“Road Rage” Murder Trial: Witness Arrives After Harvey Down
Witness describes responding officers as professional, Walker as compliant, Harvey on ground 25 feet from minivan.
Our next piece of evidence from the Joseph Walker trial is the transcribed interview of another witness who arrived at the shooting scene after the shots had been fired. There’s frankly not much new here, so I offer it in the interests of completeness.
As per SOP his name has been redacted. Because this transcript was attached as Exhibit I to the defense’s recent motion to dismiss the charges against Walker, I will refer to him as Mr. J.
The interview was conducted by Maryland State Police Investigator Trooper First Class (TFC) Myles Roy, on June 12, 2013, four days after the shooting. (Confusingly, they get TFC Roy’s name correct on the cover of the transcript but repeatedly misidentify him as TFC Taylor in the body of the transcript.)
Mr. J described how he drove up on the scene when Harvey was already on the ground.
Mr. J: When I came up on 97, up on the ramp before you get to 97 actually, there was a minivan on the side. In front of the minivan, there was a gentleman laying down on the ground [Harvey], another gentleman there [presumably Adam Pidel], and another car in front [presumably Harvey’s Honda]. So I thought that doesn’t look good, something happened, maybe I can help. I called 911.
Here the mysterious white pickup truck comes back into the record.
Mr. J: I was on the phone with 911. There was another gentlemen who had pulled over, as well, in a pickup truck. So we were both heading back.
Mr. J and the stranger with the pickup were arriving essentially coincident with first responders.
Mr. J: We could see a gentleman laying on the ground in front of the van. I was off to the side on the berm of the road, the shoulder of the road. A friend [Adam Pidel], it looked like a friend, was leaning over him [Harvey]. Just as we were getting close enough to be able to give any information to 911, Anne Arundel County Police had pulled in. A female officer ran up in front of the van to the person laying on the ground. . . . At that point more police cars were pulling in. So we thought the best thing we could do was get out of the way and, you know, let the police take care of the business they needed to take care of. So that’s a summary of kind of what happened.
Witness Identifies Walker, Harvey, Pidel as Three Persons Outside of Vehicles
TFC Taylor: So when you passed the van, you had mentioned quite a few people, some laying on the ground, some not. So I want to try to separate some of these people.
Mr. J: Actually, it was actually three people. There was actually three people outside of vehicles. There was – from hearing the news report, there was a police officer standing next to his vehicle [Walker, beside his minivan]. There was the gentleman, now deceased [Harvey], laying in front of the vehicle, maybe almost the distance of this room away. And then kneeling over the deceased individual was a what appeared to be a crony, a friend, you know, looking at him, trying to figure out what to do. So those were the three people that were exterior. There appeared to be an adult female in the passenger’s seat of the van. And – I think tow, there may have been three children, but I can say two in the back of the van, as well.
Witness Describes Walker
TFC Roy: The person that was closest to the van, where was he standing?
Mr. J: It looked to me that he was standing next to the driver’s door.
TFC Roy: Can you describe him?
Mr. J: African American gentleman, medium height, about 6-something, 6’ 2” maybe, 6’ 1”, maybe 210, 220-ish pounds. Not a big guy, not a little guy.
No Weapons Were In Evidence
TFC Roy: Did you see a weapon in his hand.
Mr. J: I did not.
TFC Roy: So you didn’t see any weapons —
Mr. J: No weapons.
TFC Roy: — on or near this guy with the van?
Mr. J: I had no idea that this gentleman was shot until I saw Channel 13 News on Sunday night.
TFC Roy: Did you see any weapons or anything closest to the guy that was laying on the ground or the guy over?
Mr. J: I noticed no firearms.
TFC Roy: Well, weapons of any kind.
Mr. J: No knives, no firearms, no nothing like that.
Witness Indicates Harvey Was ~25 Feet In Front of Minivan
TFC Roy: Now you described the distance between the van and the person lying on the ground as approximately the length of this room, which I would say is close to maybe 20 feet.
Mr. J: I would say it’s a little bit more than This is, yeah, 25, 30.
TFC Roy: So about 20, 25 feet.
Mr. J: Yeah.
There’s more with Mr. J, but none of it seems particularly substantive. Of course, if you’d like to read the actual transcript for yourself, here it is:
Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.
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Actually, if the evidence is recorded properly on the crime scene, then it exists, as recorded, in the real world. It is virtually impossible for an attorney to impeach physical evidence [the O.J. Simpson case being an exception], so defense attorneys always place more credence in witness testimony which can be tainted by a variety of things, including time. However, physical evidence has to be reconciled with witness testimony. If it can not be reconciled, then it has to be impeached by proving that the recording of the evidence was not done correctly, rather than accepting that the less reliable evidence of witness testimony is accurate.
In this case, the physical evidence, as represented in the crime scene sketch, actually helps the defense.
“Actually, if the evidence is recorded properly on the crime scene, then it exists, as recorded, in the real world.”
That whooshing sound….???
It was not Flight 370. It was my point, flying over your head.
The world of a trial court is NOT “the real world”.
Say it with me…”The world of a trial court is NOT “‘the real world'”.
A crime scene report, accident report, etc. is NOT coming into evidence without a human to sponsor it.
As “real world” as numbers on paper may be to you, they are NOT real until their sponsor has laid a predicate for them via testimony, AND THEN every word/number/graphic on the paper can be all lies.
“A crime scene report, accident report, etc. is NOT coming into evidence without a human to sponsor it.”
This is a point of debate?
If there’s no human being to establish the necessary foundation for the physical evidence, the physical evidence effectively doesn’t exist for trial purposes.
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