Oceanside police officer Brett Shields said he was on patrol July 30 when a woman flagged him down on Genine Drive. The distraught woman told him she saw a man climb through a window on the passenger side of a truck and then pull the hair and punch the face of her friend named Caroline.
“She said she had witnessed someone hit her friend with a closed fist,” Officer Shields testified in court on August 21. He learned the victim of the alleged assault, Caroline Moore, was married to Gregory Layne Moore for 14 years, and they were both named as owners on the registration of the red Toyota Tacoma.
Gregory, 58, told the officer that he had been moving his belongings from a little Smart car, which could be seen parked nearby, when the fracas began. He allegedly told the officer he was trying to prevent his wife from removing the keys from the ignition of the truck. He admitted he might have used his elbow, but he denied any hitting, according to statements in court.
“He told me he was homeless,” Officer Shields told the judge. Gregory claimed his wife had disabled the Smart car in which he had been living. The officer could see the little car had deflated tires and a broken side window. Gregory told the cop that he was moving his possessions from the little car into the pickup truck when his wife intervened.
“He is allowed to defend his home,” defense attorney Jeremy Burland told the judge. Burland reminded the judge that a man’s home is his castle, or in this case a red Toyota Tacoma truck.
This alleged battery-on-spouse was charged by the district attorney’s office as a misdemeanor. However, Gregory Moore was charged one felony for disobeying a court stay-away order because he has a previous recent conviction for disobeying a stay-away order, so the new disregard for court-order is bumped up to felony.
According to the criminal complaint, Gregory Moore’s record in San Diego County began when he was 20 years old, in 1979. He started with a conviction for armed robbery. Three years later he was sent to prison for assault. The repeat felon has been sent to prison at least four times, with convictions in 1982, 1986, 1992, 1998, and 2007. The district attorney is charging the current case as a “three strikes” matter.
Superior court judge Robert Dahlquist ordered Moore to answer all charges and left his bail as set at $255,000.
Besides the alleged assault on his wife and contempt of court, Gregory Moore also pleads not guilty to first-degree burglary and probation violations on four other recent cases. He is in custody and is next expected in San Diego's North County Superior Courthouse on September 25, to set a date for trial.