Trial date reset for Chico officer charged for punching man at Oroville casino
OROVILLE — A trial date has been reset for a Chico police officer charged with allegedly punching a man while off duty outside an Oroville casino.
Judge William Lamb rescheduled the trial date for Todd Lopez to Oct. 1 after defense attorney Denny Forland requested the continuance. Lopez did not appear Wednesday in Butte County Superior Court.
Forland said he needed additional time for his investigator to interview witnesses of the incident at Feather Falls Casino on Nov. 23.
Lopez is charged with misdemeanor simple battery for an alleged punch thrown at a 35-year-old man at the man's car in the casino parking lot. The man had been ejected by casino staff after he had reportedly been drinking, obnoxious and apparently insulted a woman with Lopez.
Supervising deputy district attorney Kurt Worley opposed the request, saying surveillance video sufficiently corroborated current witness accounts.
Forland said the video wasn't sufficient because it lacked audio. What was said before the incident could play a role in a case of self-defense.
Lamb reset the date, acknowledging the defense request and taking into account the personal and trial schedules of both attorneys.
If convicted, Lopez could be sentenced to six months in jail and lose his right to carry a gun for 10 years.