Tuesday, June 26, 2012 · by Tamara Aparton
San Francisco, CA — A beloved San Francisco character known for his rainbow-colored wig and outspoken support for both LGBT rights and medical marijuana was acquitted of violating a restraining order taken out by his neighbor, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi announced today.
Jury members deliberated 40 minutes Monday afternoon before finding Larry “Juicye” Edmond, 51, not guilty of two counts of violation of a court order, said Edmond’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Julian Ross.
Edmond, a regular at City Hall meetings, had no prior criminal record when he was arrested April 19. His downstairs neighbor, a 47-year-old man, told police that Edmond winked at him before taking a seat close by during a memorial service in a common area of their residential hotel.
The neighbor had been granted a civil harassment restraining order against Edmond in February after repeatedly complaining about the volume of Edmond’s music and alleging that Edmond stomped loudly on the floor. The order stated that Edmond stay more than 3 yards away from him when in the hotel and 15 yards away from him outside.
“Mr. Edmond’s neighbor doesn’t like him and has used the system to bully him,” Ross said. “He has called the police hundreds of times, despite Mr. Edmond engaging in legal conduct. In March, he called the police four times to report that Mr. Edmond was using the kitchen in a common area.”
Edmond spent 11 days in jail before being released on bail. Prosecutors added a second count against him after the neighbor told police that Edmond came within 15 yards of him at City Hall on June 5. Edmond had just voted and was on his way to a Board of Supervisors meeting. The neighbor was working as a stand-by poll inspector, Ross said.
The two-day trial took a bizarre turn after a district attorney who previously handled the case was called to the stand as a witness. The prosecutor testified that the neighbor had become angry because the case was not going to trial fast enough and demanded Edmond be charged for coming too close to him on his way to the courthouse bathroom. The prosecutor testified that the neighbor then told him, “I’m going to lose my mind or I’m going to kill (Edmond).”
On the stand, the neighbor denied making the statement to the DA, and also recanted his earlier allegation that Edmond winked at him, Ross said. Jurors later said they did not find the neighbor credible and they did not believe Edmond’s intention was to violate the court order.
A staff member at Community United Against Violence, which works for LGBT safety, testified that Edmond is a peaceful and honest person.
Adachi said the jury reached the right verdict.
“This was a situation where the alleged victim misused the court’s stay-away process to harass Mr. Edmond. Fortunately, the jury was able to see that Mr. Edmond never intended to violate the stay-away order,” Adachi said.
Edmond left his rainbow wig at home during the trial, but wore flowers in his braids and his trademark jacket, which is heavily festooned with political buttons, Ross said.