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Old 07-09-2020, 05:51 AM
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Default Mammy ooks racism behind prosecution of jigro who stabbed his white wimman roommate

https://www.ocregister.com/2020/07/0...in-buena-park/

Mom claims racism behind prosecution of man who stabbed roommate in Buena Park
ACLU, NAACP and a justice group plan to rally Friday to demand the release of Donte Epps in October 2019 assault




UPDATED: July 8, 2020 at 6:41 p.m.

This much everybody can agree on: something was wrong with 29-year-old Donte Epps on Oct. 4, 2019, when he attacked his female roommate with a 9-inch knife in their Buena Park apartment.

Dangerously agitated, Epps said something about trying to protect his roommate, but then stabbed her in the chest and continued the assault even after police arrived, according to those close to the investigation.

Epps, who has a real estate license and worked selling luxury cars, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and has been in jail nine months on $1 million bail while his case works its way through a court system slowed by COVID-19.
Mom: ‘He was racially charged’

Epps’ mother, Terronda, inisists he was overcharged and treated unfairly. And, she says, the reason is simple: “He’s a Black man who has an offense with a white woman at a time when we have a nation in the midst of racial unrest. … I believe he was racially charged.

“The charges don’t add up to the character of this 29-year-old man,” said Terronda, who lives in Prince George, Virginia.

Two months before Terronda took her cause to the Orange County media in late June, prosecutors decided to lower the charge to assault with a deadly weapon. Nevertheless, Terronda still wants her son released from jail immediately with time served and given treatment for his mental health issues.
Nothing racial about case, DA says

District Attorney Todd Spitzer says Epps’ mental state still has to be sorted out through the justice process. Spitzer said he is open to whatever can be worked out between the attorneys, but wants to see a psychiatric evaluation.

“We don’t lock up people for mental illness, we try to get them help,” he said.

But, added Spitzer — who reviewed the 911 tape and the police reports — there is nothing racial about the case.

“What would be the prejudice here? He’s lucky to be alive,” Spitzer said. “When police came into the apartment, they had the legal right to shoot him. I don’t think the cops acted with enough force.”

Epps dropped the knife after police arrived, but continued to attack the 27-year-old victim in the presence of officers, knocking her through a mirrored closet door, according to those close to the case. Spitzer confirmed her wounds were severe.

“He stabbed her in the chest and it was not superficial. She bled through her clothes,” Spitzer said.
Rally planned Friday

Terronda Epps, 47, disputes the severity of the attack and is flying to Orange County to lead a planned demonstration outside the North Orange County Justice Center in Fullerton at 7:30 a.m. Friday. Expected to join Terronda are the ACLU, the NAACP and a new group called Transforming Justice, Orange County.

Terronda is no stranger to activism. Twenty-years ago, she founded the Tri-City Community Outreach group, which helps the homeless and the poor with their legal battles. This isn’t the first time she’s fought against what she views as racism.

But, she said, “I’ve never seen this type of mistreatment at all.”

Terronda paints Epps, the eldest of seven children, as the pride of the family. His Facebook page is sprinkled with inspirational memes like “have fun, be smart, work hard, be healthy.”

Sarah Kahn, a member of the year-old Transforming Justice, is part of the effort to free Epps.

“You don’t get well in a cell, ” Kahn said. “Somebody could come to that scene, rather than arrest and incarcerate, he could receive treatment. A person not going to jail will become a safer citizen.”

Kahn’s group at its heart is a de-carceration organization, meaning that it ultimately wants to close the jails.

“Jail makes people more traumatized, more violent, it breaks them away from their support system,” she said. “The Orange County jails are brutal places.”

A pretrial is scheduled for Friday at the Fullerton court before Judge Cheri Pham, but may be held a day earlier.
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