Defense Debunks Key Witness

Anti-Gay Murder Trial Hits Wall

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John McGhee‘s defense attorney definitely earned his salary during Wednesday’s closing arguments in the Edgar Garzon murder trial.

McGhee faces 25-year in prison if convicted of beating the 35-year old New York native to death in 2001. For this to happen, the prosecutors would have to prove beyond a shadow of doubt that McGhee repeatedly punched Garzon after Garzon hit on him.

To help shade the already shady situation, however, Charles D. Abercrombie successfully painted their key witness, Christopher Ricalde, as liar.

Gay City News‘ Duncan Osborne reports:

Abercrombie pointed to Ricalde’s criminal record, his membership in two gangs, his marijuana use, lies he admitted to, and parts of his testimony that contradicted testimony given by other prosecution witnesses in telling the jury they could not believe him.

“You are going to have to reject, put aside, the evidence from witnesses the government called,” Abercrombie said. attacked Ricalde telling the jury they could not believe him.

“The biggest lie of all, the biggest one, is that he attempted to implicate John McGhee in this incident,” he said.

A problem for the defense is that no evidence gives a reason why Ricalde may have fabricated the allegation. He is not known to have received a reward or compensation for his help in the case. [Attorney Karen] Ross made that point in her closing statement.

But, according to Osborne, the jury didn’t know who to believe. The journo tells us that on Thursday, after less than a day of deliberating, the jury came back deadlocked: seven not guilty to five guilty. A night of mulling it over didn’t help: they were still stumped on Friday and Garzon’s mother continues to grieve. We’ll keep you posted on the happenings.

In the meantime, we’ve got to give Abercrombie props for thoroughly trashing Ricalde’s reputation – and potentially damning testimony. You give lawyers their [insert adjective] name…