By Paloma Sifuentes
MODESTO, CA – Testimony of the victim and the accused’s mother—also the victim’s mother—conflicted here this week in Stanislaus County Superior Court in the preliminary hearing for Trine Joseph Perales.
Perales is being charged with assault with a deadly weapon June 23, 2022, in the residence of the accused, his mother, and the victim, who is also his brother.
The accused’s mother said she heard commotion coming from the hallway and said she saw the victim “attacking his brother (Trine) with a baseball bat.”
Judge Carrie Stephens repeatedly gave warnings to the mother, noting, “I’m gonna stop you right there…it’s very important you just listen to the questions, and only answer the questions, don’t offer more information than the question calls for.”
The mother said the accused wasn’t armed, and saw her youngest son (victim) walk toward the accused who was in his room, while swinging the bat. She then stated that her oldest son, Trine, looked around his room to grab an object to block his brother’s baseball bat swinging toward him.
The mother then added this object was a machete with “a cover on it, (her son) never removed the cover (but) it fell off.”
She said the accused was holding the machete over his face to cover it to block the bat swinging toward him, adding the victim cut his fingers when “he went to swing the bat, he went into the blade.”
The victim said he was sleeping the night of the incident and got up to use the bathroom. When he exited the bathroom he said he saw the accused staring at him from his room, explaining, “He had his bedroom door open, he was just staring at me…he looked intoxicated.”
The victim said he then returned to his room and was about to close his door when he and his brother started to argue. The victim said he wanted to return to bed but his brother crossed the hallway and tried to attack him.
“I grabbed the bedroom door shut to protect myself…he was pounding on the door repeatedly. I was applying force to keep him out,” said the victim, who added when the pounding stopped the victim opened the door and saw his brother standing by his own bedroom door, and the victim realized that his bedroom door was broken from all the force from both of them applying pressure.
The victim testified, “I yelled at her (the mother) to let her know what was going on when I couldn’t shut my door to go back to sleep,” but he said he then noticed the accused going into his bedroom around the door, holding a machete, which the victim said “looked about three to four feet long, big.”
The victim said the accused started swinging the machete up and down near his mother’s left shoulder and stated, “I was in shock.” He then swung his bat, avoiding his mother, and cut his hand on the machete.
He told the court he sliced his thumb vertically and his ring, middle and pinky fingers were cut and were “practically hanging.”
Judge Stephens noted the two different stories that were given under oath by the witnesses, calling them “two entirely different stories.” She found the accused should be held for trial, with an arraignment date of Jan. 31.