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DA Review Of Domestic Violence Case To Remain Secret

Audio

Aired 11/2/10

Two weeks after San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis promised a review of her office's handling of a domestic violence case. KPBS has learned the findings won't be made public. The lessons of the review against a man now charged with killing his wife will remain within the DA's office.

Dumanis pledged to do the review after domestic violence advocates said the criminal justice system failed 19-year-old Diana Gonzalez. Gonzalez was found murdered days after the DA's office declined to prosecute her husband. She accused him of kidnapping, choking and raping her. Local defense attorney Christopher Plourd said it is unusual for the district attorney not to be open with the public about her office's decisions. Plourd said the reasons could be many.

"There could be a mistake that was made and there's a personnel issue involved in it," Plourd said. "That's one possibility. There has to be something behind the failure to disclose. Obviously, this is a matter of public interest."

Plourd said people need to understand why Gonzalez's case was not prosecuted.

"They need to know what happened and why because they need to have faith and confidence that the system is working properly," Plourd said.

The county's multi-agency Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team may review Gonzalez's case later if her husband is convicted and sentenced for her murder. The husband remains a fugitive.

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