By Eric Rodriguez
LOMPOC, CA – “David” (not his true name)* was represented by defense attorney Michael Gazell this week in Santa Barbara County Superior Court, where his jury trial date was set in the shadow of a final plea offer made by Deputy District Attorney Nicholas Emmett Harmon.
*NOTE: The Vanguard is not publishing the name of the defendant to protect the identity of the juvenile victim.
David is charged with corporal injury to a child and battery, filed in June of this year. David has pleaded not guilty for both charges which were filed on Oct 1.
According to the prosecution, the incident in question deals with David and his teen daughter. DDA Harmon said David had been drinking at a party and, while he and his daughter were leaving, David and his daughter had an argument.
While there were no active witnesses that saw what occurred next, the daughter was allegedly struck by David on the back of the head when she was stepping into their vehicle to leave.
According to the police report, there was a visible indentation on the victim’s head where David allegedly struck her.
Gazell told the court that David doesn’t want to accept the conditions set by the People and wishes to take the matter to trial.
The offer from the prosecution was a plea to Count 1 of 120 days in jail with no objection to swap as a four-year probationary term with terms and conditions that amounted to David completing a year of a child abusers counseling program, no consumption of alcohol during the term of probation with search terms and testing terms, and a no-contact criminal protective order.
The judge then asked if they could start jury selection on Monday, but Gazell said he wanted a jury confirmation conference first to file motions, and extend the last day of trial to Jan 10, 2022.
The judge then asked if the defendant had a criminal history, which DDA Harmon confirmed that he did. Previous crimes concerned domestic violence and child endangerment along with other alcohol related offenses which go as far back as 2010.
The judge then set pretrial motions for a hearing Monday, Nov. 8. The judge also called for David to be present in court on Nov 8.
If a settlement cannot be reached on Monday, and a jury trial is called, the trial would be scheduled for either Nov. 12 or Nov. 15.