Judge Dahlquist, the interpreter, and Maria Morales Juares in court yesterday (August 23).
  • Judge Dahlquist, the interpreter, and Maria Morales Juares in court yesterday (August 23).
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After more than an hour of grueling cross-examination by a defense attorney, witness Maria Morales Juares began telling him that his questions were “stupid” and she was “bored” of his repeated questions on the same point and she finally told the judge “I can’t stand being here any longer” and “I can’t stand this abuse.”

Photo of defendant David Herbert provided by Oceanside Police

Photo of defendant David Herbert provided by Oceanside Police

On August 23, a preliminary hearing began for David Christopher Herbert, 36, who pleads not guilty to burglarizing the home of his Oceanside neighbors, abusing their dogs, and slashing the tires of their vehicles.

Juares told the judge that starting in February of this year, she began to find the tires slashed on her Lexus, which was parked in the driveway of her home on Carino Way. This happened at least four times in February, March, and April. Sometimes she found three tires slashed, sometimes it was two tires, on both her and her husband’s cars. Juarez produced receipts from a tire store to show the court.

On cross-examination, defense attorney James Weintre seemed to suggest that the tires may have been worn and ready for replacement. He also asked pointed questions about how closely she had inspected the tires and questioned if she had actually seen any punctures.

Juares testified that she had purchased her two pet husky dogs when they were small puppies and that now Estrella and Cocuyo are about 18 months old. Juares tearfully described the multiple occasions last spring when she would return home to find her dogs missing, burned with acid, or acting strangely and “drunk.” Finally, on April 28, she arrived home to find Cocuyo on the floor unable to stand and drooling out of his mouth; Estrella was upstairs with one eye gouged out and bleeding and crying. Both animals had been doused with some kind of caustic liquid and their skin was burnt, red, and peeling, Juares said between sobs.

Prosecutor Teresa Pham said, “The whole entire neighborhood is terrified of the defendant.”

Prosecutor Teresa Pham said, “The whole entire neighborhood is terrified of the defendant.”

In his cross-examination, attorney Weintre seemed to suggest that her dogs may have already been damaged before she acquired them, but she was unable to see it because of their dense fur. That was when Juares was heard to exclaim, “Oh, my God” and “That is a stupid question” and she told the judge she couldn’t take it any longer. Juares testified with the assistance of a Spanish-speaking interpreter.

After judge Robert Dahlquist excused all the witnesses for the day, prosecutor Teresa Pham asked the court to order defendant Herbert to stay away from the alleged victims of his crimes, all of whom are his neighbors. The prosecutor stated that “everyone” was surprised when the suspect was able to produce a million-dollar cashier’s check to bail out of custody two days ago, and Pham claimed that “The whole entire neighborhood is terrified of the defendant.”

Judge Dahlquist declined to grant any restraining orders but said he will reconsider the matter when the preliminary hearing resumed today (August 24) at 10 a.m. in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse in Vista.

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oneoftheteachers Aug. 25, 2017 @ 6:03 a.m.

Judges like this are the reason that terrified neighbors have no other choice but to resort to self help to protect themselves. Remember Danny Palm and the Cunninghams?


Visduh Aug. 25, 2017 @ 8:01 a.m.

Eva, this reporting is great. The daily newspaper had a long piece today that lacked any sense of flesh and blood, merely recounting the events and charges. I wonder if that reporter sat through the hearing; maybe she watched for ten minutes.

Having said that, one does wonder about the prosecutor, and why the defense attorney was allowed to badger the witness at length. There is something called an objection that can be lodged, even if the judge overrules it. She did make an attempt to have the judge warn the def to stay away from witnesses. Isn't that an understanding when bail is granted? If Herbert did the slightest thing to intimidate or re-offend while on bail it would/should/could be revoked immediately. That is, if the judge were on the ball.

By the time this case is over, it will be quite a story indeed.


Eva Knott Aug. 25, 2017 @ 5:05 p.m.

Visduh, thank you for the compliment. The prosecutor was able to get a criminal protective order for 3 named persons, these are alleged victims who had lived next door to David Herbert. But those 3 persons no longer live on that street -- prosecutor Teresa Pham did plead with the court, stating that the remaining neighbors still fear David Herbert, but technically only the named persons are "protected."


jnojr Aug. 25, 2017 @ 8:03 a.m.

I'd love to read about something terrible happening to this piece of garbage.


Wabbitsd Aug. 25, 2017 @ 10 a.m.

I'm having difficulty sorting this story out. Did the Defendent (David Herbert) tell Attorney James Weintre his questions were "stupid" or did the witness (Maria Morales Juares) say the questions were stupid?

Is there any information as to what the basis of this argument was between the two families? Did the dogs bark and annoy the defendent?

I also wonder why the prosecutor did not step in to object to the badgering questions. Is there an update to this from yesterday's events?


Eva Knott Aug. 25, 2017 @ 5:11 p.m.

Oceanside police detective Gabriel Nolasco testified that a woman who lived next to David Herbert in 2013 got a visit from him in the middle of the day. Herbert allegedly complained that her television was too loud, the woman disagreed and declined to lower the volume. She later found all four tires on her car, parked in the driveway, were slashed.


Visduh Aug. 26, 2017 @ 8:50 a.m.

Whoa! That is some very large and upscale housing, especially for Oceanside. The stereotype for that city is old, small, and generally run-down houses. This story now takes on a whole different slant. And this sort of neighborhood conflict usually doesn't occur in upscale 'hoods of two-story Mediterranean-style homes.


Eva Knott Nov. 20, 2017 @ 7:06 a.m.

David Christopher Herbert, 36, is set to begin his trial on the day before Thanksgiving, on November 22, 2017. Herbert, who continues to be at liberty on one million dollars bail, is expected to be in department 5 of San Diego's North County courthouse in Vista, at 8:40 a.m. It is unclear if the justice system expects to be able to seat a jury over the Thanksgiving holiday, or if the parties will ask for a "bench trial" in which only the judge hears the evidence, or perhaps the parties will seek a plea deal on that date. The District Attorney's website states that public defender Stacie Patterson represents Herbert at this time.


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