By Eshita Seshadri
SACRAMENTO, CA – Two witnesses—the victim and a friend of the accused person—testified in a preliminary hearing here this week in Sacramento County Superior Court about an alleged knife-wielding robbery attempt by Lorraine Cantrell.
On Sept. 4, Cantrell and her friend were together at a local parking lot in Stockton, allegedly throwing knives at the ground when Cantrell, according to witnesses, approached a woman rolling a food cart, allegedly threatening her and demanding money with two knives in both hands.
In her friend’s cross-examination, he stated that he had known Cantrell for a year but did not recall her name, and that he saw her approach the lady with the food cart while the knives were stuck in the ground.
The witness also stated that Cantrell asked the cart lady how much the food on her cart was worth, and that Cantrell yelled “something racist” to the woman pushing the cart, but did not recall what exactly she said.
The victim, or the cart lady in this case, also gave a testimony in court with the assistance of a Spanish interpreter.
In her testimony, she stated that Cantrell’s friend asked her about shaved ice, but when she approached them they did not state anything so she kept walking until she realized Cantrell was behind her.
The alleged victim said the defendant had two knives pointed toward her, and that the only words she could understand that Cantrell was saying were “money, money.”
She then stated that she attempted to move to a business, but did not because she knew they would not understand Spanish. She then stayed and called a man from the local store who had previously bought food from her.
That man then contacted the police who arrived shortly.
During cross-examination, the victim was questioned by Assistant Public Defender Carolyn Stacey Miller about her level of fear, pointing out to the court that she only knew Cantrell was saying the word “money” and
“was afraid to move because I thought she was going to stab me with the knife.”
It was made known to the court that Cantrell has had a long history of mental health issues and is seeking treatment.
Despite such arguments, Judge James P. Arguelles found that, given the defendant’s previous felony charges of threatening an individual with a knife, vandalism, drug possession, reckless burning, “there was clear and convincing evidence that no condition or accommodation would assure public safety.”
Cantrell was remanded to custody with no bail. Jury trial was set for Dec. 6.