WILKES-BARRE — Breon Judon told Shawn Jackson he was involved in a situation with Mitchell Dedes that included a man being robbed, put in a trunk and repeatedly kicked.
Jackson, 31, testified Thursday on the third day of Judon’s homicide trial he didn’t report the information to police until he saw Aaron Reznick’s picture in a news story about being Reznick being hospitalized with severe injuries.
“I asked (Judon) if the kid (in the paper) was the one he was talking about,” Jackson said. “He said yes.”
Jackson, who knew Judon because he was dating his cousin, said he was also friends with Reznick.
Judon, 20, and Dedes, 18, were charged in Reznick’s August 2012 death. Judon is standing trial this week while Dedes has pleaded guilty to related charges, including third-degree murder, and is awaiting sentencing.
Judge Richard Hughes said the case likely will go into next week with the jury possibly deliberating Monday.
Jackson testified that after the conversation with Judon regarding the newspaper article he contacted the FBI to say he had information.
After telling Hazleton police the information he had, Jackson was asked to wear a wire in another conversation with Judon on Aug. 18, 2012.
Jurors heard and saw a several-minute-long video and audio recording of the two men sitting on a bench at the Altmiller Playground in Hazleton. There, Judon said he and “Money” — Dedes — were with Reznick Aug. 3 and 4 and there was a discussion about an iPhone that lead to Reznick being assaulted and put in the trunk of a car.
Judon said Dedes was in charge and Reznick was not supposed to die. Reznick died of his injuries on Aug. 13, 2012.
“At the end of the day, I ride with my (expletive), dawg,” Judon said of his limited involvement.
Jurors were given a vocabulary lesson on the street slang Jackson and Judon were using, and said Judon’s statement meant he was willing to back up his friend, Dedes.
When questions by Judon’s attorney, Allyson Kacmarski, Jackson said he is “not a confidential informant” and he had previously smoked marijuana with Reznick.
Prosecutors also called a Hazleton detective who searched Judon’s Lafayette Court residence, where a .9mm handgun and magazine with 10 live rounds were found in the basement.
Also called to testify was a former roommate of Judon who placed Reznick at the Lafayette Court house with Judon and Dedes the day Reznick was robbed and assaulted.
The mother of Judon’s son, Aisha Manning, testified Thursday and was deemed a “hostile witness” after she repeatedly testified she could not remember making statements to police about a conversation she had with Judon.
A person can be deemed a hostile witness if his or her testimony is either openly antagonistic or appears to be contrary to the legal position of the lawyer who called the witness. The person questioning the witness can then ask the witness leading questions in an attempt to elicit information already known to them, which is typically not permitted.
Manning said statements police have of her saying Judon told her about an incident with an iPhone were incorrect and that she had been celebrating her birthday the day of the alleged conversation.
“Her answer … is a complete surprise to the commonwealth,” Assistant District Attorney Dan Zola told Hughes when making the hostile witness request.
Prosecutors also called a forensic scientist to testify about any DNA found in Reznick’s vehicle. John Milo said one of the car’s handles had a DNA mixture of the three men on it and a hair found in the vehicle was Reznick’s.