Davis Burglary Trial Resumes

By Novpreet Shoker

The jury trial for the case against Joseph Hernandez, Joshua Givens and Rakhem Bradford reconvened today in Department 8 under Judge David W. Reed, with three more witnesses testifying about the several burglaries for which these young gentlemen are on trial. The charges include burglary, receiving stolen property and conspiracy to commit a crime, as well as possession of illegal substances.

Rakhem Bradford is out on bail, while the other two co-defendants remain in Yolo Country custody.

The first witness of the afternoon was Officer Ben Adams, the responding officer to one of the burglaries at 1112 Chestnut Lane in Davis. The officer did not recall much of the information from that day, seeing that it was as far back as 2013.

The witness did mention that he was not aware of any ongoing investigation, about these burglaries occurring in Davis, when he was first called to Chestnut Lane.

The next witness was Laura Cox, who works for the Davis Police Department. The prosecution asked about her role that day of the incident. She answered by explaining that Officer Adams had called her to Chestnut Lane to take down viable fingerprints from two specific areas within the scene.

At around 6 a.m., Officer Cox arrived at 1112 Chestnut Lane on December 16, 2013. She claimed to have taken down prints from the garage door and sliding door of the residence, and that was it. Shortly after, she left.

During cross-examination by Mr. James Granucci, the defense attorney for Mr. Givens, the witness was asked if she checked the front door of the residence for fingerprints. The witness answered no, that she only dusted the areas Officer Adams directed her towards. She was also asked if she took any photographs of the scene, to which she answered no.

Another round of cross-examination occurred as Hernandez’s defense counsel asked the witness about some details from that day. She asked Officer Cox if the homeowner was there the morning that she dusted the residence for fingerprints. The witness responded that she did not recall.

After cross-examinations were finished, the jury had some questions for the witness. The prosecution proceeded to ask these questions, some of which included whether the witness compared the fingerprints with the database that Davis Police Department has for fingerprints. The witness answered that she did not personally do that.

Prosecution called yet another witness for the trial, a victim of these burglaries. The witness was a student attending UC Davis from 2011 to 2015, much like the other many victims who had been brought forward to testify. The witness’ story contained many parallels with that of many other victims in this case, in that the student went home for winter break and returned to their Davis residence only to discover that they had been robbed.

Similar to the others, this witness’ stolen property included electronics – a television, a PlayStation 3 and various console games, as well as DVDs.

The witness continued to recount the day of the incident, and mentioned how the window above his tub in the bathroom was open, and his items within the tub, like shampoo and such, had all been on the ground. These observations suggested that the robbers entered his residence through that bathroom window.

He also stated that more electronics were stolen from his other roommates, and from the living room of their shared residence.

The prosecution then asked the witness, like every other victim before him, to summarize the incident on a poster board provided. The details included the victim’s name and address, the day of the burglary and the stolen property, as well as whether or not the property was returned.

Once done, the prosecution took the board and added it to the large but growing stack of poster boards.

The evidence was quickly accumulating as each victim was brought forward to testify and summarize their robbery.

The cross-examination by Ava Landers, defense counsel for Mr. Bradford, began with asking the witness if he was the last to leave the residence for that winter break of 2013. He responded that he was not the last to leave, but was the first to return.

Ms. Landers then concluded that the witness could not be 100 percent certain that his residence was locked all around before the last person left home for winter break. The witness answered that his roommate was adamant that the residence was securely locked before leaving, but he did not know for sure personally.

Ms. Landers went on to ask about the specific measurements of the bathroom window that was believed to be the site of forced entry. The witness explained that it was a horizontally slim bathroom window that is usually above head level on the wall of the tub. She then asked if someone the size of Rakhem Bradford would be able to fit through the window, to which the witness answered no.

The witness was also asked if his property was ever found, but unfortunately it was not.

Judge Reed then called for a break in the day, dismissing the jury. The trial is to resume next Monday morning.

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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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