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Lawhon wins DV assault trial

Attorney Andrew Lawhon won a trial this week in Clark County District Court for a client accused of domestic violence assault.

To hear the alleged victim’s 911 call, the case seemed solid for the prosecution: The woman sounded as if she was hyperventilating as she hysterically cried for help.

But hearing the whole story, as Lawhon told jurors during closing arguments of the Sept. 24 trial, recalled the idiom, “there’s no use in crying over spilled milk.”

In this case, swap cold coffee for milk.

Yes, the woman called 911 because her husband spilled cold coffee on her. He maintained it was an accident when he gestured with a cup in his hand.

The six-member jury deliberated approximately 30 minutes before returning the not-guilty verdict.

Fourth-degree assault, a gross misdemeanor, carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Deputies from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office who responded to the March 27 incident noted the alleged victim’s cheek was red where she said she with hit with her husband’s cup. There was coffee spilled on her shirt. Deputies photographed spilled coffee on the floor as if it were blood at the scene of a homicide.

The alleged victim told deputies that she had got upset with her husband because she was unaware he had signed up for a direct deposit of their tax refund. She asked him about the refund while she was paying bills and was surprised to learn he had already received the $6,000 refund.

That, Lawhon argued to jurors, was the real reason the alleged victim was upset with her husband. Not the spilled coffee.

During a pretrial interview, the alleged victim said she was not scared of her husband and she wanted the no-contact order dropped. She said she did not fear anything like this would ever happen again. She said she hoped her husband had learned a lesson about “the value of family.”

She gave similar testimony at trial.

Tags: criminal law, not guilty, domestic violence

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