By Lauren Smith
WOODLAND – It’s unusual for defendants to take the stand in their own defense, but defendant Pavel Bredikhin did just that in an effort to defend himself at his domestic violence trial in Yolo County Superior Court Tuesday afternoon.
In his testimony, the defendant stated that his relationship with his ex-wife, the alleged victim in this case, began to deteriorate in August and September of 2019 when she “began questioning my faithfulness to her…every time I would go somewhere, either to see my brother or go out to friends that I was constantly lying to her.” However, Bredikhin said he repeatedly told her he was not cheating on her.
He said he discussed moving out multiple times during that period—“every once in awhile, whenever…she would drink after work and come home.” In the last five to six months of their relationship, they began sleeping separately “pretty much almost every day.”
The defendant recalled “the door-locking incident” that occurred in August or September of 2019, about six months before the Jan. 22 domestic violence incident in which the defendant is currently charged.
Bredikhin stated that he was in his room and locked the door behind him so that he could “have some privacy to do a couple of errands” on his computer. His wife at the time started “banging on the door” asking him to open it. When the defendant opened it, he stated his wife “came in the room, called me a couple of names, asked me what I was doing…then went back to watching TV.”
A few minutes later, his wife “came back banging on the door” and demanded to see the defendant’s “f**king phone.” Bredikhin further testified that when he refused to show her his phone, she began
“reaching for it over my shoulder.” Once she got ahold of the phone, he stated he “yanked it out of her arms” causing her to fall down on the bed.
When the alleged victim testified, she stated that she called the police after this incident; however, the defendant stated otherwise. Bredikhin testified that when the victim left the room, she did call the police and “when she handed over the phone” to him, he spoke with an officer who stated “stay away for the night, she needs some alone time.”
Yet, Bredikhin did not follow the officer’s advice. Instead he and his wife reconciled so that he could get “all of [his] work stuff” in order to go to work the next day.
After falling asleep after work on January 21, the defendant remembers “feeling that I’m being kicked…like a pain in my leg.” Waking up, he saw the alleged victim “right over” him “screaming where the heck is the cat at.”
He testified that he suspected she had been drinking based on her “loud and mean” behavior. Bredikhin stated that his wife started “throwing things…in my direction” while looking for the cat. In her search for the cat, she left the apartment. Bredikhin stated that he locked her out of the apartment to collect his “stuff together for work.”
Once he collected his belongings, the defendant stated that as soon as he unlocked the door the alleged victim stepped into the house and started screaming at him. He testified that she was “out of control” and got so close to him he could “smell her breath.”
He tried to walk past her, but she stepped in front of him. The defendant stated that “I pushed her with my hand” in order to get past her. He claimed he never strangled her or put both hands on her throat, as charged.
Bredikhin stated that, while walking past her, he saw “out of [his] peripherals” his wife trip over the threshold of the door and fall. He turned back around to “pick her up” but she told him to “f**k off.”
When the defendant began detailing text messages between his wife and her friend, Deputy District Attorney Jesse Richardson immediately objected to this portion of his testimony, claiming it was hearsay.
Judge David Rosenberg decided to end the trial for the day and instructed the jury to come back the next day. In a sidebar with DDA Richardson and Deputy Public Defender Daniel Hutchinson, Judge Rosenberg stated that he finds that portion of testimony in question “more prejudicial than probative” and did not allow it to be heard before the jury.
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