A Merced County judge has decided that ample evidence exists to try a legless man on accusations of beating his wife.
Commissioner Ralph Cook reached that conclusion Thursday during a preliminary hearing in the case of 41-year-old Gregory Williams of Merced.
Williams made national headlines last year after a Sept. 11 incident when a Merced police officer stunned him with a Taser. Williams uses a wheelchair and is an amputee below both knees.
Williams also claims that officers left him handcuffed on the pavement, with his pants down, exposing his private parts to onlookers.
Before making his decision, Cook heard testimony from the sister of 28-year-old Demetrice Shaunt'e Pfifer, Williams' wife. Cook also heard testimony from Merced police detective Chris Russell.
Williams' attorney, Hayden Smith, said his client denies the charges, maintaining it was he who was attacked by Pfifer.
Smith pointed out that Williams' wife has a documented history of being suspected of abusing her husband.
"If she can move freely and he's in a wheelchair, which is more likely to be true? She attacks him or he attacks her? It's real simple," Smith said.
Deputy District Attorney Monique Neese said she couldn't comment on specific details about the case because it could go to trial.
She has said that even though Williams is in a wheelchair, it doesn't mean he's unable to hurt someone.
Prosecutors believe the domestic violence incident happened Sept. 6, five days before the Taser incident with Merced police.
Police discovered evidence of the suspected abuse while they were conducting the internal investigation into the Sept. 11 Taser incident.
The evidence against Williams includes statements from his wife and her family, as well as photographs of injuries.
Williams is accused of hitting his wife with a broomstick during an argument, jumping on her and attempting to strangle her, according to prosecutors.
Pfifer wasn't present at Thursday's hearing. She's wanted on an outstanding $10,000 misdemeanor domestic violence warrant, stemming from a 2004 incident during which she is suspected of assaulting Williams.
Williams is facing three felony counts: corporal injury to a spouse, assault with a deadly weapon and assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury.
Cook reduced Williams' bail from $110,000 to $50,000.
Williams' next court hearing is scheduled for Feb. 25. He remains at the Merced County Jail.