The stimulus package the same old song

Martha's big adventure Martha Randolph Carr

According to court testimony, the victim, whose name is being withheld by The Phoenix, was at his residence on Ridge Avenue, Phoenixville, with several individuals, including Michael Eric Slaughter, 21, of the 500 block of Tawnyberry Lane, Collegeville, at 5:28 a.m. Feb. 1.

"I was at my house with the defendant (Slaughter) and two other females," the victim said. "I got into an argument with my girlfriend upstairs when my other friend showed up. I wanted to leave the house but my friend wouldn't let me."

The victim testified he and his friend began to "tussle" in the living room.

"He pushed me several times. I was face to face with him and I told him to get the defendant (Slaughter) and the girls out of my house," said the victim."The next thing I know the defendant reached around my friend and hit me in the face."

The victim said Slaughter punched him four to five times in the face and back, and then pushed him against the living room wall.

"The fight lasted around 10 minutes. I called the police once my friend got everyone out of my house," said the victim. "I went to Phoenixville Hospital and they gave me a CAT scan. I had bruises on my face and back. The side of my jaw was swollen."

During cross examination by Public Defender Elizabeth Gowen, the victim testified he had consumed alcohol that evening.

Gowen asked the victim why his testimony was different from the statements he gave to police at the time of the incident. Gowen said the victim claimed that evening that both Slaughter and his friend had beaten him up, but during his testimony, he said that it was only Slaughter that hit him.

"I was confused that night. I was hit several times in the face," said the victim. "My friend didn't hit me, it was the defendant that struck me."

On closing argument, Gowen said that the victim had given several different statements and versions of his story.

"His injuries could have happened from either altercation," said Gowen. "He had been drinking and clearly has a memory problem. I ask that you dismiss at least the aggravated assault charge, if not all of the charges in this case."

Assistant District Attorney Samantha Fry responded that the victim may have been confused that evening, but never faltered that Slaughter had hit him.

"The victim was consistent in saying that Mr. Slaughter hit him several times," said Fry. "The hospital was concerned enough with his injuries to where they gave him a CAT scan. These actions alone rise to a level of a prima facie case."

District Justice Ted Michaels noted some of the variations in the victim's testimony, and ruled that the facts in this case should go up to the ultimate fact-finder at Common Pleas and held all of the charges over for trial.

Slaughter is charged with aggravated assault; simple assault; recklessly endangering another person; disorderly conduct; and harassment and stalking.

He was remanded back to Chester County Prison, although his bail was reduced from ten percent of $7,500 to ten percent of $1,500.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 19, 2004.

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