Final arguments heard in firefighter fighting case
September 25, 2012
Defense attorney Chris Casciola and Deputy District Attorney Kristy Imel delivered their closing arguments before a crowded courtroom Monday in the felony assault trial of Mason.
Casciola said Mason acted in self-defense when engaged in a bar bathroom brawl with Jory Brigham after a wedding on June 4, 2011. But, Brigham, who lost the fight inside the Pappy McGregor’s bathroom, ended up sustaining 17 fractures in his face. Imel said Mason used unreasonable force.
“Ryan Mason left that bathroom, and Jory Brigham was lying on the floor covered in his blood,” Imel said.
While Imel claimed Mason acted out of rage and revenge for a Facebook comment Brigham made about his marital troubles, Casciola assigned reasons to Brigham being the aggressor.
Casciola called Jory Brigham “the moral police of this community,” saying Brigham decided to punish Mason for his affair and brief separation from his wife. Casciola also described Brigham as a “talker” and “a dog that doesn’t bite.” He said Brigham relied on “liquid courage” to challenge Mason physically.
“At some point that dog decided to bite,” Casciola said.
Casciola also said that money is a motivation for Brigham. While he did not accuse Brigham of starting the fight for money, Casciola said that Brigham’s ties to an attorney show that he plans to sue Mason civilly.
“He started a fight. He lost that fight. Does anybody doubt he’s going to sue for that fight?” Casciola said. “He’s used the district attorney’s office as his tool.”
Imel, who said it was disgraceful to claim money was a motive, insisted that Mason used unreasonable force in fighting Brigham. Alluding to an alleged attempt by Brigham to fake fight Mason earlier in the evening, Imel said Mason had revenge on his mind.
“He didn’t want to fake fight Jory Brigham,” Imel said. “He wanted to shut Jory’s mouth. And he did. Jory had his mouth shut for several weeks.”
Imel said Mason’s reaction revealed the “consciousness of his guilt.”
“Why did he run off?” Imel asked.
Imel said that Mason’s history of fighting and his bout of rage at Pappy McGregor’s makes him a danger to the community.
Casciola countered that Mason is “a firefighter, family man, never seems to be in trouble.”
Mason faces charges of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury.