No, we’re not reporting on the O.J. fiasco—we’re just employing OJesque terminology to comment on the most recent developments in the Ruckus at the Meridian.
Having fired his original defense counsel, Penn State defensive lineman Chris Baker hired a new attack dog, Karen Muir, to represent his criminal defense interests. If you were to find more info on how most defense attorneys carry out the procedure, you’d be glad to know that she also immediately went on the offense, vowing to find the guy who really did what Chris is accused of doing. You can also contact lawyers for drug charges cases in Fairfax for similar fixes.
From the Centre Daily Times:
“It’s my position, after sitting through the preliminary hearing, it is a case of mistaken identity,” Muir said. “We, too, want those responsible for the assault in that apartment brought to justice, but it was not Chris Baker. We are conducting an extensive investigation on our own. And if we can shed light on who is involved in this, we absolutely will.”
Centre County Assistant District Attorney Steve Sloane, who worked with Boston drug crime attorney Toland Law, thinks more football player arrests may be forthcoming. You see, his office does investigations, too.
Read the rest of the Centre Daily Times story here.
“No matter where these investigations go, we will continually return to the witness credibility issue,” says one car accident lawyer peabody ma. Is anyone sober in State College at midnight on a weekend? We’ve already seen one witness, who in his mind identified Chris Baker as a perp, fail to visually identify Baker sitting directly in front of him in the courtroom. In a drunken melee, does anybody stop and look, let alone take notes?
I don’t know what preponderance of evidence the prosecutor is sitting on, but the hearing judge saw enough to let the cases against Scirrotto and Baker go to trial. It seems likely that Scirrotto did call in the cavalry and, perhaps, lead the charge. (After all, what fun would it have been to just call in a strike without being able to at least watch, if not participate?) Yeah, yeah. I know. I can hear the Scirrotto supporters (athletic supporters?) saying, “That’s what friends are for.” Nevertheless, I have to believe that the prosecutor satisfied the judge at the preliminary hearing with something more than circumstantial evidence.
Scirrotto should have let his girlfriend handle it and left it at that. All reports seem to indicate that she can take care of herself in a brawl.
Nevertheless, I have to believe that the prosecutor satisfied the judge at the preliminary hearing with something more than circumstantial evidence.
Not really – they just have to present a bare bones case – most cases are based on circumstantial evidence – in this case they have eye witnesses – so it is, obviously, not circumstantial.
Baker was there (according to 2 witnesses) – and the judge was satisfied that Scirrotto was there. So we go to the next step. Pre trial motions (initial identifications seem to be a bit suspect), possible plea bargains, witness interviews, trial prep, jury selection (good luck!) – all along the way the charges can be dropped (not “increased” – why you charge with everything and see what happens).
I’m still waiting to hear accounts of what bound Scirrotto over on burglary charges (in partcular) since no one can identify him as pushing his way through the door. In fact, by all witness accounts thus far, he was actually in the back of the group and the yet to be identified “attackers” who allegedly pushed their way through the door haven’t even been identified. Your suspicion, of course, that the party-goers were twisted up at a drinking party on a Saturday night is about as probable as the sun rising this morning. Not to mention, of course, that the police reports say that all witnesses said the lights were turned down.
I am also very suspicious about whether anyone was actually struck with a beer bottle or stool. From what I read, one of the original guys who was involved in the altercation with Scirrotto and his gf was Britt, who was supposedly struck in the head. Yet, although claiming to be knocked unconscious, he apparently didn’t even stay the night at the hospital. I can’t wait to read accounts of those medical reports.
Not unlike you, though, the main thing I keep coming back to is credibility of witnesses and the ultimate requirement of proving guilt beyong a reasonable doubt. Imle, of course, admits to lying to the police about his initial confrontation with Scirrotto and his gf. He told the police that Ms. Prinz kneed him, and then he threw a punch at Scirrotto. As we found out, however, first Scalamera knocked Scirrotto’s phone from his hand as he was calling his brother (before anything even happened), then as he was picking up his phone, Imle took a swipe at him, and then when the girlfriend came over and tried to intervene, Imle grabbed her arms, she kicked him, and then he shoved her. So, in my opinion, we have established that Imle, by his own admission now, is nothing more than a completely unhinged, lying bully. Apartment resident, Kevin Sanders, of course, really put himself in jeopardy with the Baker ID, then non-ID. He’s probably retained counsel for himself now. And, then, how about Mr. Scalamera? Haven’t hear from him lately. I understand we’ll be hearing why shortly.
You know what happens when you try to stretch the truth and engage in hyperbole while under oath. My guess is that all the hype given to the story by the non-athletes will take a more sober (no pun intended) tone as this moves forward.
P.S. If calling your brother and best friend when you’ve been confronted by 3 men equals “criminal solicitation”, there are probably 10,000 people in this country being charged with that crime tonight–OR NOT.
The record is clear that 7 football players were in the Nittany Apartment when Sargeant received the call from Scirrotto. They all went downtown. Then, as word spread, more players showed up. When the player attacked is the only returning All-Big 10 player on your team, does it surprise anyone that 15 to 20 players showed up? I would have got that much support from my high school team.
Scirrotto’s defense will be obvious: “I wanted an apology from Imle, and if I didn’t get it, and we squared off, I wanted to make sure that the other two men from the street didn’t get involved again.” THE END.
The Nittany Turkey says
Thank you for your articulate and enlightening comments, which make me feel better about Scirrotto and his chances for exoneration.
I have to wonder why Prinz wasn’t charged with simple assault for kicking the guy in the nuts, if the State College cops and the Assistant District Attorney are as overzealous as they seem to be. That part of the story was documented and corroborated. Maybe they’re just interested in high-profile football players. That sounds facetious, but some of these incidents with the State College police and the football team make me wonder. I’ve been away from State College for a long time.
Finally, as Rex is Latin for King, you wouldn’t happen to be Justin King, would you?
No, I’m not Justin King. It’s been a while since I ran a 4.4. Who am I kidding? It’s been a while since I ran a 4.7. I’m just a fan and alum.
I was very happy when we recruited both King and Scirrotto because they were said to be model student-atheletes. King, of course, was a good student and all-everything in Pennsylvania. Scirrotto maintained a perfect 4.0 G.P.A., was First Team All-State in both football and baseball, and was projected to be a second round pick in the 2004 MLB draft. I was ecstatic when we landed both. That’s why I squinted my eyes and scratched my head when I first heard that they had found themselves in some sort of trouble. I’d be the first guy to throw a meathead, troublemaker under the bus, but these two guys, by all accounts, were the antithesis of that stereotype. The very first thought that came to my mind was: “Something extraordinary must have happened. Did someone assault their mothers or something?” Well, I wasn’t really too far off. Frankly, when I was 20, if I had been jumped by three guys, and they managed to rough up my girlfriend too, I would’ve called my brother and best friend and we most definitely would have tried to set the world right side up again. There’s just no way on earth I could’ve let that slide. I suppose it has quite a bit to do with from where you come. In the neighborhood in which I grew up, what Imle and Company did to Scirrotto and his gf would be met with a swift and predictable reaction from certain members of the community. And, the more I read about the apartment residents, I’m not convinced that they were so-called “innocents” who were just involuntarily swept up into the entire mess. It appears that some of the apartment residents/guests may have engaged in hyperbole at best and potentially perjury.
Since my last post, I made it a point to go back and reread the police report and all of the statements, and I also read all of the media reports regarding the Preliminary Hearing. I believe Rachel Prinz was not charged because in the Police Report it states that there were conflicting stories about what actually took place during the initial altercation. From what I’ve read, Scirrotto and Prinz said that the events went as follows: (1) various comments were directed at Ms. Prinz; (2) words were exchanged between Scirrotto and the three men; (3) Scirrotto pulled out his cell phone to call his brother as the three men approached; (4) Scalamera slapped Scirrotto’s phone from his hand; (5) Scirrotto reached down to pick up his phone and Imle punched him in the side of the face; (6) Prinz intervened; (7) Imle grabbed Prinz; (8) Prinz kneed Imle; and (9) Imle shoved Prinz. Initially, Imle told police that: (1) Prinz kneed him in the groin after he made a comment to her; (2) he tried to restrain her and shoved her; and (3) he punched Scirrotto. On the witness stand at the Preliminary Hearing, however, Imle reportedly admitted that the version told by Scirrotto and Prinz is what really happened and that he lied to the police because he was “nervous” about getting in trouble. In my view, Imle’s credibility is shot and the general impression of him at this point is not a good one. Several people also found an old cached Myspace site that claimed that Imle often fought and enjoyed getting drunk. Several people managed to copy the text and a picture of Imle getting “D-R-U-N-K” before Imle and Company presumably deleted the pages.
If Imle’s actions weren’t disturbing enough, the testimony of apartment resident, Kevin Sanders, was at least as bad in my opinion. It is reported that he was called to testify that Chris Baker poured a beer on apartment resident McGarrity’s “$3,200 laptop” thereby destroying it. When asked to identify Baker, Sanders first reportedly said that Baker was in the courtroom and dressed in a suit and tie. Sanders was then asked by defense counsel to step down and point Baker out. Sanders reportedly stepped down, looked around, and then said Baker wasn’t in the courtroom. Baker was sitting right there.
Then, we have the issue of Britt, the third man in the group that initially confronted Scirrotto and Prinz. In the police report, it stated that Britt was hit over the head with a beer bottle, hit with a stool and then repeatedly kicked in the head while he laid “unconscious.” From all accounts, however, no one can identify the person who purportedly delivered the beating. I haven’t even seen anyone able to state the race of the person who allegedly beat Britt. What’s more, Britt apparently was released from the hospital a short time later. He didn’t even stay the night for observation. I find it quite extraordinary that a hospital would release someone shortly after admittance if they had received that sort of battery and suffered head injuries.
With all of this said, there’s no question that an altercation took place and lasted anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes. However, when you have the D.A. talking about the possibility of people serving up to 2 years in prison, somebody damn sure better be able to identify who did what. At this juncture, I haven’t read a single account of anyone being able to identify any particular player pushing the apartment door open. Imle testified that he was beat up by Baker. However, no one is able to testify that Scirrotto was engaged in any activity in the apartment. Likewise, no one has stated that Scirrotto called them and asked them to participate in a fight. In the police reports, it states that Scirrotto called his brother and Lydell Sargeant. That would make sense if he wanted to settle up with Imle. He had two friends so you call your brother and best friend to back you up in the event that the other two tried to intervene again. I’m having real difficulty, then, with how the case was bound over on all charges against Scirrotto. I’m afraid that the Judge may have used Scirrotto to allow the D.A. to save at least some face after getting completely drubbed at the Preliminary Hearing.
I loathe criminals. I loathe even more watching overzealous prosecutors with weak cases pursue good people with a vengeance while using various admitted liars to do it.
The Nittany Turkey says
Another well written opinion, Rex.
For me, it all comes down to whether Scirrotto intended to direct a marauding army of players to exact revenge on those who conducted the public dissing of him and his girl.
If that was indeed his intent, he should go down for it. If it wasn’t his intent, but it was nevertheless predictable that it would happen that way, he should still be punished.
If, as you suggest, he merely called his brother and Sargeant to back him up, without thinking that he was doing anything more than asking for a little help on the street, then he is essentially innocent and whoever concocted the invasion plan—if indeed there was an invasion—should be punished.
No one is above the law, not even an All Big Ten safety. If he broke the law, he should not escape punishment just because of who he is. On the other hand, if he did not break the law, neither should he be punished just because of who he is.
I’ll keep my mind open on this one, especially because I’ve seen what an overzealous prosecutor can do to innocent athletes in a high-profile case in North Carolina this past year. That one involved the accuser lying, so there are certainly unsavory similarities, if Imle is indeed a liar.
Thanks, Rex, for providing your perspective. I hope you’re right.
Guys, guys, guys. You and I all know what this is about. It is no different from when I was at PS. The football players get to live where they want, eat where they want, “study” where they want and generally do anything they want.
Nothing has changed.
Why even chime in if you’re going to spew out garbage like that? Heck, you could have just said: “All football players are big jerks.” and it would have conveyed the same message.
You clearly know little about what happened, having done none of the extensive reading and analysis that people like Rex have done, and only want to do what every other hater wants to do… criticize and condemn football players regardless of either their character or their actions. Do us all a big favor and keep your pointless comments to yourself.