Analysis: Damning Text Messages Emerge in Ross Mirkarimi Spouse Abuse Case

Categories: Crime, Politics
ross arraign 300px.jpg
Peter Jamison
Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi after yesterday's arraignment
One of the major missing pieces in the domestic-violence case against newly elected Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi emerged during his arraignment on three misdemeanor counts yesterday: Text messages and e-mails, allegedly sent by his wife, that prosecutors say demonstrate her concerns that Mirkarimi was physically abusing her.

The content of those messages forms a significant piece of the evidence against Mirkarimi, along with the testimony of neighbors and videotaped statements his wife, Eliana Lopez, made to a confidante. Yet few media outlets other than SF Weekly and the San Francisco Examiner seemed to pay attention to the revelation of some of the texts and e-mails, which cast a further shadow on the embattled sheriff and former supervisor.

This might simply be because of the unusually high drama that attended Mirkarimi's not-guilty pleas to misdemeanor charges of battery, child endangerment, and dissuading a witness after he allegedly left a bruise on his wife's arm during a fight on New Year's Eve. At one point, Lopez made an impassioned plea to San Francisco Superior Court Judge Susan Breall, sobbing and asserting that "the violence against me is that I don't have my family together."

But in an effort to get Breall to issue a more long-lasting protective order barring Mirkarimi from making contact with his family, veteran Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Aguilar-Tarchi read what she said were text messages and e-mails that Lopez had sent to neighbor Ivory Madison. Among them, as we reported yesterday:

-- "Will the police arrest him, or will they just talk to him?"

-- "We're leaving Monterey. The aquarium was so nice and Ross fed us regularly."

-- "Hello, Ivory. I'm not going to call the police. I'm going to open a record with my doctor."

Aguilar-Tarchi said Lopez also asked Madison in general terms what would happen if she complained to the police, and that Madison responded saying she did not know the answers to her questions but would look into it.

It is unclear when the messages were sent, or whether they were texts or e-mails. District Attorney's office spokesman Omid Talai declined to comment in detail on the messages or release them, saying only, "There's a mix of text messages and e-mails, and we anticipate presenting more evidence on the record in court" beyond what was read aloud yesterday.

Robert Waggener, Mirkarimi's defense lawyer, and Cheryl Wallace, Lopez' attorney, did not respond to calls seeking comment.

The texts, as read by Aguilar-Tarchi, appear to buttress the claims made by police and prosecutors that Lopez, while ambivalent about involving law-enforcement authorities, feared for her physical safety.

The unusual mention of food in the text that appears to describe a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium also echoes information in the arrest warrant affidavit filed in Mirkarimi's case. The argument that precipitated the alleged abuse on New Year's Eve began, according to the affidavit, while the couple and their son, Theo, were on the way to a restaurant. Mirkarimi "stated something to the effect that [Lopez] didn't deserve to eat," the affidavit states.

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s b
s b

It's disappointing how much misogynism and sarcasm pepper the comments about this story (this post, and others before it).  I might be old fashioned but I was taught never to touch a lady.  I guess the sheriff feels differently.  I mean, it's not like he said "I did not touch her".  In fact, the sheriff (again, an elected official) hasn't said squat except to deny and trivialize the incident. Well, the bruise came from someone....

Lili
Lili

Coppersmom you are a woman-what is your problem? You have a crush on Ross? Are you one of the women he's cheating with or do you have some sort of issue with the victim? Have you been following the story at all?

As to the "guest" here: let me guess: you are someone on the side of the abuser so you're posting ridiculous nonsense to make people look away.

guest
guest

Talked with a confidante? Why doesn't the Weekly note that the neighbor presents herself as an attorney, and the text messages also say the neighbor was verifying the legal advice. Sounds more like attorney-client privilege. You can't try to support the credibility of the neighbor by pointing out in other stories that she is an 'attorney" and then ignore it when it runs afoul of attorney-client privilege. And that is exactly what was was the Judge at the arraignment hearing.

coppersmom
coppersmom

ivory Madison...Cal state bar lists all licensed lawyers in california..no mention of any ivory madison..so maybe she pretends to be a licensed lawyer..but is lying?

Esther
Esther

Mirk the Jerk is a termed out politician. He had nothing to run for, then the Sherriff's seat opened up. He is unqualified for this chief law enforcement position. Why did he win? He convinced his commie liberal base to vote for him. SF is so topsy turvy. Now he has a $170k job and a launching platform from which he could run for mayor or assemblyman in the future. This is what career politicians do, it is so fake and phony.

Mirk the Jerk is held to a much higher standard than a regular person. The judge cannot take any chances and must err on the side of caution. All the facts must come out in a DV case.

Guest
Guest

The judge says Lopez does not speak English well. Then we must assume her verbal and text statements in English are inaccurate. So why not give her the benefit of doubt and believe her now. At least she had a chance to make sure her "English" is worded right.

Guest
Guest

 What is so damning in these messages? She is asking what the police would do in a hypothetical situation. It is not proof the guy did anything. It is not even proof of accusation. It merely indicates that one person asked another about a legal matter.

Ahvr34
Ahvr34

Those questions show a state of mind based on FEAR. DV victims usually don't accept that they are victims until it is too late. DV experts will say she is in classic denial.

coppersmom
coppersmom

and a significant number of dv  'experts" are psychobabble charlatans.

coppersmom
coppersmom

well you are thinking enough on this one..The wife, Eliana Lopez speaks very broken English. Imagine this..they have an argument about her taking their child to Venezuela...the argument occurs in the car on the way to the restaurant..The husband says...I really don't feel like going to any restaurants now after this argument..The broken English wife..tells the female vengeance superhero comic book auteur(Ivory Madison) who produces and prods the wife and makes the little videotape...that they didn't go to the restaurant..that he said she "didn't deserve to eat"...Don't be so quick to assumethat's what he really said in English. No one in that family looks deprived of food whatsoever.

Kimberly C
Kimberly C

It clearly sounds like he was withholding food to control his wife and son.  This guy is a rage-ahoic.  Maybe his treatment of women was passed down to him from his father.  Often the abused turn into abusers.

Flemingrandolph
Flemingrandolph

All of S.F.'s 'Trokskyites' in government positions , are 'ticking time bombs'.."Be afraid , be very afraid."   Rudy Giuliani

guest
guest

Fleming, right now you should be more afraid of the looming disaster that is the GOP primary and a ticking newt bomb. Just sayin' . . .

Flemingrandolph
Flemingrandolph

I'm more afraid of the 'real time' disaster that's an economic reality for trades and labor people , pre-sently ; to include city's infrastructure.. We all can'tbe 'financial analyists' , IT , etc.. 350,000,000 peoplein US and we're all supposed to be 'service indus-try'...What 'change' ?..The current Oval Office lookedlike FDR back in '08 campaign but...

Kimberly C
Kimberly C

Flemingrandolp your post is on the wrong page.  Are we supposed to de-criminalize violence because you have radical political views?  Hardly.

Guest
Guest

 I would be afraid if I was taking my family to San Fransisco. Thank God I don't live in California. I was planning on taking my 9 year old there but no thanks. I will stick to vacation in Florida.

Kimberly C
Kimberly C

were you planning on visiting Ross Mirikimi?  What a stupid Republican.  There is domestic abuse in your state too honey.

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

Florida?  I guess San Franciscans aren't crazy enough for you.

coppersmom
coppersmom

and we too are so thankful that you don't even know how to spell the name of a major American city...puhleeeeeeeze keep yourself and your pathetic spawn far  far   away.

Flemingrandolph
Flemingrandolph

...and on your 'parents dime' , too...Now that's smart..

coppersmom
coppersmom

ah..but we are also notoriously well-educated.

Flemingrandolph
Flemingrandolph

You mean you don't consider it a possible 'typo'? That does happen.....but then again you SF 'Uber-Libs' are notoriously closed minded , so...

Hawkweed
Hawkweed

I live in San Francisco and its a beautiful place with nice people.  I've been here 34 years.

Homer
Homer

I dunno...have you ever seen the food at the Aquarium? It might be considered abuse to offer it to your wife.

Guest
Guest

 I have not tried its food nor do I plan to. But my boss warned me a while ago to keep my kids away from a restaurant whose name I shall not mention. He said "feeding them there may be considered child abuse".

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