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Opening Statements Heard in Kappa Hazing Retrial

By: Leonard Horton Email
By: Leonard Horton Email

12-12-06

The five FAMU fraternity brothers are the first test of Florida's new felony hazing law. Some of the same witnesses are being called back, including alleged victim Marcus Jones, who claims he was caned until he was bruised and hit with boxing gloves in the face until the point of hearing loss.

During opening statements, circuit court Judge Kathleen Dekker and defense attorney Richard Keith Alan got in a verbal back and forth.

"Mr. Alan, you are being openly rude and contemptuous of the court proceedings. Mr. Allman properly stood up and made an objection and you continued speaking. That was rude. And when I continued to rule on it, you continued speaking," explained Dekker.

This happened shortly after presentations from defense attorney Chuck Hobbs and prosecutor Frank Allman.

Allman took jurors back to events which allegedly happened between February 23 and 28 during a frat initiation at an abandoned warehouse with some 27 candidates online.

"They were all sort of in a single file. They were instructed to pop out. When they popped out, they would come out to the side and get into the cut. Then they would be struck repeatedly with canes on the buttocks," said Allman.

Hobbs, speaking to jurors, says if Jones was hit he could not have known who hit him.

"Marcus Jones, will tell you the bruising first started on Thursday night, and the loss of hearing took place on Thursday night. Marcus Jones is also going to testify that he has no idea who hit him because the place was so dark and he could not see. There was only a red shadowy light," said Hobbs.

The five defendants in this case are still suspended from Florida A&M University. Two of the defendants were supposed to graduate this spring.

Marcus Jones is expected to take the stand Wednesday morning.


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