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Pitts wins DV trial in District Court

Attorney Taylor Pitts won an acquittal Aug. 24 in Clark County District Court for a client charged with domestic violence assault.

The alleged victim -- the client’s girlfriend and the mother of his two children -- did not show up for the trial. Since she did not show up to testify, the statement she wrote for police officers detailing the assault was not admissible.

The client was arrested April 23 after his 8-year-old stepson called 911 and said his dad had punched his mother. The client got on the phone with the dispatcher and said he’d been trying to leave the residence and his girlfriend wouldn’t let him leave.

Officers from the Vancouver Police Department responded and determined the client was the aggressor in the fight. They photographed the alleged victim’s injuries but did not photograph the client’s injuries. The client was charged with fourth-degree assault, a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

The client testified that he acted in self-defense and that he didn’t want his girlfriend to get in trouble with the police because she’s the mother of his children.

During closing argument, Pitts told jurors that police officers did a poor job of collecting evidence by not photographing her client’s injuries. She said if the alleged victim had shown up the jury could have heard her side of the story, and by not showing up it deprived her client of his right to confront his accuser in court.

The six-member jury deliberated approximately an hour before returning the not-guilty verdict.

Tags: criminal law, not guilty, domestic violence, Clark County

Jeffrey D. Barrar, P.S.: Vancouver Defenders Jeffrey D. Barrar, P.S.
Vancouver Defenders