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Judge delays ruling on Solo’s motion to dismiss

Hope Solo following Seattle's NWSL Championship loss. (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

A decision has been delayed regarding a motion to dismiss Hope Solo’s domestic violence case. (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

A judge on Tuesday delayed a decision to rule on a motion to dismiss the domestic violence case against United States and Seattle Reign FC goalkeeper Hope Solo. Solo’s attorney, Todd Maybrown, had issued the motion based on the refusal of the alleged victims and witnesses to provide depositions.

Judge Michael Lambo on Tuesday ordered that prosecutors to provide the defense all personal notes, transcripts and recordings of their own depositions with the witnesses by 7:30 p.m. ET Tuesday. Lambo also mandated second depositions for the witnesses at the Kirkland Municipal Courthouse on Friday to allow Maybrown further questioning.

As of now, the trial is set to begin on Jan. 20 in Kirkland, Wash. Solo is expected to be part of the United States women’s national team’s January training camp in Los Angeles.

The witnesses and alleged victims — Solo’s half-sister, Teresa Obert, and Obert’s 17-year-old son — of the June 21 incident gave their depositions on Dec. 19, eight days after the motion to dismiss. The court ordered in a Nov. 4 hearing that the two witnesses be deposed.

Maybrown argued in the original motion, obtained by The Equalizer, that “made countless attempts to schedule defense interviews and/or depositions of Teresa Obert,” who is Solo’s half-sister, and Obert’s 17-year-old son. Solo is charged with two counts of fourth-degree domestic violence assault stemming from a June 21 altercation with her sister and 17-year-old nephew at a family gathering. She has pleaded not guilty.

Documents show that Obert and her son, along with their attorneys, delayed a scheduled deposition — considered discovery by the court — until Dec. 2. But on Dec. 2, Obert’s attorney, Mary P. Gaston of Perkins Coie, emailed Maybrown to say that her clients were not issued subpoenas for depositions and therefore would not give depositions. Maybrown replied that subpoenas are not required; only a notice is required.

Maybrown in his original motion to dismiss referred to the prosecution’s actions as “untenable” and “another example of gamesmanship.”

Following the witnesses’ depositions on Dec. 19, Maybrown said in a supplementary document, also obtained by The Equalizer, that the depositions “have not improved the situation in any respect.”

The Dec. 19 deposition, according to Maybrown, revealed that Obert’s son was under medication at the time of the June 21 incident and is still under said medication, but he would not reveal which medication that is. Maybrown in the supplementary document said he did not get answers from the 17-year-old witness regarding his “mental health problems” and “recent 14-day stay at a local hospital.” Maybrown’s supplementary filing also states that Obert and her son had “an agenda” and during their depositions consistently made malicious comments regarding Solo.

Obert and her son contend that their statements to police at the time of the incident are incomplete, bringing up new allegations in the deposition which include claims that Solo slammed her nephew’s head “against concrete 5-10 times” and that Solo pushed Obert down a flight of stairs. Neither accusation was made to police at the time of the incident.

Solo, through Maybrown, argues that she is the victim from the incident. Maybrown plans to prove that Solo sustained a concussion after her nephew broke a broomstick over Solo’s head. Maybrown also states that “defense has interviewed each police officer who was present at the Obert home following the incident of June 21, 2014. These officers each confirmed that there is no independent evidence, other than the self-serving claims of C.J.D.O., that Ms. Stevens was somehow the first aggressor during the incident.”

The witnesses contend that key pieces of evidence, including the broomstick in question and an alleged gun, have recently been destroyed.


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