23 de septiembre de 2016

LEGAL Logra abogado reducir sentencia de 30 a 7.5 años

Ernesto Fajardo

Nogales, Arizona.-  A 50-year-old Nogales man was sentenced Monday to 7.5 years in state prison after pleading guilty to two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with a violent baseball bat attack on a woman and boy last September. Deputy County Attorney Kimberly Hunley asked that Ernesto Fajardo be sentenced to 30 years for the attack – 15 years for each count, to be served consecutively. “What we see here is a brutal attack on the victim, with no consideration about what the victim was enduring,” Hunley told Superior Court Judge Thomas Fink, adding that there was also a history of domestic violence and abuse in the relationship. “The defendant was lying in wait to attack, came to her home with a calculated and premeditated plan to attack her with a baseball bat and he did so without any notice to her at all. He barged through the door and started hitting her.” However, defense lawyer Mark Willimann argued that Fajardo acted in the heat of the moment and didn’t intend to seriously harm either victim. 

Furthermore, he said, if Fajardo were sentenced to 30 years, he’d be receiving the “death penalty.” “There’s a lot of ways to kill people, the electric chair, chemical death penalty, but you can also kill somebody with time, which is what the state wants to do,” Willimann said. “The state wants your honor to give him the death penalty, put him in prison for the rest of his life, and I find that offensive. “Does a few minutes of a man’s life after 49 years of being a hard worker, does a few minutes require him to receive the death penalty?” he said later, asking that the judge impose the minimum sentence of five years for each count, to be served concurrently. “I ask the court to consider that five years of someone’s life when they’re our age is a considerable amount of time.” Instead, Fink gave Fajardo a total of 7.5 years in prison for the attack, with credit for 353 days already served. Fajardo was also ordered to pay more than $21,000 in restitution. The charges stem from an incident on Sept. 30, 2015 in which Fajardo allegedly went to the victims’ apartment on the 300 block of Macnab Drive at around 7:30 a.m., barged through her door with a baseball bat in hand and hit the woman repeatedly, causing lacerations to the forehead, scalp and ear and contusions to her arms and legs. Hunley told the judge that weeks before the attack, Fajardo went to see the woman, with whom he has a 5-year-old daughter, and told her that if she didn’t get back together with him, he’d kill her. 

The victim, who moved to the United States in February 2014 from Nogales, Sonora and later married her current husband, said she wouldn’t. After the bat attack, Hunley said, the woman reported that at the beginning of their relationship in 2011, Fajardo was abusive and once chased her around with a knife. Fajardo, a longtime legal permanent resident of the United States, would spend several nights a week at the victim’s home in Nogales, Sonora, she said, but the victim ended their relationship in 2012 after continued abuse. The day before the bat assault, after having moved to a new apartment, the victim was again confronted by Fajardo. She told him that he wouldn’t be allowed to see their daughter anymore after he went to the girl’s school and tried to pressure her into living with him, Hunley said. On Sept. 30, while getting her children ready for school, Fajardo broke into the victims’ home and started beating the woman with the bat. After seeing what was happening, the victim’s 14-year-old son grabbed a mop and began hitting Fajardo in the back in an effort to get him to stop. Instead, Fajardo grabbed the mop, broke it in half and started chasing both of them around the house. 

 At some point, Hunley said, the woman managed to run out of the house, but Fajardo caught up to her and continued beating her. The wife of an off-duty sheriff’s deputy who lived next door tried to stop the attack before waking her husband, who ran out of house in his underwear and managed to wrestle Fajardo to the ground and restrain him before officers with the Nogales Police Department arrived. The defense, however, argued that Fajardo acted in self defense after the victim attacked him. Willimann said the laceration to the back of the victim’s head was a result of her falling backwards and hitting her head on the wall after assaulting Fajardo. Willimann said Fajardo’s family described him as a hardworking and loving individual who would never harm anyone, adding that even the victim herself came out in his defense in a letter submitted to the court. “‘What he did to me, he did out of jealousy and he did not do this in his five senses,’” Willimann read from the letter before adding: “Those are the words from the victim, but the state paints a completely different picture that doesn’t reflect what the victim wrote in her own words.” Willimann argued that Fajardo was “psychologically backed into a hole” after the victim told him he’d no longer be able to see their daughter. He said Fajardo went to her house that morning with a cup of coffee in his hand, not a baseball bat, and the two began arguing before she pushed him.

 Fajardo then grabbed a bat that was sitting against the wall, Willimann said, and chased the woman around the home, striking her three times. He said Fajardo stopped “well before” the off-duty deputy “gang-jumped” him as he walked back to his car. “He had no intent to do anything more than to express his anger at the time,” Willimann said, adding later: “The state can present you all sorts of bloody pictures, but when you look behind those bloody pictures, when you look behind what really happened, what do we know? “He didn’t hit her hard enough to where any bones were broken, none,” he said. “What he did demonstrates that he had no desire to cause serious bodily injury to her.