By Aishwarya Rajan
SACRAMENTO, CA – Defendant Cory Nickolas Satnowski came to his preliminary hearing here Tuesday in Sacramento County Superior Court with five charges—he left with seven after Deputy District Attorney Stephanie Maroun successfully argued his two cases should be tried as one.
Defendant Satnowski is now going to trial for multiple charges, including domestic violence, death threats, violation of a court order and drunk driving.
The first hearing addressed a charged felony for criminal threats of harming or killing. This charge was filed after his wife of 13 years reported that there had been an argument between her and the defendant, which led to violence.
Officer Zachariah Erickson testified that the wife said she was on the receiving end of a thrown duffel bag to the chest and face. Shortly after the physical altercation, she claimed that the defendant had threatened to slit her throat.
The officer also reported that, while there was no physical evidence of bruising or scratches, the victim’s husband had called her a “stupid f****** creepy b****.”
The victim told the officer that he had made similar threats in the past, going so far as to actually show an uncovered knife. The victim also claimed that the defendant in the past had grabbed her neck and twisted it before she fell on one of her children.
Additionally, after domestic violence reports had already been filed, the defendant allegedly coerced his wife into requesting that his charges be dropped.
It was reported that she complied because “she felt intimidated by Satnowski who was in the room while she phoned the investigator…he sat across the table from her,” as stated by Officer Erickson.
Officer Erickson additionally testified that the wife described the defendant as “very controlling and that he had made her choose essentially between her mother, living at the residence, or him. She was concerned that if she didn’t allow him back into her life that he would take revenge on her or others she cared about.”
The defendant claimed to have never threatened his wife, saying that “I guess she’s just mad at me.”
The court then served Satnowski with a restraining order.
Defense Attorney Hubert Chen described his client’s character as “not combative,” and rather “compliant” and “cooperative.”
He analyzed and questioned the behavior of the alleged victim, and asked the officer, “…at any point did she seem angry?” before proceeding with similar questions about the victim’s character and intent.
The events of Nov. 9, 2020, prosecution argued, were related with the events of Aug. 19, 2020, thus the necessity to consolidate the two cases.
To explain the necessity for this consolidation, DDA Maroun provided background on the events that unfolded that night, noting that after officers arrived at the victim’s house to file an incident report, they found the defendant arrived at the scene intoxicated.
This was not the first, but one of five DUIs marked on the defendant’s record as stipulated in his file.
By making contact with her, and his incessant and unwanted phone calls, he violated the order filed against him on Aug. 21, as pointed out by prosecutor Maroun.
Although the defense argued that “the cases are of a different class, one involves alcohol and driving while the other is domestic violence…substantively very different,” the motion to consolidate the two cases was approved by Judge Arguelles.
The reasoning behind this judgment was because the defendant was “coming to the scene to violate the restraining order” and the victim repeatedly said “the defendant’s behavior is exasperated when he is intoxicated, so that constant DUI is further evidence of what the victim is saying, he repeatedly gets drunk, and he repeatedly gets violent with her,” said DDA Maroun.
A pre-trial hearing for Satnowski, now on seven counts, is scheduled for March.
Aishwarya Rajan is a first year Political Science – Public Service major and Cognitive Science major at the University of California, Davis. Her various experiences living in her hometown in Danville, California, have shaped her passions to deliver justice through a career in law.
To sign up for our new newsletter – Everyday Injustice – https://tinyurl.com/yyultcf9
Support our work – to become a sustaining at $5 – $10- $25 per month hit the link: