By Joshua Liang
Woodland – A preliminary hearing was held in Department 10 for Alex Ibarra, a man suspected of breaking and entering a Woodland residence.
Compiled from available testimonies, the night of August 3, 2019, had begun with the defendant’s ex-girlfriend at her home with multiple friends. The group had been preparing to go out and promptly left. At around 3 AM, the ex-girlfriend had reportedly received a call from an unidentified friend who told her that she had left her front door unlocked. At the time of returning, the girlfriend found her apartment intact with no visible damage or signs of forced entry. Approximately three hours later at around 6 AM in the morning after leaving for a second time, the complaining witness returned to find the front door damaged, her couch defaced, and several of her personal items missing. The alleged victim also reported that she had been receiving various phone calls and texts from Mr. Ibarra prior to the break-in. Approximately an hour after police were notified, the victim dialed 911 but the call was disconnected. A responding officer to the victim’s apartment found the suspect less than a hundred yards from the apartment.
The preliminary hearing began with the court calling forth the first and only witness – James Olson, a Woodland peace officer of more than four years. The officer testified that he had received POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) Certified Academy training in writing reports and testimonies. Officer Olsen stated that at approximately 5:55 AM, he had responded to a 911 call at a residence near Kentucky Street.
Upon arrival, the witness made contact with the alleged victim at her apartment on the second floor of the complex. The officer testified that the front door had been broken with visible signs of forced entry with wood scattered all around the floor of the apartment. The couch in particular had noticeable tears on the cushion and the backrest.
The witness then spoke to the victim, who described having been at the apartment in the night before with several friends. She also told the officer that she had been getting phone calls and texts from the defendant. At some point in the evening, her friends left the residence with the victim following shortly after.
At 3 AM as stated above, the victim received a call from a friend informing her that she had left the door to her apartment unlocked. She promptly returned to her apartment. At this point there had been nothing visibly changed in her apartment.
When the victim returned again at approximately 6 AM to the apartment, she found her residence in the state encountered by Officer Olsen when he first arrived on the scene. She then swiftly called 911.
The officer then identified two photos he had taken of the apartment. The witness proceeded to identify the first as a kitchen knife lying on the floor. The second had been of the victim’s couch with a visibly torn cushion.
Officer Olsen then noted that the victim reported a missing Apple laptop as well as some high-end makeup. The price of the laptop was estimated to be around $1000 while the makeup had been around $500. The damage to the couch was put around $1300 and the door to the apartment had been $150.
The witness stated that he had had a suspect by the name of Alex Ibarra from the victim’s statement. He also stated that at the time he had no evidence to support this. The officer then left the residence.
About an hour later, at 6:54 AM, Officer Olson returned, responding to another 911 call made by the victim which had disconnected. Upon arriving at the scene he noted the victim shouting something indiscernible while pointing to the east. The officer then drove in that direction and found the suspect. He then described the defendant, sitting next at the defense table dressed in black and white.
The complaining witness had stated that she wished the defendant be charged for his violations. She stated that Alex had arrived at her apartment and confronted her about a possible pregnancy as well as her relationships with other men. The suspect became increasingly belligerent and requested access to her phone. The victim denied him.
The officer stated that the defendant and the victim had been in a relationship for three years previous to the incident. Mr. Ibarra had also thrown a lamp at the victim, and Officer Olson confirmed it was lying broken on the floor. The victim then requested for the defendant to leave, but Mr. Ibarra had refused.
The defendant had cut two holes into the couch, which Officer Olson concluded were distinct from any previous damage done to the piece of furniture. Mr. Ibarra allegedly stated that he was going to kill her, then left the apartment.
The victim had initially denied being scared of the defendant, but then stated that she was in fact fearful. The officer noted that she had been shaking and appeared nervous. The witness also reported her being angrier upon responding to her house for a second time.
Mr. Ibarra had claimed he was on his way home from somewhere in Yolo County where he had been helping a friend with vehicle issues. He then detoured through the residential area in which the victim lived. The officer reported that, upon searching the defendant’s phone, there were four calls made in the previous eight minutes. He was unable to locate the victim’s missing items on Mr. Ibarra’s person.
The court declared that there was sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the defendant had been guilty of the actions described by the officer and the victim. There will be a follow up hearing on September 19, 2019, at 8:30 AM in Department 14.