Child Abuse Trial Set for April Start – Judge Said Evidence Gives Her ‘Pause’

By Ozzy Hernandez

DUBLIN, CA – It was yet another busy day in Alameda County at the East County Hall of Justice, and among many felonies and misdemeanors heard this past week, the case of Shawanda Black—called “unruly” by the judge—stood out.

Black, a former resident of San Leandro, was arrested in 2020 for allegedly torturing and isolating her nine-year old child. She faces felony child abuse charges as well as domestic violence charges, including false imprisonment.

She currently remains in custody because she is “unruly” and “hostile,” according to the Judge Michelle Ynegas.

Black has yet to post $500,000 bail and remains housed at Santa Rita Jail.

Since then, Black has gone through multiple public defenders and eventually acquired the services of private attorney, James Bennett Rodriguez.

He was in court for a pretrial hearing and quickly motioned to suppress numerous pieces of evidence in the case such as photographs and even the doctor’s testimony.

The defense also called for the word “victim” be suppressed.

Although the judge agreed it’s sensitive in court, she denied the motion without prejudice, indicating that the prosecution may use it if there’s not a valid objection.

In addition, Judge Ynegas denied the defense’s motion to suppress testimony from the doctor who examined the child.

This was in response to a charged statement made by the doctor to the investigator officer during the former’s interview—both of whom are set to testify in the next hearing, according to the defense.

The prosecution denied these claims, saying it’s “hearsay.”

Judge Ynegas eventually ruled the doctor will indeed testify and present his professional findings without injecting his personal judgment, noting she’s interested in hearing his findings because photos she’s already seen gave her “pause.”

Opening statements are set to begin April 6.

About The Author

Ozzy is a fifth year college student double majoring in Political Science and Performing Arts at CSU Channel Islands. He plans on attending law school and become an attorney. On his free time, he loves to indulge in the theater and embark on outdoor adventures

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