Young, out-of-work Jesse Moore made a terrible, drunken, A-hole move in the street outside his Alhambra apartment on the night of October 15, 2010.
But will Moore's punishment out-terrible his momentary lapse in judgment?
According to the police report, he aggressively grabbed neighbor Juan Piñeda's cellphone "and broke it into two pieces, rendering it inoperable." He's now convicted of attempted robbery and vandalism, crimes the District Attorney's Office has informed him will put him behind bars for two to five years.
Moore's mother, Carolyn Jaques, is freaking out, as most mothers would:
She admits her son was wasted and reckless, but says he was just trying to bum a smoke (Piñeda alleges it was money Moore wanted), and didn't believe Piñeda when he told him he didn't speak English.
When Alhambra Officer Marshall arrived, Moore reportedly told him that the "dude" across the street was "full of shit." Piñeda spoke to the officer half in English, half in Spanish.
In the victim's original testimony, composed in Spanish, he alleged that Moore had punched him in the face when he told him he didn't speak English -- much like the man currently suing Kobe Bryant for hurting his wrist last Sunday at St. Therese of Carmel:
As KGTV tells it, the victim was taking cellphone pictures when Bryant allegedly grabbed his phone and, failing to find a photos, gave it back.
But ... the man claims his wrist was injured and that he had to head to a hospital.
Was Bryant trying to steal the cellphone? Obviously not. And Moore doesn't seem to have been either, by all accounts presented to the judge.
Though Piñeda told police at the time that Moore had assaulted him -- grabbing his sweater and grazing his right cheek with clenched fist -- he later admitted he "suffered no injury," only "some emotional trauma."
In light of this, all battery charges have been dismissed. Moore's downfall now lies in what happened with the cellphone: Just as Piñeda pulled out his phone to call his wife for help, the drunken attacker broke it in two and threw it on the ground.
Resulting in a felony conviction of attempted robbery on August 5.
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Jaques, Moore's mom, insists there is no evidence her son ever tried to rob the phone. And she's dismayed that in court, responding Officer Marshall never testified -- so "it just ended up being one on one."
She says the original public defender Moore was assigned "had no intention of defending him. He said, 'You're kid's getting three years.'" So she had to hire a private attorney, who she says floundered after finding out, last minute, that Officer Marshall wasn't being called up to the witness stand.
We've contacted the District Attorney for comment. Moore will receive his final sentence on August 25.