Medical technician tells Detroit trial about gruesome beating of motorist Prosecution may conclude this week

July 15, 1993|By Knight-Ridder Newspapers

DETROIT -- Prosecutors in the Malice Green beating trial are finishing their case as they began -- with the gruesome image of a battered, bloody Mr. Green, hanging out of his car, being clubbed again and again.

"There was so much blood on his head that our bandage just slid right off," Scott Walsh, an emergency medical technician who tried to help Mr. Green, testified yesterday in the trial of three former policemen accused in the killing of Mr. Green, 35, an unemployed steelworker who had been stopped for questioning Nov. 5.

Prosecutors are expected to conclude their case this week.

Mr. Walsh, expected to be one of the last prosecution witnesses, said he saw plainclothes Officer Larry Nevers hit the back of Mr. Green's skull with his bloody flashlight, then demand that the bleeding, dazed Mr. Green drop whatever was in his hand. When he didn't respond, Officer Nevers walloped him again, in the chest and side, Mr. Walsh said.

Mr. Walsh also was the first witness to tie Officer Robert Lessnau to the beating. Mr. Walsh said Officer Lessnau rushed past him, dragged Mr. Green from the car, laid him on the ground, and punched him in the side, chest and back. Another officer handcuffed Mr. Green, then Officer Lessnau stood up and kicked him in the neck.

Officer Lessnau, the first uniformed patrolman to arrive during the beating, is charged with assaulting Mr. Green. Officer Nevers and his partner that night, Officer Walter Budzyn, are charged with second-degree murder. All three were fired after the incident. Mr. Green died in an ambulance on the way to Detroit Receiving Hospital after the beating.

Mr. Walsh testified that he and the other medics huddled outside the hospital after Mr. Green's death to talk about what they had seen, and sent messages to supervisors asking what they should do.

Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy wanted to show a chart of radio transmissions from Mr. Walsh and the three other medics. But Recorder's Court Judge George Crockett III ruled that until all the medics had testified, the chart could not be used as evidence.

The key message on the chart is one from Mr. Walsh's partner, Lee Hardy, who asked: "What should I do if I witness police brutality . . . murder . . . The patient died."

Another message is from technician Mithyum Lewis asking to be taken off duty: "I really need to go out. . . . I'm serious and I'm upset."

Mr. Walsh testified that when he stepped out of his EMS truck at the scene of the beating, the first thing he noticed was "a large puddle of blood." Then he saw the upper half of Mr. Green's body hanging from his car.

"He was covered in blood. His hair was completely covered in blood, his face was covered with blood, and his shirt was covered in blood."

Mr. Walsh said Officer Nevers was "holding Malice Green by his forearm, yelling at him to drop what was in his hand."

Ms. Worthy asked Mr. Walsh if it was obvious Mr. Green was injured. Officer Nevers' attorney, John Goldpaugh, objected, saying there was no testimony of injuries.

Judge Crockett overruled him: "Human beings don't ordinarily bleed unless they're injured."

Mr. Walsh said he saw Mr. Green holding a set of keys with the ends protruding between his fingers, but he did not see Mr. Green strike at the officers, swear at them, or in any way resist them.

He said when Sgt. Freddie Douglas arrived and ordered Mr. Green to "drop the damn keys," Mr. Green let them slip from his hand.

Mr. Walsh also said he overheard the sergeant order another officer to block traffic because "He didn't want anyone stopping and seeing this."

Mr. Green was handcuffed by a fourth officer Mr. Walsh identified as James Kijek.

"Did you ever hear anyone say, 'Malice Green, you're under arrest?' " Ms. Worthy asked.

"No," said Mr. Walsh.

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