By Ayanna Gandhi
SACRAMENTO – Sean Rushton threatened to shoot an ex-girlfriend in the face, a crime that would result in death or severe bodily injury, and faced years in prison in Sacramento County Superior Court here late last week.
The court agreed that the verbal abuse was intended to be a threat toward the victim and the intent was proven as it was awfully specific and the victim had reasonably sustained fear.
Deputy District Attorney Renishta Lal recounted the factual basis: On April 30, 2020, Rushton was following his ex-girlfriend of six months. At the time, it had been about five months since they had broken up and had any type of physical contact.
The DDA said Rushton’s ex-girlfriend spotted him hiding in bushes across the street from where she was walking. When the victim spotted him, Rushton started to yell curse words across the street along with phrases such as “I see you, you midget.”
Due to a history of violence, the victim said she felt unsafe for both herself and her family, causing her to run into her home. However, Rushton did not let that stop him. He started pounding on his ex-girlfriend’s door while continuing to curse at her.
The situation drastically escalated when he allegedly started telling the victim that if he ever saw her again, he would “shoot her in the face.”
Lal also explained that she charged Rushton with a felony because the verbal abuse could have resulted in death or severe injury if the victim had not been inside her house. The threat was extremely specific and seemed as though the defendant wanted it to come across in a threatening and scary fashion, the DDA said.
Assistant Public Defender Anna Semerdjian agreed to the recounting on behalf of her client. Ms. Lal then proceeded to read to Judge Jeffrey Goodman the original offer which was still standing.
Judge Goodman agreed to DA Lal’s offer of 240 days in county jail and five years of probation. A no-contact order between Rushton and the victim was also issued. Lastly, both Semerdjian and Lal agreed to waive one count.
Adding on, the judge informed the defendant of his prior strike, meaning that if the defendant violated any of the orders, including the no-contact order, he would be sentenced to three years in prison.
At the beginning of the hearing, Rushton agreed to enter a no-contest plea deal to the felony committed. However, when his charges were read to him for the final time and he was asked to decide, he asked for more time.
Both parties agreed to postpone for a week, but Judge Goodman was clear that Rushton would not get any more time after this week.
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