By Catherine Hamilton
RIVERSIDE, CA — Opening statements were made here to a jury this week in Riverside County Superior Court in a domestic abuse case—the court was told the parties still live with each other and are romantically involved.
According to the information provided by Deputy District Attorney Heidi Kim, the suspect, Jeffrey Alessi, allegedly pushed his partner in a grocery store parking lot after a verbal argument between them on July 13, 2018.
The day of the alleged assault consisted of Alessi driving the victim to a doctor’s appointment, and then to Walgreens and a grocery store parking lot. Deputy Public Defender Sabrina Meng said Alessi was driving his partner’s car with her permission.
In the grocery store, Alessi wanted to buy a six-pack of beer, but DPD Meng said that his partner did not want him to drink because of an event they had the next day. After that is when they got into a verbal argument, according to the parties.
DPD Meng said that, while Alessi’s partner gave a statement to the detectives that she sustained bruises and wrist swelling after being pushed to the ground, she did not want to follow through with a prosecution nor did she seek medical attention.
Additionally, DPD Meng said that the couple often got into arguments, especially when Alessi wanted to break up with her.
In reference to the victim’s statement, DDA Kim said she did not know whether or not the victim’s testimony on the witness stand would align with the statement she gave to detectives. According to DDA Kim, Alessi and the victim still live together, and are still in a romantic relationship.
Alessi is charged with domestic battery under California Penal Code section 273.5(a), which makes it illegal to inflict corporal injury that resulted in a traumatic condition for the victim.
The court said the trial will likely consist of witnesses of the altercation, possibly people who are familiar with their relationship, and evidence on the state of their relationship. However, it is not known for sure what each side will present until evidence is presented to the court.
“It’s not just a ‘he said, she said’ situation,” DPD Meng said. She told the jury to keep an open mind during all the evidence they see during this trial.
The trial is ongoing this week in Department 34.