Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Clearlake man acquitted in domestic violence case

CLEARLAKE – A local man on trial this month in a domestic violence case was acquitted Thursday.

Jubal Ray Massie, 39, a caregiver from Clearlake, went on trial May 11, charged with felony domestic violence and felony assault by force likely to produce great bodily injury, according to his attorney, Stephen Carter of the Law Offices of Carter & Carter in Lower Lake.

Massie was arrested by Clearlake Police on June 26, 2008, according to sheriff's records.

At the conclusion of prosecutor Susan Krones' evidence, Judge Stephen Hedstrom granted Carter’s motion to dismiss the assault charge.

Massie was facing eight years in state prison if convicted, Carter reported.

Carter said that on Thursday, following an hour of deliberation, the jury returned the not guilty verdict.

“This is a fantastic result for Mr. Massie and we are thrilled that the jury saw through the prosecution’s weak evidence,” said Carter.

Krones said she didn't speak with the jurors afterward but noted that the alleged victim in the case – who originally told police that Massie had kicked her in the head repeatedly – had stated in the preliminary hearing last year that she couldn't remember what happened, testimony she gave again in the trial.

Judge Hedstrom had allowed in the previous statements about the assault in the case the woman was purposefully changing her testimony, said Krones.

The alleged victim also testified that she was under the influence of various substances, including alcohol, Krones said.

“It's difficult to establish to a jury what happened when the victim is there saying, 'I don't remember,'” Krones said.

Carter called witnesses including an individual who testified that the alleged victim was the one attacking Massie, and that the alleged victim yelled at Massie that she was going to make sure he went to jail before she reportedly threw herself on the ground.

The defense argued that the alleged victim caused injuries to herself, and that Massie was defending himself against an extremely intoxicated and enraged woman.

However, Krones said the alleged victim in the case had significant facial injuries – including a black eye and abrasions. “That was not something she would have received unless she was hit in some way,” Krones said.

Carter said the officer who arrested Massie and investigated the case – who was with the agency for seven months before the incident –is no longer employed by Clearlake Police Department, having left for reasons unrelated to this case.

Krones said she believed that, in the end, the jurors just couldn't get enough detail from the victim to make a conviction, and they couldn't base a verdict on her past statements.

In the domestic violence cases she handles, Krones said she sees a lot of victims who recant or say they can't remember.

“Depending on the situation, I cannot just drop a case like that because it's going to continue,” she said of the abuse.

If she drops a case and someone ends up getting hurt, the blame would likely come back on the District Attorney's Office, Krones said.

Krones added that the District Attorney's Office has to pursue cases that are best for the victims and society. But one of the goals, she added, is to get help for alleged offenders, including counseling.

“I take it to trial, I present what evidence I have to the jury and they decide, that's all I can do,” he said.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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