REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - The wife of a radiologist accused of trying to kill his family last month by driving his Tesla off a cliff at Devil’s slide in San Mateo County, does not want to prosecute, the defense attorney in the case has revealed.
Dressed in an orange jumpsuit and behind a plexiglass barrier, 41-year-old Dharmesh A. Patel appeared in court in Redwood City on Thursday.
During the hearing, prosecutors asked the judge to issue a no-contact order to bar Patel from contacting his wife and children, whom prosecutors alleged the suspect tried to kill when he deliberately drove his car off the cliff.
Patel’s attorney, Joshua Bentley, attempted to block the no-contact order and told the judge that Patel’s wife, "The witness in this matter, does not want prosecution."
Prosecutors argued that the wife and two children needed protection and said, "As the court is aware from domestic violence cases, it's often that the victims do not want prosecution. That is not a new fact, and based on that, we are seeking a full no contact order."
The judge granted the order, prohibiting Patel from any personal or written contact with the three members of his family, and stressed that the father was barred from coming within 100 yards of them.
The Pasadena doctor faced three counts of attempted murder and domestic violence stemming from the Jan. 2 crash, in which he was behind the wheel, with his wife and two young children, ages 4 and 7, when his Tesla Model Y went off a cliff along Highway 1 and plunged a treacherous 250 feet below.
Miraculously, the family survived.
A family of four survived plummeting over a cliff near Devil's Slide, but prosecutors alleged the father deliberately crashed the car in an attempt to kill his wife, two young children and himself.
At the scene, Patel’s wife reportedly told paramedics, "He intentionally tried to kill us."
The two children were rushed to the hospital with minor to moderate injuries. Their parents suffered injuries ranging from moderate to critical.
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.