Markham and Affrunti

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Markham and Affrunti

Post  Ty on Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:39 pm

SAN BERNARDINO – It has become a battle of the backgrounds.Attorneys on Thursday continued their struggle to keep jurors from hearing about past violent conduct for two key players in a criminal trial scheduled to start next week.
The players are Terrell Markham, an 18-year-old man accused of pulling a stolen gun on a police officer, and Officer Adam Affrunti, who had shot five people prior to these two tangling on Nov. 17, 2007.
Despite the prosecutor’s repeated objections, San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Ronald Christianson on Thursday ruled that one of the officer’s past shootings and one case of alleged excessive force is admissible at trial because of the possible similarities to the Markham shooting.
See also: Jurors to hear criminal past of San Bernardino teen shot by officer with 5 prior shootings
The judge is vacillating on how much of Markham’s criminal history may be introduced to the jury and said he would review the files and make a decision on Monday.
Affrunti says he recognized Markham as a gang associate and was suspicious about why he was wearing a fur-lined coat in 80-degree weather. Markham ran when he was approached, running several blocks before Affrunti found him hiding in a housing courtyard.
When Markham allegedly began to pull a stolen gun out of his back pocket, Affrunti shot him several times.
Markham, who was blinded in the incident, is charged with exhibiting a firearm in the presence of an officer, resisting an officer, receiving stolen property and participating in a criminal street gang.
Defense attorney Dale Kristopher Galipo argued that Affrunti’s prior shootings must be told to jurors to ensure Markham receives a fair trial. He has accused the officer of planting a gun on Markham.
“Officer Affrunti felt he had to come up with some justification because he felt he could be disciplined or lose his job,” Galipo said. “Officer Affrunti has a history of violence and using excessive deadly force, and attempts to justify it by saying (the suspect) had a gun in his hand.”
Jurors will hear about the February 2007 shooting of Edward King, who ran from Affrunti and was shot after the officer said he saw a gun in his hand. A gun was found in King’s pocket.
They will also hear about the June 2007 takeover of Turner’s Outdoorsman. After a high speed chase of the suspects who stole 70 guns, Affrunti saw Brandon Carroll get out of the vehicle and run so he chased him. Affrunit eventually found him, pulled him down from some crates and swung him to the ground to try and restrain him.
Galipo claims Affrunti beat Carroll and compared that incident to the officer kicking Markham when he refused to get on the ground.
The judge previously ruled that Markham’s criminal history could be introduced to prove his membership to a gang, but he is undecided on how much the jury will be able to know about a juvenile record that started at age 7.
“His juvenile files are voluminous,” prosecutor Ronald Dean Webster told the judge. “Pages and pages.”
Markham’s criminal past includes hitting a teacher, shooting someone with a B.B. gun, robbery, selling marijuana and hitting a business owner with a stick while vandalizing a store, according to court records.

Officers just 'doing their job' in stop before fleeing teenager was shot

Mike Cruz, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/13/2010 08:32:56 PM PST
Updated: 01/13/2010 09:06:21 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO - Prosecutors said Wednesday that two San Bernardino gang officers were just doing their job when they stopped to talk to two men standing outside a liquor store in a gang injunction area two years ago.
One of the men in front of Westside Food and Liquor put his hands in the air. But Terrell Markham, just 16 years old and wearing a big puffy jacket, started to back-peddle and took off running.
Officer Adam Affrunti chased and eventually shot Markham when the teenager reached for a gun in his rear pocket, say San Bernardino police. The wounds to Markham's head from the November 2007 shooting have left him permanently blind.
Markham is on trial in San Bernardino Superior Court, where he faces charges for brandishing a gun at police, having a stolen gun and street terrorism.
Prosecutor Ron Webster told jurors in his opening remarks that the officers were doing their job, protecting the community and heading into danger, when most others would run away.
"It's right in the heart of the Projects criminal street gang territory," Webster said. As an associate of the gang, Markham, known as "T-Money" had hats and bore tattoos indicative of his allegiance, he said.
Defense attorney Dale Galipo says Markham is not a gang member, was not wearing gang clothing the day of the shooting, and is not listed in the injunction. The lawyer also says his client did not have a gun.
Galipo says two or three witness had clear
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views of the shooting and counter the police's version of events.
What jurors will learn, Galipo said, is "that Mr. Markham's hands at the time he was shot by Mr. Affrunti were visible. He had no gun in them."
Affrunti is expected to testify today as testimony continues in Markham's trial.
What caught officer's attention in the first place was Markham's jacket. The 6-foot-2 Markham was wearing a big, fur-lined jacket in 80-degree weather.
The jacket stood out like a red flag to police in the warm weather. The large garments are often used to hide weapons, contraband and drugs, according to police.
"Let's put it this way," said Sgt. James Beach, who testified Monday. "I felt like I would be neglecting my duty if I didn't stop that guy in the big coat."
During the chase, Markham ran while holding his waistband and a heavy object, and prosecutors say he wasn't obeying Affrunti's commands.
Stopped in a nearby courtyard, Markham ducked behind a bush. Webster told jurors that Markham did not respond to Affrunti's commands to "Stop!" and "Show your hands!"
"The defendant is just not doing what he's telling him to do," Webster explained. After a few kicks from the officer to destabilize Markham, he won't lay flat.
When Markham reached for a gun in his rear pocket, Affrunti fired and wounded Markham, according to the prosecutor.

Ty
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