The Marin County businessman who fell into the Bay after crashing his car into a guardrail and trying to throw his wife off the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge avoided an attempted murder trial by pleading no contest Monday to domestic violence.
Xavier Jarrell McClinton also admitted causing great bodily injury in the Dec. 13 incident. In return, he faces up to seven years in prison when sentenced May 16. The defense requested a three-hour hearing.
“This is an excellent outcome. It is a middle ground that properly holds him accountable,” said District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
At McClinton’s preliminary hearing in March, a defense psychologist testified that he is bipolar and paranoid.
Defense attorney Tony Brass was not immediately available to comment on the disposition.
McClinton, a 48-year-old personal trainer and business owner, allegedly made the attempt on his wife’s life after weeks of uncharacteristic behavior like believing people were trying to break into his house to harm him and the couple’s children.
On the day in question, the couple reportedly argued as they drove east onto the bridge and, about 2:25 p.m., McClinton tried driving their vehicle off the side. He then allegedly pulled his wife from the vehicle and tried to go over the bridge’s side with her until passersby grabbed her legs and held her dangling as he fell. Rescue crews pulled him from the water and arrested him.
The accident snarled bridge traffic for hours.
McClinton’s wife of eight years was left with a severe gash on her cheek.
The jury might have concluded McClinton wanted to kill his wife, Wagstaffe said.
“Then again they might have had some trouble believing it,” he said.
He is held without bail and barred from contacting his wife.
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