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Wife of health practitioner accused of driving loved ones off cliff in a Tesla will not want him prosecuted


Feb 14, 2023
Wife of doctor accused of driving family off cliff in a Tesla doesn't want him prosecuted

Crisis staff at the web site of the Monday accident in Northern California near Devil’s Slide.
Sgt. Brian Moore/San Mateo County Sheriff’s Business/Linked Push
  • The wife of a guy accused to driving his family off a cliff in a Tesla doesn’t want him prosecuted.
  • A domestic violence skilled informed Insider this style of actions in victims is not unheard of.
  • Prosecutors managing the situation are managing it like a domestic violence circumstance, a neighborhood DA explained.

The wife of a California doctor accused of purposely driving his Tesla off a 250-foot cliff with his loved ones within screamed out to responding medics that her partner “tried out to eliminate” them — but her husband’s law firm mentioned in court docket previous 7 days that she will not want him to be prosecuted.

A domestic violence expert and the community district legal professional managing the situation instructed Insider on Tuesday this sort of behavior in victims is not unusual. 

There are both “psychological explanations” and “authentic earth conditions” like family pressures or financial dependence that typically direct domestic violence victims to stop cooperating with authorities, mentioned Dorchen Leidholdt, the director of the Centre for Battered Women’s authorized providers at Sanctuary for People in New York. 

“Comprehension why victims end cooperating is pretty, pretty crucial,” Leidholdt explained to Insider. “To understand that, I assume we want to recognize that there is psychological reasons in many circumstances that include traumatic bonding with the abusive, personal spouse.”

The Stockholm Syndrome-like ailment can manifest when “you will find been a sample of energy and control, often abuse, punctuated by reward,” reported Leidholdt.

On top of that, there regularly are “authentic entire world pressures positioned on victims frequently by the abuser’s household and close friends” and perhaps even the victims, Leidholdt explained. 

Each individual year, Sanctuary for People serves extra than 7,000 survivors of gender-based mostly violence, and Leidholdt said she’s viewed “numerous cases” where by a victim will at first cooperate with an investigation and even testify in advance of a grand jury then cease cooperating.

“That is incredibly, extremely common,” Leidholdt claimed as she included that “prosecutors are really acquainted with that predicament” and often have to transform to specialist witnesses at a trial to clarify to a jury the possible good reasons at the rear of a victim’s refusal to cooperate. 

Nearby district attorney is dealing with scenario as domestic violence

Dharmesh Patel, 41, pleaded not guilty past week to 3 attempted murder fees just after he was accused of intentionally driving a Tesla off the notorious Devil’s Slide cliff in Northern California with his spouse and two youngsters, ages 7 and 4, within on January 2.

Patel, a radiologist at Providence Holy Cross Clinical Heart in Los Angeles, and the travellers miraculously survived the wreck and have been rescued via helicopter.

The suspect’s spouse, Neha Patel, shouted out to responding paramedics that her husband “tried out to destroy us” and that “he intentionally drove more than the cliff,” Wagstaffe explained to Insider. 

San Mateo County District Lawyer Steve Wagstaffe advised Insider that his office environment is “viewing” the circumstance as a domestic violence case. Prosecutors have no evidence of prior domestic violence, he claimed. 

But Dharmesh Patel’s protection attorney, Josh Bentley, claimed in a courtroom very last week that Neha Patel — a vital witness in the scenario — does not want her spouse prosecuted, NBC Bay Space noted. 

Wagstaffe instructed Insider that even though it truly is not “helpful” to the prosecution to not have the spouse as a witness, prosecutors believe that there is ample proof to transfer forward with the scenario. 

“This is not uncommon, even nevertheless this situation is pretty unheard of,” Wagstaffe stated of the wife’s deficiency of cooperation with authorities. 

According to Wagstaffe, “We have observed, as I assume most counties in the condition have uncovered, is that all-around 75% to 80% of our domestic violence cases, the victim does not want the case to go ahead.”

“It can be simply because in the main of it, [the victims] nevertheless appreciate the person. It can be, in numerous scenarios, ‘How am I supposed to live?’ What do I do to endure,'” Wagstaffe explained. “Which a person of individuals matters is motivating Mrs. Patel, I are unable to converse to, but it is not a little something that we are not utilised to.”

“I am advised that the Patel relatives, this is pretty crucial to them. This is a issue of cultural disgrace to them, I guess,” Wagstaffe extra. “And that plays a function.”

This image from online video delivered by San Mateo County Sheriff’s Business office reveals a Tesla vehicle that plunged off a Northern California cliff alongside the Pacific Coast Highway, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023.
San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office via AP

Wagstaffe said that his office environment believes that under California legislation, Neha Patel’s assertion to medics at the scene will be admissible in courtroom.

The district legal professional referred to as this “vital” for the reason that “that may possibly be the only phrases we get from her.”

In addition to the evidence of surveillance footage that captured the Tesla generating two “sharp turns” prior to it plunged off the cliff, prosecutors are awaiting an in-depth report from California Freeway Patrol, which is working with Tesla on the matter, Wagstaffe stated. 

“We’re hoping that when their reviews are completed, that the car or truck can give us some info,” he explained, including that there is a likelihood the Tesla could show a mechanical failure. 

“If abruptly they appear again, and they say, ‘We experienced a automobile malfunction listed here in some vogue,’ perfectly, that variations the actively playing discipline for us,” Wagstaffe explained.

On the other hand, Wagstaffe mentioned, “I have seen the [surveillance] online video. These are two really sharp turns. It is not a drifting off of the cliff. It can be two proper-hand turns.”

Dharmesh Patel’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for remark by Insider on Tuesday. 

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