Judge Gives Parties More Time to Resolve Case Involving Man Who Slugged Unruly Halfway House Roommate

By Stephanie Boulos

SACRAMENTO, CA – Dion Nelson appeared before Judge Patrick Marlette in Sacramento County Superior Court Friday for further proceedings regarding an incident that occurred in a room and board halfway house and that resulted in Nelson’s arrest.

A witness described how the altercation was not initiated by the defendant, but rather by his roommate, who allegedly has a history of being very infuriating to the defendant to the point where Nelson spoke to the house manager about it on several occasions.

After the house manager saw that the defendant’s progress at the halfway home was being affected by his issues with his roommate, the manager began the process of attempting to relocate Nelson’s roommate.

However, after two instances of Nelson requesting his roommate be moved, an altercation occurred that was initiated by the defendant’s roommate, according to the witness.

In response to the roommate’s aggression, Nelson retaliated physically, and hit his roommate—which resulted in Nelson being arrested, and the roommate finally being transferred to a different location, the court was told.

Additionally, the representative from the halfway home said Dion has just started with a batterer’s treatment program and has had an independent living partner that is keeping him accountable by attending meetings.

However, it was revealed by Deputy District Attorney Colin Stephenson that the defendant had another case a few years back, in which, under similar circumstances with an unpleasant roommate, Dion fractured the jaw of another roommate.

It was also revealed through Judge Marlette and DDA Stephenson’s exchanges that the defendant’s original misdemeanor charge from 2017 was related to an incident involving robbery, disturbance with loud noise, and battery, where his victim was his mother.

The defendant, after this altercation, was awaiting a referral to a specific program regarding anger management, but has yet to receive it due to processing delays since February.

After Judge Marlette asked the home’s representative what aspects are protecting the public in the defendant’s treatment plan, the representative responded by saying Dion Nelson has never even had the opportunity to attend treatment.

After months of attempting to get the defendant into an anger management program, he was repeatedly denied due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With only Zoom courses available to the defendant, the representative explained how the treatment lacked effectiveness for the defendant.

As a result, the defendant was presented with a batterer’s treatment program, which he was unwilling to attend for several months until recently.

After hearing all of this, Judge Marlette spoke to the representative saying, “There are stressors that come with living with other people, and Nelson has his own stressors relating to that… and how that ends up is with someone hurt. Frankly, I have an obligation to the public as well.”

The representative, in defense of Nelson, explained that the defendant notified the house manager several times of the possibility of an altercation with his roommate.

With the defendant attending treatment, and doing his best to handle the stressors with his roommate, the public defender’s office spoke to the defendant’s progress and attempted to reach a resolution prior to conflict.

The PD also explained that it was not the defendant in this case who was the main aggressor, as explained by the report issued by his house manager, who was aware of the discontent between the defendant and his roommate for quite some time.

DDA Stephenson responded to the PD by arguing that there is a pattern dating back to 2017 of the defendant punching his mother and two roommates on different occasions, because of his anger with them, adding, the pattern displays lack of any progress made on the defendant’s part.

Judge Marlette concluded by finding that there is not a sufficient treatment plan to protect the public, and gave both the PD and the DDA until Aug. 19 to come up with a more effective treatment plan.

About The Author

I’m a second year Political Science and Philosophy major at UC Davis from Socal, hoping to pursue a career in law!

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