Witness in Murder Trial Testifies Previously Lied to Law Enforcement in a Drug-Induced State

By Shady Gonzales & Nora Dahl

MODESTO, CA – Joseph Bland began another day of trial here in Stanislaus County Superior Court Monday, where he is accused of murdering another man by stabbing on Aug. 19, 2021.

Bland had previously made an offer to the prosecution to serve 15 years in prison in an attempt to settle the case. However, Bland rescinded his offer and opted to proceed with a jury trial.

See: https://www.davisvanguard.org/2022/03/jury-trial-continues-for-man-accused-of-stabbing-victim-in-2021-fight/

Judge Dawna Reeves asked the prosecution if they were willing to further negotiate the deal and offered the lunch hour to consider and confirm the possibility. The prosecutor declined the offer.

The first witness took the stand, noting they had been partaking in an on and off relationship with Bland at the time that the stabbing occurred. The witness also had maintained a relationship with another man at the same time.

The night that the stabbing occurred, the witness said they met with Bland in the other man’s vehicle. Bland and the witness had taken methamphetamine the night that the incident occurred.

While together, the witness received an emergency alert that a stabbing had occurred. After receiving the alert, the witness recalled being concerned that they would be found with Bland by the other man.

The witness confirmed that they had hallucinated before while on drugs such as methamphetamine. The witness testified that they did not remember telling a store clerk Bland had kidnapped them on the night of the incident.

They also had told the police and the store clerk that Bland had forced them into the car, that Bland had admitted to stabbing someone, and that they were scared of Bland on that night.

The witness testified that they were all lies while under oath that they had told in order to avoid being caught with Bland by the other man with which they had a relationship.

The witness claimed that they do not love Bland but they do care for him, and testified they were not lying and simply did not want Bland to get sentenced for something that he did not do.

The witness then said they originally told law enforcement Bland had thrown a knife into the back seat of the car. In a state of sobriety, the witness now asserted on the stand it was not a knife but a meth pipe and a wallet that Bland had thrown.

Suddenly bursting into tears, the witness told Judge Reeves that they did not want to hurt Bland.

Judge Reeves looked concerned. The judge asked the witness if they needed a minute after audible sobs were heard.

About The Author

Nora Dahl is a second year History of Public Policy and Law major, and English minor, at UC Santa Barbara. She enjoys writing, advocating for social justice, and pyschology. Nora speaks fluent Norwegian and English. She plans to graduate Spring 2024, and hopes to attend law school.

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