By Syed Ali
The People v. Branlett Kimmons prelim was held on the afternoon of July 6, 2017. Mr. Kimmons is facing felony charges for corporal injury and intimidating a witness or victim, with prior prison enhancements.
The alleged victim testified to having dated Mr. Kimmons for about nine months, beginning in January of 2016. They were still dating when he went to jail in 2016 for a violation of probation. Around 3pm the day of the incident, she had driven to a hotel to see him. They drove to Subway for sandwiches. The victim stated that it was in Subway that she was slapped by Mr. Kimmons three times.
It wasn’t long afterward that they left Subway, continuously arguing over their relationship. She claimed that she had originally come to see him in order to get money for her storage unit. When she realized she wouldn’t get the money from him she tried leaving, but Mr. Kimmons wouldn’t let her leave and stood in front of her car door. He then asked her to drop him off at his friend’s car. He had her drive to a park where they parked.
When she turned off the car, Mr. Kimmons took the car keys, the victim assuming that he had placed them in his pocket. He then began questioning her about another individual she had been seeing and asked how that individual made the victim feel. At this point it was 7pm and Mr. Kimmons began telling her that he wanted to “eat her out.”
The alleged victim stated that it was then that Mr. Kimmons asked her to lie on his lap because he had a few questions for her. Additionally, she said that he told her if she got up he would punch her. In response to a question she found bizarre, the victim lifted her head, and Mr. Kimmons punched her forehead. The victim reportedly saw a police officer behind them and proceeded to jump out of the car and scream for help.
The police officer didn’t notice her and Mr. Kimmons came out of the car and began walking toward the park. The victim then called 911 because Mr. Kimmons took her car keys. She seemed to need medical attention because she had felt dizziness. Lastly, the victim testified that Mr. Kimmons had contacted her despite there being a protective order in place.
During cross-examination the defense asked the victim why she had gone to him for money. She claimed that Mr. Kimmons had told her that he would give her money (approx. $500-$600) if she went to meet him.
Additionally, the defense asked the victim if she knew Mr. Kimmons’ wife and if she ever texted her. She admitted that she knew her and did in fact contact her in the past. The victim also stated that she had indicated she wanted to have a child with Mr. Kimmons.
The defense then inquired whether or not Mr. Kimmons ever contacted her about her car keys. She said that he had and that he told her he left them in the bushes near her parked car. However, she was unable to locate them. The defense ended by asking if she ever asked Mr. Kimmons to be rough with her for sexual pleasure, to which she said testified that she had.
The People then asked her to clarify under what circumstances, to which she stated strictly during sex.
The People then called the second witness, a physician assistant of 17 years who treated and diagnosed the victim. On November 30, 2016, the assault victim went in to seek care. The physician first asked about her history and if she had any injuries. The physician checked for a head injury by conducting a general physical exam. She diagnosed the victim with a concussion, after having witnessed signs such as delayed response and physical swaying.
The cross-examination began by asking the witness if the victim’s diagnosis by a physician was one of the 10 percent that were reviewed by the hospital. The witness stated that she wouldn’t know. Furthermore, counsel asked her to elaborate on signs that she perceived as being from a concussion. The physician responded by saying that the alleged victim was more unsteady than what would be considered normal. The physician added that an individual can have a concussion without any exterior injury, which was the case with the victim. Still, she didn’t find a need to keep the victim in the hospital that night.
The People then called Officer Michelle Mizzi to the stand, who testified that she saw a swelling on the upper right forehead of the victim.
The defense asked for a photograph and asked if the injury appeared red, to which the officer replied that it was only raised and swollen.
Judge Johnson ended by stating that there was sufficient probable cause and that Mr. Kimmons was likely guilty of the alleged offenses. Arraignment is set for 8:30am on July 21, 2017.