Opening Statements Given in Trial for Felony Charge


By Kelsey Landon

Opening statements began Tuesday morning in Department 11 in the jury trial for David Ashley Froste.

Mr. Froste is facing the felony charge of inflicting corporal injury on a girlfriend or person he was dating, and, in doing so, inflicting traumatic results upon that person.

A deputy district attorney who was first to give her opening argument represented the People of the State of California.

The deputy DA began by turning to the jury and describing the defendant as someone who intimidates people into silence about his abuse.

On October 18, 2014, the defendant and alleged victim, who were dating at the time, were driving home from a bar. The victim was intoxicated, according to the prosecutor.

The deputy DA went on to argue that Froste pulled the car over after an argument began between the defendant and victim.

The next morning the victim woke up with wounds and bruises, as well as two chipped front teeth, and no memory of the night before. The defendant told her that she had fallen.

Later, the victim’s family took her to the hospital. According to the deputy DA, the defendant and victim stayed together, since the victim believed her fall had caused those injuries.

At a later time, the defendant and victim were in the car, this time with the victim driving, when the defendant forced the victim to stop the car by using the emergency brake, according to the attorney’s statement.

It was at this time, the alleged victim claims, that the defendant admitted to punching her in the face a year earlier. After hearing this, the victim broke up with Froste.

Meanwhile, Froste allegedly continued to contact her.

After this event, the victim posted pictures and details of the October 18 incident to her Facebook profile, but did not report it to police.

As a result, one of the victim’s friends messaged Froste, and in return Froste threatened the friend.

The deputy DA concluded by stating that a detective for the police department conducting an investigation into another charge Froste was facing discovered these Facebook posts. Because the investigator was a mandated reporter, he was required to file a report.

Deputy Public Defender Dean Johansson, representing the defendant, stood to give his opening statements.

Mr. Johansson began his argument by highlighting the fact that the October 18, 2014, incident was not investigated until January of 2017.

The only two witnesses to this event were Froste and the alleged victim, who was admittedly impaired to the point of memory loss.

What the victim reported to the doctor at the hospital was that she fell.

The victim sustained two front chipped teeth from the incident. According to Johansson, teeth are the hardest substance in the body, and when punched in the face, usually they fall out completely.

Johansson argued that it did not make sense that they would be chipped had Froste punched the victim.

The deputy public defender concluded by stating that the prosecution was asking the jury to find Froste guilty of the corporal injury charge, but the only witness was the victim and she has no memory of it.

The judge then read instructions on evidence to the jury.

The first witness called to testify identified the defendant, David Froste, as her ex-boyfriend and father of her children.

The two started dating in 2007 and their relationship lasted four years. The witness had gotten pregnant one month into dating Froste, after which she moved in with Froste and his family.

The witness testified that in 2011 the defendant got mad at her and choked her to the point that she passed out.

When the witness went to the hospital the next day, she claimed the doctor wanted to call the police, but she denied the abuse and said she had just been wrestling with friends. The witness never called the police because of this incident.

The two eventually had an apartment together. The witness described a second incident during this time in which Froste allegedly punched her several times and left bruises on her arms.

This was while she was pregnant with his second child.

After this incident, the witness locked herself in the bathroom while their neighbors called the police.

The deputy DA presented the witness with a photo, which the witness identified as herself after Froste had hit her. The witness claimed she left Froste after this occasion, but later tried to resolve their differences.

According to the witness, Froste would consistently blame her for their problems, accuse her of cheating, and tell her it was her fault when he attacked her.

The defendant allegedly left her on the side of the road several times when he was angry.

The witness claimed that Froste threatened her life before, especially after the two broke up.

The two officially broke up in 2011, after which she had to get a restraining order, which Froste violated around 20-30 times. Froste told the witness that she would have to deal with him until their children were 18, and she would regret it.

The defendant ended her testimony by stating that she had been fearful Froste would kill her, vandalize her property, or take her kids.

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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