A judge in Santa Clara is going to take the next six days to decide whether or not Reuben Foster will face trial on a charge of felony domestic violence. A preliminary hearing was held on Thursday, and at the end of it Judge Nora Klippen told the parties she will announce her decision on Wednesday, May 23rd at 3:30 p.m.
The burden of proof to stand trial is probable cause, which is lower than the “beyond reasonable doubt” standard for guilt or innocence. It is not a simple task, but given the judge did not immediately rule Foster would stand trial, it would suggest she has some doubt in her mind for the time being.
Foster also faces charges of criminal threats and illegal weapons possession, but the most high profile charge is the domestic violence charge. Thursday saw Foster’s accuser in court under oath recanting the statement she made to police in February.
It was an ugly day in court. Foster’s ex-girlfriend had accused him in February of hitting and dragging her. A couple days later she recanted her statement to police, and in early April she released a statement through her attorney recanting what she told police. She attended Foster’s preliminary hearing on Thursday to offer the testimony under oath, even as her attorney advised her to plead the Fifth Amendment to avoid incriminating herself.
She testified that she was injured in a fight prior to seeing Foster, with that fight spurring Foster to break up with her. She told Foster she would ruin him and said she was initially looking for money. She said she returned to Louisiana with some of Foster’s money and other possessions, but was returning and admitting all this in order to “do the right thing.” She also told the court she was going to seek help at an unspecified clinic.
There will be a lot for the judge to analyze from a factual perspective. She has to decide whether or not Foster’s ex-girlfriend is telling the truth now or was telling the truth during the original statement. The woman’s statements today likely will not immediately impact the gun charge, but the difficulty of proving Foster’s knowledge on the gun laws will be something to consider. There is still a lot to sort out.
In the meantime, I thought we’d turn this into a sort of mini-Golden Nuggets, with links to the various recap articles from the day in court. I’ll drop in more links as they arrive.