For the second time this year, a criminal case in Lodi hinges on video evidence that may help free a local defendant. An attorney representing two teens accused of a gang-motivated attempted murder last month, claimed Wednesday that one of her clients wasn't even in Lodi at the time of the incident, and she has video to prove it.
Attorney Roxanne Mosley said she gave the county district attorney's office a video that proves one of her clients, 18-year-old Royer Delgado, was at a DD's Discounts store in Sacramento at the time of the crime.
Royer Delgado and Gustavo Delgado Jr., 15, have been charged with the attempted murder of a juvenile male the night of Jan. 28. According to Cpl. Dale Eubanks with the Lodi Police Department, Royer Delgado drove a vehicle that struck the victim while he was riding a bike near the intersection of Tokay and Garfield streets. The victim became pinned under the front of the vehicle, and was dragged nearly 500 feet before being dislodged, Eubanks said.
Police believe Gustavo Delgado, who is being charged as an adult, was the passenger in the vehicle.
Mosley's claims come just weeks after video evidence played a critical role in a different high-profile criminal case. Friends of Robert Mehrten, who has been charged with robbing a Bank of the West branch in Lockeford in January, have argued that video showing him at a Clements bar shortly after the robbery helps prove his innocence. That case is headed to trial, but video was already introduced during a preliminary hearing this month.
Video evidence often plays a big role in court cases, although rarely is it used to try to provide an alibi. Eyewitness video, such as the cell phone footage in the BART Police shooting trial last year, or dashboard video from law enforcement vehicles are most often seen in the courtroom. But occasionally, defense attorneys attempt to use video evidence to support their client's innocence.
One such case occurred in January 2009 in King County, Wash., when video surveillance exonerated a 21-year-old murder suspect who was incarcerated for 11 months. Witness testimony put Glenn Proctor on trial for second-degree murder, but after a careful analysis of video from the murder scene, prosecutors determined they had the wrong suspect.
Superior Court Judge Lauren Thomasson set bail at $3.17 million for Royer Delgado and Gustavo Delgado, based on the nature of the alleged crimes. They were previously held without bail.
Contact reporter Fernando Gallo at fernando@lodinews. com.