Prospective Death Penalty Case Juror Cleared

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Dudek & Cintean, LLP announces win: Partner Alin Cintean obtains Not Guilty verdict in Yolo County rare perjury case against a prospective death penalty case juror.

After about one hour of deliberations on Tuesday, August 13, 2013, a Yolo County jury returned a unanimous Not Guilty verdict in a perjury case against Regina Roxanne Perez, a former prospective juror in the Marco Topete death penalty case. The prosecution alleged that Regina Perez lied under oath when she testified that she did not speak to her imprisoned son about that case.

According to trial testimony, Regina Roxanne Perez, 54, a Woodland resident, was called for jury duty on January 11, 2011 in the case of Marco Topete.

Evidence exhibits introduced during the trial of Regina Perez indicate that she was asked to complete a questionnaire and return to court on March 22, 2011. Upon her return, she was questioned under oath about her written answers. The 223 item questionnaire introduced into evidence asked everything from personal information to attitude toward law enforcement and the death penalty. The questionnaire shows that Ms. Perez revealed her son Michael Perez’s murder conviction and the circumstances surrounding it.

According to the March 22, 2011 transcript of the proceedings additional questions were posed to Ms. Perez by DA Reisig and defense attorneys. During this questioning Regina Perez indicated that she spoke to her son Michael Perez the previous night but did not talk about the case on which she was called as a potential juror.

Regina Perez was subsequently excused from jury duty.

During Regina Perez’s trial, the prosecution brought in DA investigator Bruce Naliboff, now retired, to testify that on March 22, 2011 he retrieved a recording of the prison call between Michael Perez and Regina Perez made the previous night. During a 20 second portion of the 15 minute phone call, Regina Perez is recorded telling her son that she has jury duty the following day. Ms. Perez also indicated her belief that she would be eventually excused.

Bruce Naliboff also testified that on February 29, 2012, he directed the Yolo County Gang Task Force to arrest Regina Perez at the Walgreens Distribution Center where she worked for the last 18 years. “I was completely embarrassed and had no idea what was going on” said Perez who was arrested in front of her coworkers. Naliboff, now retired on the east coast, was flown in by the prosecution to testify.

During the trial of Regina Perez, the prosecution also presented an expert witness, David Henderson.

According to the Curriculum Vitae that was filed with the court, David Henderson was the elected District Attorney of Yolo County from 1984 to 2006 and also served as a prosecution jury consultant for the Marco Topete trial. According to his testimony, he filed the original murder charges against Michael Perez in 2001.

The court file for Michael Perez indicates that a few months after his mother, Regina Perez, was excused from jury duty in the Marco Topete trial, his case was overturned on appeal. Michael Perez was returned to Yolo County jail with his conviction vacated and is pending a trial.

The arrest of Regina Roxanne Perez occurred shortly after her son’s return to Yolo County.

Regina Roxanne Perez was represented by attorney Alin Cintean, a former Sacramento prosecutor who now practices criminal defense in the Sacramento and San Francisco Bay Area. “The only reason they targeted her was her son’s case. There was no evidence to make anyone believe Regina Perez committed perjury.” said Cintean.

The case of People v. Regina Roxanne Perez, case number 12-718, was heard in Department 6 of the Yolo County Superior Court, Woodland, California.

The case of People v. Michael Perez et al, case number 01-1577 was heard in of the Yolo County Superior Court, Woodland, California. His conviction has since been overturned.

The case of People v. Marco Topete, case number 08-3355 was also heard in Yolo County Superior Court, Woodland, California. The case is pending an automatic appeal.

Dudek & Cintean, LLP.
201 Spear Street, Suite 1100
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415)946-4020
http://www.BayAreaDefenseAttorneys.com

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