Video evidence admissible in Mirkarimi trial, judges rule 

click to enlarge Video testimony will be allowed in the domestic violence trial of Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. - SF EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • SF Examiner file photo
  • Video testimony will be allowed in the domestic violence trial of Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi.

A key piece of video evidence can be used as evidence in the upcoming domestic violence trial against San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, appellate division judges ruled today.

The three-judge panel from San Francisco Superior Court's appellate division had been considering whether to allow the use of a 55-second video recorded by a neighbor that reportedly shows Mirkarimi's wife Eliana Lopez crying and pointing to a bruise on her arm.

Mirkarimi, 50, faces misdemeanor domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness charges in connection with the Dec. 31 incident in which he allegedly grabbed Lopez's arm during an argument, causing the bruise.

Lopes has denied the charges against her husband, and after use of the video was allowed by Judge Garrett Wong last week, Lopez's attorney Paula Canny appealed Wong's decision to the appellate judges, arguing that it should be inadmissible because of attorney-client privilege.

Canny argued in her appeal that the neighbor, Ivory Madison, said on her book-selling website www.Redroom.com and elsewhere that she was "trained as an attorney," and that Lopez thought she was a licensed attorney.

Madison graduated law school but has not passed the bar exam and is not a licensed attorney.

Prosecutors, who have called the video the central part of their case against Mirkarimi, countered that they had never received any evidence of an attorney-client relationship between Madison and Lopez except for a declaration by Lopez included in a motion filed by Canny last week.

District attorney's office spokesman Omid Talai said, "We're pleased with the court's ruling and look forward to moving ahead with the trial."

Canny declined comment this morning, saying that she had not yet seen the judges' ruling.

Mirkarimi's defense attorney Lidia Stiglich has filed a separate motion regarding the video, arguing it should not be admissible because if Lopez does not testify in the trial, there is no way for Stiglich to cross-examine the alleged testimony from the video.

Stiglich has also filed a motion to move the trial to a different county, arguing that the extensive media coverage of the case has prevented Mirkarimi's ability to get a fair trial.

Wong, who is overseeing the case, has not yet ruled on those motions, but is scheduled to rule this afternoon on a motion by prosecutors to include University of California at Berkeley School of Law lecturer Nancy Lemon as an expert witness in the trial.

A key piece of video evidence can be used as evidence in the upcoming domestic violence trial against San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, appellate division judges ruled today.

 

The three-judge panel from San Francisco Superior Court's appellate division had been considering whether to allow the use of a 55-second video recorded by a neighbor that reportedly shows Mirkarimi's wife Eliana Lopez crying and pointing to a bruise on her arm.

 

Mirkarimi, 50, faces misdemeanor domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness charges in connection with the Dec. 31 incident in which he allegedly grabbed Lopez's arm during an argument, causing the bruise.

 

Lopes has denied the charges against her husband, and after use of the video was allowed by Judge Garrett Wong last week, Lopez's attorney Paula Canny appealed Wong's decision to the appellate judges, arguing that it should be inadmissible because of attorney-client privilege.

 

Canny argued in her appeal that the neighbor, Ivory Madison, said on her book-selling website www.Redroom.com and elsewhere that she was "trained as an attorney," and that Lopez thought she was a licensed attorney.

 

Madison graduated law school but has not passed the bar exam and is not a licensed attorney.

 

Prosecutors, who have called the video the central part of their case against Mirkarimi, countered that they had never received any evidence of an attorney-client relationship between Madison and Lopez except for a declaration by Lopez included in a motion filed by Canny last week.

 

District attorney's office spokesman Omid Talai said, "We're pleased with the court's ruling and look forward to moving ahead with the trial."

 

Canny declined comment this morning, saying that she had not yet seen the judges' ruling.

 

Mirkarimi's defense attorney Lidia Stiglich has filed a separate motion regarding the video, arguing it should not be admissible because if Lopez does not testify in the trial, there is no way for Stiglich to cross-examine the alleged testimony from the video.

 

Stiglich has also filed a motion to move the trial to a different county, arguing that the extensive media coverage of the case has prevented Mirkarimi's ability to get a fair trial.

 

Wong, who is overseeing the case, has not yet ruled on those motions, but is scheduled to rule this afternoon on a motion by prosecutors to include University of California at Berkeley School of Law lecturer Nancy Lemon as an expert witness in the trial.

About The Author

Examiner Staff

Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Monday, Sep 15, 2014

Videos

Related to Crime & Courts

© 2014 The San Francisco Examiner

Website powered by Foundation