The attorney for a California doctor charged accused of trying to kill his family last month when he intentionally drove off a cliff in San Mateo County told a judge last week that the radiologist’s wif — one of the alleged victims — doesn’t want her husband prosecuted.
The judge in the case granted a no-contact order barring Dharmesh Patel from contact with his wife and kids despite attorney Joshua Bentley’s objections, KTTV reported.
“The witness in this matter does not want prosecution,” Bentley told the judge.
“As the court is aware from domestic violence cases, it’s often that the victims do not want prosecution,” prosecutors argued. “That is not a new fact, and based on that, we are seeking a full no contact order.”
Patel, 41, is now barred from coming within 100 yards of his wife and two children.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Patel allegedly drove his Tesla off the 250-foot Devil’s Slide in early January with his 42-year-old wife, 7-year-old daughter, and 5-year-old son inside. All four survived and were rescued in a dramatic, hours-long event that saw crews battling rain, heavy winds, waves, and slick surfaces. Firefighters had to cut the adults out of the vehicle with the “jaws of life.”
The children were pulled out of the back window and lifted up the side of the cliff in a rescue basket using a rope system. The adults were hoisted up by helicopter.
Patel’s wife reportedly told investigators at the scene that her husband “intentionally tried to kill us.”
Patel has pleaded not guilty and was being held without bail. If convicted, he could face life in prison.
He’s set to return to court on March 20 for a preliminary hearing.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast.
[Featured image: Crews work on the damaged car/San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office]