By Amy Berberyan
MODESTO, CA – Judge Shawn Bessey changed the accused’s burglary charge to a battery charge after witness testimony here at a preliminary hearing last Friday in Stanislaus County Superior Court.
The accused originally faced an initial burglary charge after an incident that took place on Aug. 6.
The testifying witness, employed as store security, claimed the accused and a male conspirator behaved aggressively toward him. This included swearing and threatening inside the store.
Outside the store, in the parking lot, the store security witness said the male conspirator was “pushing and shoving,” and ultimately “throwing strikes and kicking [him] in the leg.”
After this physical altercation the accused and her conspirator went north to their vehicle, and drove south, said the witness.
The burglary charge includes two cases of soda the male conspirator allegedly damaged, and which the store could no longer sell. The accused took an alleged third case of soda with her purchased items and stored it in the car, said the witness.
Stanislaus Public Defender Komnith Moth clarified the witness was “wearing regular clothes” rather than his security and clothes, and that he had his badge “on the front of [his] waistband.”
When the witness followed the accused, he said the accused claimed “the cashier failed to get the sodas,” since the sodas were stored on the bottom of the shopping cart.
PD Moth stated there was no direct evidence or testimony “the accused took the sodas without paying for them,” so there was no direct evidence of theft.
Judge Bessey agreed, but added that there was evidence of “active violence,” noting there was “certainly evidence a crime [had] been committed, and that would be a battery on [the witness].”