Menlo Park: Jury trial begins for man accused of armed robbery, sexual assault | News | Almanac Online |

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Menlo Park: Jury trial begins for man accused of armed robbery, sexual assault

Lamar Dekari Stevens was injured after leap from bridge in attempt to escape police in 2017

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A jury trial began Thursday (Feb. 20) for a San Jose man accused of armed robbery and sexual assault of a Menlo Park man in 2017.

Lamar Dekari Stevens, 39, allegedly held a knife to the throat of the 65-year-old victim after breaking into his home in the 1000 block of Ringwood Avenue on Aug. 11, 2017, and then robbed and sexually assaulted him, according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Stevens was arrested after police said they received a call at about 4:50 a.m. that day from a resident of the Ringwood Avenue address.

The resident told police he had escaped his home and made the 911 call from a neighbor's house. He had minor injuries, police said.

Police said they responded within minutes and formed a perimeter. At about 4:55 a.m., officers noticed a man matching the description of the alleged assailant on the Ringwood Avenue pedestrian bridge across U.S. 101.

With officers now on both sides of the bridge and a police dog closing in, the man climbed over a fence on the west end of the bridge and jumped down to Van Buren Road, police said. They estimate that the man was about 30 feet above the road when he jumped.

"The suspect sustained incapacitating injuries due to the fall and was taken into custody without further incident," police said in their report.

The court received psychiatrists' reports on May 30, 2018, and both doctors concluded that Stevens is competent to stand trial, Wagstaffe said.

On Feb. 14, San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Barbara Mallach dismissed Stevens' claim of mistaken identity in the case.

The case has been assigned to Judge Clifford Cretan and the process of jury selection will begin Friday (Feb. 21), according to Deputy District Attorney Al Serrato.

Stevens is being held on $8 million bail, according to the DA office's report.

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