Moment of Silence after Prosecutor Reads Victim Statement Aloud to Defendant

By Henry Stiepleman

SACRAMENTO – A Sacramento man listened as a prosecutor read a statement written by the victim during judgment and sentencing in Department 60 of Sacramento County Superior Court Thursday.

On June 4, 2020, Jesus Arreola submitted to judgment and sentencing from Judge Scott Tedmon on the counts of traumatic physical abuse of a former partner, as well as threat of violence, both felony charges. Arreola was in court for his second probation hearing, during which he also received a personal note from the victim, not read to the court.

The prosecutor, Scott Schweibish, read over Zoom the statement from the victim. Defendant Arreola was represented in person by Sacramento County Assistant Public Defender Dena Stone.

The statement began with an address to the courtroom: “To the judge and whoever is present today, I would like to address you first. The stories, pictures, and testimony you have witnessed—I can only imagine how you may feel for me, I will forever be labeled as a victim of a violent crime.”

The victim went on to state, “For everyone here listening to this as it’s being read, please have compassion at this time, but not sympathy. I do not look back on my life with Mr. Arreola and think, ‘Wow. I can’t believe I became his victim.’ I look back and reflect on how much love I had for him, how much in the seven years together we evolved as a couple and as individuals. I do not look back and relive in my mind the events that led up to our demise.”

The statement concluded with a repeated point: “I do not label myself a victim, nor do I label Mr. Arreola a ‘criminal,’ despite what we have been labeled in your eyes. I look at us and label us as two people out of a billion that had a love that could never be replaced or duplicated. Two people who have loved and lost. Two people who once had someone by our side through all of the trials and tribulations this life had thrown at us, to only be alone now to face this world.”

There was silence in the courtroom for a brief moment. Then, DDA Schweibish confirmed that the part of the statement addressed to Arreola, not for the eyes or ears of anyone else, was handed over by Stone.

The road to the judgment and sentencing of Arreola contained a change in the public defender representing him, an arraignment followed by two days of preliminary hearings, certification to the Superior Court, further proceedings, two more days of arraignment, a vacating and resetting of his hearing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more proceedings, another arraignment, and, finally, judgement and sentencing.

Arreola was sentenced to one year in county jail and five years of probation. If he violates probation, he could be sentenced to state prison for a maximum of four years and eight months.

The court determined that Arreola had 245 days credit for time served. APD Stone contended that Arreola should have an additional eight days of credit because he was arrested and held in custody in Yolo County on a warrant for these charges.

The court was unable to identify when the warrant was served. But defense counsel Stone agreed to an amended order when the court got verification.

Before pronouncing Arreola’s sentence, Judge Tedmon asked him if he had any final words, and Arreola responded, “Thank you and God bless.”

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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