By Anya Chen and Alex Klimenko
RIVERSIDE, CA – After allegedly kicking in a door and breaking a window, Ricardo Aguirre found himself in trial here in Riverside County Superior Court last week, where he was charged with vandalism.
“This is going to be a very simple case, a very fast case,” Deputy District Attorney Thomas Farnell said in his opening statement.
He was right. The jury came back with a guilty verdict this week. Aguirre’s sentencing is set for August.
DDA Farnell gave context to previous interactions that the defendant and victim had in the past, then stated that upon hearing loud booms and kicking noises at the door and a crash of glass breaking, the victim walked over to the front door and saw the defendant outside walking away.
“It will be clear beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant went over there and maliciously damaged someone else’s property,” DDA Farnell said, “and that damage was over $400.”
Deputy Public Defender Charles Roby declined to give an opening statement.
DDA Farnell called the first witness, who claimed to have heard the front door being kicked in “about five times.”
DDA Farnell then asked, “What happened, if anything, when the door was being kicked?”
“The door swung open and that’s when I screamed at him, and then by the time I got outside he was in the middle of the yard,” the witness answered, and additionally confirmed that it was the defendant who had been kicking the door.
DPD Roby focused his cross-examination on the layout of the house where the alleged crime occurred, as well as where the witness was during the incident.
The second witness called by DDA Farnell was questioned about prior incidents the witness had with the defendant. The witness claimed to have “about a total of six incidents,” some of which had been violent.
In his cross-examination, DPD Roby asked if the witness preferred that the defendant lived somewhere else and if he believed he was “problematic,” to both of which the witness answered, “Yes.”
DPD Roby then asked about the condition of the door that the defendant allegedly kicked.
The defendant’s father was then called by DDA Farnell as the next witness, and was questioned for the reasoning behind the repairs he had paid for to the victim’s house.
“I did that because they are my neighbors and I want to be on good terms with them,” the defendant’s father said. He acknowledged that he purchased a new door from Home Depot as well as a new window for the victim.
When DPD Roby asked him if he sought “more than one quote for obtaining a new window,” the witness answered, “No.”