Trial date set for Spafford case

05/16/2014 12:55 PM

05/16/2014 3:40 PM

A trial date has been set for next month in the case of a mother accused in the beating of a teenage girl at Pacheco High School during a fight involving her daughter.

Judge Harry Jacobs told Angelia Spafford, 35, her jury trial will begin June 24 in courtroom six at Merced County Superior Court in Merced. Spafford, at her arraignment Wednesday in a Los Banos courtroom, pleaded not guilty to resisting arrest and an amended complaint of corporal injury to a child. If convicted, she could receive a maximum of six years in prison.

Spafford was arrested March 6 on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest after allegedly getting involved in a fight between her daughter Samantha, 14, and her rival Ellanor, 15, at Pacheco High before class.

According to police, the fight took place between the school gymnasium and the pool. Spafford drove to the area in a Ford Fusion to drop Samantha off at school. Samantha reportedly saw Ellanor and began arguing with her from inside the car.

At an April 30 preliminary hearing, Ellanor testified that Spafford’s daughter stepped out of the car and started fighting. At one point, according to Ellanor’s testimony, she was on the ground on top of Samantha when Spafford became physically involved.

Ellanor said Spafford punched her in the face and kicked her in the head. She said Spafford then went back to her car and told her daughter to get in. Ellanor said Spafford threatened to send Samantha’s relatives to stab her if she told anyone what happened.

Police later arrested Spafford at her home.

Katie Gates, deputy district attorney, indicated that corporal injury to a child was a more appropriate charge given the preliminary hearing testimony.

Spafford has been in custody since her arrest. Her bail is set at $30,000, but may be lowered at a bail review hearing scheduled today.

Spafford’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Derek Meyer, said he has “quite a few” witnesses he’d like to call to testify. He said he expects the trial to take five to seven days.

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