By Kaylee Pearlman
MODESTO, CA – A judge here in Stanislaus County Superior Court determined this week a purported grand theft case was more suited for civil proceedings and dismissed the case.
In the preliminary hearing, the alleged victim in the case testified his car was damaged by the accused when he serviced it at an auto repair shop.
On the witness stand, the victim claimed, “I noticed within the next day that it was leaking coolant and oil. I attempted to contact him [the accused] and instead he advised me I needed to sit down and set an appointment and reconsider the cost.”
The victim said they gathered a figure for the total losses from the auto repair company and provided it to the CA Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR).
The defense attorney did cross-examine the victim, and discovered there was a partner working alongside the accused on the vehicle.
A BAR representative made a brief appearance on the stand before Judge Linda McFadden posed the question, “How is this fraudulent?”
And the prosecutor didn’t answer.
Judge McFadden broke the silence with, “This seems more like a civil matter rather than criminal.” The prosecutor shuffled papers and the judge added, “I mean he gave the car back…without proving he had the intent to defraud…it’s more of a civil matter.”
Judge McFadden concluded there was not a sufficient amount of evidence to prove the accused had intent, bail was exonerated and the case was dismissed.