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San Benito
February 27, 2024

DA charges SJB official with 3 misdemeanor counts after domestic violence arrest

The San Benito County District Attorney’s Office has charged San Juan Bautista City Councilman Daniel J. DeVries on suspicion of misdemeanor assault and battery counts in connection with his arrest in a domestic incident May 24, according to court records. 

Those are lesser charges than the San Benito County Sheriff’s Office’s initial recommendation for a charge of felony domestic violence. DeVries days after the arrest denied wrongdoing. On Friday, he declined to comment on the D.A. charges. 

District Attorney Candice Hooper’s Office filed the misdemeanor charges June 24, while DeVries was arraigned in court the following day. He’s due back in court at 2 p.m. July 18 for a pre-trial conference, according to records. He is represented by attorney Greg LaForge, whom he retained. 

Prosecutors charged DeVries with three counts: Battery on a non-cohabiting spouse or fiance, assault by means of creating great injury, and violating a court order to prevent domestic violence, according to records. With the D.A.’s charges, DeVries faces the potential for a sentence of up to one year in jail for each of the misdemeanor counts. 

The sheriff’s office on May 24 responded to a disturbance in the 400 block of Fifth Street in San Juan and contacted DeVries there. Investigators suspected domestic violence and took DeVries, age 54, into custody.

The councilman was booked into the county jail at 9:53 p.m. that night and released on $50,000 bail at 11:26 p.m. that night, according to jail records.

The sheriff’s office accused him of inflicting corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition, a felony. A conviction on that recommended charge could have resulted in up to four years in prison. 

DeVries and the suspected victim called the allegation exaggerated in the days after it occurred and said no injuries were involved.

“This is all a huge misunderstanding,” DeVries said when asked about the arrest in late May.

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