Judge won’t allow some evidence in kidnap case | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Judge won’t allow some evidence in kidnap case

William Ferchland

A judge struck down a prosecutor’s motion on Tuesday regarding certain evidence that can be introduced during trial involving a suspected drug-dealing husband and wife accused of kidnapping and raping a woman.

Judge James Dawson ruled evidence from an incident two weeks before Eduardo Galecia-Hernandez and Jamie Lynn Olson allegedly kidnapped and raped a woman on June 9 would not be admissible for trial next month.

Galecia-Hernandez tried to forcibly remove the woman from her car at the Cedar Inn hotel in attempts to have sex with her before the alleged kidnapping, El Dorado County prosecutor Lisa Serafini said. Galecia-Hernandez also may have given the woman a black eye, but defense attorney Lori London said the injury was sports related.

Serafini said the incident scared the woman, who had learned not to put up a struggle when Galecia-Hernandez allegedly kidnapped her at knife point. “She complies out of fear,” Serafini said.

In contemplating language in the state’s evidence law, Dawson disagreed with Serafini.

“I don’t follow your logic,” he said at one point.

Serafini also centered on the defense witness list for Galecia-Hernandez, who will have his trial first on Oct. 17, followed by Olson, who gave birth earlier this month.

Envisioning the defense would use details of the witnesses who reportedly were involved in the drug business in opening statements to the jury, Serafini believed the witnesses won’t back up the claims if they chose to invoke their Fifth Amendment rights of not incriminating themselves.

London countered the woman could do the same thing, saying the woman was practically contacting Galecia-Hernandez daily for cocaine.

Dawson denied precluding the defense from making such comments. He also rejected a prosecution motion wanting an expert to qualify statements on cell phone records.

Paul Palant, attorney for Olson, said outside of court there is evidence the couple were on their way from Folsom to Lake Tahoe and made a phone call at the time of the alleged incident.

The knife has not been found, Palant added.

Galecia-Hernandez and Olson of South Lake Tahoe face life in prison if convicted on charges including kidnapping to commit another crime, forcible rape, false imprisonment by violence and forcible oral copulation.

They remain in El Dorado County Jail at $1 million bail, which was upheld by Dawson on Tuesday when he was requested to review the bail amount.

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