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Thursday, February 3, 2011

SF Domestic Violence Case Dropped; Woman Lied

Posted By on Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 5:48 PM

click to enlarge The truth is the best self defense
  • The truth is the best self defense

Last week, Public Defender Jeff Adachi was bragging about his winning streak in court; he had won 48 percent of his cases that went to trial last year. Today, he announced another pleasurable victory -- one that he and the District Attorney's Office share.

A domestic violence case was dropped midtrial on Wednesday after lawyers discovered the plaintiff was lying on the stand. Francisco Garcia, a 24-year-old kitchen manager, was facing prison time and deportation after his former girlfriend said he smashed her head into a wall and threatened to kill her and their toddler.

It all started in July last year, when Garcia was having some "disagreements" with his former girlfriend over visitation rights with their 2-year-old daughter. He told her that he was going to court to try and get custody -- that's when she snapped with a warning, saying things would get really bad for him.


A few days afterward, she went to police and filed a police report and a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend. She claimed that on July 27, Garcia smashed her head into the wall many times and threatened to kill her and their daughter with a knife. Garcia was later arrested, and she was awarded full custody.

The case went to trial on Jan 20. That's when both prosecutors and the public defender grew suspicious of her complaints; she had lied about her name and kept changing her story about the details of the alleged domestic violence, according to Deputy Public Defender Eric Quandt.

While on the stand she insisted she had no contact with Garcia after the attack, there were phone records showing she had called him more than 100 times in the 30 hours between the alleged attack and the filed police report. Jurors then asked her if she understood the meaning of a lie.

By Wednesday, prosecutors admitted that the woman was not credible, said Erica Terry Derryck, spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office. But it was too late -- by then, Garcia had already lost his job, according to public defenders.

Adachi said this case proves that not everyone who is accused of a crime and taken to trial is guilty.

"The DA did the ethical thing and dismissed it," Derryck said.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Bio:
Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.

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