Free Court Observation Essay Sample

Name of Court & Judge

Washington County Circuit Court, K. Thompson

Trial information

Date: January 19, 2012

Time: 10:30 am

Courtroom: 202C

Crimes:  Assault 2 and unlawful use of a weapon

ORS: 163.175, 166.220.

Name of Police Officer: Norm Tollefsen did not testify in court.

Department: Tualatin Police Department

Summary of Officer Tollefsen report: 

On December 14, 2011, Richard Pullman stabbed a victim three times in the chest, after he felt he had been ripped-off in a drug deal of marijuana. The defendant, along with other accomplices confronted the victim about the marijuana issues accused of stabbing the victim twice on the chest and once in the back.

Name of Defendant: Richard Puliman

Age: 22

Gender: Male

Race: Caucasian

Clothing: Orange jump suit

Testify: Yes

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Defendant’s testimony:

On December 14, 2011 at 10 pm, I together with my two friends went for a walk at the park after the day’s job at the security firm. The two friends of mine are Collins Rawal and George Willson. For them, they were wanted to get some rest and attend their classes, which they happened to have that same afternoon. While chatting at the Liberty Park there come another friend of mine Alfred Copper who used to be my business partner in selling merchandise from a pharmaceutical organization for commission.

On the 13th of the same month, I had been informed that Alfred Copper had been given the total amount of the money we had made during that period. When I saw him I sought to know how much he was given and why he had not given me my share. This brought about quarrels and prompted him to take out a knife, which he had in his pocket. My friends in the park joined wanting to separate us to enable us have a peaceful dialogue. Suddenly he flashed the knife towards my face; I was forced to bend over and in the process grabbed the knife from him. Under self-defense, I later discovered that by mistake I had stabbed him on the chest and accidentally cut chest in the process. On seeing two friends of mine ran away and alerted the police who later arrested me and took Alfred to the hospital. Later Alfred changes the story on me that we had a marijuana case, which was not true.

Prosecutor: Jason Neiner

The prosecutor later informed the court of the evidences that had been shown by Alfred to support that he was stabbed by the defendant because of the Marijuana business that had gone soar. The prosecutor mentioned that the knife that stabbed Alfred belonged to the defendant because the two friends Willson and Rawal had testified so in the first incidence. They also testified that the defendant stabbed Alfred without giving him time to explain his position. Since they dint know what they were arguing about, they stood back and overheard a conversation about some drugs related incidences.

This did not appeal to either of them that are when the two started quarreling making the defendant bitter. It is at this time that he pulled a knife from his pocket and started teasing Alfred and later stabbing him several times. It is by sheer lack that he survived the serious cuts to come before the courtroom to inform the court what had transpired. Both Alfred and the defendant have a case to answer. First Alfred is accused of dealing in drugs, which were illegal in the country as a whole. The defendant was accused of assault and unlawful use of weapons. “The court needs to give the two a strict punishment” he said, to ensure nothing of the magnitude happened in the future.

Defense attorney: Kevin Meanwick

The defense attorney on the other hand defended Pulliman by saying that the Marijuana in question was not before the court hence the information about the marijuana was just malicious. Since there was no evidence of marijuana there was nothing that was available that did link Pulliman on the sale and use of Marijuana. Secondly, the defense attorney insisted on the fact that both the victims stood and started fighting, it is not clear who pulled the knife first because he is more than convinced that his client was acting on self-defense when he was attacked by Alfred. During the process of self-defense, his colleague did hurt him because the struggle they had made them falls to the ground.

Thirdly, the friends that with pulliman did run away when the two started fighting, this indicates that they dint hear anything that the two were talking about. Since they overheard a word “drug” being mentioned it did not necessarily mean Marijuana. The word drug can stand for medication from the chemist and pharmaceuticals. Since the two worked together and Alfred had taken Pulliman’s money away, it was very correct for his friend to inquire of where his share of the money was. After Alfred proved that he was not going to give in to the demands of his friend, pulliman did grab him out of fury to demand his share of the money. When Alfred proved adamant, he was held tightly by his friend, not knowing he had a knife. When he removed the knife from his pocket, the defendant took it away from him. That is when the knife accidentally hurt Alfred.

The verdict and the reasons from the judge: Guilty

The judge gave a verdict of guilty saying that the impact of the knife shows clearly that Alfred was stabbed. According to investigations that were conducted, the knife belonged to Pulliman and that he had mentioned bitterly before his other two friends that he was going to kill somebody that day. Those words coupled with what he did make it possible for the knife to belong to him. Alternatively, Pulliman has had a similar case in the past where out of anger he stabbed his cousin for using his car.

He was informed to attend anger management classes, which he never attended. The judge mentioned that the anger that he had exhibited in the past was the same kind of anger that he did show. From the reports from the finger printing department, the fingerprints that were on the knife belonged only to Pulliman and none was found from Alfred. The judge gave five years in jail with hard labor.

Did you agree with the verdict and why?

The verdict was correct because the fingerprints that were found on the knife belonged to the defendant. The defendant has also been in a similar situation where he stabbed a cousin of his. Alfred was not his relative; if the defendant did assault his own relative then he could do that to any person who offended him at any time.

The friends did testify that the defendant was rather not happy that day and did say that he wanted to kill somebody. From the testimonies of his friends then it is true that he actually committed the offence and he deserved to be punished to be an example to others who may be planning to do such evil acts.

The critique of police officers testimony

The officer who made the statement about the case did not mention the time of the incidence and the place where it occurred. He also does not mention the names of the other accomplices that were together with the defendant. The description of the weapon used and weather any blood was taken for sampling is not indicated in the statement of the police officer at all.

The critique of the defendant’s testimony

The defendant in his testimony does not clearly indicate on how Alfred took the knife out of his pocket and the reason for doing so. It does not show clearly, why he himself did not get hurt but his victim did receive serious wounds. The testimony does not include the employers report if any.

Identify Two Important points you learned from this assignment

Two important points that have been learnt is that when making any report it should always be precise and concise. The relevant information should not be left out at any cost, as they will help or destroy the case as a whole. The second point learnt is that the jury usually looks for facts and not hearsay as other witnesses may think. The facts presented must always be tested to give a final verdict.

Discuss how each point will benefit you as a student and how you will apply each point

The first point will ensure that any thing happens to me, as a student will need to be put to its right context to avoid problems with friends and the administration at large. Secondly the issue of giving facts in the issue of giving testimonies and verdicts are the necessary tools too that will help me perform better in my class work as a whole.


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