Court Ignores Plea of ‘Victim’ to Go Easy on Defendant after She Rejects Title of Victim

By Özge Terzioğlu

SACRAMENTO – The victim in a domestic abuse case involving defendant Larry Lillard begged the Sacramento County Superior Court here to lower his sentence because she believed the defendant was on the right path to bettering himself after committing felony domestic abuse.

In a victim statement read by Deputy District Attorney Renishta Lal, the victim said, “Hello, I am the victim. I request that you drop charges or offer [Defendant Lillard] counseling or mandatory batterers’ treatment. I believe [the sentencing] is a lot of time for his domestic violence charge. I believe before that he was on the right path.”

The statement continued, “I believe the situation was a misunderstanding because he was talking to other females without my knowledge. What I said was overdramatic and said out of anger and hurt.

“I don’t want to press charges and I don’t want [this case] to go to trial. [Defendant Lillard] was going to job fairs and church before [his felony charge]. I’m not afraid of Mr. Lillard and I don’t think he will hurt me in any way.”

The victim statement took a turn and ended with her declaring that she doesn’t wish to “call [herself] a victim,” then she again pleaded for the court to “reduce the jail time” because she “said a lot of things out of being hurt and jealous and insecure.”

The victim lamented that she “[feels] bad that what [she] said in an emotional time is putting [Defendant Lillard’s] life on pause.” She ended the statement by “asking for a lower [jail] time or time in an anger management class.”

Despite the victim’s pleas to lower the defendant’s sentence and instead send him to batterers’ treatment, the judge reiterated that the “factual circumstances are serious and concerning. I believe it warrants the sentence that both sides agree to, especially in light of the recent prior strike conviction.”

Defendant Lillard asked the judge if he could say something, but Assistant Public Defender Samantha Ting cut him off and urged him to not speak unless it was directly to her. PD Ting requested a Zoom breakout room where she and her client deliberated for about 10 minutes.

When they emerged from the breakout room, the judge announced that Mr. Lillard would not be receiving probation as a condition of his no contest plea to the domestic abuse allegations.

The judge sentenced Lillard to 32 months in jail for his felony violation of PC section 273.5, inflicting physical injury on a cohabitant or spouse. The violation alone is 16 months in jail, but his admission to a prior felony strike doubled his sentence in jail.

A restitution fine of $300 and an additional fine in the same amount was also imposed by the judge. PD Ting requested for the fines to be set at a minimum and for the discretionary fees to be waived. Her reasoning was that since Lillard has been in custody since January, he hasn’t been able to work, thus he is not able to pay the fines.

DDA Lal informed the court that the probation report states that the defendant had a job at CalFresh where he made $492 a month. PD Ting clarified that he held that job “before he was incarcerated.”

The judge obliged and ordered for a reimbursement of several fees (cost of probation and supervision, operation investment, penalty assessment) and he also dismissed Count 1 in light of the plea deal.

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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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