By Claudia Gutierrez
WOODLAND – Judge Stephen L. Mock dismissed four of six charges filed against defendant Christopher Phillip Martin here in Yolo County Superior Court, which included assault with a deadly weapon and criminal threat charges.
The defendant was charged on April 7, 2020, with several counts including assault causing bodily injury, criminal threat, use of a deadly weapon, and vandalism. Later, on April 23, 2020, he was also charged with contempt of court.
After Martin’s preliminary hearing, Deputy Public Defender James Bradford filed a PC section 995 motion to the court, which asked the trial judge to dismiss one or more of the charges made against Martin. On Friday afternoon, the PC 995 motion hearing took place.
Judge Mock presided over the hearing and began by defining the meaning of assault as recognized by the court to Deputy District Attorney Alex Kian and Mr. Bradford, stating, “Both parties can see that an assault is defined as an unlawful attempt together with a present ability to commit some kind of violent injury whether it be a battery or something more serious than that.”
He added, “In my review of the preliminary hearing I find no evidence that Mr. Martin made any attempt to actually injure either of the victims. They were certainly afraid that he might try to hurt them, therefore, they barricaded themselves into their bedroom but there was no evidence presented at the preliminary hearing that he did indeed try to injure them.”
Judge Mock concluded that there was no evidence that Martin had the present ability to hurt the victims.
The evidence presented at the preliminary hearing established that one of the victims saw Martin in the kitchen and that he began walking toward them.
According to Judge Mock, the little information that they have about the layout of the house suggests that the kitchen and the bedroom are about 20-30 feet apart, so “there was neither any testimony nor any logical inference from the evidence that would establish that Mr. Martin ever got close enough to either victim where he could have injured them.”
Judge Mock went on to address the charge of assault with a deadly weapon by stating that the magistrate from the preliminary hearing failed to hold Martin to answer for the assault of a deadly weapon charge, therefore concluding that the magistrate “must have been of the same view.”
He also explained how there was no evidence presented to prove that the victims heard the defendant threaten to kill them.
Due to the lack of evidence, Judge Mock reasoned that “there’s no support for one of the elements of the criminal threats charges,” dismissing those charges which were counts two and three, along with their enhancements, counts 2a and 3a.
Judge Mock summarized his final decision with the following statement, “I grant the defendant’s motion to dismiss counts 1, 2, 2a, 3, 3a, and 4. That leaves counts 5 and 6.” Counts 5 and 6, which were not dismissed, include vandalism and contempt of court.
Deputy District Attorney Alex Kian responded by saying that he will reassess the case and refile the dismissed counts. He plans to proceed with additional evidence to have the counts sustained.
The next court date is set for Friday, July 31, 2020.
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