A time shares exit executive facing a retrial for attempted murder on a girlfriend pleaded not guilty Friday to threatening to kill another girlfriend and her 9-year-old son, where they lived in Newport Beach.
Jordan Adrian Salkin, 35, was granted $2.5 million bail and ordered to stay away from his girlfriend and her son. He was working to try to make the bail this evening, his attorney, Michael Molfetta, said.
Molfetta alleged that the prosecutor on the case, Mark Geller, and Newport Beach police engaged in an “abuse of power” as they attempted to serve search warrants on the defendant.
Geller had pushed for no bail for Salkin, but Orange County Superior Court Judge Andre Manssourian said at a hearing on Thursday that he did not see “clear and convincing” evidence that Salkin intended to carry out the threats as he spent several days after the dispute with his girlfriend — and her son — at a resort in Laguna Beach.
In the most recent case against Salkin, he “threatened to kill his girlfriend and her 9-year-old son with a shotgun,” Geller told Manssourian on Thursday. “Those threats were overheard by the 9-year-old boy’s nanny, who did not live at the residence, but was also a tutor and essentially a babysitter for this 9-year-old for approximately two months.”
In May 2017, Salkin got into a dispute with another girlfriend in Irvine that left her hospitalized to this day.
“Three years earlier, he beat his live-in girlfriend nearly to death,” Geller said. “She is presently alive, but she is in a persistent vegetative state. He fractured her skull in multiple places, fractured her vertebrate… her shoulder blade. She had bruises on her spleen and all over her body.”
Salkin was convicted in February 2019 of attempted murder and corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant, both felonies with sentencing enhancements for causing great bodily injury in a domestic violence incident, as Salkin’s attorneys argued the woman jumped on the defendant’s back during a dispute and then fell off and hit her head.
Molfetta took over the case after the trial and won a motion for a new trial based on his argument that thousands of pages of medical records were not turned over to the defense.
Molfetta argued that the evidence would have helped him impeach the credibility of a medical expert who testified for the prosecution in the trial.
Molfetta said the woman is not in a vegetative state and is alert and can feed herself now. He said the woman’s family never contemplated taking her off life support.
Geller said the failure to turn over the medical records did not constitute what is referred to as a Brady violation, which can lead to discipline by the state bar or even criminal charges.
Geller insisted the records were not relevant to the case and pointed out the judge ruled there was no Brady violation.
Molfetta said during a private conversation with the judge in her chambers that she warned Geller against contesting the new trial ruling further because it might led to an evidentiary hearing that could lead to evidence of a Brady violation.
Geller said Salkin was convicted in four hours following a two-week trial. He accused Salkin of attempting to clean up the crime scene of the attempted murder by taking boxes of steroids and locking them up in a safe he used for guns.
Salkin’s girlfriend in the Newport Beach incident allegedly told the nanny that she thought Salkin was again taking steroids, Geller said.
Molfetta told Manssourian that after the heated argument with his girlfriend he went on a business trip overnight and returned home Thursday of last week when they went to the Montage resort in Laguna Beach for a sort of stay-cation.
Before the protective order was issued, Molfetta said the couple was taking a break at the defense attorney’s suggestion.
“There was a lot of opportunity for him to carry out those (alleged) threats,” Molfetta said. “There were no steroids found, no shotgun found (during searches of his residence).”
The girlfriend “does not want to be involved in the prosecution — she says there was no threat or violence,” Molfetta said. “She has nothing to fear from him.”
Manssourian on Friday told Salkin he should stop taking steroids if he was still doing so.
“If I were you I would stay away from that,” because of the potential to trigger anger, the judge said.
Molfetta told City News Service he has a witness who will testify the nanny was downstairs during the argument between the defendant and his girlfriend and there was never any threat made to the boy.
Molfetta criticized police and Geller for pushing for multiple searches of his client’s homes, “traumatizing” the 9-year-old boy during a late-night search.
Molfetta alleged that Geller did it to punish the defendant for beating him on a new trial motion. Geller denied the claim.