A defense attorney began presenting his case Friday in the attempted murder case against Arthur Davis III, who is accused of trying to kill his ex-wife.
The defendant’s friend took the stand, to talk about his experience with Davis and the martial arts training he received from him, describing Davis as an expert who had the ability to manipulate and pin people down.
"He surpassed anybody I ever worked with, military or otherwise," said Mark Koch, a 15-year acquaintance, who said he received jiu jitsu and other attack move training from Davis.
Prosecutors said the victim in the case was able to escape Davis during the alleged attack, by tearing out of her shirt and running down the street in only her underwear until she was rescued by police.
Davis, 61, is accused of attempted first-degree murder, kidnapping and contributing to a child's misconduct in the case. His jury trial will enter its sixth day on Monday.
Prosecutors said Davis, his 15-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter participated in the attack, in which the victim claims she was hit multiple times with a baseball bat during a lengthy attack that left blood throughout her house.
Amy McGowan and Eve Kemple, both assistant Douglas County district attorneys, wrapped up their testimony Friday in the attempted-murder case against Davis, by putting the defendant's neighbor on the stand.
Gordan Carroll said he witnessed Davis coaching his son to hit a basketball with a baseball bat just days before the defendant, the son and daughter allegedly attacked the 45-year-old mother of the children with a baseball bat inside her Lawrence home.
"It was a significant amount of force," Carroll said, as he explained the activity.
The weekend before the June 16 attack, Carroll said, Davis was standing at the edge of his pickup truck, while his son hit the basketball with a baseball bat, "directly, with both hands in front of him."
He called police after learning about the attack and officers came out and took a picture of a basketball in the truck, according to evidence presented in court.
Prosecutors said the son attacked his mother with a bat while she was asleep. After a 20- to 30-minute struggle, the activity continued in the hallway, where the woman's daughter testified she also hit her mother with the bat. The father showed up later, according to prosecutors, and can be heard in the background of a 911 call ordering his son to intensify the alleged beating.
The daughter, who is now 13, agreed to testify against her father after being granted immunity by prosecutors and in exchange for dropping a conspiracy to commit murder charge against her.
Prosecutors have offered to reduce a charge of attempted first-degree murder against the son to aggravated battery as part of a plea deal. He is being tried separately as a juvenile and will not testify against his father.
Local and state law enforcement investigators have said they based their investigation on the victim's explanation of events, but defense attorney Greg Robinson has raised issues for the jury, questioning whether her alleged attack happened the way prosecutors claim.
After the attack, the victim said a crime scene cleanup crew found a mangled pair of her son's glasses in her bedroom. Repeatedly Robinson has asked how detectives would miss such evidence during their thorough investigation.
Robinson has said that while the victim's blood was found all over her bedroom, there is nothing connecting the son to the bedroom.
"I could not see any (scientific) evidence that (the son) was in the bedroom," Lawrence police detective Zachariah Thomas testified on Friday.
Testimony in the case is scheduled to continue Monday morning.