Kauffman wins another "not guilty" verdict
Attorney Katie Kauffman won an acquittal this week for a client and the stakes were extra high, as a criminal conviction could have created immigration problems for her client.
A jury deliberated about 30 minutes on Aug. 3 at the end of a daylong trial in Clark County District Court.
Kauffman's client was charged with assault in the fourth degree domestic violence, a gross misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail. It's also an offense for which a person can be deported, and would have precluded her client from becoming a U.S. citizen.
In May, a witness called 911 and said she had just got off work and was in her car when she saw a man punch a woman in the parking lot. The woman was knocked to the ground. Police officers responded and spoke to Kauffman's client and his girlfriend, who initially told officers that she was not injured and she didn't want her boyfriend to be arrested. She later acknowledged that he had pushed her and she had fallen.
At trial the alleged victim said she and her boyfriend shoved each other, but he never punched her.
Footage from a surveillance video showed that there was more to the story. It showed the alleged victim showing up at her boyfriend's restaurant at closing time and chasing one of her boyfriend's coworkers around the parking lot. Kauffman's client testified that he was trying to calm down his girlfriend -- who had suspected he was cheating on her with his coworker -- and she started to punch and shove him, so he put his hands out to stop her from assaulting him.
During closing arguments, Kauffman told jurors she didn't think that the independent witness who called 911 was lying, but said the witness could have made a mistake. It was dark, and she was watching from inside her vehicle, Kauffman said.
Meanwhile, her client's version of events was corroborated by the video footage.