Anthony V.: An officer in Houston is seen on bystander footage begging a security guard to stop filming and help him subdue a robbery suspect. The unidentified officer can be seen desperately trying to subdue 17 year old Davon Miller, while witnesses filmed the incident.
Speaker 2: Why did you do that? Oh my god. [inaudible 00:00:29].
Anthony V.: The unidentified security guard was fired once the video went viral. Miller now faces a charge of disarming a police officer. Those were today’s top crime stories. I’m Anthony Velez for Law and Crime.
Speaker 3: Thank you so much for that Anthony. Joining me in studio is Brad Micklin and via Skype all the way from Chicago, is Jennifer Shuster. They’re both trial attorneys and I wanna talk about that story we just saw about the officer that was struggling there with that individual there. Listen, we’ve all seen these videos, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.
Me being a former officer, there’s nothing more that would upset me, if I’m struggling with someone, he’s going for my gun and everyone’s just sitting there videotaping. The part that really disgusts me, it looked like there was a security guard there who was actually videotaping this as well. Brad, I’ll toss to you first. What are your thoughts on that?
Brad Micklin: It’s actually appalling. When you see the video with sound, the person recording, which I think is the security officer, is saying something along the lines of, he’s not going to kill you, he’s not going to kill you, we have it on tape. Which suggests that they’re taping it to protect the alleged criminal and not the police officer. It’s amazing what people are gonna be doing outside now.
Speaker 3: I wanna switch gears. Of course, we’ve been covering the Shayna Hubers case in Kentucky. It appears that she’s trying to paint this picture that he was just this overall bad guy, to start leading credence to yes, he was an abuser, not only mentally but physically.
Brad Micklin: And it’s very challenging because it’s difficult for people to separate domestic violence victims and people who just use it as an excuse.
Speaker 3: Right.
Brad Micklin: Because there are millions that are victims, millions that know people that are victims, so it’s always a very compelling defense. But in this case, it still doesn’t justify shooting him six times when after the first one, you knew he was alive, she could have left and called 911, she didn’t.
Speaker 3: Right, and listen, I hate smokers, really. She mentioned how bad of a smoker he was, you know. I hate people talking about my mom but I just, I don’t see where we’re actually there to where she could say, yes, I wanna shoot him once, he falls down, oh, I feel bad, so I wanna shoot him five more times to make sure he’s dead. This testimony is mind boggling to say the least. I consider her Jodi Arias Jr., in my opinion. Brad, like I said before, I think she had plenty of opportunity.
I don’t wanna get into a debate of duty to retreat and all this other stuff. But I think she had plenty of opportunity if that was going on, to step back, call 911, leave the house, get to safety. Why shoot this man once, let him get down on the ground, and say, oh, I felt sorry, so I’m gonna shoot him five more times and once in the head.
Brad Micklin: I agree with you and with Jennifer. I think even if we put aside this whole domestic violence issue, just look at her demeanor, her body language. Most victims of serious domestic violence don’t have a very powerful stance when they’re on trial. They’re usually, for lack of better words, meek and afraid which is understandable because of what they’ve gone through.
Here, we have a witness whose standing up straight, she’s got her eye right to the jury, and her recollection is far to precise for things at the time that they were occurring, were not so meaningful as they are now. But yet, she remembers everything that happened, everything that she heard, everything that she felt. It’s just not believable.
Speaker 3: You just heard what she said, old people don’t go out a lot, alright. She’s home she said, absolutely not, when she was asked, did you hear screaming inside that apartment? And she also said she never heard screaming, so it goes back to what I said. How do we know this domestic violence occurred and how do we know Shayna’s just not using this to say oh, I’m a victim in this case, he was abusive, he was this.
But if what her story … what she says is true, you would assume the neighbor would hear this screaming but the only thing she heard was this loud thump, which she assumed was someone falling on the floor and now obviously, that was probably Ryan falling on the floor.
Brad Micklin: Yeah, I think this witness adds a very interesting element to the case because normally with domestic violence relationship, there aren’t a lot of witnesses. It’s an intimate setting, it’s at home when nobody is round. Here, we have a witness who not only says, I didn’t hear any screaming before the shooting but i have to assume if she could hear noise from the apartment, she would have heard other instances, other fights, other thumping, and I don’t think we’re gonna hear any of that from this witness or anybody else that the defendant may call.
Speaker 3: Jailhouse testimony, jailhouse and its testimony is always that, yeah, maybe you’re trying to get something out of this for your testimony, so we don’t know if it’s reliable but I will add the fact that the neighbor said she didn’t hear any screaming. She never heard any screaming, so maybe this testimony is true that Shayna made this whole thing up to make herself look like a victim.
Brad Micklin: It’s interesting and I’m not really sure where it’s all going to go yet but remember, she was already convicted. She was making statements probably thinking she had very little to lose.
Speaker 3: Right.
Brad Micklin: And she may have even been upset with either the system or her conviction. There might be a lot more coming, so whether or not this witness is getting favorable sentencing or parole recommendations, may still not change the fact that Shayna may have said a lot more to not only this witness and possibly others that we haven’t seen yet.
Speaker 3: From the defense standpoint, if you’re a defense attorney in this case, how do you even defend the actions of not calling 911 for 10 to 15 minutes. It’s one thing if there’s a few second delay, maybe five minute delay, ’cause this just happened so fast. But at some point in your head you can say, you know what? This guys dead on the floor, he’s dying on the floor. I need to call 911 and get them here.
Brad Micklin: It’s an important piece and if you’re this defense attorney, you have a verbal case to begin with.
Speaker 3: Right.
Brad Micklin: But her own admissions in the 911 tape, well, she called her mother first. She knew she did something wrong or she wouldn’t have called anybody. She would have just picked up and left. She didn’t, she called her mother. I think her mother said, well, you shot him in self defense. Then, she calls 911, Shayna, and says, I killed my boyfriend in self defense. It sounded very contrived when she called 911. There’s almost no way to get around the point that she waited 15 minutes.
Speaker 3: Right.
Brad Micklin: He might have still lived, unlikely, but still a 15 minute delay that he sat there bleeding.
Speaker 3: She’s claiming he’s this primary aggressor in this whole domestic disturbance, but the evidence suggests he was not only seated but even further back, so even if the gun was on the table like she claimed, he wasn’t even in arms length of it according to this chief.
Brad Micklin: That’s what’s fascinating about this testimony ’cause I was wondering, on the break, when I heard about this witness. I was wondering what’s the police chief gonna really offer in this kind of case. It’s obvious she shot him six times but to find out there was no sign on struggle whatsoever, blows her whole defense that he was this violent man who needed to be shot six times, clearly out of the water.
Speaker 3: Why didn’t she then at least try to get out of standing trial for the reason of mental illness, incompetent to stand trial?
Brad Micklin: That’s what I thought when I first heard about this case. I reviewed the opening statements and there was no mention of diminished capacity. We can clearly see why she didn’t testify in her first hearing because she’s a horrible witness and all these statements come in around it.
It’s so hard when you try to objective when you analyze a trial like this. But listening to her testimony, her 911 tape and this interview, just makes it almost impossible to try to be objective and believe she may have had any rational reason behind shooting him six times.
Speaker 3: Yeah, and to me, I always say it’s the evidence that will tell you every story. You can listen to whatever testimony you want. You can listen to anything, you can listen to jailhouse, you can listen to old neighbors, you can listen to all of this stuff. But it’s always the evidence and we heard that testimony from the chief that said the evidence did not suggest what Shayna Hubers said happened inside that apartment.
We heard testimony where she said he wanted her to have breast implants and all of this. We know that the day of the shooting, he was supposedly going on this date with this former beauty pageant contestant. She’s a very beautiful young women. I think in this case there was this thing of jealousy. She didn’t think she was good enough for Brad, especially the fact he’s dating this lady that used to be Miss Ohio, 2012. What say you, on this?
Brad Micklin: I agree. I think when you listen to her testimony and let’s step aside. If what she’s saying is true, then her behavior is consistent with being a victim of domestic violence. Jennifer was asking about why she didn’t leave. Unfortunately, many of them don’t or can’t.
Speaker 3: Right.
Brad Micklin: But again, looking at this witness, listening to her testimony and again, I try to be objective. I look at her body language, she’s smiling a couple times during examination. She’s slouched over on the side like it’s comfortable and casual. The pictures of her in the court room, she’s smiling with her hair back.
It’s just not believable that any of this would have led her to be so fearful for her safety that she would have to shoot him. Plus, we had the testimony of his friends and coworkers, that he was trying to get her out of the relationship and get away from her emotionally. And then we have the testimony that he was trying to do it physically in the room.
Speaker 3: Yeah and I think that will be key as this trial moves forward.