Visalia couple accused of baiting, beating thieves cleared of criminal wrongdoing

Saturday, June 6, 2020
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Tulare County DA decides not to file charges against couple who baited thief

The Visalia couple accused of baiting and beating thieves in a story that went viral earlier this year have been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing.

One week ago, the Tulare County District Attorney's Office sent a rejection letter to Visalia Police, explaining their decision not to file 'assault with a deadly weapon' charges against Corey Curnutt and Savannah Grillot, who were accused of luring several thieves to their home by placing a bike outside, then assaulting them with an aluminum bat.

RELATED: Visalia couple baited thieves, recorded beating them with bat, police say

Curnutt uploaded home surveillance videos of the incidents to YouTube.

"The entire assaults in question are not recorded and the two identified subjects in this case lack credibility," prosecutors write in their letter.

They say both are convicted criminals and one refused to cooperate with law enforcement.

Even if the alleged victims were cooperative, prosecutors point out they would need to give them immunity in exchange for testimony, and they didn't feel that immunity should be given to them based on the facts of the case.

"Each one of these victims have a right to claim the Fifth Amendment and say I don't want to testify," ABC30 Legal Analyst Tony Capozzi said. "If you want me to testify, give me immunity. Promise me you won't go after me for attempting to steal those bicycles."

ABC30 Legal Analyst Tony Capozzi doesn't believe prosecutors could secure a conviction in the case, because jurors would see some justification for what Curnutt and Grillot did.

RELATED: 'There would be blood in the street': Neighbor talks about Visalia couple accused of luring, beating thieves with bats

He agrees with their decision not to file charges.

But prosecutors ended their rejection letter with a word of caution.

"This decision should not be considered support for or encouragement of conduct related to "baiting" or vigilante justice," they said. "The actions of the suspects in this case is troubling, however a conviction cannot be obtained in this matter."

"This is putting yourself in danger, it may put neighbors in danger, and it could subject you to prosecution," Capozzi said. "This is something you don't want to do."