Former 90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days star Geoffrey Paschel was back in court today as his motion for a new trial was heard. Actually, Geoffrey was in prison where he is currently serving 18 years for brutally beating his fiancée Kristen Wilson (now Chapman) in June of 2019, but he was allowed to appear at the hearing via a video call.
After more than 40 minutes of arguments from Geoffrey’s attorney and rebuttal by the prosecutor, Judge Kyle Hixson denied the motion. Geoffrey and his attorney have previously stated that they intended to file an appeal, and they now have 30 days to file that notice with the court.
Geoffrey Paschel Motion For New Trial Recap
Geoffrey’s attorney, Greg Isaacs, shared a PowerPoint presentation detailing a long list of items he believed merited another trial and/or revisiting Geoffrey’s 18-year sentence. We’ve compiled a relatively brief summary of the issues Mr. Isaacs brought up. We have included the full video of the hearing at the bottom of this post.
Mr. Isaacs did not believe that the photos of Kristen Chapman’s injuries should have been allowed as evidence. There were three sets of photos of Kristen’s injuries presented at trial. One set was taken at the scene on the night of the incident. Another set was taken the following day. A third set was taken by Kristen the day after that. You can see examples of some of the very graphic images here.
As we were the first to report, a police officer who interviewed Geoffrey on the scene noted in the police report that Geoffrey had scratch marks on his chest that appeared to be self-inflicted. In his testimony, the officer was asked not to offer up his opinion on the cause of the injuries, but just to describe them.
Despite the instruction, the officer testified that they appeared to be consistent with self-inflicted wounds. The defense objected and the judge instructed the jury to disregard the statement. The defense argued that the statement was enough to prejudice the jury and merit a mistrial.
The defense protested the use of police body cam footage recorded at the scene that showed Kristen Chapman huddled on the floor of her neighbor’s kitchen after she fled from Geoffrey. Mr. Isaacs argued that the audio was garbled and it was unclear what Kristen was saying.
Also at issue for the defense was the fact that Geoffrey got violent after being arrested, as captured by police camera footage and documented in his arrest report. Here is an excerpt from the police report:
The arrestee was initially taken into custody without incident. While in custody, the arrestee attempted to kick out the windows of the patrol vehicle. Officers removed the arrestee from the vehicle and applied leg restraints. The arrestee made further attempts to damage the patrol vehicle while his legs were restrained. The arrestee was removed from the vehicle again and further restrained.
As a result of his outburst, Geoffrey was initially facing a vandalism charge in addition to the other charges he was eventually convicted of. However, prosecutors agreed to drop the vandalism charge. It’s not clear why, especially since it seems like the case was open and shut if he damaged the police vehicle on video. Regardless, prosecutors agreed to not present details from Geoffrey’s post-arrest outburst as evidence.
The outburst did come up during the prosecution’s cross-examination of Geoffrey. He was asked if he had to be restrained after being arrested in rebuttal to Geoffrey’s claims that he was calm and that Kristen was the actual aggressor on the night of the attack.
Here is how Prosecutor Heather Good defended the question during today’s motion for a new trial hearing:
[Geoffrey] got up there and painted himself as the most calm, cool, collected individual that you would ever meet in your entire life. When he was up there saying that Miss Chapman had actually been the one assaulting him for some period of time prior to the police being called.
Again, he said he never got angry, not one time. That he just kept trying to calm her down, that he wasn’t mad at her, that, you know, nothing about situation with Miss Chapman made him mad. And so the intent of the question was to show that he, in fact, was not this calm, cool, collected person that he tried to portray himself to be on the stand.
Mr. Isaacs objected. I moved on with my questioning. He didn’t even have to answer it. So, again, we do not believe that there is an error there that affects the overall evidence in this case and would be grounds for a new trial.
The defense objected to Geoffrey being questioned about something he said in a YouTube video. The comment in question was Geoffrey stating that he had a screen cap of Kristen speaking with his ex-wives.
Perhaps the most viable element in the motion for a new trial was Kristen’s remark while testifying suggesting that Geoffrey had previously abused her. Kristen was asked about files that had been deleted from her phone to clarify testimony given by Geoffrey about the files. In her response, Kristen mentioned that some of the files that were deleted included photos of “previous marks” Geoffrey had left on her.
The defense objected and immediately moved for a mistrial. The court took a recess as the judge in the case considered the motion. He decided to overrule the motion before striking the testimony and admonishing the jury.
The remaining arguments in the defense’s motion were in regards to sentencing and the charges themselves. The defense doesn’t believe that Geoffrey’s drug conviction in Texas merited the sentence enhancement that was given.
The defense also argued that sentencing testimony from Geoffrey’s ex-wife, Allison Moon, about prior alleged violent acts by Geoffrey should not have been allowed. Heather Good argued that the rules for testimony at sentencing allowed for Allison Moon’s statements, and she also pointed out that she sent the defense team Allison’s testimony the night before the sentencing.
I thought this quote from the prosecutor was quite interesting in that it mentions multiple police reports:
The defense was, while they did not have that statement, the defense for months was on notice that I was going to be calling Miss Moon at sentencing. They were on notice. They had the prior police reports involving Miss Moon for months and months, so they did know that she was going to come to testify regarding prior abuse.
If you’re curious about the specifics of what Allison Moon said, here’s an excerpt from our recap of Geoffrey Paschel’s sentencing:
Testifying against Geoffrey Paschel was Allison Moon, one of his ex-wives with whom he shares a son. Allison said Geoffrey made “many threats” towards her and her family, including threats to kill her. She also talked about an instance when Geoffrey allegedly threw her against a wall and attempted to punch her. She says that after the altercation he forced her to have sex.
Allison detailed other incidents that included strangling, dragging her by her hair, backhanding her in the face, and elbowing her in the back. She also said that some of her allegations were included in previous court filings during her custody battle with Geoffrey. We shared some of those details in a previous post.
The defense was allowed to respond to the prosecution’s rebuttal, then the judge issued his ruling immediately.
JUDGE: Thank you Mr Isaacs. Thanks to all counsel for their work on this motion. I will be respectfully denying the motion for new trial. That means that the deadline for filing a notice of appeal will be 30 days. Mister Isaacs, will you be representing Mr. Paschel on direct appeal?
MR. ISAACS: I will.
JUDGE: Very well. We’ll get that notice filed and we’ll go from there. Thank you all very much.
Here is Court TV video of the full hearing in regards to Geoffrey Paschel’s motion for a new trial: