By Julietta Bisharyan
FRESNO – A woman was sentenced for slashing her boyfriend in the face, chest and back with a knife while he was asleep in their home in Fresno County on New Year’s Eve, 2019. Anissa Greene was convicted of corporal injury on a spouse and for assault with a deadly weapon with the enhancement of causing great bodily injury.
The defendant admitted that, at the time of the event, she was suffering from a mental condition and was taking methamphetamine.
According to Judge Glenda Allen-Hill, Greene is ineligible for felony probation because of her use of a weapon and of causing great bodily injury to the victim. The court would require unusual circumstances to grant her probation, which the judge then asked the counsel to present before the sentencing.
Deputy Public Defender Tina Wong began by discussing the prior preliminary hearing at which the alleged victim, Greene’s boyfriend, testified. Wong made note of their toxic relationship and emphasized the wide age gap between the two—Greene is much younger.
Greene had previously described the relationship as controlling and abusive, considering herself a victim. In addition, both Greene and her family have struggled with substance abuse. Her father died from substance abuse.
Greene’s doctors have warned her about a genetic medical condition that she shares with her father, putting her at great risk with substance abuse. Testimony suggested she and her boyfriend would get high together frequently, almost daily. Wong added that it was her boyfriend who would procure the drugs for them both to use together.
Given her substance use, lack of criminal history and toxic relationship with an older man, Wong asked the court to grant Greene probation with a long-term inpatient treatment program.
Wong recommended “New Life for Girls,” a program for women who struggle with life-controlling problems such as drug and alcohol addiction, eating disorders and sexual abuse issues. One of the rules, however, forbids cell phones, so Greene could only contact certain family members through the landline during the program.
Wong ended her argument by saying that Greene acknowledges the severity of her crime and sees that it stems from childhood trauma and substance use, but is prepared to better herself with the program, given that the court grants her probation.
Deputy District Attorney Ashley Paulson responded by arguing against the claim that Greene’s boyfriend was abusive toward her in any way during their relationship. She also mentioned the photographs of the injuries sustained that were presented during the preliminary hearing, as well as how the victim himself appeared during his testimony.
After the earlier hearing, the defendant was released from custody and ordered not to have any contact with the alleged victim. However, she attempted to rekindle their relationship and came to court with him on March 5, 2020, violating the criminal protective order.
The defendant ended up fleeing from the courtroom and showed up on the alleged victim’s street later that day. Paulson argues that this shows Greene has no intention of following the court’s orders and is a danger to the alleged victim.
Paulson requested that the defendant be sentenced to eight years.
Judge Allen-Hill concluded that she does not believe the relationship between the defendant and alleged victim to be age-inappropriate, given that they are both young adults. She also observed that it appears that the defendant is trying to shift the blame onto her boyfriend, by claiming he is abusive without evidence.
Since the defendant attacked him while he was asleep—and not during a fight—the court found that it makes the act even more inexcusable.
The judge said that during the aforementioned preliminary hearing, the boyfriend’s mother gave “credible and honorable” testimony, which adds great weight to the case.
Although probation did not find any unusual circumstances, the court was willing to grant Greene probation for three years—after a 365-day sentence in jail, much less than the eight years the prosecution requested. She has a tentative release date of 12/18/20, but may be released to the New Life for Girls program prior to that.