Judge Keeps Video Evidence Against Ross Mirkarimi

The video is the prosecution's key piece of evidence.

Friday, Mar 9, 2012  |  Updated 9:42 PM PDT
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Mirkarimi Bruise Video Stays

AP

Eliana Lopez and Ross Mirkarimi leave San Francisco City Hall

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A key piece of video evidence can be used as evidence in the upcoming domestic violence trial against San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, appellate division judges ruled Friday.

The three-judge panel from the San Francisco Superior Court's appellate division had been considering whether to allow the use of a 55-second video recorded by a neighbor that reportedly shows Mirkarimi's wife Eliana Lopez crying and pointing to a bruise on her arm.

After use of the video was allowed by Judge Garrett Wong, Lopez's attorney Paula Canny appealed Wong's decision to the appellate judges, who Friday ruled that they denied the appeal.

Prosecutors have called the video the central part of their case against Mirkarimi, 50, who faces misdemeanor domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness charges in connection with the Dec. 31 incident in which he allegedly grabbed Lopez's arm during an argument, causing the bruise.
     
Canny was not immediately available to comment on the ruling Friday morning.

Mirkarimi's defense attorney Lidia Stiglich has filed a separate motion regarding the video, arguing it should not be admissible because if Lopez does not testify in the trial, there is no way for Stiglich to cross-examine the alleged testimony from the video.

Stiglich has also filed a motion to move the trial to a different county, arguing that the extensive media coverage of the case has prevented Mirkarimi's ability to get a fair trial.

Wong, who is overseeing the case, has not yet ruled on those motions, but is scheduled to rule Friday afternoon on a motion by prosecutors to include California at Berkeley School of Law lecturer Nancy Lemon as an expert witness in the trial.
 

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