During the bench trial of State Senator Hiram Monserrate, who is accused of assaulting his girlfriend last winter, Justice William Erlbaum threw out two of the prosecution's charges against Monserrate. The charges were ones that claimed the freshman, coup-loving Senator acted recklessly when he slashed Karla Giraldo's face with a broken glass; Erlbaum reasoned that they conflicted with the prosecution's claim that Monserrate acted intentionally.

However, the two felony and two misdemeanor counts against Monserrate still stand, and a felony conviction could land him in jail for up to seven years. The defense called a witness to bolster its claim that Giraldo was really drunk (and that Monserrate accidentally slashed her with a water glass). The host of a party that Giraldo attended right before the incident testified, "I said, 'Either you stop drinking and cool yourself or you have to leave the party because I'm not not going to be responsible for your death.'"

Monserrate's defense also says that Giraldo's drunken state is why she told hospital workers that Monserrate was crazy and that he slashed her.