Ken Leighton 4:53 p.m., Dec. 11
Jury: female Border Patrol agent guilty of battery
Off-duty Border Patrol agent attacked another woman in Del Mar
Late today, a jury declared a female Border Patrol agent guilty of battery on another woman, after a public event on the Del Mar Fairgrounds, May 27, 2012.
The jury of nine women and three men heard Kallie Helwig testify in her own defense. Helwig admitted striking another woman at least three times in the head, but insisted that it was in self-defense because she felt threatened, and that she used her law enforcement training.
Kallie Lamb Helwig, 25, had been accused of lewd acts in public, and then attacking a woman who complained and summoned an usher, during an evening performance of Cirque du Soleil.
The jury found Kallie Lamb Helwig not guilty of one lewd act, and the jury could not come to unanimous decision on the other alleged lewd act. The acts were charged separately, as different acts that occurred at different times that same night, allegedly in public view.
The other defendant in the high-profile case, fellow Border Patrol agent Gerald Joseph Torello, 35, was not found guilty of any charges. He was specifically acquitted of one of the lewd acts, and the votes were favorable on the other two counts, which ended as deadlocked, 10-2, and 11-1, favoring “not guilty.”
Prosecutor Tracy Prior originally charged five counts, including lewd acts and battery and annoy child and making criminal threats; all were charged as misdemeanors.
Witnesses testified that they heard Gerald Torello threaten to “kill” someone if that person spoke again to his companion, Kallie Helwig; the judge dismissed this count mid-trial from jury consideration. Other misdemeanor counts of “annoy child,” for allegedly committing sex acts in front of small children, were also dismissed by the judge, mid-trial.
Both defendants have remained at liberty, since the alleged incidents.
The prosecutor said she has not decided if she will re-try the counts which were not decided by this jury.
The jury foreperson said after the verdicts, that defense attorneys successfully created reasonable doubt. She also said that a jury instruction which states that if the jury could come to two reasonable interpretations of what really happened, they must go with that interpretation of facts which favored the defendants, was important during deliberations.
Honorable Judge Harry Elias has ordered Kallie Helwig back to his courtroom on March 1, for sentencing, in San Diego’s North County superior courthouse.