Santa Rosa, CA – March 6, 2018 – The August 2016 “resisting arrest” convictions of defendants Gabrielle Lemos and her mother Michelle Lemos of Petaluma were affirmed on Appeal by a three judge Appellate Division panel in a ruling issued on February 27, 2018.
District Attorney Ravitch stated, “We believe the appellate panel rightfully rejected each of the defendants’ arguments, and are pleased that these convictions will stand moving forward.”
On June 13, 2015, Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Marcus Holton stopped on Liberty Road to investigate a truck blocking the road, and screaming coming from the area. As Deputy Holton tried to determine if he’d come upon a domestic violence related Incident, he was physically assaulted by 19 year old Gabrielle Lemos. Lemos proceeded to berate and physically resist the deputy, ultimately enlisting the help of her mother Michelle Lemos. After approximately 10 minutes attempting to calm the group, Deputy Holton attempted to take Gabrielle Lemos into custody for interfering with his investigation. However, she pulled away from him. For the next 13 minutes, the defendants, and two other friends, resisted any and all attempts by the deputy to complete his investigation. The entire contact was captured on the deputy’s body worn camera. After trial, a Sonoma County jury convicted both defendants in under two hours.
In affirming the jury verdict, the appellate panel rejected claims by the defense that there was insufficient evidence to convict the defendants, that there was prosecutorial misconduct, and that the trial court erred in its instructions to the jury.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Jenica P. Leonard, assisted by District Attorney Investigator Tim Dempsy (ret.).
The appeal was handled and argued by Deputy District Attorney Robert A. Maddock.