By Hannah Skepner
FRESNO – A defendant wasn’t shy about asking the judge in his domestic violence matter if he would delay a court proceeding so the defendant could attend family events—even though the alleged victim would also be there.
Gus Alexander told the judge at a Zoom live stream on Wednesday afternoon in Fresno County Superior Court that he had a family reunion and birthday celebration which would violate his criminal protective order.
He requested an exception in the order so that he could spend his birthday at his family reunion, an event in which the alleged victim was also attending.
Alexander appeared before the court, and pleaded not guilty to three charges, including corporal injury on a spouse/cohabitant, false imprisonment with violence, and criminal threats, after posting a bail of $230,000 in April. He was first given these charges on March 19, 2020. At the July 8 session, Judge Francine Zepeda ordered a criminal protective order on behalf of the alleged victim.
Deputy Public Defender David Munoz, who was appointed by the judge as representation, asked for peaceful contact between the defendant and the alleged victim because the two reconciled, the alleged victim admitting that she gave undisclosed false information. And Alexander is the breadwinner of said relationship.
This request was denied by Judge Zepeda.
Following this denial, a pre-preliminary hearing was set for July 22, and a preliminary hearing for August 12. Following the date selection, Alexander decided to speak up stating that he would be out of the state for a family reunion beginning July 19. He added that his birthday was the 22nd, and, due to this, he would not be returning until the 23rd of July.
Judge Zepeda smiled, stating that it was odd how he wouldn’t want to spend his birthday with those in the court. She generously moved his pre-preliminary hearing to July 29.
However, Alexander was not finished.
He explained to the court that the alleged victim was to be present at this reunion, and asked if the judge would make an exception so he could see his family in Las Vegas at the specified dates. He ensured that the two would not be traveling together, and his mother would be present for the duration of the trip.
Judge Zepeda made an exception to the criminal protective order, allowing that the defendant be a minimum of 10 yards from the alleged victim for solely the specified dates of the reunion in question.
The court will see Gus Alexander again for his pre-preliminary hearing the week after his birthday, on July 29, 2020.
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