Judge Sets Arraignment Despite Minor Inconsistencies in Witness Testimonies


By Nathan Yáñez and Sindy Lim

Woodland – Despite some discrepancies in witnesses’ testimonies, Judge Sonia Cortés concluded there was enough evidence for defendant Akash Chandra to stand trial for a charge of battery causing serious injury.

The alleged battery occurred on July 26, 2018, when Chandra, his friend Mr. E, and two women they met at District 30—a club—went to a home in West Sacramento for an after-party. The two women—Ms. C and Ms. F—were related, a mother and a daughter. According to their testimonies, when the intoxicated defendant saw Mr. E and Ms. F smoking together outside, he became jealous and got violent. He allegedly hit Ms. F and even pushed Ms. C to the ground, resulting in her broken hip.

During direct examination, Ms. C, the prosecution’s first witness, stated Chandra kept claiming Ms. F was his girlfriend. Feeling uncomfortable, Ms. C asked Mr. E to call an Uber for her and her daughter.

While they were waiting for the Uber, Mr. E and Ms. F went outside to smoke cigarettes. Chandra stayed inside drinking, but he became angry waiting for them. He brought them inside and tried to fight Mr. E, who refused.

Angry, Chandra left the house. While Ms. F went back outside to smoke a cigarette, Ms. C and Mr. E stayed inside. However, when Ms. C saw the defendant try to punch her daughter, she ran outside. She stood in front of Ms. F, trying to stop the fight. However, the defendant allegedly pushed Ms. C in the chest and knocked her onto the ground.

When Ms. C tried to get up, she could not. Her daughter and Mr. E picked her up and helped her into the Uber. The defendant allegedly ran off to his car and drove away even before Ms. C got up.

The prosecution questioned Ms. C more on her fall and the pain she felt. Ms. C said she initially thought the discomfort was due to soreness from the fall. Yet, when she couldn’t get up the next day, she went to the emergency room and learned she had broken her hip.

Although she had surgery and has recovered, she said it is still hard for her to walk up and down stairs. She also has a limp.

In cross-examination, the defense attorney referred back to a police report in which the witness said “somehow we got tangled up” and ended on the ground. Ms. C said she didn’t remember saying that and declared she was completely certain the defendant pushed her.

The prosecution’s second witness, Mr. E, said he was in the bathroom when the altercation happened. When he came out, he saw Ms. C on the ground in the street. He also witnessed the defendant fighting with Ms. C’s daughters. In contrast to the other three witnesses, Mr. E stated another one of Ms. C’s daughters was also at the party.

During the defense’s cross-examination, Mr. E stated he did not see Chandra push the mother.

The third witness to be called to the stand was Ms. F. In her testimony, she confirmed that it was just the defendant, Ms. C, and Mr. E with her at the residence. They had all been drinking alcohol.

Ms. F said after a few shots of alcohol, the defendant began drinking straight from the bottle and ripped off his shirt. The defendant was also aggressive and called her derogatory terms. He also tried to fight with Mr. E and even slapped her about five times and punched her.

Outside the residence, Ms. F recalled the defendant tried to punch her mother and eventually pushed her to the ground. The defendant got in his car and drove away.

In cross-examination, the defense asked about the possibility of a second sister being present. Ms. F explained there was not another sister, but she had met another girl at the club. The girl did not accompany them to the residence in West Sacramento.

The defense asked if she ever felt as if her life were threatened. She said while she wasn’t scared for her life, she certainly felt in danger.

The final witness, Officer Samuel Gee, took the police reports from the women at the hospital the next morning. Officer Gee explained Ms. F said the defendant had made sexual comments, which made her want to leave the residence. He also confirmed that Ms. F said she had been kicked by the defendant and sustained minor scrapes and bruises.

The defense had nothing further in its cross.

The court found that there was sufficient evidence to move forward with an arraignment. The arraignment is scheduled for Friday, August 29, at 8:30 am in Department 10.

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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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