By Tiffany Yeh
Timothy Armstrong is charged with infliction of corporal injury on a person with whom he has had a current or former dating relationship.
At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, Judge Paul Richardson held the defendant to answer on the charge, and on another charge to which both parties stipulated but was not described in court.
The alleged victim and Armstrong knew each other from high school. They were together 30 or 40 times on dates throughout 2015. They drank, had sex and drugs together, and sometimes had dinner at friends’ houses or went to BBQs together.
On a Sunday morning in September of 2015, she found texts on his phone and thought he was cheating on her with other women. She broke up with him. Around 5 or 6pm at Plainfield Station Bar & Grill between Davis and Woodland, she was by herself drinking a beer. Armstrong called her on her phone and, after he asked, she told him where she was. She did not invite him to join her but she did not leave the bar immediately. She sat by herself on the grass outside, near the patio of the bar, until he arrived.
Both of them were together drinking for about 45 minutes to an hour.
The alleged victim described Armstrong as really drunk on that Sunday. According to her, he guarded her purse and would not let her leave with her purse (which contained her keys). After an hour, she was able to leave.
On that Sunday night, she left without Armstrong and, after about five more hours, he was still at the bar. Later that night he called her, threatening to commit suicide, so she drove and picked him up from the bar.
She described him as “very drunk,” “upset” and sad. He was drunk enough that he was not able to drive his motorcycle. She brought him back to her house. Armstrong left his motorcycle at the bar.
On Monday morning, September 14, 2015, she had a line or two of methamphetamine (she snorted it). Armstrong also took meth that morning with her. She did not remember where she snorted the meth and said she got it from Tim. That same morning, back at the same bar, they were still arguing. According to her, he said “horrible things” to her and hit her with his backhand, in her face around the eyes.
They were in a verbal argument in her car, with her in the driver’s seat and him in the passenger’s. After the hit/slap, she leaned back and kicked him once or twice. She did not recall if she hit him with her fist. He threatened suicide and said he was going to kill himself.
He handed her an X-Acto knife (which she had in her car) and told her to kill him.
She took the blade of the X-Acto knife away from him and then hit and poked him in the chest with the handle portion of the X-Acto knife. After that, he was still upset and they continued to argue about their relationship for about 45 minutes.
He got out of her car, went to the side of the road, was yelling, screaming and “going crazy” and “wanted to fight everyone” and took off his shirt.
She got him back into her car. He kept on asking her to buy him vodka and pulled her hair, which she said felt like she was on fire. They went to a liquor store and she bought him vodka and cranberry juice.
They drove through the countryside, to a place where he had worked previously which was referred to as Adams’ Grange., They sat and talked in the car. He went through her phone and questioned her about the guys in her phone and accused her of sleeping around. He punched her in the nose.
She got out of the car and took off running, and screamed as he pulled her hair. She did not get very far until he caught up and knocked her over, with his arms around her waist from behind, and started dragging her to the gravel.
She ran away, he caught up, picked her up and threw her down “like a piledriver,” according to the alleged victim. Her head and shoulders hit the ground.
He raised his voice and kicked her legs around three times as she was on the ground. “Forceful kicks,” was how the alleged victim described it. She did not recall what else happened then. She ran away from him, went to grab a stick from the ground, swung the stick at him, the stick flew out of her hands, and they were both screaming and yelling.
There was a guy a few yards away, who was working. She described not wanting herself, or either of them, to get into trouble with the police.
Armstrong got back in the car and they both left. She was driving the car and he was telling her that he wanted to “stay together and get married.”
They went to a cemetery at a church, the alleged victim thought, and they continued to argue about their relationship. She did not want to get back together.
He tried to have sex with her in the car. She said that she figured she would “just get it over with,” but they didn’t have sex.
They got into an argument in the car, and then left the area. Armstrong wanted to go back to his brother’s house in Woodland. She was drinking a little bit (about two drinks, she estimated), while he was pretty drunk by that time.
He was drunk and naked in the car, threw the vodka bottle and broke her car’s windshield and the rear view mirror.
She described him as acting in a way that she had “never seen him act.”
In the car, he pulled her hair, and tried to punch the back of her head as she was driving. She drove up onto the sidewalk and managed to hit the brakes. A “young man came running up” and asked her what was going on. Armstrong was going to open the door and she wanted to prevent him from getting out (he was naked and drunk) so she told him to get back in the car and drove away from the young man.
Then they went to Armstrong’s brother’s house. She carried him to the backyard of the brother’s house and waited until the brother got home. As she was carrying him, he fell straight back on her and she landed on her back on the concrete, near the front door. Later, she returned to the house to give him back his shoes or socks.
She went to a hotel and then later went to her own house. Her older son took pictures of her bruises for her. She described being in pain and that her son was “talking her into calling the police.” She called the police and they sent an ambulance for her. She described having bruising on her legs, elbows, neck, arm, eye, a bite mark from Armstrong, lumps and bumps on her head, and cuts on her arm and shin.
Yolo County Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Stevens testified that on September 15, 2015, he was at the emergency room in the Woodland Hospital. The alleged victim had taken a Valium pill for pain. In a small room, he, a sergeant, and the medical staff (who were in and out) were present with the alleged victim.
Deputy Stevens interviewed the alleged victim for over an hour. He described her testimony in court as being more descriptive than what she had told him.
He described Armstrong as saying that they were in a dating relationship and that the alleged victim was his girlfriend. Armstrong claimed that the alleged victim’s injuries were from rough sex and he declined to answer some questions because he stated that he was too intoxicated to remember anything that happened that day.
Deputy Stevens described seeing bite marks on her arms and bruises on her arms. He took several pictures of the alleged victim. He described her as not being forthcoming with information. She was embarrassed in her hospital gown and having to show him (the deputy) her injuries.
The deputy described the alleged victim as going on tangents and that he had to “constantly redirect her” during the interview to relevant issues. He described Deputy Myles Torres as finding two glass pipes somewhere. The alleged victim preferred to snort meth, rather than smoke it. Deputy Stevens stated that it could be learned behavior or through experimentation that some people prefer snorting meth, versus smoking meth. With snorting, a person may getting a quicker high than with other methods.
Deputy Public Defender Martha Sequeira honed in on the issues of credibility she found with the alleged victim, saying the complaining witness’ story did not make sense. Another part of the preliminary hearing involved questions about the phone that Armstrong gave the alleged victim to use, because she had broken her own, and about Mr. Armstrong’s own phone, which had been left in the alleged victim’s car for about a week.
The alleged victim described handing in both phones to Empower Yolo, the county’s sexual assault and domestic violence center, “for safekeeping” because she did not want to see them.
DPD Sequeira was implying that the alleged victim may have used Armstrong’s own phone to get onto Armstrong’s Facebook account and use it. DPD Sequeira indicated that she may have Armstrong’s brother testify during the jury trial.
The timeline of the events as pieced together from the complaining witness’ testimony was confusing, and at times it seemed like she contradicted what she had said previously. In large part, this was because she could not recall many instances of what happened or what was said, when Ms. Sequeira asked her questions.
Judge Richardson stated that there were photos of injuries and description of beatings and events, and that it certainly involves a story. As stated above, he held the defendant to answer on the charge, and another charge to which the parties stipulated. From the tone of his voice, he seemed a bit doubtful about the timeline of the events.
The defendant will be arraigned on May 13, 2016, at 10am.