By Coco Wang
WOODLAND – After confronted by a police officer for an alleged burglary, a woman claimed that she was employed by the former president and that she was at the location because of an alien.
Elizabeth Stepanov was accused of felony burglary and misdemeanor vandalism for allegedly entering the kitchen of a resort and disturbing properties within the kitchen, including lighting a butane canister on fire.
Deputy Matthew Wirick was dispatched to the resort at 9:05 am on the day of the incident.
The owner of the resort, Mr. B, met with Deputy Wirick and described that he had found Ms. Stepanov in the kitchen area and had located a hole in the door screen that had not existed the day before. Mr. B told Deputy Wirick that he saw Ms. Stepanov removing her shoes and outer garment.
According to Deputy Wirick, this kitchen was not used to store fresh food and only had several cooking equipment tools, kitchen countertops, and miscellaneous kitchen items within.
As Deputy Wirick examined the kitchen, he found that some cabinets were disturbed, including a box of butane canisters. Several butane canisters were moved, and one of the butane canisters was lit. The butane canister was still lit when Deputy Wirick arrived on the scene and Ms. Stepanov was allegedly standing directly adjacent to the lit butane canister.
While investigating the scene, Deputy Wirick discovered the door that leads to the kitchen and described the door to have a screen on the top part with solid material at the bottom part. According to Deputy Wirick, the screen was not made of metal and the size of the hole in the door screen could potentially fit a person of Ms. Stepanov’s size.
The deputy said Ms. Stepanov was wearing a dress without pockets and did not possess any sharp objects or knives, and her bag of belongings was not located on her.
In addition to the discovery of the hole, Deputy Wirick also testified that he saw a chair next to the door, which, according to the owner of the resort, was out of its normal place. Deputy Wirick testified that the hole was of a height that a person could not climb through without the assistance of some sort of elevation and he suspected that Ms. Stepanov had used the chair to climb over the door through the hole.
When talking with Ms. Stepanov at the scene, Deputy Wirick claimed that he noticed her demeanor to be fragmented and nonsensical. Ms. Stepanov at that time claimed that she was employed by the former president and that she appeared at the scene because of an alien.
Deputy Wirick claimed that he did not perform any tests on Ms. Stepanov regarding substance abuse, and clarified that he had been trained to recognize any signs of influence.
The defense, represented by Deputy Public Defender Jose Gonzalez-Vasquez, submitted a Penal Code section17b motion to the court, requesting to reduce Ms. Stepanov’s felony on the burglary to a misdemeanor. Mr. Gonzalez-Vasquez argued that she was only using the butane canister to keep things warm and she did not take any items from the kitchen, nor did she plan to take any items.
The court granted the 17b motion and reduced Ms. Stepanov’s felony on the burglary to a misdemeanor, despite admitting that she could have had the intention to take items from the kitchen since the cabinets were disturbed.
Considering the history of Ms. Stepanov for failing to appear in court, the court showed concern that she might disappear on her trial day and decided that she should remain in custody until the jury trial scheduled for March 10, 2020.
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