By Linh Nguyen
WOODLAND – The defendant’s wife and her mother were unable to recall the statements they initially made to law enforcement back in late December of 2019.
The charges against the defendant, Christopher Stabler, included violating a restraining order, intimidating two witnesses and corporal injury. Based on what was heard during the hearing, it appears that the other charges were related to a later case of domestic violence which occurred on Dec. 22, 2019. The statements that the alleged victim, “T.S.,” and her mother, “T.A.,” provided to law enforcement initially contradict what they testified to in court. The alleged victim has been married to the defendant for 13 years and they have three children together.
The alleged victim, her mother, and Officer McKenzie of the Woodland Police Department testified.
On Sunday Dec 22. 2019, Mr. Stabler, T.S., T.A., his children and other relatives were celebrating Christmas early, as Stabler and his wife were unable to be with their children on Christmas Day. Their children had been taken into foster care under Child Protective Services. This day was when their six-hour, monitored visit was scheduled.
T.S. testified that this moment of celebration with her children and family was very happy. However, she testified that as her children left, she was very sad because she would not get to be with them for the holidays.
After her children left, T.S. remained very distraught and sad. She had suffered some mental problems since losing custody of her children—including panic attacks, depression and anxiety. T.S. sought professional mental health care and received medication for her condition.
T.S. testified to those medications “not agreeing” with her condition. On the day in question, T.S. did take her medication. However, she also consumed alcohol, stating that she had a few mimosas. The mix of alcohol and prescribed medication was unfavorable, according to her doctor’s recommendation.
After the family left, T.S.’s mother T.A. also left, only to come back to the Woodland apartment a few hours later. When T.A. returned, Stabler was not at the residence; he had gone to pick up movies for the three of them to watch.
When he returned, the three sat on the couch to talk. Then T.A. left to use the bathroom. In her initial statement to police, she stated that from the bathroom she heard Stabler and her daughter wrestling and that they were using loud voices. However, upon questioning in court, T.A. said that from the bathroom she heard them talking quietly.
At one point, T.S. fell on the Christmas tree and knocked it down. Initial statements to law enforcement claim that Stabler pushed the alleged victim into the tree. However, in court, T.A. and T.S. both testified to T.S.’s shoe slipping off and that she fell because of that.
There was also some question about the whereabouts of T.S.’s cell phone during this incident. Initial statements claimed that Stabler had taken her cell phone from her hands and broke it to prevent her from calling law enforcement. He allegedly threatened T.A. and T.S., stating that if they called the police they would be “done.”
However, in her testimony in court, T.A. stated that Stabler never took T.S.’s phone from her. When the defense asked her if she initially said that Stabler grabbed T.S. by her hair and held her to the floor, T.A. said no. Similarly, T.A. denied saying that Stabler was being physically violent with T.S. on the night in question.
T.A. testified that she was not intoxicated with alcohol or other drugs on the day in question.
T.S. testified that this incident was an “emotional breakdown.” She attributed it being caused partly due to the fact that she had been mixing alcohol and her medication earlier in the day and due to the fact that her children were taken from her.
She said that she broke kitchen containers, pulled down a shelf, smashed the TV, knocked over the Christmas tree and threw her cell phone. Her actions resulted in her bleeding nose and some bruising.
When the prosecutor asked her about the statements she initially made to AMR and Sutter Hospital in Davis regarding Stabler and her sustained injuries, she repeatedly stated, “I do not recall making that statement.” T.S. also stated that she did not recall a previous case of Stabler assaulting her from November of 2018.
The prosecution requested the court to treat T.S. as a hostile witness.
When asked why her mother told the police that Stabler assaulted her, T.S. stated that it was probably because her mother wanted to protect her so that she would not get in trouble.
Officer Simeon McKenzie of the Woodland Police Department also testified for the People.
Law enforcement arrived, responding to the calls of multiple concerned neighbors. Officer McKenzie responded at the scene. By then, Stabler had already left the scene. His whereabouts during this incident were unclear. The only adults present were T.A. and T.S. T.A. testified that she did not know why law enforcement arrived.
Officer McKenzie testified to the apartment being in “disarray.” There were broken containers on the kitchen floor, the Christmas tree was knocked over, the TV was knocked over, furniture did not appear to be in their rightful place and a shelf was pulled down.
Officer McKenzie also testified to the alleged victim appearing “disarrayed” as well, as she had a bleeding nose, swelling on her forehead and disheveled hair. She looked nervous and unstable. Law enforcement called for medical assistance.
When T.A. spoke to Officer McKenzie at the scene, she stated that she heard Stabler and T.S. yelling and wrestling while she was using the bathroom. T.A. also stated that Stabler grabbed the alleged victim by her hair and held her to the ground. Stabler was accused at that time, as indicated above, of threatening T.A. and T.S., stating that if they called the police, they would be “done.”
During Officer McKenzie’s testimony, T.S. from her seat made quiet remarks and scoffs at his testimony.
After the witnesses were called, the prosecution played the three audio recordings of the concerned 911 calls about T.S. ‘s residence. The court said it will consider the first two recordings; however, because there were no audible utterances in the third recording, it is unclear whether it is actually related to Stabler’s case and the court will not consider it.
The court was unable to reach a ruling on the same day, so the preliminary hearing will resume the next morning at 11 a.m. in Department 7.
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