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Client acquitted of assault, malicious mischief charges

Attorney Neil Anderson won a trial July 5 in Clark County District Court for a client charged with assault in the fourth degree and malicious mischief in the third degree.

The client was arrested April 10 after he tried to retrieve a cell phone that had belonged to his late brother, who had died approximately three weeks earlier. His brother had always allowed him to use the phone, he testified.

He told jurors he asked his late brother’s girlfriend for the phone and she refused to give it to him. The two were roommates at the time, and he went into her bedroom to get the phone. The alleged victim testified that he moved her out of the way to try and get into the bedroom. When she called 911 on April 10, she said she’d been thrown to the ground.

The alleged victim said she was pushed by the client and ended up with a bruise on her arm and rug burns but she wasn’t seriously injured in the scuffle. She even laughed a few times while recounting the story for the jury.

During a pretrial interview, the alleged victim said she didn’t want the case prosecuted.

Jurors were shown photographs of the bedroom door, which was damaged in two places. The client and the alleged victim told the jury different versions of how the bedroom door was damaged.

Anderson, who was assisted at trial by attorney Stephen Liss, told jurors during closing argument that while the Clark County deputy prosecuting attorney said his client was to blame for one of the marks, she didn’t have an explanation for the other mark.

His client testified that one of the marks was from the alleged victim, when she was trying to block him from going into her bedroom. Anderson said the prosecutor also failed to prove that his client intended to break the door, as the testimony was how he was just trying to open it while the alleged victim was trying to keep it closed.

The jury deliberated 30 minutes before returning the not-guilty verdicts.

Assault in the fourth degree and malicious mischief in the third degree are both gross misdemeanors, punishable by up to a year in jail.

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

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