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Two will face charges in assault

Sufficient evidence was presented Friday in the preliminary hearing of a man and woman accused of attacking a 26-year-old near Cal Poly in December.

Judge Teresa Estrada-Mullaney ruled that prosecutor Lee Cunningham presented sufficient evidence for charges of robbery and assault with a deadly weapon against Jeffery Miles Berrett, 25, and Meghan Britnie Gross, 23.

Their alleged attack of Philip Hauser took place in the early morning hours of Dec. 13.

Berrett and Gross were held at County Jail on Friday in lieu of $75,000 bail. They have pleaded not guilty.

Hauser testified that he had attended a friend’s birthday party on Stenner Street near Cal Poly and was walking home about 4 a.m. when he had a discussion with Berrett and Gross.

Hauser said he had about four or five shots of rum that night, but didn’t describe himself as drunk on his walk home.

The three talked about religion because Hauser said he follows the Bible, and Berrett and Gross said they didn’t believe in God.

Hauser said he questioned them repeatedly, asking why they didn’t believe in God.

“They got angrier and angrier,” Hauser said.

The key witness also said he invited the man and woman to stay in his home because he felt sorry for them being out on a cold night.

A fight ensued and Hauser alleged Berrett ended up on top of him, and a black dog that was with the pair bit him repeatedly.

Hauser also accused Gross of picking up a rock and hitting him on the head.

Hauser said he tumbled down an embankment near the railroad tracks near Stenner Street.

During the altercation, Hauser said he heard Berrett say, “We’re going to rob you” and “Meghan, get his wallet” before she allegedly took the wallet out of his pocket.

San Luis Obispo police investigators testified they found Hauser’s wallet and cell phone near the railroad tracks with items from inside the wallet strewn about. Hauser said he didn’t have any money in his wallet.

During cross-examination from defense attorneys Ken Cirisan and Paul Phillips, Hauser said that he put his hands on Berrett first before the fight started “because he felt threatened” and that he had training in punching in the military as a former member of the Marine Corps. Hauser also acknowledged that he had been a heroin user and was taking medication because of that.

But Hauser said the medication didn’t affect him or make his eyes blurry as he described happening after the fight.

Hauser said the fight resulted in injuries, including scarring near his eye, a gash on top of his head that required staples, cuts on his body, and a fractured nose.

Hauser testified that he had had an argument with his roommate over a girl earlier in the night, and walked home from the party to make sure he was calm by the time he reached his apartment.

Berrett and Gross are scheduled to appear for an arraignment on Jan. 21 at 8:30 a.m. in Judge John Trice’s courtroom.

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