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Metro Digest

Local News in Brief : McMartin Witness Sick

October 08, 1987

A jail house informant whose controversial testimony has become crucial in the McMartin Pre-School molestation trial was in a local hospital instead of on the witness stand Wednesday after complaining of chest pains and coughing up blood.

Prosecutors said the witness, George Freeman, was diagnosed as having bronchitis and should be well enough to resume testifying today.

Earlier this week Freeman was granted immunity from prosecution for past perjuries after balking at answering questions. Freeman testified before the jury last week that while they were cell mates for two days in March, 1984, McMartin defendant Raymond Buckey told him he had molested several children at his grandmother's Manhattan Beach nursery school.

Superior Court Judge William Pounders said he likely will declare a mistrial if Freeman's illness prevents defense attorneys from fully cross-examining him.

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