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Meyer's client acquitted of assaulting father

Attorney Zeed Meyer won a not-guilty verdict on Jan. 22 in Clark County District Court for a client accused of assaulting his estranged father.

Meyer’s client called 911 on July 18 to report that his father had punched him in the face and broke his nose. Three officers from the Vancouver Police Department responded and determined the client was the aggressor after questioning the client, his father and his father’s long-term girlfriend.

The client was arrested for assault in the fourth degree, domestic violence. The gross misdemeanor carries a penalty of up to one year in jail.

Meyer’s client testified that on July 18 he went to his grandmother’s house. He knocked on the door and, after she didn’t answer, was preparing to leave when his father came and confronted him. It had been years since they’d seen each other. He said his father started yelling at him, questioning why he was at his grandmother’s house, and followed him to his truck. He said he opened the door and his father’s dog jumped into the cab of the truck, and his father pushed him out of the way when he went to retrieve his dog. He said he punched his father after he was pushed. He said his father got him in a headlock and started punching him in the face. He said his nose was broken in six places.

His father, who received a fat lip, said his son started the fight. While on the witness stand he made no secret of the fact he hates his son and ex-wife, and questions if his son is even his because his ex-wife was unfaithful.

The only witness was the alleged victim’s girlfriend, who had backed up his claim that his son threw the first punch.

Jurors were able to see the mismatch in size: Meyer’s 28-year-old client weighs 135 pounds; his father, 52, outweighs him by at least 30 pounds.

An assistant Vancouver city attorney told jurors during closing arguments that it was up to them to decide who started the fight.

Meyer, at closing arguments, pointed out that in this case, the only likely reason his client was charged was because of the third witness. But the father’s girlfriend’s story was inconsistent and she admitted she did not see the beginning of the altercation. Based on the demeanor and testimony of the father and son, Meyer pointed out it was clear that the father was aggressive right at the outset for no good reason. He seethed with hatred for his son while testifying. Meyer pointed out that in this case, law enforcement made a mistake, and charged the victim, not the perpetrator.

The jury deliberated approximately one hour before unanimously voting to acquit.

Tags: criminal law, not guilty, assault, domestic violence, Clark County

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