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  • When he picked her up, he picked her up by the throat and her face

  • And he slammed her on the ground and then he’s like

  • Get this little bitch and go take care of her

  • Take care of your daughter

  • It was another day at the office with another defendant

  • It felt like there was sort of an audible gasp

  • I watched the judge do something that I don’t think they do very often

  • So here’s a story of this judge in Oklahoma City

  • Who had a profound moment of conscience

  • My names Kenneth C. Watson. I’m a district judge here in the Oklahoma County

  • But the story’s part of a much larger story that our colleague Alex here has been reporting

  • My name is Alex Campbell and I’m an investigative reporter at Buzzfeed

  • So I’ve been reporting this story for about 6 months

  • I’ve been looking at cases around the country where mother is put in prison for failing to protect her children

  • Even though she herself was abused

  • The laws are different in every state and the penalties are different

  • But basically, the whole idea is that

  • If you knew your child was being abused and you weren’t able to preventget the child out of that situation

  • Then you should go to prison, too

  • Now how long youll get put away will depend a lot state to state

  • In New York, it might be up to a year; in Oklahoma it’s up to life

  • So the story began with a woman named Victoria Phanhtarath

  • Victoria was sentenced to prison after her boyfriend killed her 3-year-old daughter

  • Even though she was essentially a victim of her boyfriend, too

  • Judge Watson presided over Victoria’s hearing when she agreed to a plea bargain

  • And even when she entered the plea of guilty, I don’t remember anything about her or about the plea

  • Though, I don’t hear much about the facts in an agreed plea

  • Hers was an agreed plea

  • So it was just another day

  • It was another day at the office with another defendant

  • In the fall of 2014, Victoria’s abusive boyfriend Freddy Mendez beat Victoria 3-year-old daughter Alexis to death

  • So here’s a reading from Victoria’s testimony during Freddy’s trial when she describes the murder

  • Freddy is still spanking Alexis and I go get my son

  • And I come back and he’s sitting there and he pushed and he kicked her across the room

  • All the way to the window. And he kicked her

  • Is he saying anything to her?

  • He’s cussing at himself. He’s getting pissed off and he’s kicking her and he’s hitting on the chest

  • What’s he saying

  • He’s… You fucking little bitch

  • He’s sitting there cussing and kicking her and hitting her

  • I told him, “you need to calm downwhy doesn’t he go outside

  • My son is trying to cause he can hear Alexis crying and screaming

  • And he’s trying to look and I’m covering up his eyes

  • And he’s sitting there kicking her and pushing her around the room

  • And I’m sitting there yelling at him

  • And he picks her up after he’s hit her on the chest, kicked her in the stomach

  • And she’s flinging around the room across the window

  • And he picked her up and he slammed her

  • When he picked her up, he picked her up by the throat and her face

  • And he slammed her on the ground and then he’s like

  • Get this little bitch and go take care of her

  • Take care of your daughter

  • So when Victoria testified in Freddy’s trial, she was already in prison

  • The plea deal she’d agreed to was for a 35 year sentence for enabling child abuse

  • When Victoria testified during Freddy’s trial, he caught everybody off guard

  • We have a girl who’s already made a plea. She’s in the penitentiary

  • We don’t know anything about her but the circumstances in this case

  • And she’s the first, the second, third with this

  • And she gives us a detailed description of what happened and how it happened

  • And here’s is one of the many stories Victoria told about how Freddy had abused her prior to the incident where Alexis was killed

  • What happened?

  • Well, he startsWe start getting in the argument and he starts grabbing me and starts punching me in my face and punching me in my eye

  • And he shoves me to the pool. I try to get out

  • And he shoves me back in the pool and starts hitting me and dragging me around

  • And I’m screaming and crying at this moment

  • And he tells me to shut up and finally he gets Alexis in

  • We go inside the house because the baby’s sleeping

  • Maam, is this the first time Mr. Mendez has put his hands on you in a manner like this or has it happened before?

  • It’s happened before

  • Did you tell anybody about that?

  • No. –Why not?

  • I was already in a domestic abusive relationship and I was embarrassed

  • I mean, there were tears in the jury from the member of the jury because it’s heart wrenching

  • She continued relating details of this particular incident

  • So you told us what he did, what happened next?

  • Well, I go upstairs and were still arguing. And the kids are in the room

  • He continues to hit me and beat me in the room

  • What room?

  • In his bedroom upstairs in the far back

  • And were arguing in the closet

  • At this time, I have been shoved all the way into the closet because I’m screaming and crying loud

  • What happened next?

  • He starts punching me and hitting me, telling me to shut up

  • And then he demands me to go make him a sandwich

  • And I’m covered. My clothes are wet at this point

  • So he sends me downstairs to go make him a sandwich

  • The DA having heard that, I could see he was being affected by her testimony

  • We at this point think we have seen it all

  • But things happen which give you a different perspective on life

  • And I think what happened with Victoria and wouldve happened to Victoria was something that neither one of us had expected

  • Even before the jury came back, I went out and I talked to the DA

  • And I basically told him that I don’t have any authority to do anything at all in this case because its an agreed plea

  • I said if you can get your office to agree to let me modify this

  • I will do it. I’ll set this on my docket to modify it

  • So the prosecutor agreed and a new hearing was called where the judge would be able to change Victoria’s sentence to a length that he thought was more fair

  • I gave it a lot of thought before I heard anything additional

  • I knew that a modification was in order

  • Cause that was what I had suggested.

  • I just didn’t know how much

  • And the more I heard, the more I was convinced that she needed to be out

  • Judge Watson modified Victoria’s sentence from 35 years to the 2 years she had already served

  • And she was set free

  • I was also there for this hearing

  • It felt like there was sort of an audible gasp as I recall

  • I watched the judge do something that I don’t think they do very often

  • Which is look at an inmate who’s been sentenced to 35 years in prison and set her free after only 2

  • I spoke to the district attorney office recently and they were not expecting her to be set free

  • And that they were under the impression that her sentence would be reduced to 20 years and they seemed okay with that

  • I don’t think they were pleased with the judge’s decision

  • When I thought about her spending the next 35 years locked up in all-women’s prison just

  • I wanted to know, I wanted to find out what I could do. What I could do to make it better

When he picked her up, he picked her up by the throat and her face

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A2 初級

目撃者が裁判官にショックを与えるとき (When A Witness Shocks A Judge)

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    Go Tutor に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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