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Goetz Victim to Testify to Avoid Contempt Count

May 16, 1987|Associated Press

NEW YORK — One of the four youths shot by Bernhard H. Goetz on a subway train two years ago told a judge Friday that he had changed his mind and would testify against Goetz to avoid contempt of court charges.

When James Ramseur entered the courtroom, he was expected to be sentenced by Judge Stephen Crane for defying an order last week to testify for the prosecution.

But Ramseur's lawyer, Ronald Kliegerman, told the judge: "Mr. Ramseur does wish to purge himself of the contempt charge and he does wish to testify."

The judge indicated that he expected Ramseur to testify Tuesday, when the trial is scheduled to resume. Crane said: "At the time that he does that, the contempt proceeding will be dismissed."

Ramseur, 21, is serving 8 to 25 years in prison for pistol-whipping and raping a pregnant woman last year.

Kliegerman said his client previously had refused to testify because he thought he had been unfairly treated during the rape trial because of his involvement with the Goetz shooting.

Goetz is charged with attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment and weapons violations in the shootings of the four youths on Dec. 22, 1984.

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