Yesterday, we heard opening statements from Jordan Miles’ lawyer, J. Kerrington Lewis, and from officer Sisak and Saldutte’s lawyers, Jim Wymard and Bryan Campbell. The final opening statement took place this morning at 9:30am, from Ewing’s lawyer, Robert Leight, ending at 9:47pm.
After the conclusion of the opening statements, the first witness from a list of approximately 30 was called.
The rest of the day would see the questioning and cross-examination of witnesses Patricia Porter, Jordan’s grandmother; Terez Miles, Jordan’s mother; and Jamiah Anderson, a good friend of Jordan’s and girlfriend for a year and a half following the incident.
9:49am, Patricia Porter, Jordan’s grandmother
The family moved into the Homewood area in the 1960s. Patricia had one child, Terez, Jordan’s mother. Patricia is a retired school teacher who worked for more than 35 years in Pittsburgh schools.
Jordan has two older brothers and a sister. Terez’s home has three bedrooms, one for her, one for her daughter, and one for the three boys. Jordan began living between the two homes, spending time with his mother and siblings, but sleeping in his grandmother’s home at nights.
A Google Map photo of the two homes, Terez’s and Patricia’s, was displayed on courtroom screens. The two streets, Tioga (Terez’s home) and Susquehanna (Patricia’s home), are only one block apart, and require a short walk down Tioga, right on Pitt, and right on Susquehanna.
Jordan’s grandmother described him as a “pensive, quiet individual, very sweet natured.” When asked by the judge if Jordan was ever physically aggressive towards others, Patricia shook her head and emphatically said “No”.
During the cross-examination by Sisak’s attorney, Wymard, she had asserted she could not remember that Jordan had ever gotten into a fight in school. When reminded of his suspension for a fight in the 8th grade, she had expressed her utter confidence that Jordan would not have thrown the first blow.
“Why, because he’s your grandson?”
“No,” Ms. Porter declared with calm but decided emphasis, “because I know Jordan.”
And Jordan had never been in trouble with the police. Like him, the kinds of kids Jordan was friends with were not in trouble with the law.
It was a big deal for Jordan to get into CAPA, Pittsburgh’s performing arts high school.
On 11th January 2010, Jordan’s 18th birthday, he had dinner at his grandmother’s and got a new coat as a gift. Patricia Porter identified a coat in the courtroom as the same coat. The coat is designated Plaintiff Exhibit 3. The jury gets a chance to inspect the coat.
Wymard and the other police attorneys demand to see the tear in the coat. Miles lawyer J. Kerrington Lewis accidently spilled a glass of water on their table and then helped clean up the mess. After spending 5 mins cleaning up the mess, he jokes about the delay to the jury and court room, “I had to take responsibility.” That got a few chuckles.
There are several phone records and academic transcripts being shown on the screen but the court spectators cannot see them, there are no screens set up for the public gallery. This makes following what is going on quite difficult. The presentation by J. Kerrington Lewis is honestly quite convoluted, and ends up confusing Patricia several times. The judge steps in to ask the question in a clearer way a few times. He later does the same when the cop attorneys ask convoluted questions.
When Jordan didn’t arrive on the night of the incident, Patricia made a short call to his cellphone but got a busy tone. These phone records are entered as Plaintiff Exhibit 5. She phoned Terez who told her that Jordan had already left her house.
[Transcription still in process]