‘This Isn’t Just Me Throwing Darts,’ Judge Notes at Sentencing of Man Found Guilty of Domestic Violence

By Jake Romero 

DUBLIN, CA — “This isn’t just me throwing darts at a dart board or something, there’s factors that apply,” said Alameda County Superior Court Judge Thomas Stevens in the sentencing hearing of Joseph *** at the East County Hall of Justice Friday.

(Note: The Vanguard won’t identify the man being sentenced to protect the identity of minors.)

On Sept. 17, a jury found the 36-year-old *** guilty of two felony counts of bodily injury to a relationship partner. The charges relate to two separate incidents from July 2017 and February 2018.

Judge Stevens sentenced *** to three years of felony probation, 335 days in county jail and prohibited any form of contact with the victim for 10 years.

One factor of the sentencing was that *** violated the victim’s restraining order against him in October 2018, which is a misdemeanor. *** served eight months in jail for the offense.

Defense Attorney Nhgi Lam stated *** complied with the misdemeanor probation terms — including no contact with the victim — and had made positive changes in his life, such as enrolling in school.

Deputy District Attorney Lori Mullins said the court should consider the misdemeanor because it showed a pattern of behavior, but the time served and the probation compliance should not determine the felony sentences.

“I think he’s complying with what he’s supposed to be doing. I don’t think you get an additional benefit for complying with a court order,” DDA Mullins said.

Judge Stevens said his decision would “balance” the arguments about the misdemeanor. He also said the testimony of *** and the victim’s son played a role in his decision.

“I’ve never seen a nine-year-old like that,” Judge Stevens said. “I’ve seen a lot of other kids, unfortunately, when I had an assignment in family law. He was very impressive, and there’s no doubt that he really loves his dad and wants to be with his dad.”

*** must also make payments to a restitution fund, a domestic violence fund and a battered women’s shelter as part of his sentences.

The court will schedule a later hearing to determine the amount of restitution.

About The Author

Jake is a senior at UC Berkeley studying English & Journalism.

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