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MILLER: Prosecution rests in trial for D.C. man charged for one shotgun shell
Mark Witaschek faces six months in jail for unregistered ammunition but no gun
Question of the Day
(Click to read the second story in this series about the pre-trial hearings that angered Mr. Gest because I did not mention the unfounded accusations of domestic violence.)
The spokesman attempted to defame Mr. Witaschek’s character: “Are you aware of his history? That he threatened to kill his ex-wife, and she tried to get a protection order against him?”
Mr. Witaschek’s ex-wife, Gabriella Landinez, told police in May 2012 that her estranged husband had unregistered firearms in the home, and he said that he said he would kill her on the phone one time.
The police never seemed to have investigated the matter. Mr. Witaschek denies ever having guns in D.C. and making a threat.
A temporary protection order was granted ex parte (without Mr. Witaschek answering the complaint.)
But in court, Judge Jose Lopez denied Ms. Landinez’s request for a civil protection order (CPO) (and financial support) in Aug. 2012, saying there was no evidence of a threatening phone call.
“There’s no history of violence in this family,” the judge said. “There is no history of that type of manipulation in this family to lead to any inference that he would have said that statement…”
Mr. Landinez testified for the government in the ammunitions trial. In an interview Sunday night, she told me that she stands behind her testimony that her ex husband had firearms in the District.
“It’s a lie to say he never had guns in D.C. We had guns in the house on Q Street,” she said. “I saw at least three rifles and at least two shotguns — inside and outside the safe. And he always had a handgun on the night table.”
However, Mr. Witaschek told me that his estranged wife never lived in the house on Q Street, nor was she ever in his house.
“I’m telling you about why we are bringing charges,” the government’s spokesman replied. “That is a major part of evidence.”
I pointed out that the prosecutors shouldn’t bring up unfounded accusations in court.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times. She is the author of “Emily Gets Her Gun … But Obama Wants to Take Yours” (Regnery 2013). Miller won the 2012 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting from the Institute on Political Journalism.
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