A former director at a Southern Nevada domestic violence shelter was acquitted Thursday of a misdemeanor domestic battery charge.
Robert White II, 37, was hired Nov. 28 as The Shade Tree’s director of programs and education. His role, which entailed implementing new learning opportunities for women and children at the shelter, was announced on the nonprofit organization’s website Dec. 12.
On March 6, the day after his arrest, shelter officials put White on leave without pay and reassigned all components of his job.
“Working with victims of domestic violence meant a lot to him. He’s always been someone who’s helped in the community,” Kristina Wildeveld, White’s attorney, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Thursday. “He thought that Shade Tree should have let the facts come out before dismissing him, and he wishes they would have given him the benefit of the doubt.”
White was accused of striking his live-in girlfriend multiple times during a confrontation in their southeast valley home, police said. White’s girlfriend was not taken to the hospital, but officers noted she had bumps on her head and a scratch on her neck.
An arrest report noted White had injuries too, including a cut inside his mouth “where it appeared he bit down on it as he was being slapped.”
Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Amy Chelini found White not guilty Thursday after a police officer who responded the night of the incident admitted that White’s girlfriend, Adria Joseph, was the initial aggressor, Wildeveld said.
Joseph could not be reached for comment late Thursday.
Wildeveld said White wants his job back.
“I don’t know if that’s even an option,” the attorney said.
The Shade Tree is a 24-hour shelter for women, children and pets. The organization, established in 1990, is based in North Las Vegas.
Shade Tree’s spokeswoman did not respond Thursday to a request for comment.
Contact Rachel Crosby at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-5290. Follow @rachelacrosby on Twitter.
Two high-profile acquittals
Justice of the Peace Amy Chelini has acquitted two defendants, including Robert White II, in the past two weeks in high-profile domestic violence cases.
The first case involved defendant Kenny Sanchez, the head coach of Bishop Gorman High School’s state champion football team. In that case, Chelini said during a brief bench trial on May 30 that she believed Sanchez was falsely accused by his former fiancee, Brooke Stewart.