By John Arceno
SACRAMENTO, CA – Nathaniel Burkholder faced allegations of domestic violence and other violence from two girlfriends, vehicular damage and theft here in a Sacramento County Superior Court preliminary hearing earlier this week—after the hearing the court ruled he must stand trial.
SPD Officer Greg Takahara was called by Deputy District Attorney Mitch Miller, and the officer said a physical confrontation transpired between Burkholder and “Victim 1” on Aug. 31, 2020, at approximately 2:30 in the morning, as the latter was working for an online food delivery platform.
Victim 1 is said to be the husband of Victim 2, the defendant’s ex-girlfriend.
Leading up to the assault, Victim 1 told the officer that Burkholder was “cussing at them and throwing a bottle or beverage,” which incited a car chase between the two parties. Takahara’s report indicated that Victim 2 was seated in the passenger seat of Victim 1’s vehicle.
Victim 1 said he was forced to stop at a red light, leading Burkholder to “ram (Victim 1’s vehicle) from behind two or three times, pushing him to the curb.” The defendant then allegedly “sideswiped” Victim 1’s vehicle, further damaging his car.
The victims then drove to the police station but soon left to go to Mercy General Hospital after Victim 2 asked to see a doctor, citing the incident as the reason for her going.
When Officer Takahara responded to an assault call made by the victims, he reported “there was (vehicular) damage on the right side of the front bumper to the rear bumper, to the rear quarter panel, and the left driver’s door and rear passenger doors.”
Three months later, on Nov. 23, 2020, at 4:36 p.m., Officer Kevin Rose responded to a roaming domestic violence by Victim 3, who at the time was said to have been dating the defendant for three months.
He said that she appeared distressed and would often stop herself from talking to cry. While talking to Officer Rose, she recounted the happenings of the day leading up to her arrival at Kaiser South Emergency Services department in Sacramento County, where the aforementioned police officer was dispatched.
That morning, Victim 3 said she wanted to go to the hospital to visit her father, but the defendant refused to give her permission. She told the officer that Burkholder “dragged her over into his lap, and then hit her twice” as they drove to a Mexican restaurant down the street.
She claimed that some of her hair was possibly ripped out as he held her by the hair while they were driving, leading her to throw up outside and inside the car as his violence incited her panic attack.
Victim 3 said that the defendant then grabbed her by the shirt, pulled her back in the car, and proceeded to drive off.
The victim told the officer she was able to escape momentarily by a stroke of luck. She said she screamed for help from passersby while he was threatening “to put (her) in the cemetery.” Despite her desperate pleas, she said none of the passersby bothered to help her.
Her efforts to escape were rendered futile. The defendant reportedly drove her back to his grandmother’s house, where she said she was instructed to go into an unidentified person’s SUV.
She then told the officer they drove to Stockton to “hang out” and she expressed her desire to end the relationship. She said he responded by seizing her by the neck.
On the drive back to Sacramento, the victim said she managed to convince Burkholder to let her use her phone on the “pretext that she was calling to check on her dad who was at Kaiser South.”
She took this opportunity to instruct her mother “in code” to retrieve her vehicle which was parked at the defendant’s grandmother’s house and to call 911. Burkholder caught wind of the victim’s actions and got furious with her again.
“And then the victim was able to get outside of the vehicle,” added Officer Rose. “She wasn’t sure if the defendant had pushed her out, or if she had just been able to get up.”
On Nov. 24, 2020, six minutes past midnight, Burkholder’s ex-girlfriend, Victim 2, made a police report to Officer Andrew Schaner, claiming that the defendant arrived at her place of residence.
She said Burkholder informed her that “he had gotten into a fight with his current girlfriend.” After mentioning that the police had gotten involved in the situation, he tried to persuade her to skip town and run away with him.
When she refused, Burkholder allegedly snatched her car keys from her lap and stole her car.
Finally, SPD Officer Qua Tran was called in to testify on his conversation with Burkholder’s grandmother, who claimed to have witnessed Burkholder slamming Victim 3’s head on the window inside a vehicle one evening.
Defense counsel Jesse Ortiz then pointed out to Officer Tran that his grandmother also said that the victim might have hit the defendant with a baseball bat at one point.
He interrogated Officer Tran on whether she mentioned if the vehicle was tinted or if the street lights were turned on or dimmed during the incident, to which Officer Tran responded, “I can’t recall.”
At the end of the hearing, Judge Stacy Boulware Eurie ruled “there is sufficient cause to believe that Mr. Burkholder is guilty for each of the amended complaints.”
The jury trial is scheduled for August.