Amier Rocky Issa, 34, who for 10 years worked as a computer technician at UCSD, will live with a relative in Los Angeles on terms of three years probation that was granted by San Diego Superior Court Judge Joseph Brannigan. The judge rejected imposing a prison term that was recommended by the probation department.
Issa was ordered to complete a 52-week class for domestic-violence batterers and must avoid all contact with the victim, Michael Serrato, 29, and the restaurants where Serrato works as a waiter. Serrato suffered a 5-inch cut on his face on July 11, 2008, when Issa, who was reportedly stalking Serrato after their relationship ended, confronted Serrato on the street.
Serrato received 28 stitches both inside his mouth and outside his face. Serrato said he was satisfied with the sentence. He sent the judge a letter asking that Issa receive mental health treatment and not a prison term.
“We want Mr. Issa to have very careful monitoring … to place Mr. Issa on a very, very short leash,” said Deputy District Attorney Michelle Ialeggio, who recommended probation.
Issa was ordered to take medication and Brannigan said Issa’s custody credits total 646 days, including two stays at a state mental hospital after he was declared mentally incompetent to stand trial and to be sentenced. Issa returned to San Diego in August after psychiatrists found he was mentally competent to be sentenced.
With the credit for time served, Ialeggio said the 646 days would have been subtracted from a prison term and Issa would end up released from prison without any program to help him.
“Admittedly, we are taking a chance,” said Brannigan, who told Issa he would go to prison if he refused medication or violated probation terms. “I wish you good luck and hopefully no more problems.”
Issa was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in October, 2010 and could have faced seven years in prison. He jumped bail and was a no-show for the verdict, but he was arrested at the MGM Hotel in Las Vegas eight days later and returned to San Diego.