By Julie Maruskin and Evan Chu
A man was almost run over by a car after allegedly pushing his fiancee, which violated his parole.
In a violation of parole hearing, the defendant, Cristobal Seth Jaime, was petitioning against the violation of general condition 4 of parole, which states that one must not engage in criminal conduct. The criminal conduct that he was petitioning against was a domestic violence altercation that occurred on September 5, 2019, in which the alleged victim, his fiancee, claimed that Mr. Jaime had pushed her down at his residence.
The prosecuting attorney, Deputy District Attorney Alex Kian, began by calling the first witness to the stand. The first witness was an expert witness named Officer Joel Hildon and he was employed with the parole division of the Woodland Police. He testified to knowing Mr. Jaime’s history because he had been supervising Mr. Jaime since 2015. The court was not happy with Mr. Kian’s first witness’s identification because the court needed a direct police witness rather than a background to set the scene for the case, however, the court allowed the witness to continue. Mr. Hildon testified that on Sept. 7, 2018, Mr. Jaime had admitted to using drugs and on Dec. 6, 2018, he was arrested for controlled substance. Lastly, on May 20, 2019, he had contact with gang members and also was involved with alcohol consumption.
The defense attorney, James Bradford, cross-examined the witness and emphasized that the defendant had voluntarily admitted to the drug abuse. Mr. Hildon responded that he had. The defense questioned the witness based on the May 20, 2019, gang involvement and the witness responded that it was a memorial flyer that had an image of the defendant throwing gang signs with other gang members. The defense attorney asked the witness if the defendant had had any drug violations since 2018 and the witness responded that he had not.
The court had to wait for the second witness to arrive because he was summoned to testify by a subpoena. The second witness arrived and stated his identity as Officer Christopher Pinion and that he was an officer who arrived at the scene when the defendant allegedly violated parole. The witness testified that on Sept. 5, 2019, he arrived at Mr. Jaime’s residence and interacted with him.
At the scene, the officers had questioned the different witnesses separately. This, however, caused issues for Mr. Kian in court. When he was trying to get information about the case, he could only get information from the report that Officer Pinion had made because Mr. Bradford would object to Officer Pinion referencing the other officer’s report, claiming that the other information was hearsay or double hearsay. The court allowed the testimony to be given due to circumstances. However, according to the officer’s testimony, the defendant at the scene claimed that he never pushed the victim, despite a third witness stating that she saw the pushing occur.
Based on the testimonies, the common information was that the alleged victim allegedly went to the defendant’s residence on the day without notifying the defendant, then, after getting into an argument, she apparently threw a glass “bong” at the defendant and left the residence. According to the defendant, he was afraid that the alleged victim would damage his car, so he followed the alleged victim outside. In the police report, the alleged victim claimed that he pushed her down at this moment, however Mr. Jaime claimed that he did not. After this, the defendant claimed the victim drove her car toward him, trying to run him over multiple times – which led him to throw a rock at the windshield in self-defense.
After hearing all the statements, the court believed that the testimonies by Officer Pinion regarding other witnesses could be considered to be reliable since the majority of the information could be confirmed by other testimonies. The court also thought that the defendant may have reacted in self-defense when pushing the victim to the ground due to other volatile contacts with the victim and evidence to show that the two were aggressive, citing incidents such as having a glass pipe thrown at him and the car episode. Despite this, the pushing of the alleged victim was still classified as criminal conduct and the court suggested that the defendant had had the opportunity to walk away from the argument. The court sentenced Mr. Jaime to serve the 60 days in custody that he already had served and a no-contact-with-the-victim restriction.