By Syed Ali
On the afternoon of April 7, 2017, Judge Richardson presided over the People v. Randy Christopher Jerrett case in Department 13. The People began by calling Mr. Jerrett’s girlfriend and mother of his child to the stand. She had reportedly gone to get food from Taco Bell for the family with a friend, “SA,” when she realized her debit card was missing.
She then checked her mobile banking account, which showed her card being used at Bob’s Liquor & Food in Woodland to buy $9’s worth of alcohol. She came home and confronted Mr. Jerrett, who has battled with alcoholism in the past, about whether or not he had taken her debit card to buy alcohol. According to her testimony, this is when he denied ever having used it, then walked up to her in the kitchen and asked for the debit card. She refused, and he proceeded to choke her.
Photos of French fries and other merchandise from Del Taco on the kitchen floor were entered into evidence. The girlfriend’s back was facing a window, with her left side against the stove. The defendant then pushed her against a wall, while having his hand around her neck. She testified that then, in self-defense, she struck him with her right hand on his face once or twice.
He proceeded to punch her three times on her face, left eye, and lip. Picture evidence showed swelling and bruises on the left side of her face. And it was reported that these injuries weren’t present prior to the incident. When he punched her on the forehead is when she finally fell to the ground, and Mr. Jerrett told her to go call the police. She began walking to her room, reportedly about 10 feet from the kitchen, with Mr. Jerrett following her.
Before she could reach her phone, he pushed her on the bed, got on top of her and began punching her. While all this was taking place, her daughter and her friend SA were on the balcony. It wasn’t until she became dazed from the punching that she screamed out, “Help me!” SA heard, ran to the bedroom, and pulled Mr. Jerrett off of her. Jerrett then told her, “You should tell them to get here quickly or I’ll keep hitting you.” The witness testified that the defendant then went downstairs and patiently waited for the police to arrest him.
The girlfriend came to court to testify with a splint on her hand, showing her knuckle which had been broken from punching Mr. Jerrett in self-defense, and she will know on April 19 whether or not it will require surgery.
The defense began cross-examination by asking the girlfriend, for purposes of the Penal Code section 17(b) motion to reduce the corporal injury charge from a felony to a misdemeanor, if she had known through the course of their relationship that Mr. Jerrett had a drinking problem due to being molested as a child. She confirmed and then was asked if it is true that Jerrett supported their child for the most part, to which she also assented. She reported that Jerrett had only gotten physical with her once prior to this incident, a time which occurred in January of this year, however law enforcement was never called for that incident.
The complaining witness testified that she waited about 10 seconds in the kitchen before punching Mr. Jerrett. She then confirmed that she had only punched Mr. Jerrett twice in self-defense, and yelled at him in anyway in the bedroom to stop him from striking her.
Additionally, the witness hasn’t been back to work, although she has been cleared by the hospital to return work. The daycare company wouldn’t allow her to return, and so she had to file for disability. She testified that she has worked three half-days since the incident.
The defense concluded its cross-examination by confirming that the witness didn’t know which punch caused the knuckle injury.
The People then called to the stand Officer Gina Bell, a Woodland Police Department officer, who had received the dispatch for the incident. Officer Bell was reportedly dispatched for a disturbance or domestic violence, and received information that the male had left the apartment, which included a description of the subject. She was the second officer on the scene, having arrived after Mr. Jerrett was successfully detained. Officer Bell testified that the defendant had been very cooperative, despite noticeably smelling like alcohol and even admitting that he had been drinking.
Officer Bell noticed injuries on Mr. Jerrett’s face, a swollen nose, and bleeding out of his left nostril. Officer Bell testified that Jerrett stated, “I did it, take me to jail, I did it, I hit her like a man.” Officer Bell added that the defendant had not said anything about self-defense.
Officer Bell entered into the residence to see the victim noticeably disturbed, with red skin, shaking and crying. Additionally, the officer noticed the victim’s right hand and left eye were swollen, while her lip was swollen and bleeding. Officer Bell stated that the child seemed okay.
The defense asked Officer Bell if she had taken any photos of Mr. Jerrett’s hands, indicating that there were injuries to Mr. Jerrett as well. Officer Bell claimed that she hadn’t, but the other officer on the scene may have.
In closing, the People opposed the 17(b) motion, feeling that the evidence of Mr. Jerrett’s prior history of being molested and also that of being cooperative with officers wasn’t relevant. The People proclaimed that he is 29 years old, and he had committed a first-degree burglary while being on probation, where there was evidence shown that Mr. Jerrett didn’t cooperate with officers. The People stated that the defendant had even been sentenced to confinement time. Additionally, that involved a DUI, passion and furnishing marijuana.
The People stated that the defendant admitted he hit the victim – “like a man.” Three separate injuries to the face were seen. And it took another person to pull Mr. Jerrett off of her. “This is a felony case regardless of the defendant’s history.”
Judge Richardson saw evidence of Count 1, willful infliction of corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant, Penal Code section 273.5(a). Judge Richardson added a “no harassing” order for the daughter, as well. The court signed a “no harassing criminal order,” where Mr. Jerrett can have contact with the victim and child, with the terms of the protective order being the victim is allowed to record any prohibited behavior of a harassing nature. Bail is set at $100,000.
The arraignment date is set for Friday, April 21, at 8:30am.