STATE COLLEGE — The defense attorneys representing Penn State football players Chris Baker and Navorro Bowman took issue Thursday not only with the allegations laid out against their clients in criminal complaints but with the documents themselves. . . .
“In my 17 years as an attorney, I have never seen an affidavit of probable cause this lengthy,” said attorney Karen Muir, who represents Baker and backup defensive back Knowledge Timmons. Timmons is charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespass stemming from his actions in the aftermath of the HUB incident.
The strangeness doesn’t end there, according to the attorneys.
Sophomore defensive tackle Phillip Taylor is listed by police as among the “participants” in the incident at 1:46 a.m. Oct. 7. But Taylor, despite being implicated by the statements of a number of players as detailed in the criminal complaint, has not been charged.
Sloane said that is because the witnesses against Taylor are among those charged, so they likely would assert their rights under the Fifth Amendment. . . .
“I’m very surprised there were only three people charged,” Muir said.
Attorney Stacy Parks Miller, who represents Bowman, said the complaint was meant to divide the football players and get them to turn on one another to police.
[Assistant District Attorney] Sloane said naming those players will show authorities are serious about holding everyone involved accountable. By making this much detail public, “the investigation may be accelerated,” he said.
Muir and Parks Miller condemned the tactic.
“The odd narrative in the document, which is at least five times longer than any homicide complaint I have ever seen in all the years prosecuting and doing defense work, was clearly written to pit the team members against each other and to influence the general public and potential jurors,” Parks Miller said. “Worse yet, the complaint was written to cast a shadow on people who exercised their Fifth Amendment rights by mentioning each person who did so. Considering that people who did cooperate still ended up charged, it is no wonder people were not lining up to sit down with the police.”
Thanks. I will remember that I can always find a defense attorney who will argue that cooperation should result in no charges in the case of future lawbreaking. Methinks that the reason that the attorneys are so worked up is that parts of the complaint are so damning. Here are a few excerpts:
[An unredacted version of the complaint available earlier in the day has been removed from press websites. In the following, the alleged victim, and the witnesses will not be named.]
Victim stated he was kicked and punched by numerous people. Affiant notice his green shirt was covered in blood and that he had to continually use it to contain his bleeding. Victim had swelling to his entire face, lips, and nose. Blood was coming from his nose, which he continually wiped with his shirt. Victim’s nose appeared that it had been fractured due to the blood and the distorted angle which it was in. Affiant also observed that Victim’s lip was split and blood was oozing from it. Affiant requested an ambulance to the location for an evaluation. . . .
Victim recalled that he was approached and attack by this group of approximately 15 people, although there were four primary aggressors, all beating, punching, stomping, and kicking him. The video surveillance cameras picked up the procession of approximately 15 large black males marching right over to where Victim went to sit by himself when he felt trouble may start. . .
Not only is there video evidence, but also damning testimony from several witnesses:
Witness later supplied Affiant with a written statement he recorded onto his text phone immediately after the event so he would remember everything for the police. In this text message he desribes the incident in vivid detail. . .Another witness reported some professional wrestling style assaults:
“On Saturday October 6pm I was at my alma mater, Penn State attending a social function. At approximately 145 am I was standing inside the room where this gathering was located. As the event was ending the majority of the people were walking towards the stage. As I started to walk towards the stage, I notice out of the left hand side of my vision what appeared to be a young man who was talking and walking with another gentleman. From the tone of the conversation it appeared that they were angry about something. As everyone was walking in the opposite direction I decided to walk behind them as the oldest person in the room I thought I would try and prevent a situation if it was to be one. As they walked down the hallway they made a turn and I heard the first one say there he is right there. As I looked up I saw Victim sitting all alone my heart dropped as I heard the other person say that’s the nigga from last time and as I heard those words there was an all out stampede. The only thing I can think to describe it was me placing a steak in the middle of the floor and 15to20 roetweilers going after that one piece of steak. Victim was being kicked, stomped, punched in the face repeatedly and as I was taking physical punishment to get to his rescue there were just two many guys abusing him. By the time I was able to get to him he was bleeding and still absorbing abuse and all I could do was shield him with my body and as I absorbed all the abuse all I could think of was saving my friend. It was as if my parenting skills kicked in and someone was physically assaulting my child. This appeared to go on for about 4 to 5 minutes when I heard someone say here they come and you better get out of here. Then I was attempting to get Victim to safety when out of no where came a fist to his jaw and he was stretched out for about 30 seconds. At this point I helped him up and others had arrived from one side and the police was there from my other side. It all seemed to happen fast and furiously and it was an all out assault. I then begin explaining to the others that had arrived and the police what I had witnessed. It took everything for me to fight back the tears as I explained the EXTREME physical assault that I had witnessed from all these individuals verses one person.”
Witness reported that he observed approximately four (4) black males punching, striking and kicking another black male. Witness stated that the victim crawled underneath of a table to help protect him from the blows, but two of the males picked up the table and threw it through the air. Witness stated that this sound caused person to being running away from the fight.Witness stated that after they threw the table, the actors continued striking and kicking the victim male. Witness stated that at one point one of the actors, climb onto a chair, jumped off and drove his elbow into the face of the victim. He then witnessed one of the actors pick up a table and throw it forcefully onto the victim as he lay on the ground.
When are you going to clean house Joe Pa?