Morris twins' trial update- Thursday, September 28, 2017

Okay, here it is. All of the sordid, details of the Morris twins' trial to this point. The prosecution and the defense have presented their arguments, and both have rested. Both sides will do final arguments today. The outcome will be determined by the makeup of the jury and the credibility of the witnesses. It is difficult to assess the two factors without being in the court room. One thing is for sure. People involved directly, or indirectly, with this case are all friends (past and/or present), relatives or associates. There are some bad associations here. I use the word sordid to describe the incident, the charges against the twins and the court proceedings.

It comes down to who the jury believes. They all have to agree. I don't see that happening. Enough doubt may have been inserted to yield a not guilty finding, or more likely, a hung jury. It may come down to the civil case, which requires a lower measure of proof. Commissioner Adam Silver and Danny Ainge are not held to the level of proof required in a criminal trial. For those readers who have followed these trial updates, what do you think? As a few readers have already indicated, my long history as a Police Criminal Prosecutor could lead to a bit of bias, so I will reserve presenting my personal thoughts. Here it is, via The Republic's Uriel J. Garcia:

A co-defendant in the trial of two former Phoenix Suns players testified in court Wednesday that he wasn't with Marcus and Markieff Morris at the time the brothers are accused of beating a hometown friend.

Gerald Bowman, a former University of Southern California football safety, said he was at a mall, got a haircut at his apartment and later went out to a club with friends on Jan. 24, 2015. That is the evening that Erik Hood alleges he was beaten by Bowman, the Morrises and two other men after a basketball tournament in Phoenix.

"Initially, I didn't really believe it, I was shocked," Bowman said, when asked about his reaction when he found out he was charged. "I wasn't there, I didn’t have anything to do with the case."
The Morris brothers and Bowman, who grew up together in Philadelphia, each are charged with two counts of aggravated assault. Two other defendants in the case, Julius Kane and Christopher Melendez, have pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault. They will be sentenced

Oct. 16.
Defense rests, brothers don't take the stand

On the seventh day of the trial Wednesday, the defense presented its case. The prosecution finished presenting its evidence on Tuesday.
The Morrises' lawyers rested their case without the brothers taking the stand.
The prosecution and defense lawyers will present closing arguments on Thursday before the jury begins to deliberate.

RELATED:Ex-Suns Markieff, Marcus Morris court case slowed by cellphone issue
MORE: NBA's Morris twins' attorneys: Brothers played no role in assault

As part of his evidence, Bowman's lawyer, Cary Lackey, presented the jury with cellphone text messages between Bowman and a barber, Joshua Joe, who also testified on Thursday.
Joe said he went over to Bowman's apartment in north Phoenix to cut his hair. The time stamp on the text messages shows it was about 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 24 when Joe told Bowman he was on his way. Bowman responded that he was heading to the apartment from a mall.
Prosecutor Daniel Fisher tried to discredit the texts as credible evidence by saying the messages didn't include the year, indicating the texts could have been sent some other year.
Bowman said he was falsely accused and the criminal case ultimately derailed his potential NFL career. He said he was living in Phoenix in January 2015 training at a facility for the NFL draft.

Bowman said he first learned about the case through ESPN and found out he was charged a week before the NFL draft in May. He went undrafted but the Baltimore Ravens signed him as a free agent.
"But that didn't last long after they found out about my situation," he said.

Witnesses take the stand, recount events
Earlier in Bowman's testimony, he indicated he may have been falsely accused because people commonly confuse him with Kane, one of the defendants who has pleaded guilty.
Hood, who testified last week, told Phoenix police he was at the basketball tournament when he spotted the Morris brothers and the three other men.

Hood said he was approached by Kane as he was leaving the gym and that a different person then struck him from behind and pushed him forward. He tried to run after getting back to his feet, but a group of men caught up to him, he said. Hood said he was punched and kicked in the head while he was held down.

MORE:NBA's Morris twins trial: Defense suggests victim wanted money

Earlier in the week, Mustafa Helal, a coach at the tournament who witnessed part of the fight, said another basketball coach who was Hood's mentor called him sometime after the incident.
Helal said that coach told him that if he told police the Morrises attacked Hood that Hood would get a settlement and Helal would be compensated. But Helal refused to give a false statement, he said, because he didn't see the brothers attack Hood and didn't want innocent people to go to jail.

Also, Phoenix police Detective Fred Santos, who testified on Tuesday, said Hood had first said the Morris twins attacked him. But Hood later said he wasn't sure, Santos said.
Hood has a pending civil case against the brothers.

Photo via Mark Henle/The Republic