Blankets can cover a shotgun, but not a felony.
By Carly Gunn
A man who had previously committed a felony was found in possession of a firearm. On October 19, 2018, David Madrid Pereida committed a second felony in which he had a shotgun. Pereida has plead not guilty.
During the prosecutor’s opening statement, Mr. Richardson painted an image of the scene in which this weapon was unmasked. Mr. Richardson stated that the defendant openly admitted to having a gun in his tent, and was planning on selling it. The defense attorney, Mr. Bradford, did not deny or reject anything in the people’s opening statement, but rather emphasized the importance in jurors taking an open mind set and remaining unbiased. Mr. Bradford lastly wanted to hone in on the fact that the jurors should not be making a concluding decision before hearing the entire story.
The first witness called to the stand was a probation officer, Joseph Rodriguez. Officer Rodriguez stated he has been working as a probation officer for adult felons since the spring of 2018. After stating his credentials, Rodriguez then confirmed that the man in the purple tie, David Pereida, was his parolee. Rodriguez recalled the day in which he had to arrest Pereida due to his possession of a firearm. He said he was patrolling local areas, checking on spots that have been known to house his clients. He then got word that Mr. Pereida was staying in an area called “Tent City,” which is a community where homeless people cohabitate and live.
Officer Rodriguez was not alone, but accompanied by two other officers for safety reasons. They were able to locate Mr. Pereida, and they found him in a tent with his girlfriend Sophia. Officer Rodriguez claimed to have asked how the defendant was doing, to which he responded, “Not good.” Rodriguez then proceeded to search the defendant and ask if there was anything on him that could poke or harm him. The defendant said he had a hypodermic needle in his pocket. Pereida has had past struggles with drugs and Rodriguez made an assumption that it was still a current issue. Officer Rodriguez then detained him and asked if there was anything illegal in his tent, to which Pereida stated there was a shotgun under the blankets.
Pereida was then arrested and the shotgun was sent to evidence. Officer Rodriguez gave insight into his extensive gun knowledge. Rodriguez has had firearm training, as he was in the military as well as the national guard and is an avid duck hunter. When confiscating the gun, he made sure it was unloaded and the safety mechanisms were in place. The prosecution then demonstrated Exhibit One, which was the actual shotgun that had been recovered from the scene. Officer Rodriguez read off the serial number, T11072E, which was the same serial number that was included in his police report after the arrest. After discussing the technicalities of the gun and its firing mechanisms, and stating that it was a functioning gun, Bradford stood for a cross-examination.
Mr. Bradford questioned whether the gun had been screened for fingerprints and if it had not been, why it was not tested for that. Rodriguez replied that the police department does not do fingerprint screening and he felt as though this particular case was not in need of it either. Mr. Bradford then asked if Officer Rodriguez had taken pictures at the scene. Officer Rodriguez said he did in order to have personal reference in order to better help his recollection when writing the police report. However, the photos taken were not admitted into evidence. Rodriguez claimed that he did not actually refer to the photos due to his writing a report shortly after the incident.
Due to this being the first day of this trial, there was only one witness, but more are to come. The photos that were taken by Officer Rodriguez may be entered as evidence, but that is currently pending.