Why a former deputy accused in Apple Valley beating caught on video will get a new trial

SAN BERNARDINO >> A former San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy accused of assaulting an Apple Valley man will get a new trial, a San Bernardino Superior Court judge ruled Friday, saying the jury reached a “conclusion not supported by the evidence.”

A jury convicted Charles Foster on March 30 of one felony count of assault by a public officer under the color of authority for the April 9, 2015, alleged assault on Francis Jared Pusok, who authorities say led sheriff’s deputies on a three-hour pursuit on foot, in car, and on horseback through the High Desert before he was arrested.

Foster is seen in an NBC news video, the key piece of evidence in the case, kicking Pusok once as he lay face down on the ground, handcuffed and hobbled.

Judge Dwight W. Moore concurred with Foster’s attorney, Heather N. Phillips, that the jury reached its verdict based in part on improper jury instruction given by prosecutor Robert Bulloch and in part based on inflammatory comments on Foster’s audio belt recorder. He said, after reviewing the video multiple times, that the evidence presented did not prove Foster’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

“Sitting as a 13th juror, I cannot conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the charged crime,” Moore said during Friday’s proceedings. “You can see his leg move … I cannot tell what the alleged victim, Mr. Pusok, is doing at the moment, I cannot say that, in fact, a kick was delivered,…

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