Shaji Vargughese was convicted of assault family violence by a jury on July 19 and was sentenced to 90 days in jail by County Court at Law No. 1 Presiding Judge Christopher G. Morales.
The 51-year-old Richmond man was charged with attacking his son-in-law in April of this year. According to Assistant District Attorney Lindsay Richards, Vargughese was asleep in his bed the morning of April 1 when his son-in-law came into his room to find the defendant’s car keys. Vargughese was drunk and the victim was trying to remove the keys from his bedroom.
Unfortunately, the defendant woke up, got angry, and starting yelling. Other family members entered the bedroom and witnessed the defendant push and slap his son-in-law and slam his arm in the door. Vargughese assaulted his son-in-law in front of his daughter (the victim’s wife) and her small child.
When sheriff’s office deputies arrived at the defendant’s Richmond home, they noticed a strong odor of alcohol on Vargughese and had difficulty restraining him as he remained aggressive and noncompliant. After speaking with the witnesses and viewing a cell phone video of the assault, deputies arrested Vargughese to prevent further violence from occurring in the home.
“Although the assault did not result in significant injuries, the jury took it seriously that there was violence in the home,” said Richards. “They understood that there can be pain without visible injuries and they cared about this family and what was occurring behind closed doors, especially in the presence of young children.”
Assault – domestic violence in this case is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in the county jail and/or a fine up to $4,000. Assistant district attorneys Richards and Craig Priesmeyer prosecuted the case. Attorneys Sangyoon Kim and Alberto Salcedo represented the defendant.