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Charges dropped against CHP officer after wife refuses to testify
[December 19, 2009]

Charges dropped against CHP officer after wife refuses to testify

Dec 18, 2009 (Appeal-Democrat - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Spousal and child abuse charges against a veteran California Highway Patrol officer were dismissed today in Sutter County Superior Court after his wife refused to testify against him.

Brandi Handwork, wife of Officer Richard Handwork, 44, was called to the witness stand to testify at a preliminary hearing about what allegedly happened in October at the couple's Yuba City home.

"I wish not to testify," was Brandi Handwork's response to all questions, including where she lives.

"I direct you to answer," Judge Chris Chandler said.

After Handwork refused to read a letter she wrote to the District Attorney's Office in October, Deputy District Attorney Alison Boutilier read the letter aloud.

Handwork wrote that she was "deeply saddened" by the office's actions toward her husband. District attorneys are "badly mistaken if you expect me to destroy" her husband and family, she wrote.

Chandler refused Boutilier's motion to fine Brandi Handwork for not testifying.

Yuba City police arrested Handwork on Oct. 2 after he came to the CHP office. Bail was set at $50,000.

Yuba City officers did not testify.

The couple sat together in the courtroom and hugged in the hallway afterward.

"That was the criminal side," Capt. Jim Young of the Yuba-Sutter CHP office said in an interview after the verdict. Richard Handwork is still the subject of an internal office investigation and will remain on administrative duty until it's over, he said.

Handwork has been a CHP officer for 15 years.

Contact Appeal-Democrat reporter Rob Young at 749-4710 or at [email protected].

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