A St. Louis Park man was acquitted on Jan. 25 of felony domestic violence charges.
As Patch reported in April 2012 when prosecutors filed the criminal complaint, John Edgar Bayiha faced a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $5,000 fine, plus an additional misdemeanor domestic assault charge, which has a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Bayiha was charged with strangling his wife:
According to the criminal complaint, compiled by St. Louis Park Police Officer Aaron Balvin, police were called to a hospital on March 24 after the victim’s sister-in-law called to report a domestic assault.
The sister-in-law reported that the woman was beaten by Bayiha and that Bayiha “isolates” the victim, who was afraid she would be killed if she went to the police.
The victim said she and Bayiha began arguing on March 18 after he accused her of infidelity. She said Bayiha took her cell phone away, pushed her to the floor, knelt on her and began strangling her until she was unable to breathe.
I think it was a tough trial and an emotional trial," Bayiha's lawyer, Ryan Garry, told Patch, "but at the end of the day, the not-guilty verdict was really the result of the government not being able to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt."
Garry said he believed he secured Bayiha's acquittal by discrediting the alleged victim enough to cast doubt on whether Bayiha had committed a crime.
Garry also lavished praise on the prosecutor he faced.
"Christina Warren is an excellent trial lawyer, one of the best if not the best I've faced," he said. "At the end of the day, though, the evidence wasn't there for a conviction."