Cole wins acquittal in domestic violence case
Attorney Grant Cole won an acquittal this week for a client charged with criminal trespass in the first degree and malicious mischief in the third degree.
A six-member jury deliberated 30 minutes before unanimously voting “not guilty” on both charges. The daylong trial on June 28 in Clark County District Court came three months after a judge ruled the lead police officer would not be allowed to testify due to prosecutorial misconduct by an assistant Vancouver city attorney.
The trial had previously been scheduled for March 2. Two nights before trial, the police officer, under the direction of the prosecutor, called Cole’s client and questioned her without Cole’s knowledge.
In a subsequent hearing Cole argued the case should be dismissed. While Judge Chad Sleight agreed with Cole that questioning the defendant without her attorney present was a clear violation of her right to counsel and he was “outraged” by the misconduct, he decided the remedy would be to keep the police officer off the witness stand.
Even without his lead officer, the assistant city attorney went ahead and took the case to trial.
Cole, who spoke to jurors after the verdict, said they felt there were just too many questions that the prosecutor was unable to answer for them to find his client guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Cole’s client was accused of going into her ex-boyfriend’s home, while nobody was there, and breaking a decorative item that was on the porch. Her ex-boyfriend’s mother, who lives next door, testified that she saw her son’s ex go into the home. The prosecutor also showed the jury text messages, purportedly from Cole’s client, that the prosecutor said were admissions of guilt.
But jurors also heard that there’s a child custody battle between Cole’s client and her ex-boyfriend, which would be motivation for the witness to lie, and Cole argued the prosecutor didn’t have solid evidence that the text messages came from his client.
Furthermore, Cole’s client’s friend testified that he’d been staying with her during the time of the alleged crime and she had been at home with him.
Had Cole’s client been convicted of the crimes, both gross misdemeanors, she could have faced up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.