ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- After a brief recess Tuesday after a jury was selected, court resumed Tuesday afternoon and the trial began. Below are updates on the proceedings from the courthouse, with the most recent events listed first.
4:55 p.m. Rosenblum's final question
The day's proceedings closed with a final question for Naes from the defense, as Rosenblum once again brought up the unfinished memo. He pointed out that there was nothing in the memo reflecting the details Naes gave the FBI, and reiterated that the since Naes never finished the document, he had nothing refer to in order to refresh his memory before the FBI interview other than his daily conversations with Hall.
He said Naes and Hall were friends, then asked, "You want to help your friend, don't you?"
Naes, confused, paused and said "help my friend?"
"Do you need me to repeat the question?," Rosenblum asked forcefully.
"Help my friend... I dont-" Naes said, seemingly at a loss.
"Do you understand the words?" Rosenblum asked.
Naes asked him to rephrase the question and Rosenblum asked "You want to help your friend?"
Naes than gestured, exasperated, and said ,"yes, I want to help my friend."
Rosenblum then concluded his questioning, and Naes shook his head as he got up from the stand.
4:45 p.m. Constantin asks about FBI interview
On redirect, lead prosecutor Carrie Constantin walked through several pieces of the memo that were clearly unfinished, and through questioning, had Naes reiterate that he never viewed the memo as finished.
She then moved on to Naes' interview with FBI investigators providing a record of what he said he initially told them in June of 2018 about what Hall described to him about the attack to refresh is memory. Naes' comments included that Hall told him he was body slammed multiple times, and kicked, punched and hit with a baton. He also said during that interview Hall said his shoe came off.
3:45 p.m. Naes is cross-examined
Defense cross-examination began uneventfully, with Boone's attorney Patrick Kilgore asking a brief series of questions to re-establish Naes' account of his actions the night of Hall's arrest, and ask him whether he saw any protesters with weapons. He ended his questioning and ceded the lectern to Scott Rosenblum, who is defending Myers, and the questioning intensified.
During Rosenblum's cross-examination, he focused heavily on an internal memo Naes wrote about the night of Hall's arrest but never completed. In that memo, Naes details his actions and what he saw that night, and ends the memo with an outline of Hall's injuries, but does not include anything about Hall's mention of his attackers being police officers.
Naes said the memo was incomplete, and was only a first draft. However, in a series of questions that increased in volume each time, Rosenblum pressed Naes as to why he never finished the memo. Naes said he was told it was not necessary, but Rosenblum countered with the fact Naes previously stated he was told that two months after the first draft was made.
Naes said he felt that once he reported the incident to his superior and was told IAD would contact him, the implication was that the memo was not needed. Rosenblum said because Naes and Hall are friends and spoke every day, Hall's accounts of what happened would be the only way Naes could recall the incident, since he never finished a written memo and couldn't refer to it before he spoke to the FBI on June 27, 2018.
Rosenblum also produced exhibits showing Naes pulled the arrest information of the other person taken into custody with Hall, which would have included the name of the arresting officer. Rosenblum suggested Naes was investigating the incident for Hall, which Naes denied.
2:55 p.m. Lewis Naes testifies
The first witness to take the stand at trial was Lewis Naes, who was called by prosecutors to walk through the events the night of Hall's assault. Naes and Hall were partners in the Problem Properties unit, and were also assigned to special investigations by then-Chief of Police Sam Dotson.
Naes detailed seeing Hall after the violent arrest, when the two were back at police headquarters, saying, "He looked horrible. He looked like he had been hit by a car." Naes said Hall's eyes were glazed and his mouth was covered in blood. When he touched Hall's shirt, Naes said he got blood on his hand.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Constantin asked what Hall told Naes had happened to him and defense attorneys objected, citing hearsay. But Constantin fought the objection by saying the defense suggested in their opening arguments that Hall may have changed his story because he did not accurately remember the assault.
Naes seemed visibly bothered by that suggestion, widening his eyes and shaking his head. The judge overruled the objection and Naes was allowed to answer.
"He told me he got his [a--] kicked by the police," he said.
He went on to testify that he was told he would be contacted by Internal Affairs about Hall's assault, but no one from IAD ever reached out to him.
Naes was also arrested the night of Hall's attack, and he detailed a very different experience. He said three black officers gave him clear instructions, and was at no time physically harmed, calling the arrest "very professional."
He did not identify himself as an member of the police department until an officer searched his backpack and found his police credentials and service Beretta, and Naes had to explain why he had them.
Constantin also had Naes describe the department's use of force policy, which officers are tested on monthly. Naes said officers are to use the least amount of force necessary when making an arrest.
2:45 p.m. Rosenblum concludes opening arguments
Rosenblum's concluding arguments focused primarily on Randy Hays, who he said is the only one seen swinging a baton, and that his abrupt change of heart about the nature of the arrest and subsequent guilty plea and testimony was fueled by a hopes in avoiding a long sentence. Up to then, he said, Hays believed his actions were justified. It was only after a Department of Justice inquiry that Hays' feelings began to change, he said.
Rosenblum said Hays lied to a judge about Myers, and also said Hays made a statement he saw a different officer destroy the phone. However, Rosenblum said it was Hays' attack that broke the phone, and Myers was captured on video holding it after the damage was done.
He closed by saying Myers' "Let's whoop some [a--]" text was taken out of context, likening the expression to "let's break a leg."
2:30 p.m. Attorney outlines Myers' actions in his defense
As he continued his opening defense of Myers, Rosenblum turned not to what his client didn't do the night of the arrest, but what actions he did take.
He said the evidence will show Myers was not at any point involved in the arrest, but was walking around trying to keep rioters away from the scene. At some point in Hall's assault, Rosenblum said, his phone was sent across the ground to Myers' feet.
According to Rosenblum Myers picked up the phone not knowing who it belonged to, and when he noticed it had liquid on it (later revealed to be Hall's blood), he tossed it away.
"He had no idea whose phone it was," Rosenblum said, adding that if Myers really wanted to destroy the device, he would have thrown it in a sewer or pocketed it to get rid of it later.
Instead, Rosenblum said Myers tossed it near an advertisement. When another officer later identified it as Hall's, Myers then reportedly picked up the phone and put it in his backpack so it could be transported with Hall as prisoner property is sent with a person when they are transferred. These actions, Rosenblum said, show Myers did not demonstrate intent to destroy the phone ahead of any investigation, but rather was just doing his job.
2:15 p.m. Rosenblum makes opening arguments
Scott Rosenblum, who is defending Myers, opened by cutting directly to the heart of his client's defense, which was that Myers was no were near the assault of Luther Hall, and there will be no evidence he did anything to damage or destroy Hall's cell phone.
"In this case, lack of evidence is evidence," Rosenblum said.
He also said no one the FBI interviewed during their investigation, which was more than 100 people, said anything "remotely close" to Myers's destroying the phone.
Rosenblum then went into descriptions of the chaotic events the night of Hall's violent arrest.
"These weren't peaceful protests, these were riots," he said.
1:55 p.m. Kilgore makes opening argument
Boone's attorney, Patrick Kilgore, opened his remarks by saying that for Boone, this case began the day after Hall's assault. He detailed how a police sergeant called anyone who participated in the arrest into a meeting and asked for an accounting of events, and that former officer Randy Hays admitted to hitting Hall because he was "resisting arrest." Hays has pleaded guilty to the assault.
During that meeting, Kilgore said, Boone told the sergeant he came over during the arrest, and Hall was lifting his head, so he pushed his head down and told him to say down and officers then immediately put the flex cuffs on.
Kilgore said that until October of 2019, Hays genuinely believed Hall was resisting arrest, and that when Boone came into the situation, he had no context for how Hall had been taken to the ground or what had happened once he was on the ground. He only knew that SWAT officers wanted two people at that intersection arrested.
"All he knew was that he thought he was participating in a lawful arrest," Kilgore said.
He also said Hays will testify that Boone did not hit or strike Hall.
1:45 p.m. "Evidence will show intent"
Constantin wrapped her opening argument by explaining both Boone and Myers' presence at Halls assault, saying Hall's cell video shows Myers' face two different times, and Boone's admission to officers that he held Hall down during the arrest.
She also highlighted an exchange with Myers and another person that she said pointed to his admission that he destroyed Hall's phone, in which he said "the phone is on me."
She closed by saying evidence will show Boone's intent to assault protesters, his admission of violence, including toward prior suspects, and his intent to assault Hall.
1:15 p.m. U.S. Attorney makes opening arguments
Carrie Constantin, the lead prosecutor in the case, began her opening arguments Tuesday, and used several text messages sent by defendants Dustin Boone and Christopher Myers to establish an apparent eagerness from the two to use force against protesters.
Constantin explained that many officers were assigned to Civil Disobedience Teams for the protest, which meant they were equipped with shields, helmets and batons, and were charged with forming lines to control protesters. She also argued that while many officers were unhappy with that duty, Boone and Myers enjoyed the detail.
The proof, she said, was in their text conversations with friends and other officers.
For Boone, she referenced a string of messages, beginning with one he sent after being asked if he was on CDT detail.
Boone sent a reply saying, "Yep 9 am to practice walking in line with a stick until [sh--] gets real and they realize walking in a line doesn't work as well as swinging the stick."
He also described another officer by calling him "a thug that is on our side. He and I just grab [f-----s] and toss them around."
The final message she referenced was simply, "It's going to be a lot of fun beating up these [s---heads] once the sun goes down and no one can tell us apart."
For Myers, she referenced similar messages, once again citing a text in which he told another officer, "let's whoop some [a--]" when talking about the protests. She also pointed to a message where he seemed happy that he believed supervisors were becoming more lenient with use of force, as well as one in which a friend texted him they were sorry he had to deal with the violence around protests and he replied, "for some sick reason I live for this."
Constantin explained what Hall and his white partner were doing for their undercover work, which was essentially documenting criminal acts and uploading footage to Real Time Crime at night's end. Both men eventually began live streaming from their phone so the Real Time Crime Center could monitor the feed more immediately.
Hall was streaming at the outset of his assault, but the stream abruptly ended during the attack. The phone he was streaming from was eventually destroyed.