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Alameda County man responds to assault charges: not guilty

Bay Area authorities take any criminal instances very seriously. However, when violent crimes are involved, the stakes can be much higher for the accused individual. Recently, a former champion body builder who now lives outside Livermore in Alameda County pleaded not guilty to charges of assault with a deadly weapon and making criminal threats.

The felony charges stem from an incident last month during which the man allegedly attacked his roommate for talking to his wife. A report in the Contra Costa Times says the man is accused of trying to choke his roommate. He then apparently made a threat to kill him. Since those charges were filed, the former body builder was served with a protection order, which instructed him to stay away from his roommate, who lived with the man in his Alameda County mansion.

Once the roommate moved out, there was a hearing to amend the protection order. However, the man told the judge that he had returned to the house before the order was modified to help his father with some plumbing work. This effectively violated the order, and the judge ordered bail be set at $20,000. The man posted bail, and the judge did not order jail time. The former body builder has been ordered to appear in court again next month.

Violent crime charges should never be taken lightly. They can come with serious penalties, including jail time. But while facing charges can be overwhelming at frightening, it's important to remember that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. As we discussed last week, prosecutors have the responsibility of proving a crime was committed by the individual who has been charged. This is not always an easy task, and those who have been charged with a crime can take proactive steps to challenge evidence that they present.

Source: Contra Costa Times, "Former Pleasanton body building champ pleads not guilty in roommate attack," Robert Jordan, Aug. 15, 2012

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