Sacramento Man Set to Stand Trial for Assault with a Metal Pole

By Nickolas Gardner

SACRAMENTO– Last month, an altercation between Jason Diaz and an unnamed victim ended with Diaz striking the man with a metal pole—at least that’s what the prosecution claims, but they were not able to provide evidence for that last week in a hearing here in Sacramento County Superior Court.

A motion was made by the defense for the release of Diaz, and the court ultimately agreed—because of his age, lack of criminal history, community involvement, and the circumstances surrounding the alleged attack.

According to the defense, Diaz, 46, has a working history, having been previously employed as a baker, a grocer, and a mover in Sacramento, where he has lived his entire life. Diaz also has no prior criminal record.

Assistant Public Defender Alice Michael argued that Diaz’s aggression was not unprovoked, and that the victim had actually been stealing from him. Defense counsel provided two witness statements that supported this position.

In the first statement, a woman alleged that she had purchased Diaz’s stolen property from the victim. Although unknown to her at the time, she recognized initials on the product as Diaz’s, whom she knew.

The other witness stated that the victim had a reputation of being a thief, and had entered Diaz’s trailer and stolen property while Diaz was in custody.

Deputy District Attorney Amanda Sanchez conceded to the facts of the defendant’s defense, but argued that Diaz was an aggressor in this incident. Diaz, the DDA insisted, had approached the victim from behind and appeared to hit him in the back of the head with a pole.

Video shows Diaz holding the metal pole, but not using it to harm the alleged victim. The prosecution is in the process of obtaining other video.

Diaz, however, claims that he did not strike the victim with a pole, but rather his fist. He admitted he was holding a bat during the incident, but did not use it.

The prosecution’s current offer is either a felony violation of Penal Code section 245(a)(1) or 245(a)(4), but that depends on what the additional video shows.

Sanchez has attempted to contact the alleged victim but with no success. She has requested that, should the court be inclined to release Diaz pending further proceedings, there exist conditions barring him from approaching or making contact with the victim.

Sanchez also mentioned probation’s recommendation of detention rather than conditional release, despite Diaz’s lack of criminal history and probation status of Level 1. This is because Diaz is accused of attempting to hit the victim with an object capable of causing great bodily harm.

The defense countered by citing the injuries suffered by the alleged victim, which officers at the scene described as “scratches” and “redness to the back “that required no medical attention.

The court granted the defense’s motion for early release because Diaz had no prior criminal history, was involved in the community, and acted under special circumstances.

As suggested by the prosecution, pretrial conditions were given to Diaz, barring him from making contact with the victim or approaching him within 100 yards. The court determined that Diaz is safe to assimilate back into the community until his court date.

Diaz is scheduled to stand trial on Thursday, August 20 at 8:30 am in Sacramento Department 62.

In the meantime, the defense will conduct “additional investigation” and the prosecution is waiting for video evidence that will determine in what manner Diaz assaulted the victim.

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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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