Trio in police incident head to trial

July 17, 2008 4:22:44 PM PDT
This case has been controversial since the beginning and today was no exception. It was an emotional display at court by supporters of the accused who said police witnesses were lying.

"They want to keep these boys in jail. For what? For being beat down like dogs," Yolanda Dyches, the aunt of one of the defendants, said.

Pete Hopkins, Dwayne Dyches and Brian Hall were taken out of their gold Mercury Marquis on May 5 and beaten in a violent episode caught on tape in which 8 police officers were later disciplined.

Today, the focus shifted to what the trio allegedly did at the intersection of 4th and Annsbury Streets prior to the arrest. An undercover narcotics officer testified he watched from a hidden location as a shooting played out.

The officer testified he watched one of the defendants step away from the others and hold up an object in his hand, which was determined to be a gun. The officer said the gunman fired 8 to 10 shots with that gun at a group of men.

The gunman, later identified as Hopkins, allegedly retreated to a Mercury Marquis and fled with his codefendants. Other officers gave chase claiming they never lost sight of the car.

25 days later, police say a gun was found not far from where the arrest was made.

"There were three involved, there were three in the car when they were arrested, and a gun was recovered that matches 15 casings found on that street," District Attorney Carol Sweeney said.

The defense maintains police got the wrong car and wrong men.

"I do dispute that he had any involvement with any shooting and I'm not quite sure that anyone in that car had any involvement with the shooting," Dyche's defense attorney Robert Gamburg said.