SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco prosecutors said they believe a judge will allow a video that apparently shows a bruise on the wife of Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi as evidence as his domestic violence trial began Friday.
Prosecutors also released several photo stills from the video showing his wife Eliana Lopez with an apparent bruise on her arm to dispute a court filing by Mirkarimi's defense lawyers attempting to get the emotional clip tossed out.
The images show Lopez apparently crying and candidly describing how Mirkarimi had allegedly grabbed and bruised her right bicep at their home on New Year's Eve. The video was taken by Ivory Madison, a neighbor on Jan. 1 -- a day after the alleged incident.
Madison said Lopez immediately "burst into tears and then showed me (the bruise) and started telling me (what happened)," prosecutors said in a court motion filed on Friday.
"This was not a normal fight. ... Some of the fights (Mirkarimi and Lopez) are out of control and this was one of those and this was serious," Madison said, according to the document.
Mirkarimi has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness for allegedly grabbing Lopez in front of their toddler son.
But Mirkarimi's attorney, Lidia Stiglich said the video of Lopez talking to Madison about the incident should be inadmissible because the video was meant to be used in a potential custody battle. Stiglich also argued that what neighbors said Lopez told them should be considered hearsay.
Prosecutors, however, called Stiglich's claims "preposterous" and "ridiculous."
Mirkarimi and Lopez have both repeatedly denied the allegations. He is not allowed to see his wife under a protective order, but he has been granted visitation to see the couple's 2-year-old son as he fights the charges.
Deputy District Attorney Omid Talai says prosecutors are confident a judge will admit the video and accompany commentary by Lopez as evidence.
"We're not the least bit surprised by the defense motion, we are confident the law supports us in this area and the video will be admitted into evidence," Talai said. "There is no doubt that without the video, this case will be difficult to proceed on."
The case resumes on Monday as Judge Garrett Wong will begin hearing pretrial motions.