catch 22, he was days away from getting his license back and, although not logical or reasonable to keep driving, he thought if he was careful, things would work out,” Hutchinson explained.

He said on one occasion, as Trillo was on his way to work, police pulled him over because he had no tags. When the officers found out he had no license, they impounded his car and made him walk the rest of the way to work.

Hutchinson stated, “But he was able to get it out of impound, paying a fee of 375 dollars, only to find his car had been torn apart.”

Hutchinson told jurors that the car’s tail light wires had been ripped out, seats pulled out and clothes in disarray. Officers had told Trillo they were not searching his vehicle but doing an inventory count.

Hutchinson said then, again in late May, Mr. Trillo was doing his laundry and saw a police patrol SUV parked near his car for two hours.

On the day of June 9, 2014, Mr. Trillo was at the Salvation Army buying work shirts. As he left the parking lot and got onto Main Street he noticed a patrol SUV making a U-turn to follow him.

After a few green lights, the officer continued to follow him.

“I agree, it was not logical or reasonable to keep driving as they tried to pull him over, but he did not care anymore, he didn’t care if he got arrested,” asserted Hutchinson.

He said the defendant is guilty of the other Vehicle Code violations but not guilty of the violation of section 2800.2, felony evading a peace officer.

Car cam video of the incident was shown to jurors as officers testified to following the defendant for a 15-mile stretch. California Highway Patrol Officer Mancy Turner said in the preliminary hearing that Trillo’s speed was between 50 to 80 mph, but testified during trial to the speed being 65 to 80 mph.

Woodland Police Officer Evan Black testified to being the patrol officer who began following Mr. Trillo near Lincoln Avenue.

Jesse Trillo took the stand to tell about the events leading up to his arrest. He said he had a criminal past but was trying to better his life. Tears coming down, he expressed his sorrow to the district attorney and law enforcement for his actions. But he said, “I just felt like giving up..I knew they were after me, so many thoughts went through my mind as they followed but I didn’t care anymore.”

Trillo said he was two days away from regaining his drivers license and knew he shouldn’t be driving. He said a lot of times he had his sister take him to work or he would take the bus.

Hutchinson asked, “How did that make you feel when you found the car like that?”  “I didn’t know why they would do that to me,” answered Trillo.

Trillo said he never drove down Lincoln Avenue that day where Officer Black said he first noticed him.

He explained that he didn’t hear the siren until he got down near the Quik Stop, but then he decided to keep driving. “A lot of things went through my mind, I knew they were after me but I didn’t care. I didn’t have much gas and I wasn’t driving fast, my car is a two liter engine. I just gave up, I guess, ” said Trillo.

During cross-examination, Deputy District Attorney Jay Linden hammered the question, “So are you saying you never drove on Lincoln?”

“No sir, I went to the Salvation Army and left going onto Main St,” replied Trillo.

“So..are you calling Officer Black a liar?” asked Linden, with raised tempo.

“Sir, no, I just didn’t drive on Lincoln, I don’t know what you want me to say, ” replied Trillo.

“But in the car cam, you heard Black say he was following you on Lincoln,” asserted Linden.

“Sir, I don’t know..I never drove there I’m telling you the truth as I remember it. I have my receipts from Salvation Army,” Trillo answered.

DDA Linden fired question after question in regard to Trillo allegedly calling police officer Black a liar, but they were objected to and sustained.

In the car cam video from Officer Black, he does mention Lincoln Ave., but it was unclear if that was the point at which he first began following the defendant.

Testimony ended and closing began the next morning. Jurors were unable to reach a verdict. It was hung 6 to 6. The Vanguard did not get the details on what they hung on.  It is likely a second trial will follow.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch puts 8 to 12 interns into the Yolo County House to monitor and report on what happens. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org

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12 thoughts on “Defendant Takes Stand in Felony Evading Case”

  1. Tia Will

    Deputy District Attorney Jay Linden fired question after question in regard to Trujillo allegedly calling police officer Black a liar but they were objected to and sustained.”

    This is a very interesting tactic to me. I find it ironic that while the police are allowed to use lying in questioning suspects at their own discretion that District Attorney Linden then questions Trujillo about calling the police officer a liar as though it were a pejorative. If we are going to allow police the right to lie, then I believe that they should own it as a tactic and it should be clear to any jury that the police are not only allowed, but in some circumstances encouraged to lie to those they detain or charge.

    A second point about veracity is that District Attorney Linden apparently does not understand, or does not want the jurors to understand that it is entirely possible for both the police officer and the accused to be telling the truth as they recall events given the plasticity of memory and be relating two very different versions of events. This simply should not be allowed, not allowed to occur and then be stricken since it will have already been heard by the jury who may have no understanding about the state of current research on the fallibility of memory.

     

     

     

     

     

  2. theotherside

    Tia ” If we are going to allow police the right to lie, then I believe that they should own it as a tactic and it should be clear to any jury that the police are not only allowed, but in some circumstances encouraged to lie to those they detain or charge.”

    You bring this up on a regular basis and it is time that it gets addressed.  First things first, it is never OK to lie on the stand and under oath in court.  Not for police, defendants, or attorneys.  It’s perjury and immoral.

    Second, while courts have declared that the use of deceit during a suspect interview is not a violation it is rarely used.  Contrary to your assertion that it is encouraged it is actually discouraged by law enforcement trainers and supervisors.  The use of deceit has been found in most cases to be a bad tactic as it is high risk with low reward.  For example, if during an interview of a burglary suspect the officer declares to the suspect that his fingerprints were found at the crime scene and that suspect knows he was wearing gloves, all of that officers credibility is out the window and the odds of getting a true confession are likely gone.  There are so many better and more effective interview techniques available, the use of deceit is usually a last resort.

    Now, if deceit is used for some reason and an admission is made that admission needs to be corroborated for it to be of any value.  So generally the interview would begin over with the suspect giving details of whatever crime it was from beginning to end.  Details that only the suspect would have.  So any assertion that after an officer lies, and the suspect just says “yeah I did it”, and end of interview with nothing substantiated is just made for TV drama not real life.

    Yeah, I know some officer you know once told you they are allowed to lie to suspects and somehow that was translated in your head that most officers in most suspect interviews lie to them….but just not the case.

    1. Davis Progressive

      “Second, while courts have declared that the use of deceit during a suspect interview is not a violation it is rarely used. ”

      do you have evidence to back it up as “rarely used” because in my experience, it is not so rare. and even if it were rare, it’s still problematic.  the problem of course with deceit is that it can change the calculations by the defendant/ suspect and if they believe they will be convicted or left holding the bag – even if they didn’t do it – they may well falsely confess or otherwise waive their rights.

    2. Tia Will

      theotherside

      Yeah, I know some officer you know once told you they are allowed to lie to suspects and somehow that was translated in your head that most officers in most suspect interviews lie to them….but just not the case.

      This is not the only reason that I believe that police lie more frequently than we are led to believe. The police officer that said this to me said that it would only be used under extreme circumstances where a life was in danger. He was obviously unaware that I myself had been lied to during a routine stop. He also would not know that shortly thereafter an interrogator would be telling multiple lies to Mr. Marsh in order to get him alone in the police station and then in order to extract a confession.

      In neither of these circumstances was there even close to a situation in which any one was endangered in that moment, and mine was a situation in which I was not even suspected of anything but was merely the passenger in a care where the driver had forgotten in a very well lit area to turn on the head lights. So unless you are making the assertion that I cannot tell when I have been directly lied to, then my personal experience tells me that this is not so rare an event as we would like to think.

      1. South of Davis

        Tia wrote:

        > I myself had been lied to during a routine stop

        Care to tell us why a cop had to lie to you “during a routine stop” (and how you knew he was lying)…

         

    3. sisterhood

      Tia keeps bringing it up because it is wrong and shouldn’t be allowed. You are very wrong that it is “rarely used”. The Dixon police lied to me tin a failed attempt to get me to cooperate with them and they also called me at my job, repeatedly, to harass me. They wanted me to corroborate a horrible story they made up. They were shameful in their pursuit of this lie. I had to take time off work to be interviewed by them ,and when I couldn’t come in immediately, they threatened to send CPS to my home.

      Police do lie, frequently.  I had physical proof at my home that they were lying. When I called them on it, they back pedaled and admitted they were guessing.

      You are very naive.

  3. theotherside

    Just my professional opinion based on training and experience.  I suppose I could reiterate what I already wrote or you could read past the one sentence you took exception to.  I would imagine if a suspect made a false confession based on an officers use of deceit and there was no corroborating admissions, well I just suppose any defense attorney worth his weight could at minimum hang that jury.  Truth is use of deceit is discouraged, and I’ll say again, rarely used because it is a bad tactic and jurors just don’t like it.  And this may surprise you, officers do not want innocent people to confess to something they didn’t do, that does not solve anything.

    Do you have any evidence to back it is used?

    1. Davis Progressive

      thousands of cases of false confessions?  the biggest problem in my experience is that you don’t know what was fed to the defendants most of the time, because even if they now video confessions, they often don’t video the whole interrogation.  and even if they do video the whole interrogation, you may not recognize what you’re looking at until its too late.  i just don’t really like the idea of the police tricking someone into admitting guilt.

    2. sisterhood

      They don’t care, as long as they get a confession., or a plea bargain.  They will try to frame people, and as I said, make up lies to family members, to get people upset so they will corroborate. They have no ethics. They simply don’t care. I will never, ever cooperate with law enforcement again. Even if they arrest me, I will say nothing. I have no faith whatsoever in the criminal injustice system, especially after Ferguson and also the murder in Staten Island. How can the jury find no reason to indict, when a coroner’s autopsy report said the cause of deasth was homicide?

  4. theotherside

    DP “i just don’t really like the idea of the police tricking someone into admitting guilt.”

    We agree, so glad it is so rare.

    Stating a false narrative (no matter how popular it is to do these days) is not evidence.

    1. Davis Progressive

      what i find interesting is when i google police lying to obtain a confession, i don’t see studies, what i see are some essays, a lot of them actually relatively old.

      example: http://www.uiowa.edu/~030116/158/articles/hoffman2.htm

  5. Antoinnette

    I apologize there was a part of this article that got accidentally left out, internet issues…lol

    But in that part, testimony about the defendants past entailed an assault and vandalism charged convictions, a couple others. It may have given the cops apprehension, unsure.

    However, it did not give them the right to tear his car up? that was mean spirited; that was when they impounded his car.  I do not believe he was on any searchable provisions either?

    I don’t believe  defendant or cop lied, it was just different accounts of what happened on June 9th. Defendant appeared to be remorseful and honest on the stand as did officers who testified.

    One of first’s to hear a defendant apologize to attorneys, law enforcement and jurors for his actions, it seemed sincere. I believe like he said, he had given up and knew he was going to be arrested.

    It is tough to keep working when you have to rely on others to get you there, it is stressful. I have known a few like him who have been thru this dilemma. He was just two days away from getting his license and now he is facing years in prison because of his past record.

    I believe Jay Linden got upset with the insinuation of his officers lying and rightly so, however, it did not appear to be the intent of defendant. Defendant may have been so upset he could not recall the incidents specifics? He was not under the influence of anything nor was anything found in the car.

    Video was unclear to me, could not hear if Lincoln was the starting point or not? Jurors may not have understood it either, not sure what they hung on?

    A second trial was to be set today.

     

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