Police Chief's Wife on Trial for Felony Assault With a Firearm
The wife of a police chief is on trial, defending against charges of felony assault with a firearm against a peace officer and felony discharging a firearm with gross negligence.
Santa Ana Criminal Defense Lawyer Houman Fakhimi understands that the defendant claims she was not aggressive, but rather suicidal and distraught. She meant to hurt no one, she says, and particularly when no one was actually hurt, intent can go a long way in these cases.
Prosecutors say the woman initiated a standoff with officers outside her Oceanside home, after she reportedly called 911 after firing a gun into the ground. At the time, she had just been involved in an argument with her husband and teenage son, who both left the house. She then proceeded to drink several martinis, listen to a Sarah McLaughlin song on repeat and then took antidepressants and later a sleeping pill. She said she knew she should just got to bed, but instead, she took her husband's service gun and fired it into the ground. She called her daughter to say good-bye.
Then she called police, asking for help. She claims she went back and forth between wanting to kill herself, wanting help and also knowing she wasn't in her right mind. Prior to all of this, she had been working with a therapist for anxiety and other problems, and had been trying to find an appropriate medication.
This sparked a stand-off.
At one point, prosecutors noted that she was pacing inside the home and at times, pointing the gun at her own head.
The particular action for which she is facing the slew of charges involves her reportedly firing the gun at a truck, in the direction where officers were posted. One of the officers who was there that night testified that he was on the phone with the defendant, and told her not to fire at the truck, as there were officers behind it who could be hurt or killed. He said she responded by saying she saw them, didn't care and instructed the officers to move. She then fired in the direction of the truck twice. No one was struck or injured.
The defendant, however, refuted this claim, saying she had no knowledge of saying that and had no intention of hurting the responding officers. Not only is her husband a police chief, but her older son is an officer as well.
She testified that none of what she had done that evening made much sense.
If she's convicted on these charges, as defined in California Penal code 245(a)(1) and California Penal Code 246.3, she faces up to 61 years in prison, after the enhancements on the charges due to the fact that they were allegedly perpetuated against police officers.
Contact Houman Fakhimi trial attorney at (714) 705-6701 as soon as possible if you are charged with a crime. Protecting your rights and setting up an aggressive defense at the beginning stages is critical in defending against criminal charges.