By Pavan Potti
WOODLAND – When Deputy Public Defender David L. Muller claimed his client exhibited modesty in showing up to court, he was quickly shut down by Judge Dave Rosenberg here in Yolo County Superior Court late last week.
The judge was keener on addressing the seriousness of the situation at hand—the altercation in which Muller’s client, Ricky Jones of Sacramento, was involved, ending up with Jones firing a weapon.
The fight which had broken out at a West Sacramento motel on July 23 ended with the defendant shooting and hitting the victim in the foot. According to Muller, however, the victim’s claims weren’t accurate descriptions of what transpired.
Muller referred back to surveillance footage of the incident and pointed to inconsistencies with the victim’s claims. For one, he claimed that the victim openly admitted how he felt terrorized during the event and was extremely frightened at the possibility of getting hurt. Yet, the footage had shown the victim angrily chasing Jones after getting hit in the foot.
Defense counsel Muller insisted defendant Jones never entered the victim’s motel room, and that the altercation had occurred elsewhere in the motel premises. Moreover, Muller emphasized the defendant and victim had no prior history and that whatever had happened at the motel must have been in the heat of the moment.
As much as Muller tried, Judge Rosenberg seemed to offer a different perspective, suggesting that it could be very possible for the victim to have been afraid but also been acting out of an adrenaline rush when he angrily pursued Jones.
“When he got shot, there must have been a lot of adrenaline. You can do amazing things when adrenaline is flowing,” Judge Rosenberg noted.
Deputy District Attorney Daniele Schlehofer maintained that the victim’s reaction was appropriate for the situation, considering the risk posed by the defendant.
Schlehofer said that on the day of the incident, Jones had argued with the victim at the motel, gone back to his car to grab his weapon and then proceeded to attack the victim. She requested the court keep the defendant in custody, citing that many people were present in the altercation vicinity, and that it could have very well taken an accidental and fatal turn.
However, the judge ultimately decided to temporarily release the defendant on supervision, as he didn’t want him to have his job jeopardized by possible jail time. He did, however, ban Jones from entering Sacramento, with the exception of driving on the freeway. Judge Rosenberg also ordered the defendant to stay away from the victim.
The next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 27.
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