By Marilin Ayon and Angela Patel
RIVERSIDE, CA – A Sheriff’s Deputy was questioned three times here in Riverside County Superior Court Tuesday by a deputy district attorney, and twice by a public defender concerning what he knew about injuries stemming from domestic violence in a Motel 6 room.
Defendant Rodrick Ladarrell Reed was arrested on Oct. 13, 2019 for allegedly inflicting corporal injury on the mother of his daughter, here referred to as the “victim.”
At 3:49 a.m. that night, the victim called 911 to filed a complaint against Reed, who she claimed was “outside, banging on the door” during the time of the phone call.
According to the call recording, the victim had been out drinking with friends before Reed allegedly approached, accusing her of cheating. In a rage, the defendant allegedly punched the victim in the face.
The alleged incident and 911 call both occurred at a Motel 6, in a room with a single bed and a bathroom. The victim’s two year old daughter was also present at the scene.
Hon. Judge Jacqueline Jackson presided over the hearings today.
The prosecution’s first witness, Deputy R. Roach, was the officer who responded to the 911 dispatch about the domestic violence incident at the Motel 6, and observed the victim’s injuries, and interviewed to the young child.
He described the victim’s daughter, who he called “very cute,” as “extremely frightened,” saying that she was shaking, crying, and had vomited on the bed in the room. According to Deputy Roach, the daughter was terrified but did not have any visible injuries.
The victim reported during her 911 call that she had been drinking that night. Roach described seeing two empty bottles of alcohol on the floor of the motel room.
When Deputy District Attorney Veronica Mittino asked the witness about the injuries he had observed on the victim, he mentioned a swollen, cut lip, a “small cut with coagulated blood” on the right side of her cheek, swelling on her cheek, abrasions and redness on her neck, and abrasions on her knee.
Roach said that the swelling on the victim’s cheek looked “like someone who had just had Botox injections” because of the stiffness of her cheeks and her “slight inability to smile.”
When Public Defender Patricia G. Mejia asked how he knew about Botox, Deputy Roach laughed and responded that he knew about it “from the movies.”
Both DDA Mittino and PD Mejia asked numerous questions about these injuries. Mittino attempted to show that these injuries were similar to those sustained by many domestic violence victims, while Mejia implied that the injuries could have been a result of the victim’s intoxication or other unrelated causes.
After observing the victim and her child, Deputy Roach reported seeking an emergency protective order for the young child and contacting Child Protective Services.
After the protective order was obtained, Roach drove across the street to a Denny’s parking lot, where he said he did surveillance for an hour to see if Reed would return to the Motel 6.
About an hour later, Roach said he saw a man who matched the description of the defendant that he had received from the dispatch. Deputy Roach eventually identified the man as Rodrick Reed using his driver’s license and arrested him in the parking lot of the Motel 6.
Roach photographed the defendant at the time of arrest, and noted that Reed had no visible injuries, including on his hands.
Mejia took several minutes to ask about the presence of injuries on the defendant at the time of the arrest, and the witness seemed confused at multiple points about the wording of her questions. “You and I are speaking in double negatives,” Mejia said, sounding exasperated after continued confusion.
Testimony will continue.