By Ariana Camarena
An argument starting from an incident at a 7-Eleven led to a domestic violence case and attempted murder charges.
A preliminary hearing was held on November 14, 2019, regarding the matter of the defendant Don Barkins and his partner.
The People called the alleged victim as the first witness. They asked if the alleged victim had been tired the day of February 13, 2019, and the witness stated that she had, in fact, been tired. The defense asked if the defendant had ever stolen her car. The alleged victim testified that Mr. Barkins had stolen her car or used it without permission three to four times. She testified that she would often hide her keys from Mr. Barkins at night.
The witness claimed to have driven Mr. Barkins to the 7-Eleven the day of the alleged incident. She stated the defendant has belongings at her home but testified that the defendant never helped pay for rent.
The attorney asked about the series of events that occurred after the argument that occurred at 7-Eleven. The alleged victim stated that she was upset for approximately one to two hours once they got home. She stated that the defendant allegedly put his phone under her couch to record her conversation with her family friend whom she referred to as “Aunty.” The alleged victim stated that she was in the living room when she found the phone and stayed in the living room without saying anything. The alleged victim testified that she could not recall what was said in the recording.
The witness proceeded to testify that she went to the room to give the defendant his phone when she found him lying down on her bed and not asleep.
The defendant allegedly said, “You just don’t care anymore?” The alleged victim responded affirmatively. This response triggered Mr. Barkins to get out of bed and choke her with both hands around her neck.
The People asked the alleged victim to rate on a scale of 1-10 the pressure applied by the defendant when she was being choked. The alleged victim testified that it was a 12.
The alleged victim stated that the defendant allegedly began choking her again. This time, saying “I’m gonna kill you” and, “B**** you’re gonna die today!”
Once he choked her, she wanted to defend herself but was too weak to do so. The alleged victim testified that the defendant used his right hand but could not recall which eye he punched.
She testified that records exist documenting the eye that was injured. The alleged victim claimed that she did not scratch or hit the defendant.
The defense asked if there had been an incident where the alleged victim closed a car door on her hand. She testified that this did happen, but well over a few months prior to the alleged incident.
The defense asked if the alleged victim received Mr. Barkin’s taxes or prepaid credit cards in February. The alleged victim testified that she did not and the defendant took what he needed. She stated that she threw away belongings but mailed his birth certificate, social security card and identification card to the defendant’s mother.
The defense asked if the alleged victim put any of the alleged defendant’s belongings on Offer Up. The alleged victim stated that she put the belongings she purchased with her own money on the website.
The defense asked if the alleged victim had followed up with any doctors since the alleged incident. She testified that she returned to psychiatry due to the alleged incident and could not receive dental work a few days after the alleged incident because of her swollen injuries.
The defense asked what type of medication the alleged victim had been taking. She testified that she had been taking medication for her bipolar disorder along with back pain. The defense asked whether she had been taking her medication regularly and she stated that she had been taking her medication regularly for four to five years and is still taking the medication regularly.
The second witness to be called by the People was Officer Keirith Briesnick, a Davis Police Department officer. Officer Briesnick was on duty the night of the alleged incident. She stated that she spoke with “Aunty” the night of the incident. She stated that “Aunty” explained how the alleged victim drove to drop off Mr. Barkins at work when they returned soon after. She stated that “Aunty” saw Mr. Barkins physically on top of the alleged victim, choking her, but was able to pull him away and told him to stop.
The officer stated that “Aunty” said the alleged defendant climbed on top a second time to choke the alleged victim once again.
The next witness to be called by the People was another Davis police officer on duty the night of the alleged incident. The officer testified that the alleged victim appeared to be visibly shaking, was trembling on the phone, had a raspy voice and difficulty breathing.
The officer testified that the alleged victim tried to stand but almost fell over. The officer testified that the alleged victim vomited and had visible injuries such as swelling on the neck, scratches, a swollen left eye and one nail missing.
The officer testified that she had the alleged victim call her for four to five days, leaving voicemails to analyze the progression of her healing. She stated that the first day the alleged victim’s voice appeared very raspy, then cleared up the last two days.
During cross-examination, the defense asked if the officer remembered talking about fingernails. The officer stated that she did not. The defense asked if the officer had taken photos of the alleged victim’s finger. The officer testified that she did because she requested that the CSI team go to Sutter to take accurate photos of the alleged victim’s full-body injuries.
The defense asked the court not to hold Barkins on count one of attempted murder. The court denied this request.
Arraignment is scheduled for November 27, 2019, at 8:30 a.m.