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As District Court trials resume, Liss wins quick acquittal

Trials in Clark County District Court resumed this month after being on hold due to the pandemic, and attorney Stephen Liss wasted little time picking up a not-guilty verdict.

A jury needed only 15 minutes to deliberate after hearing the evidence in the March 10 trial.

Liss’ client was accused of domestic violence assault against his adult son. The client, 48, was arrested in November after his wife called 911 to report he had locked her out of the house and she had called their son, 29, to come over and help her get into the residence.

The wife, who did not show up to testify at trial, told the 911 dispatcher she wanted deputies to come because she said her son was “trying to detain” his father. When asked by the dispatcher if anyone had been assaulted she said no.

Arriving deputies from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office found the father and son in the backyard. The father was on the ground and his son was sitting on top of him.

The son explained he had tried to go through an open window at the back of the house in order to get inside and unlock the door for his mother. He said his dad came over to the window and pushed him back. The son said he did not remember if his father used one or two hands to push him, and he was not hurt when he was pushed.

He said his father threw a flower pot at him, but missed. He said he threw the base of the pot and hit his father with it. His father then came charging outside but slipped and fell, and that’s when he sat on him to keep him on the ground.

Deputies noted that Liss’ client smelled of intoxicants and that his son was “clearly not hurting” him by holding him on the ground. One deputy wrote in his report that the son “appeared to be nervous of letting go of his father.”

At trial, Liss emphasized that his client's son did not have his permission to come through the window. He asked a deputy about what rights a homeowner has if someone is trying to come into his home without his permission. Would the homeowner be within his rights to push that person?

Yes, the deputy said.

Had Liss’ client been convicted of the assault, a gross misdemeanor, he could have faced up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Tags: criminal law, not guilty, domestic violence

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