- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 10, 2005

ANNAPOLIS — A man on trial in the beating death of a Pasadena teenager bragged after the assault about crushing the victim’s head, a witness testified in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court yesterday.

Joshua Bradley, a co-defendant testifying in the trial of Jacob Fortney, told a jury that shortly after Jamahl Jones was fatally injured during a fight July 24, Mr. Fortney and other co-defendants left the scene in a Jeep, screaming and celebrating their victory in their fight with four young black men.

“[Mr. Fortney] said, ‘Did you see me kick him? Did you see me? I crushed his head,’” Mr. Bradley testified.

The six white defendants were charged with manslaughter and other violations in the death of the 17-year-old Jamahl, but prosecutors worked out an agreement with Mr. Bradley to drop charges against him in return for his testimony.

Mr. Bradley described in detail a melee that broke out after Jamahl and three other young black men arrived at a party at a private house carrying a handgun, a Taser stun gun and hammers, saying a friend at the party had called them for help.

He said that near the end of the fight, with Jamahl lying on his back in the street, he saw Mr. Fortney come running toward Jamahl.

“He jumped about from his feet to his head and landed on his head,” Mr. Bradley said.

But under cross examination from David Fischer, Mr. Fortney’s attorney, Mr. Bradley said Mr. Fortney’s feet blocked his view and he did not see the feet touch Jamahl’s face.

Mr. Fischer noted for the jury that Mr. Bradley did not mention Mr. Fortney jumping on Jamahl’s head until almost seven months after the killing when prosecutors were about to determine which of the defendants would be tried first.

Mr. Bradley responded with a loud “no” when Mr. Fischer suggested the claim that he saw Mr. Fortney jump on Jamahl’s face was a lie.

Mr. Bradley did not look at Mr. Fortney except when asked by David Putzi, an assistant state’s attorney, to point out the defendant. Mr. Fortney sat impassively about 10 feet away as Mr. Bradley provided crucial evidence against his one-time close friend.

Asked by Mr. Putzi how he felt testifying against Mr. Fortney, Mr. Bradley said, “It bothers me a lot. I feel nervous. Jake’s been my friend for a long time.”

Mr. Bradley’s uncle, Steven Bradley, followed his nephew to the witness stand to buttress his testimony by saying the young man told him the day after the fight that he had seen Mr. Fortney run and jump on Jamahl’s face.

Jamahl was a senior at Northeast High School in Pasadena when he died as a result of head injuries suffered during the brawl that broke out after he and three friends burst into a backyard party.

Mr. Bradley said he did not hit or kick him, but acknowledged hitting a friend of Jamahl’s with brass knuckles.

On Monday, an assistant medical examiner testified that Jamahl was killed by the brain injuries he suffered as he fell backward to the ground.

But those injuries could have been aggravated by other blows that were delivered, said Dr. Ling Li, a witness for the prosecution.

Jamahl was kicked or punched, but Dr. Li testified that she couldn’t tell which. She also said that she could not tell if the kicks or punches came before he was on the ground.

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