SAN LUIS OBISPO — A San Luis Obispo County Superior Court jury Friday, Nov. 16, found Jim Pinedo guilty of seven felony counts, including violations of attempted murder, assault with a firearm, inflicting corporal injury to an intimate partner, threatening and dissuading a witness, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office reported.
The jury also found true allegations that Pinedo, 38, personally used and discharged a firearm, and personally inflicted great bodily injury during the commission of the offenses.
“Today’s verdict is a significant victory for all victims of domestic violence. It tells other victims that the criminal justice system can step in and help them even when they are unable to help themselves,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “It is a troubling reality that victims of domestic violence are often unable to fully escape the psychological holds of their abusing partner and choose not to cooperate with the prosecution. We are very thankful for the attention and hard work of the jury in this very difficult case.”
The charges stem from an Oct. 7, 2017, incident, where the female victim arrived at Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton with a gunshot wound to her neck. While being treated at Twin Cities Hospital, the victim identified Pinedo as the individual who shot her. The victim and Pinedo had been in a dating relationship for about 18 months at the time, with a history of domestic violence. Prior to the trial of the case, the victim changed her statement as to the circumstances surrounding the shooting to favor Pinedo and ultimately refused to testify at the jury trial.
During the trial, Deputy District Attorney Megan Baltierra called an expert witness to describe what is known as the ‘cycle of domestic violence’ and its effect on victims generally. This expert testimony assisted the jury in understanding the victim’s change in statement and refusal to testify. The court admitted into evidence the victim’s prior court testimony that was given under oath and other statements made by her. The jury’s verdict is a finding that the elements of the crimes were proven to the jury by proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Megan Baltierra who is assigned to the Domestic Violence Prosecution Unit with the Honorable Judge Jacqueline Duffy presiding. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 9, 2019, in Department 1. Pinedo faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison.