A suspended police sergeant’s bid to have the domestic violence charges filed against him dismissed has been denied, even after his wife recanted her statements.
Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho ruled yesterday that Rule 12(b) of the Commonwealth Rules of Criminal Procedure does not support the dismissal because weighing the evidence—as requested by Dela Cruz—is a “trial of the general issue.”
Rule 12(b) allows defendants to bring pretrial motions concerning “any defense, objection, or request which is capable of determination without the trial of the general issue.”
“Moreover, it is widely acknowledged by federal courts that it is improper to weigh the sufficiency of pretrial evidence,” the judge pointed out.
The Office of the Attorney General has charged Dela Cruz with assault and battery and disturbing the peace for allegedly beating up his wife on June 7, 2013.
Dela Cruz, through counsel Janet H. King, moved to dismiss the charges, arguing that there is insufficient evident to support the charges.
To support the motion, King submitted a declaration signed by Dela Cruz’s wife, Rose Dela Cruz, who is an administrative officer of the Department of Public Safety.
Rose Dela Cruz, 45, says that she lied to police when she accused her husband, Sgt. Dela Cruz, then officer-in-charge of DPS Internal Affairs Office, of beating her up. She said she made up the story after finding out that he had been cheating on her with a younger police officer. She said her statement to police that her husband pushed and elbowed her was untrue.
King argued that the content of the declaration “disproves and counters the essential elements” of the crimes for which Dela Cruz is charged, and thus the charges against him should be dismissed.
In his order, however, Camacho said a review of the sufficiency of the evidence is, in essence, a trial of the general issue.
“Thus, it is not proper for a defendant to challenge the information based on inadequacy of evidence,” the judge said, citing precedent.