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Pizza shop owner wins first jury trial
Entrepreneur juggles legal career, Pasco's Pizza
VICTORVILLE • Deena Pribble became the owner of Pasco's Pizza in Hesperia when she was 25.
And for Pribble, it was just a start.
She has dreamed of becoming a lawyer since she was in college and began juggling her pizza business and legal career. Her family and friends call her “Hurricane Deena” because she was constantly moving from law school to the restaurant to the Victorville courthouse, where she interned at the District Attorney’s office.
“It’s difficult, but I love my life,” Pribble said. “I have so many people that supported me — my partners at the restaurant, my boyfriend who handles day-to-day operations at the restaurant and DAs.”
Pribble recently experienced her first jury trial, in which she prosecuted a man abusing his wife. A jury came back with a guilty verdict after just one hour of deliberations.
“Unless you are told in advance, somebody watching the trial would not have realized that she was a law clerk doing her first trial,” said Deputy District Attorney David Foy, who supervised Pribble since she hasn’t yet passed the bar exam. “What really stood out was her rebuttal closing argument. She was really passionate about denouncing misleading arguments that the defense attorney made, and you can really tell that she really believed in the case.”
Pribble faced the challenging task of convincing the jury that the victim, who had a criminal history, was a credible witness.
“Just because my victim had a bad past, it wouldn’t mean she couldn’t be a victim of domestic violence,” she said. “I really did learn that I’m very happy with my goal of helping the community and helping the victim of crimes and it really can be accomplished.”
She bought Pasco’s Pizza five years ago, when the previous owner retired. It was a spur of the moment, said Pribble, who began working at the restaurant at 20 years old.
“The restaurant is a great way for me to get involved in the community,” Pribble said.
It was also an investment for her to earn her way through law school, Pribble said.
Her internship at the DA’s office ended Nov. 16, the day when the bar results were scheduled to come out.
Unfortunately, Pribble didn’t pass the test, which she took for the first time in July.
“All of my 20s have been dedicated to getting into the legal field and this is not going to discourage me from continuing to reach my goal,” said Pribble, who turned 30. “I know there are amazing attorneys who didn’t pass the test the first time.”
She said she would focus on studying for the next exam in February.
“I know the bar results are disappointing,” she said, “but that trial alone showed me that I could never give up — if anything it showed me how to fight harder for what I believe can be accomplished.”
Tomoya Shimura may be reached at (760) 955-5368 or TShimura@VVDailyPress.com. Follow Tomoya on Facebook at facebook.com/ShimuraTomoya.
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