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Steve Lopez/POINTS WEST

Beating Victim Has Empathy for Suspects

July 12, 2006|Steve Lopez

Lebovich is trying to prove the intent was to kill Adams rather than just rough him up, and that's why the charge is attempted murder. The second person allegedly hit by Brumfield that night took a shot to the arm, but Adams got it in the head. The photos of his injuries were so hideous, Lebovich decided not to show them to Adams or ask questions about them in court.

When he was finally called, Adams entered the courtroom in bluejeans, black shoes, green shirt buttoned to the neck. From where I sat, it didn't look like Brumfield laid eyes on him. He was in his own head, seemingly indifferent.

"I am blind in my left eye," Adams told the jury when asked about the damage. He was asked to step down from the witness box and show jurors the scars, which are hard to look at without cringing.

"I want you to look at this individual in the blue shirt at the end of the table," Lebovich said, pointing to Brumfield. "Do you recognize this individual?"

Adams looked across the courtroom with a gripping stare and held it. No, he said. He would tell me later that he wanted to take the young man into the next room and box him. He also was thinking about how a kid of such slight build would get thrown around in prison.

Adams was thanked by Judge Sam Ohta and dismissed, and when he stepped outside the courtroom the next witness was waiting in the hallway and introduced herself.

It was Brumfield's mother, who, with voice trembling, told Adams he was in her prayers.

He thanked her and strode out of the courthouse like a man who had somewhere to go, books to read, jobs to seek. There'd be no slack in his work.

*

Reach the columnist at steve.lopez@latimes.com and read previous columns at latimes.com/lopez.

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