By Larkin White
SACRAMENTO – A Sacramento County Superior Court has determined that a man shot after prowling on top of a home is sufficiently guilty of first-degree residential burglary to proceed to trial.
Steven Amadei, the defendant, was arrested the night of December 23, 2019, shortly after the attempted burglary took place. Deputy District Attorney DA Colin Stephenson summoned several deputy sheriffs and a detective to take the stand over Zoom to recreate what happened.
The couple who live in the one-story house in question heard a noise on the roof. The husband went to investigate, thinking it was an animal, but immediately returned inside to retrieve his gun after seeing Amadei.
According to testimony given to the police by the couple and their neighbors, the husband ran back outside to witness Amadei hanging from his roof next to a window. He punched Amadei several times before Amadei kicked the window, shattering it, and climbed inside the home. The man ran inside to tell his wife and daughter to go out into the street.
Proceeding further into his house he saw Amadei pick up a metal drying rack as if to strike him and shot at him once. Amadei ran out through his daughter’s window and across the yard. The man pursued him through the patio doors and fired a second shot at him as he ran.
None of the deputies called to testify recalled seeing a bullet hole inside the house, suggesting that it was the first shot that injured Amadei, puncturing his leg.
Deputy Patrick Vlasak found and arrested Amadei, struggling with him on the ground before receiving assistance from Deputy Paul Hoffman.
Amadei’s attorney, public defender Colin Thornhill, cross-examined the witnesses, though he called no witness of his own. His primary angle of questioning was to determine whether Amadei resisted arrest or not.
His questions implied that Amadei was struggling because of the pressure being put on his wound and that the deputies should have understood that from experience. However, the judge considered Amadei’s alleged struggle irrelevant to the first-degree burglary charge and found him sufficiently guilty for trial.
There was one problem during testimony
Witnesses who call in over Zoom are asked to be in a room by themselves and are only allowed to have their witness report in front of them, which they may reference if given permission. Often witnesses are asked to keep their witness reports face down.
Several of the deputies flaunted this rule, but one, in particular, blatantly looked down at his testimony for most of his time on the stand: Deputy Sheriff Kenneth Lloyd. Nonetheless, all the testimony painted the same picture.
Amadei has a prior conviction of a strike from 2015 as well as an alleged misdemeanor for obstructing and delaying a deputy sheriff for Sacramento County.
Amadei requested a Humphrey hearing because he is indigenous. He will head to trial on December 17.
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