Defendant Pleads No Contest but Argues He Only ‘Pushed’ Victim to Ground

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By Carlin Kempt

SACRAMENTO – Thirty-nine-year-old Michael Richardson appeared in Sacramento County Superior Court Tuesday morning to accept the prosecution’s offer of a four-year sentence to a lower level state prison, but he wasn’t ready to admit to some specifics of his crime.

Although Deputy District Attorney Rona Filippini presented the information of the defendant’s felony charge of corporal injury on spouse or cohabitant very clearly, Richardson asked her to revise her statements.

Filippini described how the defendant and victim were in a relationship and the defendant used enough aggression and force with his fists to cause the victim to “fall to the ground.” She also noted that the victim was tainted with “severe bruising.”

The defendant chimed in with a revision to Filippini’s statements, adding that he “pushed” – not punched or battered – the victim, and that is what caused her to fall to the ground, suggesting his action wasn’t the source of her spill.

Judge Scott L. Tedmon then asked Filippini if the People found factual basis for the revision, to which she responded, “No, not for a four-year-state-prison sentencing case.”

The online courtroom paused and took a breath.

After a moment alone with his Assistant Public Defender Sameera Ali, Richardson accepted the initial factual basis made by Filippini. He then pleaded no contest.

But the road for Richardson only grew trickier.

Moments later, Judge Tedmon deemed Richardson ineligible for probation because of a previous conviction for robbery in October of 2009. This time, when asked if he committed the prior strike, Richardson was hasty to holler affirmatively.

The judge then served Richardson with a no-contact order “effective immediately,” and set a new court date of Nov. 17 to determine the length of Richardson’s sentence.


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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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