Does the Video Support Self-Defense
This week, criminal defense attorney Erica Mynarich gives expert analysis on the Theodore Edgecome trial in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Erica joined Ashley Willcott and Dina Sayegh Doll to discuss this complicated case.
Still with us are criminal defense attorneys Erica Mynarich and Dina Sayegh Doll. Dina let me start with you. Why do you think the defense is choosing to focus on distances at the scene between all the different items and things…
Dina Sayegh Doll:
He’s trying to give the jury the lay of the land basically. Was he in that moment being threatened, and the distances are important in that respect. Also what was interesting is him highlighting the alcohol in the car and the length of the knife. Those two pieces of evidence are key and also their theme that they were intoxicated and thereby more aggressive than maybe they normally would have been, and that he was reaching into his pocket for the knife.
Right. And I think that distance, to your point, is really important when it comes to the aggressiveness and whether or not he was um perceiving or fearful for his life. Alright let’s look at the video together as we talk through this. If we could, Erica, please we’re gonna look at the pole cam video, and what were your thoughts as they were showing this on direct examination?
Well when they were showing, you know in opening they said that the SUV was chasing Edgecomb, and when I’m watching this it does seem like a chase to me. That following… why are you pulling over? Why are you getting out? It looks like he’s running and so he does look like an aggressor to me. So I thought their use of the term chasing matches this video pretty well.
Dina, what did you think? As you watched that video?
Dina Sayegh Doll:
I agree. I mean I think that video helps the defense quite a bit. This is a person on a bike having been followed by a car and somebody getting out. You could see that there would be some sort of fear in there.
What did you think though, Dina about right there? When you see on the video it does look like he rides up alongside the car that the victims in and then punches him in the face and goes off on his bicycle.
Dina Sayegh Doll:
Absolutely. I mean it happens within moments whether or not you believe that there was offensive language or not. Offensive language isn’t a defense to an assault which is basically what happened there. But he does retreat, he does leave the bike, and at that point it’s a victim that’s following him, and that’s why this case is so fascinating, a little bit more complicated.
It is and there’s been a lot of comparison to the Rittenhouse self-defense and of course each case stands on its own factually, but I understand the defense being posed by the defense in this case of self-defense. And I also understand at this point the state’s position that no this was not at all self-defense. That’s why it’s so important for the jury to hear all of the evidence before making a decision which is what they’re gonna do in this case.Thank you, Erica and Dina both of you for being with us today. I also want to thank all of you at home for joining us. This is it for me, but don’t go anywhere. Chanley Painter is up next. She is going to have more on this trial from Wisconsin, the Edgecom self-defense trial here on CourtTV. Your front row seat to justice.
Erica represents people charged with crimes in federal court and in Missouri state courts. Erica has extensive trial experience and training in trial advocacy, including the three-week Trial Lawyers College in Wyoming and the Trial Lawyers College’s graduate program.
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