A jury needed only 20 minutes to reach a “not guilty” verdict in a recent domestic violence case in Clark County District Court.
Attorneys Devin Higgins and Amber Cognata won the Oct. 5 trial for a client accused of assaulting her ex-boyfriend. She was charged with fourth-degree assault, a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.
A video of the July 17 incident, filmed by the alleged victim’s adult daughter, showed our client and her ex arguing about infidelity. The alleged victim got splashed with water off-camera, and then our client appeared to make a slapping motion toward her ex’s face.
The alleged victim’s daughter called 911. When Clark County Sheriff’s deputies arrived he told them he did not want to be a victim and he did not want his ex-girlfriend to get into trouble. A deputy who viewed the video explained that under the state’s mandatory arrest laws for domestic violence he had no choice but to arrest our client.
At trial, the alleged victim said he was hit in the back of the head. Before he was hit, he said he had been calling his ex a whore, a cheating slut and a bitch. He said he hadn’t wanted law enforcement involved and didn’t tell his daughter to call 911. He also said that before our client showed up at his house he told her he was going to “destroy” her.
Neil Anderson and Marina Spencer won a trial in Clark County Superior Court for a client charged with one count of rape of a child in the first degree and two counts of child molestation in the first degree.
The jury returned the unanimous “not guilty” verdict on Aug. 18 after 5 ½ hours of deliberation.
Afterward, jurors said they didn’t even get around to discussing the details of the allegations. They didn’t make it that far because they couldn’t even agree the state had proved what is typically a very easy hurdle for the state to clear: jurisdiction.
The Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office can only prosecute crimes committed in Clark County. During the four-day trial, none of the state’s witnesses identified a location in Clark County where the alleged abuse occurred.