HARRISBURG – Was she a district decide who made use of her placement to interfere with an investigation and intimidate law enforcement officers, or was she a concerned mother who only retrieved her son’s medication throughout his arrest soon after she was informed it was Alright to do so?
That will quickly be up to a jury to decide.
Demo started off Monday in Dauphin County Court for Magisterial District Judge Sonya McKnight, who is experiencing prices of formal oppression, tampering with proof and obstruction of legislation in relationship with a targeted traffic end involving her son, Kevin Baltimore, on Feb. 22, 2020, in Harrisburg.
In her opening statements, prosecutor Kristyne Crist of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Workplace advised the jury that 3 terms will be repeating via demo – interference, intimidation and influence.
When Baltimore was stopped by the law enforcement on an superb warrant in the middle of the evening, she claimed Baltimore termed his mother.
“But his mom is not just any mom,” Crist said “She’s in a placement of electricity and authority.”
As a district judge, Harrisburg law enforcement officers often appear right before her for their instances, Crist explained, arguing that McKnight made use of that place to intimidate the police officers when she received to the scene.
The investigating officers experienced found a pill bottle in Baltimore’s motor vehicle, but prior to they were ready to examine it, McKnight eliminated the bottle and took it with her when she left the scene, Crist explained to the jury.
But McKnight’s legal professional, Brian McMonagle, informed jurors that is not what transpired. McKnight was there acting as a mom, not a decide, and the proof will display she did practically nothing completely wrong.
He explained McKnight grew to become a district decide due to the fact she wanted to give back again to her local community, and when she was elected, “that was her desire,” he reported.
Nevertheless that aspiration had become a reality, “you’re only as happy as your most unhappy child,” McMonagle said, adding it was on the night time of the incident that Baltimore had stopped at her property, and she could explain to something was erroneous. Baltimore told her he had been diagnosed with higher blood pressure and was given medication, McMonagle explained, but he also instructed her that he was having difficulties with medication.
They cried with each other, and that night around 2 a.m., McKnight “got a connect with that adjusted her daily life.” Her son was on the cellphone, telling her he experienced been stopped by the police, and he required her enable.
When she obtained to the scene, “her heart breaks,” McMonagle claimed. “There’s her son, outside the house of the auto, surrounded by law enforcement.”
McMonagle explained there were no overall body cameras, but a person recorder in a automobile caught what took place. He explained to the jury when they see the video, it will demonstrate that McKnight only spoke to an officer in a quiet method and had stepped aside when she was explained to to do so.
McMonagle is laying the argument that the police advised her she could acquire her son’s vehicle. They have been performed exploring it when she approached it and took the tablet bottle, which contained Baltimore’s blood-force medicine, McMonagle explained.
McKnight took the tablet bottle back to her very own vehicle, and she did not depart the scene until finally the law enforcement drove off with her son, he claimed..
Several law enforcement officers who ended up at the scene are amid those listed to testify through the 3-working day demo. The very first witness is predicted to just take the stand when the trial resumes Monday afternoon.
The trial is remaining held just before Senior Judge Stephen B. Lieberman of Berks County.
Pending the end result of trial, McKnight has not been permitted to sit on the bench because December. Despite her suspension, she gained her re-election bid in the May major.
Previously, McKnight was cleared of wrongdoing for a Could 2019 shooting of her estranged husband at her property. Investigators concluded McKnight acted in self-protection when she shot him in the groin. He recovered from his wound.