Sentencing for man who impersonated officer delayed: Defense attorney claims witness lied on stand

Chula Vista court to hear about victim's flashback

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - Sentencing was delayed Wednesday for a man who was found guilty of impersonating a police officer.

Kevin Kenniston smiled at the end of the hearing. He had won another continuance despite the prosecutor's complaint of constant delay tactics: eight dates for trial had been set and two more for sentencing.

Kenniston was found guilty of 20 charges, including nearly a dozen instances of impersonating a police officer. He had been pulling over people in Chula Vista in a fake squad car, a black and white Ford Crown Victoria equipped with an overhead light bar and pseudo-law enforcement decals. He would be decked out in a dark blue uniform that included a badge, gun, handcuffs and duty belt. 

Two ex-wives and a former girlfriend testified about torture and stalking, but one is central to Kenniston's request for a new trial. The defense claims Esmerelda Mendez lied and therefore, the conviction should be thrown out. Mendez will appear before Superior Court Judge Esteban Hernandez on Thursday morning.

Kenniston had a supporter in the gallery who does not believe the evidence that got him convicted. 

"Some exaggeration," said Charles White, who called Kenniston a respectable man based on their time together behind bars. "We were cellmates. We lived in the same 8-foot space for a couple of months and I would talk to him every day about what he was going through with this case and he would tell me about his life and tell me about himself."

A hearing on a new trial request is now scheduled for May 3. If that is denied, he will be sentenced to prison. Kenniston faces more than 24 years in custody.

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