Trial Proceeds – Wife Testifies Husband Assaulted Her While Driving Vehicle on Freeway

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By Lois Yoo 

 

ALAMEDA, CA – David Whittney Afufinau’s wife shared her testimony regarding the alleged abuse she has experienced from her husband over the years at a trial here of Afufinau—facing battery and vandalism charges—in Alameda County Superior Court last week.

On Dec. 27, 2020, the defendant’s wife said she called 911 to report abuse from her husband, and on the call, according to the story presented in court, the victim can be heard saying, “You need to calm down,” while Afufinau tells her to “shut the f*ck up.”

Afufinau’s wife can be heard sobbing while on the 911 call, letting the 911 dispatcher know that Afufinau was using drugs or alcohol.

Right before this incident at their home in Hayward, they attended a Christmas party at Afufinau’s sister’s home. Both Afufinau and his wife had been drinking alcohol. 

Leaving their seven-year-old daughter at her aunt’s home, Afufinau and his wife decided to drive back. The court learned no one tried to stop Afufinau from driving even though he had been drinking throughout the party. 

Afufinau’s wife claimed that Afufinau had slapped her in the face twice while he was driving home on the freeway. 

Prosecutor James Logan, who had been sharing audio clips of the victim’s 911 phone calls, also shared photographs displaying a red mark on the alleged victim’s face right below her eye. 

The tapes reveal both Afufinau and his wife were cursing at each other during the drive home.

Afufinau’s wife also claimed that Afufinau had tried to grab her phone and eventually did gain possession and threw it out of the car. Afufinau’s wife did scratch his hand when he was trying to take her phone away.

Once they got home where the victim’s mother, aunt, and uncle also lived, the fight continued and Afufinau allegedly ended up throwing a Christmas present package at his wife’s face. 

That is when Afufinau’s wife told her mother to call the police.

This incident last year was not the only time Afufinau’s wife experienced abuse from him and had to call the police, she said, noting a Jan. 21, 2016, similar incident occurred at the very same home. 

Afufinau was drunk and high from marijuana and was verbally abusive to his wife, she said. Afufinau’s wife claimed he had slapped her face “a couple times” with the front and back of his hand. She was able to block some of his attempts and kept telling him to “stop.”

Prosecutor Logan again showed photos of the victim’s injuries after the incident, and asked the victim, “Are you afraid of this man here in court” to which she replied, “Yes.”

Markedly, Logan’s question and the victim’s response were deemed illegal and stricken from the record following an objection from Defense Attorney Erin Ryan.

Attorney Ryan went on to note that the wife had initially told Ryan she did not know how much she had drunk and for how long she had been drinking at the party. However, now the victim was claiming she had five to six drinks from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The victim saw Afufinau have five glasses of wine. 

She stopped drinking two hours prior to leaving the party with her husband and claimed to still be feeling a bit drunk at that point.

Attorney Ryan asked the victim if it “made [her] angry and frustrated when David told [her] to shut the f*ck up.” Afufinau’s wife answered, “Yes.”

Attorney Ryan asked again, “You wanted to teach him a lesson. Is that right?” And Afufinau’s wife answered, “No.”

Afufinau and his wife are currently in the middle of divorce proceedings involving custody of their seven-year-old daughter. 

The victim claimed Afufinau was the one who decided to file for divorce and that they have not had any type of contact since December because they are no longer living with each other. 

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About The Author

Lois Yoo is a third year at UC Berkeley and is originally from Los Angeles, California.

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