by Samantha Brill
Defendant Ramon Sanchez is being charged with one count of trespassing and a second count of resisting arrest, after being caught hopping over multiple fences and breaking into a garage in Davis. Mr. Sanchez claimed that he was being chased by a group of homeless men, which resulted in his having to run away and hide in people’s backyards and ultimately a garage.
The People’s closing argument, being led by Deputy DA Elizabeth Morgan, stated that the prosecution did in fact prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Sanchez is guilty of both counts. She said that not only did Mr. Sanchez testify that he did trespass, but he also admitted to resisting arrest.
Mr. Sanchez had testified that he did not trust the Davis Police Department and that he knew he had to either get away or fight them.
Ms. Morgan addressed the defense’s’ argument that the Davis police officers had twisted and hurt Mr. Sanchez’s ankle by putting forward the question of whether they caused this injury – or was it caused by hopping multiple fences barefooted?
Furthermore, the People argued that the officers acted lawfully, as they were going into the situation blind and were unaware of the circumstances. The officers only knew that this man was running from something and was resisting their directions. They had received many calls about a man hopping fences and they responded routinely.
Many reports from neighbors did not include that the defendant appeared to be hiding from something or someone, which would contribute to the defendant’s credibility. Ms. Morgan pointed out that there was no state of emergency, it was only created once the defendant resisted arrest. However, this could have all been avoided if he had just followed the officer’s directions.
The defense then gave their closing argument by first talking about the bias that both the officers’ testimonies and Mr. Sanchez’s testimony may have.
He then reminded the jury that Mr. Sanchez has had some previous bad experiences with officers in Davis. On two occasions Mr. Sanchez has been beaten by Davis PD, which once landed him in the hospital. As a result, this led to the defendant being fearful when he saw three officers running at him, one allegedly already having a Taser drawn.
Further, the defense explained that the officers were wrong in assuming Sanchez was dangerous. He added that a person with a past such as the defendant would be reasonably fearful in such a situation and would reasonably try to protect himself.
The defense’s’ main argument was that the officers escalated the situation by prematurely drawing the Taser. Mr. Sanchez had no legal alternative besides running away. He could not go to the officers for help because he believed he was going to be beaten.
With that, the defense asked the jury to please deliberate carefully and to listen fairly to the arguments from both sides.
Judge Samuel McAdam the instructed the jury on how deliberation worked, and then the jury was excused to deliberate. The jury was in deliberation for the rest of the afternoon, and will continue with their deliberation in the morning.