By Tumaris Hone
This afternoon, department 13 resumed its preliminary hearing for counts one through six against the defendant, Francisco Garcia. He is charged with battery, endangerment of a child, vandalism with intent to harm, and resisting officers. The prosecuting attorney called her first witness, the defendant’s young daughter, A., to the stand. During her testimony, she clearly states Mr. Garcia is a father only in name. He had been in prison for most of her childhood, so they have a distant relationship. According to her, Oo November 9th, her family hosted a barbecue at their home and invited her and her cousin, M., over. When she arrived, A. noticed Mr. Garcia with puffy eyes stumbling around, she realized he was drinking and smoking marijuana, but decided not to confront him, for they rarely spoke.
Later that night, A. heads back to her grandmother’s home with M when she receives an alarming call from her mother, A.A, crying on the other end. Immediately, A. decides to return to the house and pick up her mother, brother, and nine month sister. When she arrives, she hears her mother shout, “Stop, get away” and finds her on the bedroom floor. The defendant’s niece, V., is in the middle, attempting to calm him down, regardless, he approaches his daughter and pushes her. A stumbles and pushes back. At this point, Mr. Garcia lands a punch on her hand and she falls on the bed crying.
A. testifies to leaving the house and getting in her car. With M. in the driver’s seat, her mother, brother, and baby sister in the back, they begin to reverse out of the driveway. While A. taught tM. how to do this with a prius, the defendant banged on the window of the front passenger seat where she sat. Realizing this method is ineffective, he finds a boulder and bangs on the window, finally shattering it. Luckily, A. and her family escape and head straight to the police station to report him. At this point, the prosecuting attorney presents several photos showing A.’s injuries to her and inquiring how much it costed to repair the car. A. responded, “500 dollars.”
The defense cross examines next. He notifies the judge of her greater weight compared to the defendant. He brings up their poor relationship, and asks if she slapped or hit him at any time, which she denies. The defense council highlights A.’s profanity use against her father in certain situations. He also makes a note of her resentment towards him. Finally, he asks if Mr. Garcia hit her after she pushed him, A. replied negatively, denying this manner, and asking him to “stop.”
The witness was excused and her mother, A.A. was summoned. She testified to the events leading up to the defendant’s outburst. According to her, he became irritated when their baby began to cry. A.A went to calm her down, when Mr. Garcia confronted her, began to shout, and pushed her with the baby in her arms. She could not discern the reason for his temper. Ultimately, she reiterated the events that happened in the car, similar to A.’s testimony and was excused.
The following witness was called. He was one of several officers sent to Mr. Garcia’s home after the family made the report a the police station. He testified to the defendant’s noncompliance. At the scene, the police demanded he open the door, for they had already received permission to enter from A.A. They hear him shouting he is on the phone. The officers forced entry, when they spotted him picking up what looked like a “knife,” they released the K9 and it bit his thigh. But the defendant still did not comply, so he was consequently tased.
During closing arguments, the defense attorney believes count 1, the possession of a weapon with intent to harm, has not been proven. He informs the court Mr. Garcia did not intend to harm A. with the boulder but only use it to break the window, making it vandalism instead. He also recalls the defendant pushing A.A. but never really endangering the baby.
Nevertheless, the judge overturns these challenges, believing there is enough evidence for vandalism, possession of a weapon with intent to harm, endangerment of a minor, and resisting a officer. But he agrees there is insufficient evidence for A.’s battery, aside from a headache and some numbness.
Ultimately, the arraignment has been scheduled for December 18th at 10 am.