Friday, February 1, 2013

Free Austin Sarna by Terry Mohan

San Luis Obispo resident Terry Mohan writes an honest and excellent opinion piece on Sarna's case on  Mr. Mohan has previously written about Sarna's case in a letter to the editor of New Times.

Free Austin Sarna

OPINION by Terry Mohan
 Austin Sarna, the Good Samaritan transient, who interceded on an assault by several local drunks on a passing motorist in January 2012, has decided to refuse a plea bargain offered by the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s office.

The deal would have put a strike on Austin’s record, for the California Three Strike law, and would have seen him serve as much as two years in jail for stepping up to help the victim of a crime. He has been incarcerated in the SLO county jail since September on the unimaginable bail of $500,000.

The District Attorney’s office has an extremely weak case with “victims” claiming amnesia about the whole incident, witness accounts of the “victims” beating Austin and “victims” who were so intoxicated they were kicking dogs, falling in the street and generally throwing their weight around as they staggered back to their vehicle.

They were looking for anyone to challenge them, as drunks usually do, and were stupid enough to attack someone who they knew had a knife, for protection against just such thugs. The wounds sustained by the “victims” were minor except a wound to the artery in one “victims” arm, which subsequently stopped the assault. This injury was probably caused by Austin defending himself and the “victim” flailing his arms while punching at Austin’s head.

The DA seems to have been intimidated into pursuing these charges of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon by the influential parents of the “victims” as it took almost nine months to make an arrest. After reviewing the witness statements taken after the incident and a comment made by one of the “victims” the only conclusion to be drawn is the DA’s case rests solely on the impression of an armed homeless transient against innocent upstanding local youths. (aka the drunken, belligerent “victims”).

So as a county taxpayer I will again be writing to the DA questioning his competence on pursuing such a weak case after not long ago failing to convince a jury that belligerent drunks do not make credible “victims.” Austin comes up for another bail hearing on Feb. 5 so if you don’t want to see an additional ten of thousands of county tax dollars wasted on this case take a few minutes and write a letter to the DA asking him to drop this case all together. It will make you feel good encouraging justice to set an innocent man free to return to his fiancée and newborn baby.
 Terry Mohan is a San Luis Obispo resident who after hearing about this case went to the Superior Court and reviewed the initial witness statements and part of the testimony of the first hearing.

Thank you, Mr, Mohan
(originally posted at

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