A mistrial has been declared for the assault and battery trial involving a Los Angeles firefighter. The case involves the firefighter and the firefighter’s mother, who allegedly beat up a women for feeding stray cats in their neighborhood.
Allegations of Assault and Battery
In September 2013, firefighter, Ian Eulian and his 70-year-old mother Lonieta Fontaine were charged with assault and battery for the alleged beating of Rebecca Stafford. Surveillance video taken from the scene of the crime shows Eulian punching Stafford. Prosecutors for Eulian claim he was protecting his elderly mother from being kicked by Stafford during the confrontation. But Stafford denies kicking Fontaine. She also claims that Eulian pushed his mother to the ground so that he could punch her during the argument.
A mistrial was called when the jury was split the on battery causing serious bodily injury – 7-5 against Eulian. The second count ruling, assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, had the jury split 6-6. “I didn’t expect that. I mean the video was pretty clear I thought, and I don’t understand where there was any question,” Stafford said.
Video is “Self-Explanatory”
John Cross, one of the men on the jury of eight men and four women, said the video was “self-explanatory,” but some of the jurors believed the defense attorney’s argument. “Whether she did or did not (kick Fontaine), a woman was still punched and knocked out, which from what I understand is illegal,” Cross said. Jurors only ruled on Eulian, though his mother was charged as an accessory to a felony.
Eulian was facing up to seven years in prison and remains on paid administrative leave from the LAFD. An LAFD board of rights hearing will also be held to determine Eulian’s status with the department.
Source: ABC 7, MISTRIAL DECLARED IN TRIAL OF LA FIREFIGHTER ACCUSED OF BEATING WOMAN FOR FEEDING STRAY CATS, September 30, 2014
The Law Office of Peter Berlin – Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney
16130 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 570, Los Angeles, CA 91436