McTear found not guilty in battery trial

8:38 PM, Feb 3, 2010   |    comments
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Video: McTear found not guilty in battery trial

Richard McTear takes the stand in the battery case against him.

UPDATE: Richard McTear has been found not guilty on both counts in the battery trial against ex-girlfriend Jasmine Bedwell and neighbor Elyanna Gonzalez.

Original Story:

Tampa, Florida --   Not guilty... it's the first courtroom victory for a man accused of battering his ex-girlfriend and her neighbor one month before he was accused of killing her infant son and throwing him out of a moving car along I-275.

McTear was accused of beating 18-year-old Jasmine Bedwell and her neighbor as he tried to retrieve clothing from her Tampa apartment.

He calmly took the stand Wednesday in his own defense, painting a very different picture about what happened during the March 31st incident.  A few times, he cracked a smile when talking about what happened and sometimes became confused about which incident he was testifying to.

A March 18th incident in which McTear admitted to pouring household cleaner on Bedwell and pulling her hair after he says she threw the bottle at her.

But he wasn't on trial for that case.  The jury was only to consider testimony and evidence revolving around the March 31st encounter.

On Tuesday, Bedwell testified that McTear forced himself inside her Tampa apartment and beat her, before he battered her neighbor Elyanna Gonzalez.

Read: McTear faces battery charges before he deals with baby's murder

But, McTear had a different version of the story, claiming he went to the apartment to retrieve his clothing after the two had broken up. 

"The door was open and I walked right in the apartment and in the process of me walking into the apartment, that's when the confrontation occurred," said McTear from the stand.

When asked to described the confrontation, he said, "When I walked into the apartment, I'm going straight to the room to get my clothes and she's like, 'No, you're not getting no clothes,' and she pushes me so I can't go in the room. And I'm like, 'Man this is crazy,' so I keep walking, getting my clothes.  She had the door blocked and she's not a small girl, she had the door blocked, so I'm trying to get past her. In the process, a pushing match, then you know, I push her... I did push her to get around her and that's when she falls down and I'm like, 'Man, this ain't even worth me going through this,' so I walked out the door.

"She gets up and she's hollering and screaming and stuff and then it's like, what's going through my mind is she's making all this noise because a lot of people outside and these people, I guess she's thinking they'll come to her rescue or something in that sense, they don't know what's going on.  There really wasn't no threat, 'cause if they felt there was a threat when they first saw me get up, they would have come to the rescue if they thought I was going to do anything funny," McTear went on to testify.

He is also claiming that he did not beat Bedwell's neighbor.  McTear says he pushed the cell phone out of the woman's hand as she tried to call police.

Since he was on probation, he says he didn't want the police coming to the scene.

It appears the defense was able to poke enough holes in the state's case, pointing out the inconsistencies in each witness's testimony.

"There are not any two people who can agree on what occurred," the defense told the jury in closing arguments.

McTear will face a judge and jury again in August in the upcoming murder trial for the death of Bedwell's baby, Emmanuel Murray.

This is the same child he talked about in court Wednesday, telling the jury he was there for his birth, cut his umbilical cord and was even the first person to hold him.

Related links:

Watch:  Angry judge yells at Richard McTear

Read:  Mom of thrown infant: State didn't do enough

Read:  McTear's murder trial set for Aug. 2010

Read:  500 pages of info released in I-275 baby toss case

Read:  Mom of baby thrown from car sues DCF, Sheriff's Office

Laura Kadechka, 10 Connects

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