By Léa Timmerman
SACRAMENTO, CA – The case of the stolen Michael Jordan sneakers is set to go to trial after a preliminary hearing this week in Sacramento County Superior Court.
Department 17 Judge James Arguelles ruled the case should go to a jury after the testimony of a witness he said was enough for the accused Francisco Salinas to be guilty of robbery, a pair of $ 350 Jordan sneakers.
On February 24, 2021, it is alleged that Salinas committed second degree robbery, which is considered a strike.
Deputy District Attorney Saron Tesfai first called Sacramento City Police Officer Matthew Brueck to testify that a series of photos were handed over to the victim. The officer said the victim clearly identified himself from the photos of who had stolen it.
“I recognized his face, his hair is longer now but blond. He was the one who stole my shoes, ”the victim told Constable Brueck. The victim definitely identified Salinas and circled the photo.
Deputy Public Defender Courtney Zane was then allowed to cross-examine the witness officer, asking if he had asked the victim about his level of confidence in identifying the person who stole him. He admitted that he had not done so and that another officer was assigned to follow up to gather this information.
DDA Tesfai then called SPD officer Sean McDade, who said the victim told him “that he was selling a pair of Jordan shoes on an app called ‘OfferUp’ and that he was meeting a potential buyer (but ) “The potential buyer didn’t pay him and stole the shoes he was trying to sell.
The victim advertised the shoes for $ 350 and made a deal with the potential buyer for $ 335.
The victim agreed to meet the potential buyer in a park near his house. He met both the potential buyer and another person after they arrived in a black BMW.
Officer McDade said the victim described the interaction to him, noting: “He let him try on a shoe… they were going to pay through ‘CashApp’, and when he asked for the funds he had an issue with it. Checking in. He said he had never encountered this before… when he tried to check out, the potential buyer took the shoes and the box back to the car.
The transaction was never successful and the victim never received any funds.
DDA Tesfai asked if the victim attempted to retrieve the potential buyer’s shoes. Constable McDade said they attempted to text them later that day and when the potential buyer walked away the victim was restrained by the other person in the car.
The victim did not fight with them and was quoted by Officer McDade as saying “the shoes were not worth a fight like this”.
When asked about potential leads, McDade said the victim had done extensive research on the suspect by taking the app’s username “OfferUp” and found it on Instagram. Thanks to the two applications, the victim was able to provide photos of the suspect and the vehicle he was driving.
The license plates were registered in the name of the defendant, Francisco Salinas, whose description and age matched what was given to the police.
Officer McDade then identified with certainty Salinas in the courtroom next to the public defender as the theft suspect. When asked about the list of photos given to the previous witness, Constable Brueck, Constable McDade said the photo of Salinas was surrounded by the victim.
PD Zane asked the officer how long it took officers to respond and whether the person holding the victim was not Salinas. Constable McDade said it was a few hours before responding and agreed the individual was not Salinas.
Arguelles JA determined from the testimony that the count 1 offense had been committed and concluded that there are sufficient grounds for the accused to be guilty and therefore ordered to answer. A formal indictment was dropped and a not guilty plea entered.
Since there is a possible co-accused – the other person who held the victim during the exchange – July 20 has been set for further proceedings in Department 61 at 8:30 a.m.
Leah Timmerman is a 4th year graduate in Political Science and American Studies at UC Davis. She is originally from Los Angeles, California.
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