Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s wife will honor a court order to appear at her husband’s domestic violence trial, her attorney said Monday, but will not testify unless granted immunity from prosecution.
Eliana Lopez has been named as a potential witness at Mirkarimi’s trial, scheduled to take place later this month, on charges he battered her during a New Year’s Eve argument while the couple’s 2-year-old son was present.
Mirkarimi has pleaded not guilty to three misdemeanors: domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness.
Lopez’s attorney Paula Canny said her client would not stray from her assertion that her husband did not abuse her.
“Complying with the subpoena doesn’t mean she’s going to cooperate with the prosecution,” Canny said. “She’s not going to be their tool.”
Canny said she wants assurances that prosecutors do not file charges against Lopez for the incident, or she will advise her client to assert her Fifth Amendment right not to testify.
“That discussion is premature, and we prefer to handle those matters in the courtroom,” District Attorney’s Office spokesman Omid Talai said.
Canny said Monday she has not yet met with prosecutors to discuss the case, but Talai disputed that, saying that there had been discussions earlier that day, in a continued attempt by prosecutors to speak with Lopez.
“We were informed that we would not be allowed to speak with or interview her client,” Talai said. “Our door remains open to Ms. L or any other witnesses.”
Lopez has stated publicly that the New Year’s Eve incident was taken out of context and that the prosecution of her husband, the progressive former District 5 supervisor, is politically motivated.
Last Wednesday, a judge granted Mirkarimi visitation rights to see his son during the course of the criminal case. Mirkarimi is still barred from contact with Lopez under a stay-away order.
Next Steps in the Case
Feb. 22: Pretrial hearing, which serves as an opportunity to either settle the case or confirm trial date.
Feb. 24: Trial