Alleged domestic violence victim refused to testify against ex-Clovis cop
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Police had to testify against one of their own Tuesday as a judge decides whether a Clovis police officer should be put on trial for domestic violence.
Kyle Pennington was arrested in June after a 911 call brought officers to his home.
The alleged victim in the case was subpoenaed to testify against Pennington, but with her attorney by her side, she pleaded the Fifth and refused to testify.
Pennington stands accused of a trip to the dark side of the law. Investigators from Clovis and Sanger say the former Clovis police officer committed a series of violent attacks on his girlfriend, leading up to his arrest at a home in June.
A passerby in the neighborhood called 911 after seeing the girlfriend running from the home and officers found the woman with injuries to her face, her arms, and her knee. And it wasn't the first time.
"I asked her if he'd been physical with her before," testified Sanger police officer Angela Yambupah.
"And what was her response?" asked prosecutor Kelly Smith.
"She responded yes, but that she did not want to talk about it," Yambupah said.
A Clovis police internal affairs officer testified his department was already investigating Pennington for domestic violence before the incident in Sanger. But investigators say the alleged victim told them Pennington's attack was designed to hurt her without leaving evidence of what he'd done.
"She stated that he used a pillow, placed it between her neck, used her arm to choke herself and stated that he was very smart," Officer Yambupah said. "He knew there would be no marks if he used the pillow."
Police say the woman was a hesitant witness at the scene of the crime and her reluctance heightened in court Tuesday.
"I refuse to testify," she told the judge.
The alleged victim answered a few questions from the judge, telling him nothing could convince her to tell her story.
Pennington's defense attorney said that's partly because she can't keep her stories straight. She's talked to investigators about three separate acts of violence, but also said nothing really happened at least one of those times.
At the time of his arrest, Kyle Pennington was on paid leave from the Clovis police department. He is no longer employed by Clovis PD.
The hearing should wrap up on Friday and the judge will then decide whether there's enough evidence for Pennington to face trial.
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