For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
August 15, 2016
The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office announced today that a Reno man has been convicted of domestic battery involving strangulation. The conviction came after a three day jury trial, which involved the challenge of presenting evidence to overcome the absence of a reluctant domestic battery victim, who did not testify.
Alberto Camacho, 28, from Reno, was found guilty of one count of Domestic Violence by Strangulation last Wednesday evening in Washoe County District Court. The jury deliberated for two hours before reaching the verdict. Sentencing is set for October and Camacho faces up to 5 years in prison.
The case against Camacho began on April 23, 2016 when the Reno Police Department (RPD) was called to a South Reno apartment on a report of a domestic disturbance. When officers arrived, they determined that the female victim in the case had been repeatedly hit in the face and head by a male with whom she was in a dating relationship. The male, who was later identified as Camacho, had left the scene before officers arrived. In addition to facial bruising, officers also found evidence that the victim had been strangled, including marks on her neck. In addition, the victim reported to the officers that she had been strangled unconscious. Camacho was located a short time later and arrested for domestic battery and this office subsequently filed formal criminal charges against him.
The District Attorney’s Office was able to successfully prosecute and convict Camacho by relying on sworn testimony provided by the victim in a previous hearing. During trial, Deputy District Attorney Travis Lucia presented evidence from jail calls of statements made by the defendant where he attempted to convince the victim to lie about his whereabouts, avoid Court, and fabricate stories of the crime to absolve him of criminal responsibility. These calls were played for the jury, who also heard from an expert witness who provided them with an understanding of the potential lethality of strangulation.
In commenting on the conviction, DA Chris Hicks said “this case highlights both the challenges faced by victims of domestic violence at the hands of their manipulative abusers and by prosecutors seeking justice, and further shows the need to provide support to these victims collectively as a community.”
In the fall of 2015, the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office established a new program designed to enhance the prosecution of domestic violence cases. Domestic violence victims can sometimes be reluctant to cooperate with the prosecution of offenders. The program is designed to improve victim contact and assist in the successful prosecution of these challenging cases.