California IN BRIEF : VENTURA : High Court to Hear AIDS Assault Case
The California Supreme Court has agreed to review the case of a Santa Barbara man who faces assault charges--the first such charges to be filed in the state--for allegedly infecting a Ventura County woman and her baby with the virus that causes AIDS. The high court agreed to consider an appeal by David Scott Crother, 45, whose attorney argued that Crother was unconstitutionally denied a preliminary hearing after he was indicted by the Ventura County Grand Jury in January. The defense argues that eliminating the hearing denies defendants the right to hear the evidence against them before trial. The Supreme Court decided to consider the Crother case and several others that question the constitutionality of portions of Proposition 115, the Crime Victims Justice Reform Initiative, which allows use of grand juries rather than preliminary hearings as a way to shorten the trial process.