By Lea Barrios
A domestic abuse trial continues calling witnesses to the stand to testify on the defendant’s alleged past of domestic violence.
Jesus Reyes is charged with false imprisonment, corporal injury, and intimidating witnesses or victims. On Jan. 27, 2020, Deputy DA Daniele Schlehofer called the defendant’s ex-girlfriend to the stand. The ex-girlfriend reported the alleged abuse to police in 2006 and 2007 and fought through tears during her testimony.
The witness recalled four separate counts of abuse where he allegedly hit her, punched her, kicked her, dragged her out of a car, and strangled her. Her voice shook as she told the court her past with the defendant. One incident was in the presence of her friend, who pulled the witness away from the defendant when he pushed her against her trailer. She said these occurrences sometimes left her with bruises and once a bloody nose.
The prosecution asked if the defendant ever headbutted her. She confirmed he did once use his head to hit her in the center of her forehead. Witnesses stated they saw Reyes headbutt the alleged victim in the parking lot of their apartment complex.
The witness’s testimony claimed that the defendant had a past of violent and domestic abuse and had abused his partners in public before. Her testimony pointed out he was a repeat offender.
The ex-husband of the alleged victim also took the stand and testified about the day of the alleged incident. The court was shown a picture of the alleged victim on the day of the incident. The picture showed large bruises on the center of her face and the center of her neck.
Deputy DA Schlehofer asked him if he knew his ex-wife to climb trees, to which he responded he did not. The ex-wife’s previous testimony included that she climbed a tree the day of the alleged incident and sustained injuries on her face when she was climbing down.
The People called Officer Lopez to the stand. He was the officer who showed the witnesses a lineup of suspects with Reyes in it. Officer Lopez told the court the lineup given to witnesses had six in total, with other people that look similar to the main suspect out of fairness. One witness chose Reyes from the lineup and another witness chose a different person from the lineup.
The defense asked Lopez how the witness who identified Reyes selected him. Lopez said that he narrowed the lineup to two men, one of them being Reyes. The witness ultimately selected Reyes and signed that Reyes was the man he witnessed earlier that day.
The defense cast doubt on the selection because the witness did not distinctly say that it was Reyes. Lopez retorted that he affirmed it was Reyes by signing the paper with Reyes’ picture, and a verbal distinction doesn’t negate his signed identification.