RV Assault Leaves Questions about Second Unidentified Assailant

By Dario McCarty

SACRAMENTO, CA – Here in Sacramento County Superior Court, at a preliminary hearing, a judge determined Lisa Stamps would stand trial on the felony count of assault with a deadly weapon. Her trial is set for September.

According to Chris Contrelli, a legal intern representing the Sacramento District Attorney’s office, the victim was sleeping in a friend’s RV camper when Stamps and an unidentified male assailant allegedly entered the camper and began beating him with a blunt metal object.

In order to corroborate this version of events, Contrelli called forward police officer Trevor Schwertfeger, who had responded to the victim’s emergency call, as a witness to the stand.

Schwertfeger testified that members of the trauma team at the UC Davis Medical Center stated that the victim had had a fractured wrist and several other lacerations on his scalp as a result of this attack.

Schwertfeger further testified that when he arrived at the scene, the victim said that while he recognized one of the assailants as Stamps, whom he had “seen around” briefly before, he did not recognize the other attacker.

However, when DDA Contrelli asked Schwertfeger what, precisely, it was that the victim had said that Stamps had done during the attack, Schwertfeger responded that the victim was not clear.

“He wasn’t 100 percent clear on which of the two individuals was striking him with a metal object … he referred to the incident with the word ‘they’ several times,” said Schwertfeger.

After this, Contrelli called forward a second police officer, Officer Nicholas Raleigh, who had been the one to arrest Stamps, to testify on the stand. Raleigh testified that someone had given the police a tip that Stamps could be found in a green Mitsubishi SUV, and officers had found a vehicle matching the description.

When Stamps stepped out of the vehicle, Raleigh testified that a metal rod fell out of her lap and onto the ground outside of the vehicle.

However, as Stamps’ defense attorney Assistant Public Defender Sameera Ali pointed out during cross-examination, there was no blood or other signs of force on the metal rod.

According to Raleigh’s testimony, when Stamps was then arrested, she had stated that she was “happy” that the defendant had had to go to the hospital due to the attack because he had been “messing with her son.”

During cross-examination, PD Ali zeroed in on this, stating to Raleigh that her client had indicated that the victim had been “sleeping with her son.”

However, Raleigh apparently did not see the statement that way. “My understanding of the statement was that he was ‘messing’ with her son. I don’t know if that meant a sexual relationship, but that’s not how I understood it,” said Raleigh.

The public defender also highlighted that the other assailant in the case had still not been found, and was a crucial missing piece of the case, especially considering that the victim was not clear on precisely which of the two assailants had perpetrated the attack.

However, DDA Intern Contrelli disagreed. “The presence of another defendant does not counter this conduct, does not dilute it, does not detract from it,” said Contrelli.

Ultimately, for the purposes of a probable cause hearing, Judge Stephen Acquisto decided that there was probable cause to continue holding the defendant in custody and set a trial date for Sept. 8.

About The Author

Dario is a rising junior at UC Berkeley studying Political Economy and English who is passionate about criminal justice reform.

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