The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

February 21, 2013

Jurors give split verdict on state prison guard assaults

(Continued)

SUNBURY —

Jamison told jurors and provided documents that for weeks before, he was filing repeated grievances and complaints against guards alleging harassment.

He said he knew the day would come when they would retaliate.

Jamison told jurors he came out of his cell and defended himself when he got into the altercation with guards.

“I did what I had to do,” he told jurors. “I was protecting myself.”

During the trial, Jamison would refer to law books, several hundred pages of notes and official prison documents and at times, stumped several prison guards and prison officials who testified.

Jamison had three state inmates testify —one of whom was brought to the county from Rikers Island in New York City— that they knew guards were out to get Jamison.

Each of the prisoners were led into the courtroom in shackles in front of the jury.

Assistant District Attorney Michael P. Toomey told jurors that Jamison’s witnesses were “prison buddies” and that they wouldn’t want to see Jamison in trouble.

Consider the testimony of law enforcement officials and a state police investigator, Toomey said, and jurors did in nearly three hours of deliberation.

“I am happy with the outcome,” Jamison said. “I knew I had to fight for myself.”

Jamison had a backup attorney, Northumberland County public defender John Broda, who sat directly behind Jamison in case he stumbled.

“He is very well-spoken,” Broda said after the verdict. “He presented his case well and he did a fantastic job.”

After jurors read their decision, President Judge Robert Sacavage released them from duty and told them they were free to talk to anyone about the case should they choose.

Several jurors flocked to Jamison.

“You would be an amazing attorney,” a juror told Jamison. “You did such a great job proving your case.”

Jamsion has been in prison since he was 15, he told the jury during his closing arguments.

“I was a juvenile when I made my mistake,” he said. “I want to be with my family and my friends and I just want to go home.”

Toomey pointed out that Jamison failed to tell the jury why he was in prison in the first place.

“He didn’t tell you what he did,” Toomey said. “He failed to mention he was in a high-speed pursuit chase with police, and he ran several stop signs and T-boned another vehicle and a person died.

“This case before you is a clear assault on guards and all of the allegations he has made about being set up and targeted is all malarkey.”

 

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