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Lots of action at Tacoma principal’s rape trial

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on June 27, 2007 at 6:33 pm with No Comments »
June 27, 2007 6:33 pm

Wednesday ended with Harold Wright Jr. on the stand being cross-examined by deputy prosecutor Lori Kooiman.

During questioning from his own attorney, Wayne Fricke, Wright denied sexually assaulting the alleged victim in the case or having any sexual contact with her at all. In fact, he said, he would have intervened had he thought the woman was being forced to something against her will.

Kooiman launched a bit of a bombshell when she got her chance to question the Baker Middle School principal. Barely into her cross, she pointedly asked Wright if he had been smoking marijuana on the porch that night. Wright, appearing taken aback, said no.

Check the home page later tonight for my account of Wright’s testimony.

Also Wednesday, defense witness Jerry McClurkin Jr. was cross-examined by deputy prosecutor Kevin McCann.

It was at McClurkin’s townhouse that the alleged rape occurred.

McCann elicited testimony from McClurkin about his friendships with the other three men and asked if McClurkin “would have their back if they ever need it?”

“Sure,” McClurkin said.

McCann then pressed in on McClurkin’s early testimony about how he’d been making out with the alleged victim Jan. 31 when Richy Carter came into the room and basically moved in.

“Your friend Richy comes in and just takes over for you?” McCann said. “Didn’t it bother you?”

McClurkin said he was “mildly disappointed.”

“It wasn’t because of Richy,” he said. “It was because of her.”

McCann moved on to McClurkin’s memory of events.

McClurkin testifed on the stand that when he went downstairs after being interrupted by Carter he saw Wright in the downstairs portion of the townhouse.

McCann pointed out that during an interview with defense attorneys five days ago, McClurkin was much more specific about where he saw Wright: on the back porch.

Why the change, the prosecutor asked.

McClurkin said he was only comfortable saying “downstairs” on Wednesday.

McCann also spent time trying to get McClurkin to say he and his friends were out that night looking to pick up women.

McClurkin wouldn’t bite. He said the men just went out that night to socialize and that the decision to invite the young women back to his place was spontaneous.

There was more, but that’s all I’ve got time to blog tonight. See posts below for previous reports on this trial.

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