Thursday, December 12, 2014
The prosecution rested its case yesterday in the Kelly Thomas case.
Defense resorts to character assassination.
Among the witnesses defense attorneys called to the stand Thursday were some of Thomas’ own relatives, including his grandfather, Walter Dieball, who testified that in 1995, his grandson hit him over the head with a fireplace poker while he was watching television.
“I heard the fireplace tools rattling and I looked around and he had the poker in his hand and he hit me with it,” Dieball said.
Ramos’ attorney, John Barnett, asked Dieball if the poker was heavy, tapping his podium twice with a fireplace poker.
Dieball said it was.
An image of the fireplace poker taken after Kelly Thomas struck Dieball was projected onto a screen. It was bent.
Dieball said Thomas hit him another time on the head when he was on his knees attempting to get up and another time on the back as he fled into a room.
He told prosecutors he went into the room because it had a lock, a phone to call 911 and a gun for protection. Dieball, who was pushed to the stand in a wheelchair, wore a yellow ribbon worn by supporters of Thomas.
The defense also called his mother to the stand. She testified that he attempted to choke her in December 2010. She also was wearing a pin exhibiting a photo of his face and a yellow ribbon.
They also called a man who testified that Kelly punched him on the chin when he told him to leave a party for being disruptive.
A woman, who worked at a produce stand in 2010, testified that Kelly Thomas threw rocks at her after she told him to leave the area and chased him away with pepper spray and a machete.
Whether these violent acts will influence the jury remains to be seen.
Regardless of what he did or threatened to do to someone else at some other time in the past, the simple fact remains that the video shows that the police beat an unarmed young man to death and never even attempted to handcuff him.
The trial will resume on Monday.
We depend on reader support and we desperately need your help now.
I hate to beg but have no choice. We cannot pay our rent and are on the verge of being homeless and losing this website.
This is our 794th post in two years. Think about how much time and effort that involves.
Writing articles and maintaining this site requires many hours of work every day. If you value the unique mix of news and commentary you find here, please make a donation.
Click the yellow donation button in the upper right hand corner of this page. You can choose to make a single donation via Paypal or a recurring monthly payment.
We really are on the edge of losing this site. Please keep the donations coming or we won’t be around to cover the trial.
The situation really is that serious.