Trial in case of aggravated assault hears from alleged victim
The jury trial for Kenneth Martin, 38, of Philadelphia, charged with burglary and aggravated assault, finished its first day in Lycoming County Court on Thursday.
Martin is charged with breaking into hotel room 214 at the Econo Lodge at 2019 E. Third St. Loyalsock Township, on June 19, 2012. The occupant of the room at that time was Noor Ford, 31, also of Philadelphia. Martin, also known as “Snoop,” allegedly went to the hotel room with with three other men to settle a debt of $1,000 that Ford owed him, according to court records. The men allegedly beat him with a pistol and their fists, threatened to shoot him and stole $500, an xBox and an iPhone from the room.
The jury heard testimony from Ford on Thursday, but he denied having any memory of the incident.
“At that time I was getting high,” Ford, an admitted drug dealer, said. “I was not in the right mental state of mind to remember that.”
Ford denied that the reason he cannot recall the incident was because he was afraid of the defendant or any others involved with Martin.
However, the commonwealth did play two recorded interviews State Trooper Tyson Havens conducted with Ford the day of and the day after the incident.
“Don’t move or I’m gonna pop you,” Ford recounted to Havens as what Martin said to him. “They came in and started hitting me.”
Robert Diehl, 25, of 2539 Bottle Run Road, and a friend of Ford’s, also was staying in room 214 with Ford. He had left the room for a moment but upon returning saw a man identified as Michael Wills, 23, of 921 Clark St., standing outside.
Diehl testified he heard “some knocking around and banging” noise coming from the room. But when Wills lifted his shirt and showed Diehl what looked like a gun, he said he left the scene.
“I seen something black, so I turned away,” Diehl said.
Diehl is charged with perjury after allegedly lying about what happened on June 19, 2012, at the preliminary hearing in Ford’s case.
“I didn’t want nothing to do with this,” Diehl said. “I thought saying what I did (at the preliminary hearing) would get me out of all this.”
Surveillance footage from the motel also was presented in court by the commonwealth. The footage showed four men, identified by Ford as Martin, Wills, Terrence Forsythe and another unknown man. The men are seen ascending a staircase leading to Ford’s motel room and returning minutes later carrying two bags.
The trial is set to conclude today with the remaining testimony and a verdict from the jury.