Photo: D. Carpenter
The officers’ version of events and credibility were once again challenged today by attorney Joel Sansone.
Officer Ewing completed his testimony from Thursday in his usual defiant manner, often arguing with Sansone, prompting Judge Cercone to order Ewing to “just answer the questions.”
Sansone asked Ewing if the direction Miles was running away from him, Saldutte, and Sisak, was towards his mother house, before being tackled by Saldutte. Ewing answered, “He started running down the sidewalk in that direction.”
Sansone would next question Ewing about testimony Officer Sisak made earlier last week, in regards to Miles standing up with Ewing wrapped around his back trying to take Miles down. Ewing claimed he didn’t remember that testimony from days ago, and that what Sisak described never happened.
“He was laying down. He had tried to get up, but I was never wrapped around his back,” Ewing testified.
Further evidence from the OMI investigation and report was discussed today, revealing that one OMI investigator had questioned why it took three large officers to subdue Miles.
The OMI report went on further to state that Sisak believed that Miles was in a cocaine-induced delirium, which made him too strong for the officers to initially take down.
“There’s only so many words you can use to make people understand what happened,” Ewing testified when asked why his police report of the incident used so many buzz words.
When asked if he kicked Miles in the head, a heated Ewing stated, “I didn’t kick nobody.”
“But you testified previously, as has officer Sisak, that you knee-striked my client several times in the head as hard as you could,” Attorney Sansone fired back.
“It was a knee strike and yes, I hit him as hard as I could,” Ewing continued.
Ewing further testified that after the incident, he searched both properties for evidence as well as Officer Sisak’s missing flashlight and handcuffs. He never found a gun but still referenced the alleged gun clip saw on Monica Wooding’s property days after the incident.
When Sansone reminded Ewing that this gun clip was never recovered or entered as a piece of evidence, Ewing sarcastically replied, “Miraculously there was no gun clip found because his (Miles’) family removed it.” This allegation has been repeatedly made by the defense, despite the lack of evidence.
Ewing would also testify that, during the pursuit of Miles, he did not see a gun on Jordan, nor did he see Miles toss a gun away.
Sansone pressed on, asking Ewing if he really thought a gun was somewhere in the neighborhood, why didn’t he call for a K-9 gun-sniffing dog, or warn neighbors that a firearm may be laying around.
“I never saw nor found a gun. Had I seen a gun, i would have called for a K-9.” Ewing replied.
When asked about Officer Saldutte recovering a Mt. Dew bottle from Jordan’s coat when he was in custody, Ewing told jurors that ” I never saw Saldutte remove a bottle from Miles’ coat. I didn’t see a bottle until later, when I was searching for evidence.”
The defense would then ask Ewing if he knew that Monica Wooding was a self-proclaimed Mountain Dew junkie and that there were dozens of Mountain Dew bottles in the trash can that the officers knocked over when tackling Miles. Ewing reiterated that he never saw a bottle of Mt. Dew recovered from Jordan’s coat.
“I jumped to the conclusion it was a gun because of the bottle of Mountain Dew,” Ewing would state, contradicting himself when asked why he thought Miles had a gun.
Ewing repeated himself, telling jurors that he did not see or was aware of anyone seeing Jordan toss a weapon or anything else from his pockets.
Sansone asked Ewing if he was ashamed of his actions on Jordan Miles the night of January 12, 2010.
“Absolutely not! I would do it the exact same way,” Ewing replied.
Ewing disputed Officer Horvak’s Testimony from last week, stating it was not officer Horvak who decided to take Miles to the hospital, but Ewing’s decision.
He believed that Miles may have been hit with a taser, and combined with his visible injuries, he was taken to West Penn hospital.
Ewing further went on to say that, when he radioed for a transport van, he told dispatch that they had a wounded officer and prisoner. The FBI transcript of those radio calls, as well as the original calls that were played for the jury, do not have Ewing saying anything of the sort.
Sansone further pressed Ewing that after they found Sisak’s lost taser, why wasn’t the taser’s electronic motherboard, downloaded at the station and a report of the taser discharge (time, voltage etc) logged as per police procedure from the device itself? Miles disputes ever being tased while Ewing maintains that Miles was tased, and Sisak’s taser was bagged as evidence.
Following a 30 minute recess, OMI Mobile Crime Lab Detective Lisa McCoy was up to testify, much the same as she had in the first trial.
The only difference in her testimony this time was informing the jury while she was called to process the crime scene 16 days after the incident, there was a Mobile Crime Lab on duty on the night of January 12, 2010 available, but was never called for by the officers on scene.
She also could not explain two distinctly different sets of Jordan’s ripped out dreadlocks found after she had already photographed the scene. Only two sets of Jordan’s dreadlocks were ripped out, the other two were a mystery to McCoy.
Before the lunch break, Patricia Coleman testified that she could hear three distinct cries for help outside of her home on the night in question, but never investigated it. She would also go on to testify that there were fresh footprints in the snow between her house and a vacant house next door. The defense suggested that this was proof Miles was indeed lurking between the houses.
Defense attorney Wymard pointed out the vacant house had people coming and going, a fact Coleman verified, adding that syringes were found around that vacant house.
Retired Sergeant Robert Lee was called for the first time in four years to the stand by Giroux. Lee transported Officer Sisak to the emergency room, following the Miles arrest, and upon his return to the station. Sisak was walking with a limp and told Lee that he didn’t realize the severity of his injury until he got to the station.
Sisak’s ER report was then admitted into evidence, showing—aside from minor scrapes on his knee—Sisak was able to walk normally despite the limp, and was able to bear full weight upon his knee.
Lee would deny talking to Sisak about the Miles altercation, until the March 19, 2012 FBI report refreshed his memory. On the way to the hospital, Sisak told him that Sisak saw Miles having something hanging down from his sweatshirt, and that they thought it was a gun. Sisak told Lee that Miles was on drugs, despite all tests being negative for drugs in Jordan’s system, and that instead of finding a gun they found a Mountain Dew bottle. Sisak would also claim he didn’t know what happened to the bottle, but they were not required to keep it as evidence.
As the day began to draw to an end, A 106-page deposition from Doctor Joshua Fenton MD, the doctor who saw Jordan at the ER following his release from prison, was read. There was no new testimony than he gave back in 2012.
Tuesday will see testimony from Officer Saldutte, Police Commander Brackney, as well as further video depositions from medical staff who treated Jordan at West Penn Hospital.
Jordan Miles is expected to testify on Wednesday.