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Idaho mom lost her leg after being dragged by a car. Man was acquitted of battery, assault

NAMPA (Idaho Statesman) — Natalia “Talia” Elerick told an Idaho courtroom that a man threatened to shoot her and others last summer, and that if she didn’t fight back, someone probably would have lost their life.
The 26-year-old mother of four — who lost her leg because of the incident — got into an altercation with Trevor Stebbins after he allegedly threatened people at a Nampa hookah bar in July 2022. Elerick during the April jury trial said she attempted to de-escalate the situation because she previously worked as a security guard and was hosting an event at the bar when she went outside and saw Stebbins pointing a gun at people.
Elerick said during the trial that she smacked the gun out of his hand, moving into the doorjamb of his vehicle, which is when she alleged that Stebbins began striking her with a baseball bat. Stebbins then began to drive away while Elerick was still in the doorjamb of Stebbins’ car, causing her body to get dragged across the road and resulting in the loss of her right leg.
Elerick, who had a dozen emergency surgeries within weeks of the incident, also sustained significant injuries to her left ankle. Her right arm was broken in 10 places.
“I don’t got a choice to give up or stop working on it,” Elerick told the Idaho Statesman in an interview from her hospital room, referring to her recovery. “I gotta make it better, and I gotta make it work for my family.”
In April, a 12-person jury acquitted Stebbins of three of five charges against him. The jurors found him guilty of leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in injury or death and concealing evidence. He was acquitted of battery, aggravated assault and unlawful possession of a firearm.
The 33-year-old will serve five years in prison for the two felony charges, two years determinate and three years indeterminate. Stebbins could be released on parole from prison as early as next year, according to Idaho Department of Correction records. Stebbins was on felony probation for the delivery of a controlled substance and is expected to serve that case consecutively to this one.
STEBBINS’ ATTORNEY: ELERICK ‘CREATED’ SITUATION
Stebbins’ attorneys questioned testifying witnesses’ statements and argued that they were all friends of Elerick and had inconsistent statements about the weapons Stebbins was allegedly armed with. Elerick and one testifying witness said Stebbins pointed a gun at them and struck Elerick with the baseball bat, while other witnesses said they weren’t sure what they saw. Police were never able to locate the weapons.
“This was not a situation where Mr. Stebbins was going to try and hurt Ms. Elerick, but this is a situation that was created by her,” Stebbins’ attorney, Lary Sisson, said.
Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney Enrique Gutierrez during Stebbins’ sentencing argued that because of Stebbins’ past, his actions should garner a longer sentence.
“I think significant punishment based on his history, based on his words, based on all of his criminal conduct in the past, should be very significant,” Gutierrez said. Gutierrez advocated for Stebbins to be sentenced to 10 years.
Third District Judge Matthew J. Roker told Gutierrez that because the jury acquitted Stebbins of the violent charges, it should not warrant a punishment of that magnitude.
“If the jury had believed that that was intentional, the jury would have found the defendant guilty of the aggravated battery for that, (but) they did not find him guilty of that,” Roker said.
Roker said the evidence supported that Stebbins was in panic mode, caused by an altercation at the hookah bar. But he added that Stebbins should have known Elerick was seriously hurt.
“What the court has before it, is the defendant leaving the scene of a very serious injury accident,” Roker said.
JURY REJECTS FIREARM CLAIM
Roker during Stebbins’ sentencing said the jury rejected the claim that Stebbins had a firearm — despite testimony from Elerick and others saying that there was a gun.
Stebbins’ attorneys pointed to a statement Elerick made to Nampa Police Sgt. Brad Barnum in her hospital room six days after the incident. In the interview, Elerick told Barnum that she never physically saw the gun but instead saw Stebbins reach into a bag and pull something out, which Elerick assumed was the gun.
Elerick, who was heavily medicated during that first week following the incident, said she doesn’t remember telling Barnum that she didn’t see a gun. When asked by Gutierrez, Elerick said she saw the gun and remembered Stebbins telling her that he was going to shoot her.
Gutierrez also argued that if it was really an accident, Stebbins could have gone to the nearby police department or fire station.
“He could have really run just to the right to the fire station and say we were just in an accident,” Gutierrez said. “When he didn’t, he ran home, then lied to everybody.”
Stebbins was also found guilty of concealing or destroying evidence. Roker said Stebbins lied to officers about his clothes’ locations and hid them in his backyard. Police also said Stebbins initially lied about being at the hookah bar and told police that someone had stolen his car.
“I never wish for something so brutal to happen to this young woman,” Stebbins said during the sentencing, apologizing to Elerick. “To her, I’m personally sorry for the way that the events took place on that night.”
The post Idaho mom lost her leg after being dragged by a car. Man was acquitted of battery, assault appeared first on East Idaho News.
Source: eastidahonews.com

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