By Tori Gacutan
MODESTO, CA – Despite halting, and sometimes confusing, testimony by the alleged victim here last week in Stanislaus County Superior Court, a woman was bound over to trial for grand theft after her preliminary hearing.
Aurora Maddocks began questioning the victim, “Where do you work?” But even that was a difficult question.
In response, the victim stated, “At a company” and proceeded to be taken aback. She then said, “They have it, (the information of my work) don’t they?”
The prosecutor went on to tell the victim, “Just tell us where you were.”
“It was about a half an hour from here, where we were working,” the victim replied. Then she went on to say, “I am really confused. I only know the address of where I used to work.”
When questioned further about where the victim worked on June 20, 2022, she replied, “I forget.”
The court was visibly frustrated after hearing this information. The prosecutor asked the victim, “Did you talk to the police on June 21, 2022?” The victim then replied, “I did not because I did not have a phone.”
The testimony came to an abrupt half, and Judge Linda A. McFadden stepped in to help facilitate the conversation, asking, “The question is, did you talk to the police on June 21, 2022?” After some consideration, the victim responded, “Yes, when my boss called me to go to the office.”
Moving forward, the prosecutor asks the victim, “What city did you work in on that day?” The victim explained she did not work and instead, she worked the next day.
Judge Linda McFadden then suggested that the prosecutor pose this question: “What did you talk to the police about?”
The victim said, “Only about if I wanted to go to court because of the stealing of the phone. It was just if I wanted to come about the stealing of the phone and if I wanted to get my phone back.”
Finally, the big question was posed to the victim: “What happened to your phone, last June, if anything?”
The victim replied, “When I went on break (from work), I couldn’t find my phone, I couldn’t find my wallet,” and added, “It’s an iPhone 13. It costs about $4,300.”
Focusing back on her wallet, the victim explained that there was a “handkerchief, coins, and money.” She went on to further explain, “I just realized that my key to my room was also there,” and added, “I just cried because it cost a lot of money.”
The prosecuting attorney then asked, “Do you know if anybody took your wallet and your phone?”
The victim explained, “Yes, because the cameras captured the person. They (her work) showed it (the camera footage) to me.”
The prosecutor asked, “Did you see the person who took your wallet and your phone?” The victim replied, “Yes, everything.”
As a final question, the prosecuting attorney asked the victim if she gave permission to the accused to have her phone, and the victim responded, “No.”
The defense attorney asked the victim, “How do you know that the person that you saw on the surveillance footage is the defendant?”
The victim replied, “Because she was the person who picked up the wallet and she was wearing those clothes.”
Judge McFadden then queried the victim, asking, “She was wearing the same clothes as she is wearing today in court?” The victim replied, “I think so.”
At this point, Judge McFadden stopped the preliminary hearing, and ruled the accused, Maira Magana, was guilty of a felony of a grand theft and should be held accountable at trial for her actions.