Neighbor’s Report Leads to a Formal Charge of Domestic Violence

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YoloCourt-14By Christina Day

On July 4, 2016, around 10pm, neighbors in West Sacramento called the police after hearing yells and screams, and seeing a woman emerging from her house with a bloody mouth.

Michael Reimer was alleged to have verbally abused, shoved and hit his wife, to whom he has been married 11 years. The couple had been living in the same place, and have no children together. Although Mr. Reimer was also found to have illegally possessed a firearm, he will only face charges on one count, under California Penal Code section 273.5 for corporal injury on a spouse, following his preliminary hearing in front of Judge David Reed in Department 8 on July 20, 2016.

The alleged victim stated in her witness testimony that she was returning home on July 4 after spending the entire day outside, and had been arguing with Mr. Reimer via text. Mr. Reimer was upset at her absence and wanted her to come back immediately. Their argument resumed in the upstairs bedroom when she arrived home, and it escalated into a physical fight within a few minutes.

Mr. Reimer, according to his wife, initiated physical aggression by pushing her backwards with both hands on her shoulders, while she retaliated by scratching his face, chest and sides with her fingernails. Mr. Reimer eventually pushed his wife into a lattice board, causing her to scratch her elbow, and he punched her once in the face, bloodying her mouth.

The complaining witness testified that she then pushed her husband onto the bed, and tried to grab a few possessions and leave. However, Mr. Reimer forcibly took her possessions away from her and tore them apart, leaving her things strewn all over the floor.

When shown photo evidence during cross-examination by Deputy Public Defender Teal Dixon, the witness recognized and affirmed photographs of her injuries inflicted by Reimer, as well as photos of scratches she gave to him. She also testified her knowledge of and equal access to a hidden firearm, which Mr. Reimer had put in a plastic bag and stowed away three years before. The witness had not seen him holding it since.

The second witness, Officer Alexei Venikov, also confirmed the injuries in the photo evidence and the victim statement, indicating a hidden firearm. Officer Venikov attested to how he was dispatched to the domestic violence call, took photos of the wife’s injuries, and found a handgun with ammunition in an M&M can under the bathroom sink in the Reimer home.

During his cross-examination, Officer Venikov testified that he took Reimer directly to the police station and did not take any statements at the scene. Nor did he examine Reimer’s hands for evidence of punching, although the defendant claimed not to have hit anyone. Officer Venikov was not the one who took photo evidence of Mr. Reimer’s injuries.

Ms. Dixon subsequently presented a packet of documents prepared by the complaining witness, as material for a PC section 17(b) motion to reduce Mr. Reimer’s felony charge to a misdemeanor. The packet consisted of Mr. Reimer’s training certifications, four-year educational plan, proof of current enrollment at a college, and an informational specialist certification. In addition to providing these reports, the complaining witness testified that Mr. Reimer’s physical violent behavior was out of character, that he had not been intoxicated, and that both were mutually angry during their clash.

The complaining witness also maintained that she wishes to remain in contact with Reimer, and Ms. Dixon successfully obtained permission to modify the protective order from no contact to no harassment.

Ms. Dixon also asked to release Mr. Reimer on his own recognizance, considering that he is and has been for three years a full-time student. However, Deputy DA Rachel Resneck reminded the court that the complaining witness has not returned home since the 4th of July incident, and she considered the request inappropriate.  Judge Reed set the bail to remain at $150,000, and set an arraignment date for August 4.

Considering Mr. Reimer’s previous felonies, misdemeanors, and domestic violence cases, as well as his recent illegal possession of a firearm as an ex-felon, Judge Reed determined that there was insufficient evidence in the preliminary hearing to reduce Mr. Reimer’s felony charge to a misdemeanor.

–Christina Day

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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5 thoughts on “Neighbor’s Report Leads to a Formal Charge of Domestic Violence”

    1. Barack Palin

      I guess you missed this part:

      Mr. Reimer initiated physical aggression by pushing his wife backwards with both hands on her shoulders

      To me from that point on it’s self defense on her part.

      This guy is no boy scout:

      Considering Mr. Reimer’s previous felonies, misdemeanors, and domestic violence cases, as well as his recent illegal possession of a firearm as an ex-felon

       

      1. The Pugilist

        He’s clearly no boy scout, but the law on self-defense is more ambiguous than you might thing.  She was part of the escalation of the fight.

    1. Barack Palin

      I guess you’ll have to ask Pugilist that.  She’s most likely already at a physical disadvantage so she has to resort to whatever defensive means that she might have, like scratching him with her nails.

      With men if the other guy starts the fight he gets whatever azz whooping he’s got coming, no questions asked.

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