by Joselin Hernandez
On Friday, January 17, the prosecution brought six witnesses to the stand to testify on the charges placed against Daniel Jaime Vallejo.
Vallejo has been charged with two felony counts of threatening to commit a crime, and two misdemeanors counts of gang affiliation and driving under the influence, with an enhancement of refusing to take a blood test. On June 25, 2020, the defendant allegedly followed the alleged victims’ vehicle in his own car and then threatened them.
Investigator Aaron Moe, a Gang Task Force expert who works with the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, took the stand. In July 2016, Investigator Moe received a phone call on a gang-related shooting occurring on 5th Street in Woodland.
The prosecution then presented a death certificate issued for Geovany Gomez, an affiliated member of a gang. Dr. Tovar, who examined Gomez, had indicated two gunshot wounds to the extremity of his torso. Police attempted to apprehend an alleged participant in the homicide of Gomez, but he jumped from the second-story window of a building.
From that evidence, Investigator Moe concluded the shooting appeared to be between two rival gangs. During the 2016 shooting, the defendant’s name was mentioned.
Deputy Chris Lara was next to take the stand. In September of 2011, he received a dispatch call concerning an ongoing fight at Stag Bar.
Deputy Lara noted he made contact with Daniel Vallejo and another man that night. As indicated by the dispatch call, both individuals were starting a fight at the bar.
The defense indicated that Deputy Lara had known Vallejo since high school. The defense also emphasized the fight was just a mere verbal argument in which no arrest was made. Most notably, there was no physical confrontation and claimed that the individuals were just “causing a disturbance at the bar.”
The next to take the stand was a witness who had been in a physical fight with the defendant.
In 2001, the witness was 16 years old at the time and was standing by the emergency room doors of Woodland Memorial Hospital. The witness and his mother were waiting for his brother.
As they were standing there, a man allegedly walked past the two and gave the witness a “dirty look.” The witness’s mother questioned the witness about the glare and whether he knew the individual. While the two were talking, the passing man returned to the witness and soon engaged in a fight. Punches were thrown and the two soon moved the fight past the emergency room doors.
The witness indicated that soon after the first punch was made, more individuals who happened to come out of nowhere joined the fight as they entered the emergency room doors. The witness backed into a hallway as an attempt to end the fight. Soon after, officers came and stopped the fight.
The defense argued that, at 16, many boys are violent and start fights. He asked the witness if he got into other fights as a teenager, and he replied that he had been in a few, but nothing severe. The defense emphasized that many boys at that age can get angry from a simple glare and can start fights.
Up next, another witness took the stand, addressing another violent incident in which the defendant was allegedly involved.
On September 28, 2001, the witness was late to Woodland High School. He was accompanied by his friend. As they were on their way to school, two individuals screamed at them. Threatened by this, both the witness and his friend began to run away. His friend got away, but the two individuals were able to catch up to the witness.
The witness was allegedly called a “scrap,” a threat against members of a rival gang. After the incident, the witness called the police and a statement was taken.
One of the individuals who assaulted the witness eventually enrolled at Woodland High School. The witness informed the principal at the time, followed by a line-up of individuals for him to identify. The witness does not, however, remember if it was the defendant.
Deputy Acocci was the dispatch officer to take the previous witness’s call after the incident occurred. After the statement, Deputy Acocci filed an incident report of a robbery.
An acquaintance of Daniel Vallejo was next to testify on the stand. He stated he received a text message from Vallejo in July of 2016.
The trial was to reconvene in the afternoon.