Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Court Watch Wednesday August 17th (C. Champagne)

Magidson was still on the stand for most of the day; Merel's attorney Dubois did request to call a witness out of order, Dr. Van Meter, who performed the autopsy on Gwen. Dr. Van Meter is a brilliant woman, but the testimony had been mostly heard before--what caused the death, timeline, blood alcohol and so on. Though pressed, she did not waiver--Van Meter testified repeatedly that Gwen's death was caused by" asphyxiation due to strangulation, in association with blunt force trauma to the head." In association--both were serious enough to cause her death.

Magidson is being cross-examined by Lamiero, who is very effective. He asked in more detail about Magidson and Cazares' first meeting with Gwen. They were on their way to a billiard hall, to meet some other girls.

Lamiero: "She didn't flag you down, right?"
Magidson: " No, (it) took a little persuasion. She was a little nervous about getting into a truck with 2 guys she didn't know. We let her know we were good guys."
Lamiero: "Made her feel comfortable?"
Magidson: "Same thing I would do with any woman."
Lamiero: "And, you were 22 at the time?"

Lamiero asked Magidson what he expected from Lida, a young, attractive girl walking down the street with a beer in her hand--Magidson admitted she looked "like a party girl, likes to drink, like we do."

Lamiero: "Easy?"
Magidson: "You could say that."
Lamiero: "Requires less effort?...One should never turn down an easy piece of ass, right?"
Magidson agreed that was his thinking.
Lamiero: "(But), why didn't you go to the pool hall?"
Magidson: " Lida. Maybe cos we had a different girl."

So they had no use for the girls who were waiting for them.

Lamiero demonstrated with his questions how Magidson regarded women in general. Magidson stated that were he to share Lida with one of his buddies, he'd be open to that, that he "wouldn't turn it down."
Lamiero: "Both of you together?"
Magidson: "Sure."

Magidson testified one evening Lida "hounded" him not to leave the Merel house, and coaxed him into sex. He admitted that his only interest in Lida was sex--and that he was "irritated" with the attention she gave him, and didn't want to be teased. "I wasn't interested in that cuddly-duddly shit," he said.

Magidson insisted that Lida's gender never came up in conversation, not even with Jose and Paul. In view of others' testimony, this is difficult to believe, especially when Magidson was recounting that she had anal sex with Jose, using the same excuse that she was on her period. Magidson admitted having conversations with Jose and Paul about Lida being on her period for a very long time. Others testified that they were curious about Lida's gender.

Some fireworks occurred at the end of the day, when Lamiero was trying to get answers about how Magidson drove to the Merel house October 3rd, ending up sitting around the table playing dominoes. He called Magidson out on his frequent use of the word "Obviously."
Lamiero: " Why do you use that word in that fashion? There's no sarcasm in that, right?"
Magidson: "No!"
Lamiero: "Okay then, So obviously, you--"
Thorman objects.

The judge informed the court that we will have to wait until tomorrow to hear the rules for a game of dominoes, how it's played, how to keep score. It was 4 o'clock.

Recently, the headlines of a local paper read "Nabors Did It, Magidson Testifies." Magidson has blamed Nabors for nearly all of it--claimed Nabors hit Gwen with the shovel--in the driveway in full view before they left for Silverfork. Given their level of panic, that seems unlikely. He also claimed Nabors was the one who strangled Gwen--not him, even though he's the one who had the rope.

Magidson testified that he said he'd told his friends that he would take the blame, "cos they all have kids...but I never thought they'd take me up on it."

Magidson admitted he's the one who put a gag in her mouth, so "she'd quit screaming." Magidson admitted he's the one who tied her up, "to keep her from pulling the gag out, and start screaming." Lamiero asked Magidson if his plan was just to "drop her off somewhere," then why did he have to tie her ankles, and the rest of her body, too?

On her way out of the courtroom, Gwen's mom Sylvia spoke to Jaron Nabors' mom, who has come in support of her son and in turn, the Guerreros. Sylvia has a new grandson--and Nabors' mom has a grandson, too.

It's an incredibly difficult road that they are both on--not to mention, Gwen's Aunts Imelda and Emma, her step-dad John (who is there without fail every day), her Uncle David who loved her so, Delilah M., all the trans folks and allies who show up in support, Advocate Erin Osanna--we all seem to be part of a big, hurt family. Folks stick together, though, and seeing each others' faces each day seems to give us all strength.

Attonement, redemption, coming clean. It's something.

Court resumes tomorrow at 9 AM. There is no court on Friday.

13 Comments:

Blogger Karen said...

Thank you for your wonderfully illustrative comments Connie.

I was in court today. I'll just add a few of my own perceptions.

There is a real duel going on here between Mike Magidson and Chris L. (The prosecuting assistant DA). Of course, this is all in Mike Magidson's mind. But it is very telling, and it is impossible not to perceive the effects on Magidson's testimony -- if you are sitting in that courtroom. I think everyone is aware of it.

Magidson has made it very clear that he has absolutely no remorse about Gwen's death. He has repeatedly demonstrated, in literal testimony, that he has no respect for the rule of law. His value system is wholly constrained by his bonds with his male friends -- the rule of law of the greater community is not a factor with him. He see's women as objects, something less than men.

His interaction with the community at large is all a game -- just do not get caught -- that is his only concern. And so, his duel with Chris L. is couched within this contextual framework. He is a
classic psychopath and very dangerous. As with all psychopaths, he sees his violence as justified.

Another characteristic of psychopaths is that they think they are brighter than those they lock horns with. Magidson is playing out his strategy on the stand with a matter of fact arrogance. He is systematically declaring he has no memory of events that he chooses not to discuss. He has very clear memory of things he wants to discuss.

He has made clear errors though. I think it is possible for the jury to reject his entire testimony as lacking any credibility. We'll see soon enough.

Some specific events were quite interesting today.

1.) Magidson made it clear to all, that he was "hurt" by Jose Meril's "betrayal" of him. He made it clear he was going to pay him back. And he did. He testified that he held Gwen's head out by pulling her hair, exposing the back of Gwen's head so that Jose could smash a large, heavy, cast iron skillet into the back of her head to "knock her out." He said Jose hit her very hard.

Very soon afterward though, the coroner testified that there was no evidence of blunt force trauma to the back of Gwen's head. This clearly exposed Magidson's testimony as a fabrication. I got it. I noticed several jurors got it too.

It is a very telling moment. Magidson wanted to pay back Jose for testifying against him. But, he also needed to weave this into the bigger game he is playing. He needed to do it with false testimony. He did not want to corraborate any other testimony that indicated the blow Jose struck was to the front of the head. So he made up the testimony. He called it an "almost comical act", (similar to what you would see in slapstick comedy), where they were working together to knock Gwen out.

Michael Magidson is a very dangerous psychopath. He is a clear and present danger to the community.

I would urge anyone who can find the time to attend one or more sessions of court. I'm going when I can, to support Gwen's family. Think about it.

11:00 PM  
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11:25 PM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have known Mike, Jose and Jason for many years and NEVER considered or even thought that Mike "is a
classic psychopath and very dangerous" I always thought of them as a "big brother". And I still love them like that. Anyone who really knows Mike, knows that he is not even close to be a
"classic psychopath and very dangerous"
I have known Jay since elementary school and I know that he would never hurt another human being. I trust him with my own kids and believe that
YOU ARE INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY!!

Seems as though they are already proven guilty before trail...
I read these blogs everyday and can't believe how they are be perseved as these violent men. I beleive that alchohol had a HUGE factor in what happened that night but, is still no excuse for what happened, but also does not make them these evil, violent, disrepectful men. They made a bad choice of judgement that night, but I still love them all.

(Oh and I have been to a few of the hearings)

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why aren't any of these guys being charged with sexual assault ("genital verification") or statutory rape? Gwen was only 17 when she was havingsex with them, they were all at least 18, right?

And they are all blaming drugs & alcohol as a reason for why they were unable to think clearly or behave responsibly. They all also referenced how much Gwen loved to "party" - if this argument (defense due to intoxication) is used for them, why not use if for Gwen as well? (she didn't disclose because she couldn't think clearly since she was under the influence").

Also, has anyone, at any time, asked how they could have not known, since they all had sex with her multiple times, that she had a penis? Even if they only engaged in anal or oral sex... it's likely that they touched her.

Whydon't they ask if they would have had sex with her if they knew she had a penis? If she really went down on the defendant minutes before he "verified" her genitals - why did he have sex first? Possibly because he didn't care what her gential status was as long as she was providing oral sex? The only reason he really cared was because of what his friends might think. It doesn't seem at all justifiable to say that he had sex with her and THEN "confirmed" her "true gender".

12:47 PM  
Blogger Imelda said...

First OF ALL, i JUST WANT TO THANK cONNIE FOR DOING THIS, PUTTING UP THIS BLOG, YOU ARE SUCH AN AMAZING PERSON ,We truly appreciate you and all the work you have done and are doing, When this first happened we (the family) had no idea what to do, we were being hounded by so many media groups,and other community organizations, and so many other types of movements,etc....but eventually we figured out those who were sincere in helping us to move forward and get Gwens story out there the way SHE would of wanted to do it, Connie ,all of you down at CUAV,and Horizons, and glbt center, Gwen Smith, Shelly Prevost,Julie Dorf,Chris Daley,Zak Symanski,(sorry if I didn't spell it right, )Jaime ray, for putting up site for our beautiful Gwen, All of you are such a special part of our family,and forever will be, we will never be able to thank you enough for helping us keep going, I thank all of those who make it to the trial, for taking time out of there busy schedules and coming to support us,(gwen smiles down to you from heaven)This trial is very difficult to deal with day to day, and it just gives me more and more strength to get the word out ,that our work is not done, there are so many uneducated,ignorant people, who need help understanding,To the person who posted the fact that Jason and mike are like your big brothers, Are you so blinded that you cannot see?they admitted to being there that night, and tying her up, and gagging her and beating her up and BURYING HER AFTER SHE WAS KILLED! No one else was there, they were ,they admit it, Gwen didn't kill herself, Look at the facts, Jay and mike were involved in a senseless horrible MURDER, It doesn't matter how much alcohol was involved, do you think that its and excuse? Nothing will justify thier actions, I will pray for you to see the facts,they could have stopped it from happening at any time,did they? OBVIOUSLY NOT, so ,should they be made out to be EVIL , I think looking at pictures of Gwens body Says it all.They have not one time shown any remorse for killing my beautiful niece,and for that ,yes I think only someone with a cold, black, evil heart would do or think such a horrible thing,.You say you have been in the court a few times, go in there EVERYDAY and you will see ,truly see the horrific things that your "big bros" did, and if that doesn't change your mind about them, then God have mercy on you.

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering what the basic understanding in the transgender community is when a sexual encounter may occur with an individual unaware of their biological sex. When does one reveal that they are a transgendered person and how?

8:15 AM  
Blogger etture said...

thanks for deleting that idiots entry.Thiesr no exuse for what they did I have drank and stuff and never lifted a finger to hurt someone.This guys are cold hearted they are cowards who took the least manly road.And thank you connie for the work u do and the heart u put into it.I have a link to here from my blog about TS relationship from a guys point of view http://insearchofeve.blogspot.com/
check it out anyone thats wants to.I give my best to the family i wish I was their in court but u have all my support.I know this will change things so one will have to go thru this again.Gwen is with the angles I'm sure

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