By Kianna Anvari
WOODLAND — Trayon Finley found himself in custody on $125,000 bail here because his girlfriend—like him, a convicted felon—turned him in after an argument.
Interestingly, both Finley and the victim, his girlfriend, were in a motel room with a firearm, strictly prohibited for ex-felons.
Finley is now in custody at Monroe Detention Center, and appeared via Zoom Friday in Yolo County Superior Court for his preliminary hearing. He is facing two felony charges: domestic violence and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.
Finley was on probation for two prior gun-related felonies when he was arrested in November.
Deputy District Attorney Deanna Hays called Deputy Mark Saunders of the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department to get a synopsis of what happened.
Saunders said he spoke to the victim at the ampm store where she works, and she said that she and she and Finley have lived at a motel for three months, and that they have been dating for four years.
She also told Saunders that there was a gun in the motel room which belonged to Finley. She said that she saw him taking photos of the gun two weeks prior.
The victim then showed Saunders a bruise on her right shoulder, explaining that it was a bite mark. She said that Finley looked as if he were leaning in for a hug during an argument the night before. Instead, he lunged toward her shoulder and bit her.
Saunders accompanied probation officers to the motel to search their room. He found a loaded firearm in a cereal bag.
During cross-examination, Deputy Public Defender Jonathan Opet asked Saunders what Finley said about the bite mark, and the victim said Finley claimed the bite occurred during sex.
Saunders told DDA Hays that Finley knew the gun was there and that they had it for about a month.
After questioning, DPD Opet read the victim’s prior felony charges to the court. Hays added that she believed it was appropriate for the court to know of these charges.
“She had a motive to lie because she herself was a convicted felon, prohibited from owning a firearm,” said Opet.
Opet added that Finley was being set up by “a witness that lacks credibility.” He stated that the firearm was not found on Finley’s person, and therefore could have been the victim’s gun.
He also argued that the domestic violence charge is highly suspect and should be lowered to a misdemeanor. Finally, he asked that Finley be released on his own recognizance.
Judge Stephen L. Mock said that if he discounted the contradictory statements concerning possession of the firearm, he would be left with proof positive that Finley was in possession of a loaded firearm.
He added that the defendant admitted the bruise on the victim’s right shoulder was a bite mark that he made. So, the question for trial would be whether that mark was made with or without consent.
Judge Mock did not reduce the domestic violence charge to a misdemeanor based on Finley’s prior felony charges, and added that there was sufficient evidence to hold the defendant to answer on both counts.
He also found that public safety is an issue for this case since Finley’s prior charges are all linked to firearms.
Finley will not be released on OR and his bail remains as set, at $125,000. His arraignment is on Dec. 30.
Kianna Anvari will earn a Master’s in Public Administration from San Diego State University in May 2021. She is from San Diego.
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