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Trial Begins for Man Accused of Beating, Abducting Girlfriend


Thursday, March 14th, 2013
Issue 11, Volume 17.
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RIVERSIDE - Jury selection is scheduled to get underway next week in the trial of a Hemet man accused of beating his girlfriend and dragging her alongside a car during an alleged abduction.

Angel Isaiah Hernandez, 26, could face life in prison if convicted of the March 7 attack on a woman identified in court documents as Jane Doe.

Hernandez is charged with torture, kidnapping, aggravated mayhem and spousal abuse, with sentence-enhancing great bodily injury allegations.

Pretrial motions were held today before Riverside County Superior Court Elisabeth Sichel, who will summon the first panel of prospective jurors to the Riverside Hall of Justice Tuesday for screening as to their availability and qualifications.

Opening statements are expected before the end of next week.

Hernandez is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.

The 25-year-old woman allegedly beaten and abducted by the defendant testified during a June preliminary hearing that she was dropping him at his house in the 700 block of Vista De Loma Drive when he pressed her about staying the night with him.

The victim, also a mother, said she repeatedly told Hernandez she didn't want to, making him agitated.

"Without warning, he began to punch her," Deputy District Attorney Tim Cross said, recalling the woman's testimony. "She raised her right hand to protect herself and tried to slide out of her seatbelt to get out of the car."

According to Cross, the woman was able to get the lower half of her body out of the four-door Chevrolet sedan when the defendant, still striking her, climbed on top of her and threw the car into gear, driving around the corner with the victim hanging out of the vehicle.

The woman testified that Hernandez stopped the car and forced her into the backseat, from which she couldn't escape because the car was equipped with child safety locks that could only be disengaged from the front seat.

The defendant drove out of the area, allegedly threatening the victim's life as he headed north on Interstate 215.

According to Cross, the woman suffered deep cuts on her right hand, her right ear was ripped apart and the top of her head was cut. The prosecutor said the car ran low on gas as Hernandez reached Menifee, and the defendant stopped to fill up at a station along Scott Road.

The victim used the opportunity to jump into the front seat, lock the car doors and drive away, with the defendant initially trying to hang onto the hood until he lost his grip and rolled off, Cross said.

The woman drove to Menifee Valley Medical Center, where her ear was surgically re-attached.

According to Hemet police, Hernandez attempted to hide from investigators for several days after the attack, but he was eventually located and surrendered without incident.

Trial Set for Man Accused of Severely Beating, Abducting Girlfriend

RIVERSIDE - Jury selection is slated to get underway next week for the trial of a Hemet man accused of abducting and severely beating his girlfriend, who was dragged alongside his car.

Angel Isaiah Hernandez, 26, could face life in prison if convicted of the March 7 attack on a young mother identified in court documents as Jane Doe.

Hernandez is charged with torture, kidnapping, aggravated mayhem and spousal abuse, with sentence-enhancing great bodily injury allegations.

During a status hearing today before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Michele Levine, the prosecution and defense announced they were ready for trial, after which Levine assigned proceedings to the courtroom of Superior Court Judge Elisabeth Sichel.

Sichel is currently presiding in a trial expected to conclude Wednesday. She is scheduled to summon prospective jurors for Hernandez's trial to the Riverside Hall of Justice on Thursday for screening as to their availability and qualifications.

The defendant is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.

The 25-year-old woman allegedly beaten and abducted by Hernandez testified during a June preliminary hearing that she was dropping him at his house in the 700 block of Vista De Loma Drive when he pressed her about staying the night with him.

The victim said she repeatedly told Hernandez she didn't want to stay, causing him to become agitated.

"Without warning, he began to punch her," Deputy District Attorney Tim Cross told City News Service, recalling the woman's testimony. "She raised her right hand to protect herself and tried to slide out of her seatbelt to get out of the car."

The woman was able to get the lower half of her body out of the four- door Chevrolet sedan when the defendant, still striking her, climbed on top of her and threw the car into gear, driving around the corner with the victim hanging out of the vehicle, Cross alleged.

The woman testified that Hernandez stopped the car and forced her into the backseat, from which she couldn't escape because the car was equipped with child safety locks that could only be disengaged from the front seat.

The defendant drove out of the area, heading north on Interstate 215.

"While he was driving, he told her that he intended to kill her and kill himself," Cross said.

The prosecutor said the victim suffered deep lacerations on her right hand, her right ear was ripped apart and the top of her head was lacerated.

According to Cross, the car ran low on gas as Hernandez reached Menifee, and the defendant stopped to fill up at a station along Scott Road.

"When he started pumping gas, she was able to jump into the front seat and lock the car doors," the prosecutor said.

"He banged on the windows and then jumped on the hood as she started driving away."

As the victim picked up speed, Hernandez slipped off the vehicle, according to Cross.

The woman drove to Menifee Valley Medical Center, where her ear was surgically re-attached.

According to Hemet police, Hernandez attempted to hide from investigators for several days after the attack, but he was eventually located and surrendered without incident.

Hemet man charged for alleged attack on girlfriend

MURRIETA - A Hemet man accused of severely beating his girlfriend and speeding down a roadway with her hanging out of his car was charged today with kidnapping and other felonies.

Angel Isaiah Hernandez, 26, was scheduled to make his initial court appearance this afternoon on the kidnapping count, as well as mayhem and domestic assault charges, with sentence-enhancing great bodily injury and weapons allegations.

The defendant was arrested Tuesday at his home in the 700 block of Vista De Loma Drive and booked at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta, with bail set at $1 million.

According to Hemet police Lt. Duane Wisehart, Hernandez and his girlfriend, whose identity was not released, got into an argument as they sat parked outside his residence last Friday night.

Hernandez "violently" assaulted the woman and threw the car into gear, "driving the vehicle with the victim partially hanging out of it," the lieutenant alleged. "The suspect stopped and put the victim in the vehicle and drove out of the city, repeatedly threatening to kill her."

When Hernandez stopped to put gas in his car, she jumped behind the driver's seat and sped away, going to the nearest hospital for treatment, according to Wisehart.

He said the woman is continuing to receive treatment for "serious injuries" from which it may take months to recover. Police officers attempted to locate Hernandez several times without success over the weekend, but located him Tuesday, at which point he surrendered to detectives without incident, Wisehart said.

According to court records, the defendant has multiple traffic-related convictions, including for driving on a suspended license.


 

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