A judge in Oregon (of course) agreed to dismiss charges against a hammer attack suspect because the victim wanted to wear a Covid mask while testifying, and that is apparently a violation of the defendants right to face his accuser.
Originally charged in 2015 for the incident, Pedro Sanchez Jr, now 59, was convicted of second degree assault in 2017 on a 10-2 jury verdict, and was sentenced to 6 years in state prison. But the Oregon Supreme Court overturned the ruling this past summer after the federal Supreme Court ruled that Oregon can no longer convict on 10-2 jury votes. The case was remanded to a retrial.
The victim, Heather Fawcett, had been in fear of Sanchez, as he had vowed to hunt her and her dog down. She cares for her senior parents, who are immune compromised, and she refuses to go anywhere without her Covid mask on. This came to a head when she informed the courts that she would testify while wearing the mask. Sanchezs attorney, D. Olcott Thompson, filed a motion for dismissal, arguing that this violations Sanchezs 6th Amendment rights.
In response, deputy district attorney Michelle Enfield apparently did a craptastic job of explaining the situation, as Judge Jennifer Chapman, a former attorney for labor unions, granted the motion to dismiss the case, but then said she didnt fully understand what was going on.
Heather Fawcett is living in fear in Yamhill County. Thats because the man once convicted of hitting her in the head with a sledgehammer walked out of prison on Monday.