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'Just a kicking motion'

Anderson claims to have seen Lewis kicking man

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Posted: Friday May 26, 2000 10:53 PM

  Faye Lollar Painful scene: Faye Lollar, the aunt of stabbing victim Richard Lollar, can't bear to watch photos of the crime scene. AP

By Nick Charles, CNNSI.com

ATLANTA -- The prosecution may have gained some badly needed momentum through a curious witness.

Chester Anderson, a felon convicted of credit fraud and forgery who has gone by many names, including those of his friend, former NFL running back Byron "Bam" Morris, testified Friday that he saw Ray Lewis assault one of the victims.

Anderson stood in front of a diagram of the crime scene and was questioned by Fulton County Assistant District Attorney Clint Rucker.

Rucker: "Where is it that you saw Ray Lewis in a kicking motion?"

Anderson: (using a pointer to show the location on the illustration) "On the side of the sidewalk right next to the limousine."

Then, with a mannequin placed on the floor to resemble the body of one of the victims, Anderson was asked to explain what he saw.

CNNSI.com's Nick Charles Q&A with Jon Morgan of The Baltimore Sun
Jon Morgan has been covering the trial for The Baltimore Sun and has provided CNNSI.com with his analysis of the case. After the trial broke for a weekend recess, Morgan spoke with CNNSI.com's Nick Charles about Friday's developments, which included the testimony of Chester Anderson, the prosecution's witness with a criminal record.

Nick Charles: Who do you believe in terms of the credibility of Chester Anderson?

Jon Morgan: That's a hard question to answer. Clearly he's an important witness because he's the first one who says he saw (Ray) Lewis strike one of the victims. That's going to be important. But the baggage that's he's talking about is fairly remarkable because it goes right to the issue of whether he can be believed. This was a man who admitted on the stand to lying in the past, lying about his own identity and defrauding other people. One of the victims, the defense attorneys brought to the courtroom and had stand up in a marvelous little bit of Hollywood courtroom drama.

Charles: What about this man being portrayed as this caring soul who stood watch over the fallen victims, is that going to carry any weight with the jurors?

Morgan: Well, the detail he was able to produce lent a lot of credibility. He said that he was standing next to a police officer whose radio was not working. Presumably, the prosecutors will be able to bring in a police officer whose radio was not working. He was able to decsribe in detail the cab that was on the scene. We had heard earlier today the cab driver. So the question is whether those details are sufficient to overcome any guilt or any doubt in the minds of the jurors about his credibility. 
 
 

"Just a kicking motion," he said as he kicked the mannequin twice in the side with his right foot. "Like that."

In cross-examination by the defense, Lewis' lead attorney Ed Garland zeroed in on Anderson's criminal background.

Garland: "Fact -- you have a pattern of presenting yourself as a false persona, don't you?"

Anderson: "Yes."

Garland: "You have engaged in I believe what you would call 'scheming' haven't you?"

Anderson: "Yes."

Garland: "And you really don't understand why you're always scheming, do you?"

Anderson: "Yes, I understand."

Garland: "And why are you always scheming?"

Anderson: "To get something for nothing."

With Anderson still on the stand, it was the prosecution's turn to question their witness.

Rucker: "Mr. Anderson, did you come forward and report what you saw to us?"

Anderson: "No, I didn't come forward."

Rucker: "How is it that you were contacted by us?"

Anderson: "I just got a call in Cobb County jail. Visit. I didn't have to be here."

Rucker: "Have you asked us for anything?"

Anderson: "No."

Rucker: "Have we promised you anything?"

Rucker: "No."

District attorney Paul Howard told CNNSI.com afterward about using Chester Anderson as a witness. "Sure he had some baggage," Howard said. "But he was believable."

Meanwhile, Don Samuel, an attorney for Lewis said, "If Chester Anderson told me it was pouring outside, I wouldn't even take an umbrella."

The prosecution team told CNNSI.com that when the trial resumes next week, they will finish with witness testimony and then call on forensic experts and physical evidence to paint the blood trail they promised.


 
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