The trial of three men who are accused of attempting to carjack and then stab Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Mike Adams began this past week. The defense’s main tactic was to poke enough holes in Adams’ credibility, mainly through character defamation, to leave reasonable doubt in the jury’s mind. On Monday morning things took a twist.
WTAE reports that a surprise witness took the stand on Monday. Shariea Cox told jurors a rather different series of events than what Adams told jurors last week. Cox testified that she saw Adams acting as the aggressor on the night he was stabbed. He was loud and drunk, yelling obscenities – it is unreported whether those obscenities were directed at anyone in particular. Cox testified that the men wanted Adams to pay for food and that Adams responded by saying, “I’m not paying for anything. Hit me. I want you to hit me. Do you know who I am?” WTAE did not report if Cox gave details as to why the men suggested that Adams buy them food. Cox concluded by testifying that one of the defendants, Michael Paranay, punch Adams in the face but did not see anyone with a gun or see the stabbing take place.
WTAE did not report Cox’s relationship to the three defendants, if any. And a search as of early Monday evening comes up empty as to who Shariea Cox is and what she was doing in the area where the altercation took place.
Adams’ story is rather different from Cox’s. According to Adam’s the three men approached him while he was near his truck, told him to give up the truck, threatened to kill him, and then attacked him when he refused. If the juror’s find no flaw with Cox’s testimony, they might find these men guilty of only aggravated assault by attacking Adams. It would also put Adams in a not so favorable light – whether Cox’s or Adams’ testimony is the more truthful one.
CBS Pittsburgh reports that the defense is expected to rest and is also threatening a mistrial because of the prosecution’s desire to have the three accused men stand in front of the jury to compare physical characteristics. The jury also saw surveillance video from a nearby restaurant and heard from a detective that testified that Adams’ statement the night of the attack is different from what he said on the witness stand.
All I can say is, what a mess. Nothing good can come of this.