State Rests Case In Trial Of 2 Brothers Accused Of Beating African-American Teen
BALTIMORE (WJZ)— The trial resumes for brothers accused of beating an African-American teenager. On Tuesday, several witnesses took the stand.
Weijia Jiang has more on the testimony.
Moments after the state rested its case against the Werdesheim brothers, the defense asked the judge to acquit them of all of the charges. That request was denied.
The brothers, 24-year-old Eliyahu Werdesheim and 21-year-old Avi Werdesheim, are accused of beating 16-year-old Corey Ausby in 2010. He was 15 years old at the time.
The six-day trial has already included several dramatic moments. Tuesday morning, a woman watching the proceedings fainted and fell to the ground. Avi, a trained EMT, rushed to her side until help came.
And just last week, Ausby got out of his chair while he was on the witness stand, and in an emotional outburst said, “I don’t want to testify. I want all the charges to be dropped.”
“If the victim of a crime does not want this thing to go forward, most typically the prosecutors drop it,” said Byron Warnken, legal analyst.
But prosecutors barreled forward anyway, relying on other testimony.
One key witness, a retired Navy SEAL, testified that he saw the brothers follow the teen in their car. He says they told Ausby, “You don’t belong around here.” He also said Ausby looked petrified. That story corroborates with what Ausby told police during the investigation.
But the defense and one of its key witnesses say the teen struck first and that the brothers acted in self-defense.
Many community activists who believe the violence was racially motivated are closely watching the case.
“The public should still know that righteousness will prevail in this case,” one activist said.
The defense will begin calling witnesses Wednesday. We expect to hear from at least one of the brothers. Then the judge will make a ruling, as there is no jury for this case.
The Werdesheims face multiple charges, including assault and false imprisonment.