While all the evidence is still to be presented, there has not been one eyewitness to the actual stabbing, not one witness seeing a knife or gun, not one witness that has said they heard the racially derogatory statement "I hope that nigger dies" and this includes both Zoellner's friends and Josiah's friends.
Different versions of what happened, people on both sides corrobarating certain statements, contradicting each other which includes two brothers, Kyle and Kristoff Castillo who testified today, both friends of Josiah's.
The only consistent facts established so far are that Josiah was stabbed, pepper spray was used and there was an altercation between Renalyn, Josiah's girlfriend and Lila Ortega, Zoellner's girlfriend, in which Renalyn was the agressor, first testified to by Josiah's friend Paris Wright yesterday, corroborated by other witnesses.
In a preliminary hearing, there is often not a lot of cross examination by the defense and in most cases, does not make a difference during the preliminary hearing. In this case, both Deputy Public Defenders Mr Luke Brownfield and Ms. Kelly Neel have been very impressive. The defense cross examination has provided more information, at times, than direct testimony.
Deputy District Attorneys Mr. Roger Rees and Ms. Jessica Watson are doing a good job with the case handed to them. Mr. Rees is an excellent prosecutor and I have seen him win other difficult homicide cases.
The prosecution's job has been made difficult because not a single, neutral eyewitness has testified so far. Except for Zoellner's friends, others at the party did not give statements to law enforcement at the scene. Making things worse for the prosecution is that key witnesses such as Elijah Chandler and Kyle Castillo, both friends of Josiah's, spoke to certain media.
Today, during cross, Ms. Neel read some of Kyle Castillo's interview with Paul Mann of the Mad River Union and he had to defend his testimony on the stand where he said only Josiah had a physical altercation with Zoellner vs a statement he gave to MRU, saying "It was three against 1.'
Kyle Castillo testified Zoellner was polite. It was his girlfriend Lilla Ortega that accused them of stealing her cell phone and asked them to empty their pockets.