Each side claims victory
Kobe Bryant’s defense attorney said in closing arguments Wednesday that her client’s accusers failed to make their case and the alleged victim was unworthy of the judge’s belief.
Pamela Mackey asked Eagle County Court Judge Fred Gannett to dismiss the case, “The People vs. Kobe Bean Bryant.”
“It is our heartfelt belief that the prosecution failed in its efforts to have the case bound over,” said Mackey.
Deputy District Attorney Gregg Crittenden, naturally, saw things from a different perspective.
“We believe sufficient evidence has been presented to convince the court to bind this case over for trial,” Crittenden said in his closing arguments.
In her closing arguments, Mackey asserted the prosecution’s evidence was too weak to send the case to trial.
“The prosecution has presented a very thin case based mostly on hearsay,”
While the level of proof might be low to prove probable cause in a preliminary hearing, Mackey said it does require more than hearsay testimony and that hearsay won’t support the prosecution’s contention of force versus consent.
“The evidence presented is meaningless without the hearsay testimony of Detective Winters and without the hearsay testimony of the CBI,” said Mackey. “The prosecution has chosen to put on a case entirely based on hearsay. They can go down that road, but assured in the risk that the court will apply the law.”
Mackey also called into question the alleged victim’s credibility.
“We believe we have met that burden and that she is not worthy of your belief,” Mackey said to Gannett.
Crittenden told Gannett that Eagle County Sheriff’s Detective Doug Winters saw the blood, the shirt and the blood.
“There were three blood-stained smears on the inside of the shirt,” said Crittenden. “They were tested and came back as the blood of the victim.”
The amount of blood in those stains was not made clear, nor did he address the panties worn to the hospital the next day that contained blood as well as semen from a Caucasian male in a previous consensual encounter.
The evidence submitted to the court included photographs depicting two tiny lacerations, two centimeters long, to the alleged victim’s posterior frochette that require magnification to see, and a bruise half the size of a penny on the victim’s jawline. Crittenden said that bruise corroborates the assertion that Bryant held his alleged victim by the back of her neck.
“He pulled up her skirt, and she said, “No.” He pulled down her panties, and she said, “No.” He penetrated her from behind, and she cried,” said Crittenden. “His thumb was on her jawline, right where the bruise is.”
Crittenden told Gannett that the court must take the evidence presented in a preliminary hearing in the light most favorable to the prosecution.
“The evidence indicates that the defendant met the victim that night. Minutes later he sexually assaulted her, penetrating her, hurting her to the point that she bled,” said Crittenden. “What’s uncontradicted is that there was blood on her underwear from that night. There was blood on his T-shirt from that night.”
AT A GLANCE
Eagle County Court Judge Fred Gannett said he will rule Monday on whether the case should go to trial. If it is, Bryant will appear in District Court for his arraignment, where he will enter a plea of not guilty.
Bryant is charged with one count of felony sexual assault. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.