Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How an Innocent Person is Convicted, Part 5: We learn a little

Joel was the first son to speak with us about what he witnessed. He'd parked his Jeep behind Chas Schwartz's pickup truck, which was stopped on Conrad Street, a dark empty street a couple blocks from the club parking lot where the two groups of young men had joined in a verbal confrontation.

Joel watched as Brad Orgil fought with his opponent on the driver's side of Schwartz's pickup and as Todd faced off with a second person on the passenger side of the pickup. The whole confrontation ended quickly, "within a minute or so," Joel said. Surveillance camera video that is a part of the police record indicates that the total time could not have exceeded 75 seconds.

Afterwards, all parties returned to their respective vehicles and drove off. Todd had a couple of superficial nicks on his cheek, which caused blood to stream onto his neck and shoulder. Joel was upset and angry that his brother had been hurt and wished to pursue Schwartz's pickup, but Todd did not. Joel thought that Todd was trying to calm him down when Todd told him that he'd stabbed one of the tires.

We'd have to wait until Todd spoke to find out why he'd stabbed the tire.

We'd wait even longer to find out that the person Todd had confronted was uninjured, and, in fact, untouched.

Weeks would pass before we'd learn that the person Brad Orgill fought on the driver's side of the Chas Schwartz's pickup was the one who'd been killed.

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