Wife of doctor accused of driving family off cliff in a Tesla doesn’t want him prosecuted – Autoblog

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Emergency personnel on the web site of the Monday accident in Northern California close to Satan’s Slide.
Sgt. Brian Moore/San Mateo County Sheriff’s Workplace/Related Press
  • The spouse of a person accused to driving his household off a cliff in a Tesla does not need him prosecuted.
  • A home violence skilled instructed Insider such a conduct in victims isn’t unusual.
  • Prosecutors dealing with the case are treating it like a home violence case, a neighborhood DA stated.

The spouse of a California physician accused of purposely driving his Tesla off a 250-foot cliff with his family inside screamed out to responding medics that her partner “tried to kill” them — however her husband’s lawyer stated in court docket final week that she does not need him to be prosecuted.

A home violence skilled and the native district legal professional dealing with the case instructed Insider on Tuesday such a conduct in victims isn’t unusual. 

There are each “psychological causes” and “actual world circumstances” like household pressures or financial dependence that sometimes lead home violence victims to cease cooperating with authorities, stated Dorchen Leidholdt, the director of the Middle for Battered Ladies’s authorized providers at Sanctuary for Households in New York. 

“Understanding why victims cease cooperating may be very, crucial,” Leidholdt instructed Insider. “To grasp that, I feel we have to perceive that there is psychological causes in lots of circumstances that contain traumatic bonding with the abusive, intimate companion.”

The Stockholm Syndrome-like situation can happen when “there’s been a sample of energy and management, usually abuse, punctuated by reward,” stated Leidholdt.

Moreover, there regularly are “actual world pressures positioned on victims usually by the abuser’s household and mates” and presumably even the victims, Leidholdt stated. 

Yearly, Sanctuary for Households serves more than 7,000 survivors of gender-based violence, and Leidholdt stated she’s seen “many circumstances” the place a sufferer will initially cooperate with an investigation and even testify earlier than a grand jury then cease cooperating.

“That may be very, quite common,” Leidholdt stated as she added that “prosecutors are very aware of that scenario” and sometimes have to show to skilled witnesses at a trial to elucidate to a jury the doubtless causes behind a sufferer’s refusal to cooperate. 

Native district legal professional is treating case as home violence

Dharmesh Patel, 41, pleaded not responsible final week to a few tried homicide expenses after he was accused of deliberately driving a Tesla off the infamous Satan’s Slide cliff in Northern California along with his spouse and two children, ages 7 and 4, inside on January 2.

Patel, a radiologist at Windfall Holy Cross Medical Middle in Los Angeles, and the passengers miraculously survived the wreck and have been rescued by way of helicopter.

The suspect’s spouse, Neha Patel, shouted out to responding paramedics that her husband “tried to kill us” and that “he deliberately drove over the cliff,” Wagstaffe instructed Insider. 

San Mateo County District Lawyer Steve Wagstaffe instructed Insider that his workplace is “viewing” the case as a home violence case. Prosecutors don’t have any proof of prior home violence, he stated. 

However Dharmesh Patel’s protection legal professional, Josh Bentley, stated in a courtroom final week that Neha Patel — a key witness within the case — doesn’t need her husband prosecuted, NBC Bay Space reported

Wagstaffe instructed Insider that whereas it isn’t “useful” to the prosecution to not have the spouse as a witness, prosecutors imagine there’s sufficient proof to maneuver ahead with the case. 

“This isn’t unusual, regardless that this case may be very unusual,” Wagstaffe stated of the spouse’s lack of cooperation with authorities. 

In line with Wagstaffe, “We’ve discovered, as I feel most counties within the state have discovered, is that round 75% to 80% of our home violence circumstances, the sufferer doesn’t need the case to go ahead.”

“It may be as a result of within the core of it, [the victims] nonetheless love the individual. It may be, in lots of circumstances, ‘How am I imagined to stay?’ What do I do to outlive,'” Wagstaffe stated. “Which a kind of issues is motivating Mrs. Patel, I can not communicate to, however it’s not one thing that we’re not used to.”

“I am instructed that the Patel household, this is essential to them. It is a matter of cultural disgrace to them, I suppose,” Wagstaffe added. “And that performs a task.”

This image from video provided by San Mateo County Sheriff's Office shows a Tesla vehicle that plunged off a Northern California cliff along the Pacific Coast Highway, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, near an area known as Devil's Slide, leaving four people in critical condition, a fire official said.
This picture from video supplied by San Mateo County Sheriff’s Workplace reveals a Tesla car that plunged off a Northern California cliff alongside the Pacific Coast Freeway, Monday, Jan. 2, 2023.
San Mateo County Sheriff’s Workplace by way of AP

Wagstaffe stated that his workplace believes that underneath California legislation, Neha Patel’s assertion to medics on the scene might be admissible in court docket.

The district legal professional referred to as this “vital” as a result of “that could be the one phrases we get from her.”

Along with the proof of surveillance footage that captured the Tesla making two “sharp turns” earlier than it plunged off the cliff, prosecutors are awaiting an in-depth report from California Freeway Patrol, which is working with Tesla on the matter, Wagstaffe stated. 

“We’re hoping that when their experiences are finished, that the automobile may give us some info,” he stated, including that there’s a chance the Tesla may present a mechanical failure. 

“If all of a sudden they arrive again, and so they say, ‘We had a automobile malfunction right here in some trend,’ effectively, that modifications the taking part in discipline for us,” Wagstaffe stated.

Nonetheless, Wagstaffe stated, “I’ve seen the [surveillance] video. These are two very sharp turns. It is not a drifting off of the cliff. It is two right-hand turns.”

Dharmesh Patel’s legal professional didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark by Insider on Tuesday. 

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