By Victoria Lembesis
SACRAMENTO – In a preliminary hearing here in Sacramento County Superior Court Thursday, defendant Jeremy Braley faced felony and misdemeanor charges for an alleged attack on his older brother.
Sacramento Police Officer Cody Mason testified he was called to the scene regarding threats and possible assault of a quadriplegic, a 66-year-old man paralyzed from the neck down with partial paralysis in his arms.
The victim recounted to the officer an incident the night before, on July 17, when he claims he was assaulted by his brother.
After police answered a noise complaint at the victim and defendant’s residence on the night of July 17, the victim stated that Braley entered his bedroom and unsheathed two knives from his chest, started yelling erratically and displaying the knives in a threatening manner.
The victim was lying on his bed, unable to protect himself. The victim noted he sustained a cut on his pinkie finger from the incident. Defendant Braley is alleged to have planted the knives into the floor during the incident.
Braley then allegedly threw the victim’s wheelchair across the room and damaged one of the wheelchair wheels.
Officer Mason stated that the victim was “afraid that night that he was going to be killed.”
The victim and his mother, who lives in the residence with both the victim and defendant, noted that they thought Braley would “kill the landline” if they had called police when the incident initially occurred.
Officer Mason, along with other officers, tried to get the victim and victim’s mother out of the residence while trying to contact a judge for an emergency protective order.
The officer could not identify a cut on the victim’s pinkie when he responded and the victim had stated that ”the cut must have healed.”
On inspection of the wheelchair, the wheel was no longer broken. The victim told Officer Mason that the victim’s sister and caretaker had repaired the wheelchair that morning. The officers on scene could not find knife marks in the flooring from the incident.
Defense Attorney Pamela Dominesse argued that with such vague evidence in the case, a felony conviction was overreaching. She explained a felony charge may be overreaching, “given the totality of the circumstances of the facts presented, the lack of injuries, the lack of specificity of how long this interaction took place.”
She also stated that, though the victim was probably very scared for his well-being, the evidence is not enough to sustain a holding order on a felony charge. She asked that the court reduce both counts to misdemeanors.
Defendant Braley currently has two felony assault cases against him and has a prior 2014 conviction for a misdemeanor weapons charge.
Judge Steven M. Gevercer noted that the case barely has enough evidence to hold the felony elder abuse charge, but sustained the charges.
Defendant Braley pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge of brandishing and felony charge of elder abuse.
The matter will go to trial on Dec. 9, in Department 9 of Sacramento County Superior Court.
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