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Askanas, Swisher win District Court trial

Isabelle Askanas and Matthew Swisher won a trial Sept. 8 for a client charged with misdemeanor assault and malicious mischief.

A Clark County District Court jury deliberated about 40 minutes before returning not-guilty verdicts on charges of fourth-degree assault and third-degree malicious mischief, both gross misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in jail.

At the time of his arrest, the client was living in the alleged victim’s house. She was upset that he had a friend over and went to his bedroom to ask him when he was going to move out. She said the client got upset and shoved her so hard she fell down and got hurt. She also said he broke off a door knob, which was why he was charged with malicious mischief.

At the time of the client’s arrest, the homeowner told police officers that she had wanted the client to move out of her house and she even hesitated acknowledging that he had been living there because she knew that if he had established residency it would be more difficult to get him to move out. One officer even noted that both the client and alleged victim appeared to be giving “self-serving” statements about what happened.

At trial, Swisher cross-examined the alleged victim and pointed out numerous inconsistencies in her retelling of the incident.

The client testified, and under questioning by Askanas, was able to tell the jury his side of the story.

He said that the alleged victim was upset because he had a friend over and she wanted him to move out. The night of his arrest, she had pounded on his bedroom door, waking him up. He said he locked the door and she pulled on the door so hard she broke the door knob and also fell backward. He said he never touched her and she injured herself when she fell. He left the residence to get away from her, and that’s when she called 911.

Tags: criminal law, not guilty, assault, Clark County, malicious mischief

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