Thursday, March 20, 2008

How an Innocent Person is Convicted, Part 6: We learn a little more

Todd told us that after he exited the Jeep, he'd gone directly to confront a person standing just outside the passenger's door of the pickup, which we'd later learn belonged to Chas Schwartz. We'd also learn later that the person he confronted there was Chisum Lopez.

Lopez would testify at the trial that he was confronted by Todd about "a half a second" after getting out of Schwartz's pickup. Lopez would also say that he wanted to fight Todd, but that try as he would, Todd wasn't willing to take a swing.

Although Lopez never admitted to taking a swing at Todd, Todd told us that Lopez did hit him in the face, just before jumping back into Schwartz's pickup and locking the door. Todd, angered by the punch, took out the knife, which he had used earlier in the day to open boxes of merchandise he'd received--clothing that he retailed online through an ebay business he and Brad Orgill ran. In retaliation, Todd used the knife to puncture the right rear tire of Schwartz's truck.

At the time Todd us this, none of us knew who had been killed. Not until the release of the police reports a couple weeks later would we learn that it was the person Brad had fought so violently who had died.

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