Weak Testimony, Stronger Evidence?

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By Ryan Oh

A resident named Abdelilah Chadly found himself facing the potential charge of battery after allegedly punching against the back of a female victim.

On November 14, 2019, Judge Rita F. Lin held a preliminary hearing for Mr. Chadley’s case in Department 9. There was no outside witness other than the victim herself who testified for the case. The hearing started with a brief description of the event that described the defendant’s alleged strike on the victim. According to the victim – again, the one and only witness present at the hearing – the defendant forcefully punched her on the back of her head without any warning while she was walking with her son during daytime in the city of San Francisco. There was no prior interaction, of any kind, between the victim and the defendant before the strike. The victim further testified that the punch was hard enough that it almost “knocked her down,” while the scale of pain at the moment was an eight from a scale of one to ten, one being the minimum and ten being the maximum. She also reported that she is still in pain and has been receiving treatments for concussion, while some side effects of the incident included daily headache and insomnia. “It is ongoing,” the victim testified, in describing her headache and insomnia.

To clarify the testimony’s description of Mr. Chadley’s alleged strike, the defendant’s counsel asked whether the victim saw Mr. Chadley at the moment of attack. The victim answered no to this question but mentioned that she “recognized him” and indicated that Mr. Chadley was the only person in proximity to launch a strike against her during the attack. She then mentioned that Mr. Chadley seemed to have “something in his hand,” which was unidentifiable. Though the testimony seemed weak to prove the defendant’s alleged battery, the People then moved on to show a video clip that recorded the incident to counsel and Judge Lin, which was later admitted as evidence.

The testimony ended with more points exposing its potential weakness. Despite the victim’s description of severe pain and trauma triggered by Mr. Chadley’s alleged strike, there was no doctor’s prescription for the victim, but only doctor’s regular screening and recommendation for additional rest. The victim did not receive any form of physical therapy, which may further discredit her previous description of severe pain. Although the audience was not able to see the video recording, it seemed to have played a crucial role for this preliminary hearing: Judge Rita F. Lin found sufficient evidence against the defendant and ordered him held to answer for the charges. Mr. Chadley was ordered to appear for an arraignment in Department 22 on December 2, 2019.


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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch puts 8 to 12 interns into the Yolo County House to monitor and report on what happens. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org

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