Justice for Justice: Witness Testimony Begins in Green Trial

YoloCourt-26by Mahanaz Ebadi and Jade Wolansky

The court was in session on the 19th of August, 2016, in the People vs. Samantha Green.  Beginning the testimony, the prosecution brought on their first witness: Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Macias.  Deputy Macias introduced himself and informed the jury that he had been a deputy sheriff for six years.  Prosecutors began their examination of Macias, and asked the witness to refer back to the exact date when the incident occurred.  Macias mentioned that he responded to a dispatch regarding a missing person.  The caller was a male and said he had heard a woman screaming.  Macias found himself making his way toward the levee where he was told by original dispatchers, from the other deputy on the scene, that the defendant was located.

When Deputy DA Robert Gorman asked Macias if he recalled the defendant’s attire, he mentioned, “I do not recall her exact clothing but she had cuts on her arms/legs, pieces of her clothing were torn.  It was not the expected normal attire.  She looked disheveled.”

The prosecution delved further in their questioning and introduced an audio recording of Ms. Green with Macias.  One could hear Green in distress, stating that everything hurts and mumbling about losing an unidentified baby, assumed to be her 19-day-old son, Justice Rees.  The court was able to make out a repetitive mention by Green during the recording:

“I want my baby.  Why?  I just want my baby; I love him so much.  I just want my baby; he doesn’t deserve this. Oh GOD.”

The recording continued for about 23 to 24 minutes, with more details on the supposed whereabouts regarding her son, and with her attempting to recall the events that led up to her current situation.  She mentioned she was told by her fiancé to pick up a friend.  She didn’t want to, but decided to do it anyway.  She arrived near the levee, and that’s when she mentioned that she blacked out.  She informed local authorities that she left her baby behind to go get help.  She informed authorities that she left to cross the water, since there were no houses nearby.  The defense cross-examined Macias, and, after redirect from the prosecution, Macias was excused, subject to recall.

The court went on break before witness “RV” took the stand.

Justice for Justice Part II

by Jade Wolansky

The second witness to testify was “RV,” a resident of Knights Landing and the reporting party who notified 911 about Ms. Green.

One of the prosecutors, Mr. Robert Gorman, began direct examination by asking RV to describe February 24, 2015.

RV stated he had just finished mowing his lawn when he heard shouts for help. He saw an individual waving her arms in an x-motion at the Knights Landing levee that runs alongside his residence.

RV quickly drove over to the levee and encountered a shivering and distressed Ms. Green. He recalled that she was so cold her lips were blue. Ms. Green told him she had been kidnapped and she said, “My baby’s dead. It froze last night.” RV immediately called 911.

Mr. Gorman halted his questioning and played an audio recording of RV’s 911 call. It was initially difficult for 911 to find RV and Ms. Green’s location. They waited at his car until the police arrived.

During cross-examination, Yolo County Public Defender Tracie Olson questioned RV as to why he did not mention Ms. Green’s newborn to the 911 dispatcher. RV replied that he was in shock. However, he stated that, once the police arrived, he informed an officer about the infant in his statement. RV was subsequently dismissed.

The next witness to take the stand was “SF.” During direct examination, this witness often cut off Mr. Gorman while testifying. Judge David Rosenberg advised her to wait until the prosecutor finished asking his question before starting to answer. In addition, it was revealed that the witness had been in a car accident that had given her brain damage. She admitted to the court that she had issues with memory.

Mr. Gorman began his direct examination by asking the witness about her relationship with two individuals, “SR” and “KF.” SF replied that she knew both of them. SR had been her neighbor and, at one point, her roommate. KF was SR’s boyfriend.

Mr. Gorman then asked if she remembered speaking to Deputy Mike Glaser. SF replied that she could not remember.

The prosecutor also inquired of SF if she knew Ms. Green and Frank Rees (the father of Ms. Green’s baby). SF said she had helped Mr. Rees with his taxes, however, she had only met Green or Rees a few times. SF was then dismissed.

The fourth witness brought in to testify was SR. SR was in custody and walked into the courtroom in prison garb. Judge Rosenberg instructed the jury to not let SR’s in-custody status bias their opinion against SR’s statements. During direct examination, SR was unable to answer many questions.

Mr. Gorman asked if SR knew Ms. Green and Mr. Rees. She replied she did not. Later, however, she mentioned she might know Ms. Green from passing by her on the street. SR also denied going to Ms. Green and Mr. Rees’s house, or having any knowledge of Ms. Green’s baby.

When asked about February 23, 2015, SR recalled taking the Yolobus to Sacramento. Mr. Gorman inquired why she was able to remember this date with clarity. She stated she remembered because she had gone with KF to purchase wedding rings at a jewelry store.

During cross-examination, Ms. Olson asked if SR remembered sending Mr. Rees a text message: “Shit. You’re going to pay.” SR insisted she did not.

Ms. Olson also asked the witness about KF’s restraining order against her. SR replied that the restraining order had been changed to a civil harassment restraining order.

Judge Rosenberg then explained to the jury that there are two types of restraining orders. Civil harassment restraining orders permitted some contact.

Next, Mr. Gorman inquired if SR recalled speaking to a detective about Ms. Green. She stated she did not remember. It was then revealed that SR had taken psychotropic drugs on February 23, 2015, as well as today. Mr. Gorman asked if she understood his questions.

The witness was subsequently dismissed.

At this point, the courtroom went on break and the trial was scheduled to resume in the afternoon at 1:25pm in Department 14.

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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