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July 26, 2013

Court Room Diary: People vs. Robert Allen Barnhart, verdict

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The verdict is in for the matter of The People vs. Robert Allen Barnhart, Case Number 11WF2614.

Mr. Barnhart was accused of two counts of felony Assault With a Deadly Weapon and one count of misdemeanor Battery, stemming from what the prosecution characterized as a road rage incident following a traffic accident in Los Alamitos in November 2011.

During witness testimony, Mr. Barnhart’s attorney, public defender Mike Perez, portrayed his client as the victim of a hit-and-run accident who was merely attempting to make a citizen’s arrest on the perpetrator, Jesse Ochoa.

Deputy District Attorney Kristin Bracic of the Felony Panel brought evidence of the defendant’s prior acts of aggression, including a conviction in 2010 for throwing coffee at another motorist.

Accident reconstruction specialists for both prosecution and defense provided competing versions of the sequence of events that led to the final collision between Mr. Barnhart’s and Mr. Ochoa’s vehicles at the intersection of Ball Rd. and Bloomfield St.

Despite a deluge of information and evidence, the seven-woman, five-man jury did not take long to return a verdict of guilty on all three counts on Thursday, July 25, after three days of witness and expert testimony.

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About the Author

Born and raised in Orange County, I have a B.A. in English from the University of Southern California. I grew up on Star Trek, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Saturday morning PBS reruns of Doctor Who. I am also a proud volunteer with my local police department.

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