Attorneys Neil Anderson and Isabelle Askanas won a domestic violence trial this week in Clark County Superior Court for a client charged with felony harassment and misdemeanor assault.
The client was arrested last year after a woman he’d recently met called 911 and told responding Vancouver police officers that our client had forcefully shoved her and threatened to kill her with her own gun.
A conviction would have carried a sentence of up to eight months in jail.
The client testified that he met the woman through an online dating site. About a week after they met she picked him up in Portland and brought him home to Vancouver. He said they had got into an argument because he wanted her to drive him home, and she wanted him to stay at her residence. He said it was late, and after she told him she wasn’t going to drive him home, she said she was going outside. It was a cold October evening and he said he didn’t want her to go outside because she was barefoot and wearing only a nightgown.
A video from an interior security camera, which a deputy prosecuting attorney told jurors showed our client pushing the alleged victim, was really him trying to keep her from going out in the cold, he said. He did not intend to hurt her.
The client also testified he never threatened to shoot her. He was calm on the stand, even when the deputy prosecutor sarcastically asked if his memory of events was clearer now than it was ten months ago.
“Yes, because I’m fighting for my freedom now,” he replied.
As Anderson told jurors during closing arguments on Aug. 9, they didn’t just have two versions of what happened that October night: they had three.
The first version was what the alleged victim testified to at trial. The second version was his client’s and the third was what the alleged victim told responding police officers.