Victim’s grandfather ejected from the courtroom twice because of his actions
It was a long day for state prosecutor Kevin Wiggins, who watched his star witness, Corey Ausby, virtually implode on the witness stand. After opening statements were given, the state called responding officer Sergeant Jackson, a 21-year Baltimore City Police Department veteran, who testified as to what he saw when he got to the scene of the crime, and what he heard over both the Shomrim radio he had, as well as his own department issued radio. “When I got to Fallstaff and Labyrinth, I witnessed Mr. Ausby in the middle of the street, shaken and bleeding,” Jackson said, while elaborating on specific details of what happened that day. He also stated he heard “chatter” on the Shomrim-controlled radio, which he pointed to hearing their pursuit of the victim through verbal exchanges on the walkie-talkies.
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And while the defense attorney’s for Ari and Eli Werdersheim opened their defense with statements of the incident not being racial, they tried to get Sgt. Jackson to suggest that the victim used racial slurs when identifying the men who assaulted him – even at one point putting words in the sergeant’s mouth, which was later withdrawn. “Didn’t Mr. Ausby refer to the gentlemen who attacked him as those Jews in a derogatory manner,” questioned Eliyahu’s attorney Andrew Alperstein. “Absolutely not, he said they were Jewish men who attacked me,” replied the black sergeant.
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And then it all seemed to fall apart for the state, to some degree; as the next witnessed called was the victim, Mr. Ausby. And after about an hour of mumbling through testimony that was so inaudible he had to be instructed multiple times to speak up and into the microphone, Judge Pamela White called for an hour and a half lunch break to try and resolve the audio problem. However, it seemed to get even worst when court resumed, as Ausby was almost held in contempt of court, based on his refusal to answer any more of the state’s questions. “Corey, you have to speak up so that the judge can hear you and we can explain what happened to you on that day,” instructed prosecutor Wiggins. But after even refusing his attempts, the judge seemed to have enough, even before Mr. Ausby jumped up and said he no longer wanted to go forward with the case.
“I’ve been wanting to drop the charges, as I didn’t even want to go through with this, I just felt pressured,” said the 16-year old young African American boy, who was clearly shaken and crying throughout the morning session. Increased supporters sat in the crowd stunned at what they had witnessed, many believing that the judge should have requested the boy be brought to her chambers to testify, as common practice with juveniles scared to face their assailants. “This boy clearly was not properly prepped by either his parents, or his lawyer in the civil case, J. Wyndal Gordon,” said one local activist.
But others, such as SCLC Baltimore Branch President Reverend C.D. Witherspoon believed it was a matter of intimidation. “He and his family could have been threatened in the case, or it could just be a matter of him being harassed by his friends and peers as being some sort of snitch,” said the young activist, who could only shake his head after the day of events; which was exacerbated by Corey’s grandfather Gerald Maddox – whom the young man lives with – who was thrown out of the courtroom twice based on his actions in trying to get his grandson to speak up. Mr. Maddox first was asked to leave during the morning session, when he apparently made some sort of body gestures or sign language, while young Corey was struggling with his words.
Judge White then expressed her dissatisfaction with the actions of the uncle, who upon leaving, leaned over and whispered something to his grandson, which was inaudible, but he claimed he merely told the boy to “speak up”. After admonishing the courtroom full of people, and even later allowing Mr. Maddox back in the court after lunch, he was again removed for his loud outburst shouting to Corey to “speak up boy”! Corey’s mother sat in the back of the courtroom just staring intently at her son throughout the day, not once saying or reacting to his actions.
Wiggins then turned his attention away from Corey himself, and focused on the 911 tapes of Corey calling for assistance on that dreadful day in November, 2010. He painted a picture for the court that was also confirmed by Mr. Ausby, that stated that Corey was in the area because he resides in Fallstaff Manor with his grandparents and was on his way to the bus stop to go meet his mother for a scheduled doctor’s appointment. Ausby gave a more vivid, though mumbled, account of what happened, saying he was followed by the guys in a burgundy car, later identified as the Werdersheim brothers; who asked “what he was doing in the area”, to which he replied, “what’s up, yal want something?” They later exited the vehicle, as reportedly Eli, a trained Israeli special forces soldier, slammed him to the ground and held him while his younger brother Ari hit him in the head with their Shomrim issued walkie-talkies – as someone else (unidentified) had a knee in his back.
When Sgt. Jackson was asked whether or not he explored the possibility that Ausby was the aggressor, with a wooden stick with nails they said he had; Jackson answered no, but couldn’t have asked the two people on the scene he spoke with – Herbert Kleine and Mark Rosenbluthe – as they never returned to the scene when asked to do so by Sgt. Jackson. He also stated that both lied in their initial reports to him, never identifying the brothers being at the scene of the crime, stating that they were not members of Shomrim.
Court resumes tomorrow morning and will go forward without the testimony of the victim in the case, Corey Ausby. The trial is expected to stretch into next week.
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