Yolo County District Attorney’s Office prosecutors decided against filing any charges in the case of a man Davis police arrested for robbery in a case dating back to October 2, 2014.
“Based on the information provided in the police report, the facts were not sufficient to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. So, no charges were filed,” stated Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven last week.
Back in October, a 15 year old Davis boy reported he was robbed by a knife-wielding man as he walked along the bike path between the Davis Public Library and the Veterans Memorial Center on East Fourteenth Street in North Davis. The adolescent was not injured during the incident. Davis police investigated and later arrested Bret William Davis, 48, on December 9. Davis told The Davis Enterprise he happened to be living in Berkeley on the day the robbery allegedly took place. Davis learned on December 11 that the Yolo DA was not going to be prosecuting him.
The case provided a classic illustration of the difference between the varying standards of “probable cause” and “proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” used respectively by police and prosecutors. Said Davis police Lieutenant Tom Waltz detectives develop cases based on probable cause, which is sufficient justification for searches and arrests. But prosecutors must, in the interests of justice, adhere more strictly to the facts of any particular case.
“We don’t charge the case. We only recommend to the DA they charge based on the facts gathered,” Waltz said. “If the DA doesn’t think they can win a case in front of a jury based on the probable cause the police have gathered, they don’t charge.”
As for the boy whose report started the whole thing, he could not be reached for comment due to his being a juvenile.