Prosecutors are deciding whether to retry the suspect in the 2014 shooting death of a popular Sacramento fashion designer and mother of three after jurors deadlocked at trial this week.
A hearing is scheduled Tuesday before Sacramento Superior Court Judge Bunmi Awoniyi.
Dameshlo Green, 35, faced murder and burglary charges during the three-week trial that ended with Monday’s hung jury in the May 2014 killing of his former girlfriend, Tamisha Evette Ridge, 31, while she and her three children slept in her Woodbine Avenue home.
Jurors deliberated for four days before returning to Sacramento Superior Court Judge Helena Gweon without a verdict.
District attorney’s officials on Wednesday responded to questions of a retrial in a brief statement.
I understand why Mr. Green was arrested. He had prior domestic violence. He was there. But investigators had already reached a conclusion that he was guilty.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Fletcher
“After a hung jury, we evaluate the evidence, any changes, or new evidence presented at trial and make a determination on whether or not to retry the case,” officials said. “We are currently in that process.”
Green, who remains held in Sacramento County Main Jail, testified for two days recounting the events that led to the fatal shooting. He admitted entering the home in an attempt to talk about re-establishing the relationship but denied shooting Ridge. Green maintained he was not armed.
Prosecutors said Green was armed with a sawed-off shotgun when he slipped through an unlocked door into Ridge’s home before dawn May 14, 2014, and entered her bedroom. There, prosecutors argued, Green awakened a man, later identified as Lee Williams, and the two struggled over the shotgun before a shot rang out.
Tamisha Evette Ridge’s YouTube do-it-yourself fashion videos had gained a large and loyal internet following.
Ridge was dead, Green fled the home and Williams woke the others in the house and said Green had fired the fatal blast, prosecutors said.
Williams, called to testify at trial, invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Green turned himself in to Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies hours after the fatal shooting on an unrelated warrant out of Inyo County. Prosecutors said Green had a gash on the bridge of his nose, a result of the earlier struggle. Blood found at the death scene matched Green’s DNA.
Investigators building their case quickly focused on Green, who had an extensive history of violence against Ridge and other women including a 2011 felony sentence in Sacramento Superior Court after pleading no contest to assault with a deadly weapon after beating and sexually assaulting a girlfriend.
Green and Ridge had been in an on-and-off relationship for about 10 years between 1998, when Ridge was just 16, to about 2008, court documents showed. They had a child together in 2003, but Ridge had also feared for her safety.
Prosecutors in court documents cited violent incidents in 2002 and again in 2004 and 2008. In one incident, Green punched Ridge when she returned home late. Another time, Green choked Ridge, according to prosecutors’ filings before trial.
Ridge’s relationship with Green ended soon after the 2008 incident. She remarried and had two children, and she had filed a restraining order against Green that was in effect when she was killed, according to Bee reports at the time of her death. Ridge was not married to Williams.
Prosecutors said Green wanted to renew a relationship with Ridge, calling and sending text messages to his former girlfriend. When she rejected the overtures, prosecutors say Green’s calls and texts became more frequent and harassing.
Green’s defense attorney, Jeffrey Fletcher, argued that Green did want to mend their relationship, went to Ridge’s home with that in mind and was not responsible for Ridge’s death. Investigators were too quick to conclude that Green killed Ridge, Fletcher said.
“The people and investigators assumed certain things from the outset. He was trying to repair the relationship,” Fletcher said following the deadlock. “I understand why Mr. Green was arrested. He had prior domestic violence. He was there. But investigators had already reached a conclusion that he was guilty.”
Ridge, whose YouTube do-it-yourself fashion videos had gained a large and loyal internet following, had recently moved to Sacramento from Southern California at her mother’s urging to escape Green, her mother told The Bee in the days after Ridge’s death.