Jury doesn't believe convicted liar, acquits Kauffman's client
Attorney Katie Kauffman has won again, this time representing a defendant for whom a conviction could have resulted in not only jail time but deportation.
Attorney Kevin O’Brien assisted Kauffman at trial, which was April 13 in Clark County District Court.
Her client was charged with fourth-degree assault domestic violence for allegedly hitting the mother of his children in the face. There were no independent witnesses, and Kauffman was well-positioned to cast doubt on the alleged victim’s credibility.
First, the woman has a 2006 conviction for filing a false police report. Typically, judges rule that convictions older than 10 years cannot be used to try and discredit a witness. However, the judge in this case said that because the conviction was just three months past the 10-year mark, and there weren’t other witnesses the alleged victim’s credibility was a key issue and the jury should be able to consider that she has a conviction for lying.
The alleged victim also lied when she called 911. She said she was in her vehicle and had stopped at an intersection and the defendant just jumped out of a field and ran up to her vehicle and hit her. Then she told responding officers that the defendant had been in her vehicle, because she had picked him up. During a pre-trial interview, she said she told a different story to the 911 dispatcher because she believed there was a no-contact order between her and her ex and she thought she might get in trouble if she admitted she was with him.
She said she had picked up her ex because he had promised to give her rent money, even though they were no longer living together. He didn’t pay her money, though, and she got upset. Kauffman confirmed with her that now, as a reported victim of domestic violence, she's qualified to receive financial assistance to pay her rent.
Two officers who responded to the call said the woman’s ear did appear to be red where she claimed she was hit, but there were no other injuries.
Fourth-degree assault carries a penalty of up to one year in jail. Additionally, Kauffman’s client could have been deported upon conviction.