CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Hockey Dad Testifies
Aired January 9, 2002 - 12:11 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: In another courtroom, a key defense witness may take the stand today in the trial of a Massachusetts man accused of manslaughter in the beating death of a fellow hockey dad. That witness is the defendant himself.
CNN's Michael Okwu is in Cambridge. He has been following very emotion-charged trial proceedings so far today -- Michael.
MICHAEL OKWU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Leon, hello to you. We are expecting to hear from that defendant any moment now. Thomas Junta is expected to testify on his own behalf in this trial.
We want to take you live inside the courtroom right at this moment, where lawyers have been assembled after a break, and you can see Thomas Junta now approaching the witness stand.
He is a rather imposing figure, he outweighed the person he is accused of essentially killing, it is a manslaughter case here, by some 100 pounds. He is now taking the witness stand, why don't we listen and hear what he has to say.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
THOMAS ORLANDI, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: -- speak loudly to you. I know you have a hearing problem, do you have your hearing aid in today?
THOMAS JUNTA, DEFENDANT: No.
JUNTA: I couldn't wear it, something was making it hum.
ORLANDI: Okay. If you don't hear my question, ask me and I will repeat it.
So, what is your name?
JUNTA: Thomas Junta.
ORLANDI: And where do you live?
JUNTA: 81 Handcock Street, right here (ph).
ORLANDI: An, approximately how long have you lived there?
JUNTA: 11, 12 years, maybe.
ORLANDI: And, are you married or single?
ORLANDI: Do you have any children?
JUNTA: I have two: A boy and a girl.
ORLANDI: And what are their names and ages? Just their first names.
JUNTA: Quinlan is 12 and my daughter is 17.
ORLANDI: I'm sorry, I didn't hear you.
JUNTA: Quinlan is 12 and my daughter is 17.
ORLANDI: Can you push that speaker up a little bit? Thank you.
Sir, how far have you gone in school?
JUNTA: High school.
ORLANDI: And do you have any siblings? Any brothers or sisters?
JUNTA: I have seven brothers and five sisters.
ORLANDI: And, and what's your occupation?
JUNTA: Truck driver.
ORLANDI: And who -- how long have you been a truck driver?
JUNTA: Driving trucks for probably close to 20 years.
ORLANDI: Okay. And who do you presently work for?
JUNTA: A local food company.
ORLANDI: Okay. And sir, do you have any -- strike that. As a truck driver, what are your duties, in general, as a -- driving trucks?
JUNTA: Just delivering food products, throughout -- you know (ph), interstate, New England areas, nursing homes and hospitals, restaurants.
ORLANDI: Okay. And what's your approximate standard weekly occupation as a truck driver, hour-wise?
JUNTA: We work for -- anywhere from 10 to 15-hour days.
ORLANDI: And, do you have any mental problems, sir? JUNTA: No.
ORLANDI: Do you have any physical problems?
JUNTA: A couple.
ORLANDI: What are those, sir?
JUNTA: I have a -- surgeries on my knees, my shoulder, my hearing aid, glasses.
ORLANDI: Okay. What's your wife's name?
ORLANDI: And what's her occupation?
JUNTA: She is a substitute teacher at a high school, a swim coach in the afternoons.
ORLANDI: Now sir, I want to direct your attention to July 5, the year 2000. Would you tell us what time you arose on that day?
JUNTA: Probably around 3:00 am.
ORLANDI: And after you arose, where did you go, if anywhere?
JUNTA: Went to work.
ORLANDI: Where was that?
JUNTA: At Edward, Mass (ph).
ORLANDI: And approximately what time did you leave home?
JUNTA: Probably around 3:30, maybe, quarter to 4:00.
ORLANDI: And what did you do during that day?
JUNTA: I punched in, and got assigned whatever duties they had for me to do.
ORLANDI: And at some point in time in that day -- you say, what time did you arrive at work?
JUNTA: Excuse me?
ORLANDI: What time did you arrive at work?
JUNTA: I had to be in by 4:00, so it was before 4:00.
ORLANDI: And, approximately what time did you finish work on that day in question?
JUNTA: Between 1:30 and 2:00, maybe.
ORLANDI: And what was your weekly schedule, at that time, days and hours?
JUNTA: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, I start at 1:00 am until around maybe 4, 4:30 in the afternoon, and Wednesdays there is off day.
ORLANDI: And, was this an off day?
JUNTA: Yeah, it's a Wednesday.
ORLANDI: No, I mean, the day that you worked.
JUNTA: No, I'm --
ORLANDI: The day of this incident, July 5th. That was a working day?
JUNTA: Yes, it was a working day, yeah.
ORLANDI: When you finished that day, from your job, where did you go?
JUNTA: I went home.
ORLANDI: All right. And when you went home, was anyone there at that time?
JUNTA: Yeah, my wife was there with the (ph) boys.
ORLANDI: And as a result of some conversation with your wife, what did you do next?
JUNTA: I started doing some yard work until I had to leave.
ORLANDI: Okay. And at some point after you did yard work you left your home?
ORLANDI: And where did you go?
JUNTA: I went to the -- Burbank Arena.
ORLANDI: And, when you went to the Burbank Arena, were any of your children there?
JUNTA: Yes, my son was.
ORLANDI: Who was that?
ORLANDI: And how old was he then?
JUNTA: Ten. ORLANDI: And has he been playing hockey for a long period of time?
JUNTA: Yeah. I would say at least since he was five.
ORLANDI: And you have a daughter?
ORLANDI: How old is she, sir?
ORLANDI: And, what sports, if any, does she play?
JUNTA: Hockey, field hockey, I think she played softball for a little while, pretty much anything.
ORLANDI: Is she presently playing hockey for a team?
JUNTA: Yeah, she plays for the Redding (ph) High School team.
ORLANDI: And what is her rank and position?
JUNTA: She is a left wing or right wing, and you know, captain.
ORLANDI: She's captain. Left wing or right wing, and captain.
JUNTA: And captain, yeah.
ORLANDI: And -- at some point time, I think you said you then -- then went to the rink.
ORLANDI: And how did you get there, sir?
JUNTA: I drove my pickup.
ORLANDI: And, where did you park your truck?
JUNTA: Out in front of the rink.
ORLANDI: And at some point in time, did you proceed inside of the rink?
ORLANDI: When you entered the rink, where did you recall you went?
JUNTA: I went in through the doors, and then, like, off to the right.
ORLANDI: And were you making any observations of anyone on the ice at that time? JUNTA: I just noticed there was people playing. I wasn't really paying too much attention then.
ORLANDI: Were you standing or seated at that time?
JUNTA: I was standing, like at the dash (ph), I like to call it the dash. (ph)
ORLANDI: Could you look on to the ice?
ORLANDI: Do you recall if anyone else was near you at the time?
JUNTA: There was a woman right to my left.
ORLANDI: Okay. Did you know her?
JUNTA: I knew who she was, but I didn't know her name.
ORLANDI: Do you now know what her name was?
ORLANDI: What do you now know her name to be?
JUNTA: I believe it was Lisa Bush (ph).
ORLANDI: Okay. And does she have a son?
ORLANDI: What was his first name?
ORLANDI: And was he there that day?
JUNTA: Yeah, he was on the ice with my son (ph).
ORLANDI: And did you have some conversation with her at that time, yes or no?
ORLANDI: As a result of your conversation with Lisa Bush (ph), what, if anything, did you then do?
JUNTA: I just started paying more attention to the game.
ORLANDI: Okay. And was there anything at that time that would interfere with your view as to what was going on on the ice?
ORLANDI: Did you know what was the kids were there for that day? JUNTA: Yes.
ORLANDI: And what was that for?
JUNTA: Stick practice.
ORLANDI: Can you tell the jury what stick practice means?
JUNTA: It is an informal skate -- and let kids just wear their helmets, skates, and gloves.
ORLANDI: And would it be fair to say that you, your wife, and your children are a hockey family?
JUNTA: Pretty much so, yeah.
ORLANDI: Would it be fair to state that you've observed a number of skate practices and hockey games?
JUNTA: Yeah, quite a few.
ORLANDI: And again, what is the purpose for stick practice verses a -- contact in a (ph) game?
JUNTA: Stick practice, kids just mess around, and do stuff they see on TV and stuff, you know, basically playing. Messing around.
ORLANDI: And when you say messing around, does that in a stick practice mean elbowing?
ORLANDI: Does that mean slashing?
ORLANDI: Does that mean using your hands, throwing your hands into someone else's face?
ORLANDI: When you say you were now standing there, and you were now more focused on the game, initially did you notice anything at that time?
JUNTA: Not exactly right away, no.
ORLANDI: At some point in time, and just be specific and in slow detail, discuss what you observed as you were focusing on the game happening.
JUNTA: Well as they came in front of me, like in front of the glass, the kids were right -- from the back of the legs, hitting with the sticks, and they were going up higher, behind the kids' necks for cross checks (ph). Then they skated off down the other --
ORLANDI: Now you say the "kids." Can you describe to this jury who you mean when you say the "kids"?
JUNTA: Well, there was -- it looked like my son and his two brat (ph) friends were on one side, and they were playing against some other guys, some other kids.
ORLANDI: Did you observe your son and his two friends slashing with sticks?
JUNTA: One time I did notice they -- it was a retaliation-type of thing.
ORLANDI: Okay. Now, as you were standing there watching on the ice, at some point did they go to the other end of the arena?
JUNTA: Yeah, they did.
ORLANDI: And you -- did you observe something happening on the other end of the arena?
JUNTA: Yes, I did.
ORLANDI: And, what did you observe happening at the other end of the arena?
JUNTA: The boy in the green shirt, which I found out later was Travis, got -- was starting a fight, square off on one of the other boys, and two of the other boys came to guard them, and they fell to the ice.
ORLANDI: When you observed that happening, did you do something?
JUNTA: Yes, I started to run down the side of the boards.
ORLANDI: Do you notice at time whether there was an adult with these boys or not?
JUNTA: Not until I got to the very end.
ORLANDI: And when you got to the very end, would you describe to this jury what you observed about any children and any adults at that time?
JUNTA: The kids were all basically on top of, like, the one kid in the green shirt, and a guy was in the middle, and kind of had one hand down on the kid with the green shirt, and another hand like this. One of the littlest kids had a stick, hitting them like that, chopping at him.
ORLANDI: And, do you now know that that person on the ice was Travis?
ORLANDI: And when you saw that, were you at that end of the rink where this was happening?
JUNTA: Yes, I was right up -- that's when I started to open the door and go on.
ORLANDI: And when you -- you did open the door to go out on the ice?
JUNTA: I'm pretty sure, yeah.
ORLANDI: And, did you go on the ice?
JUNTA: Yes, I took about, maybe, a step and a half on.
ORLANDI: Okay. When you went on to the ice, did you notice an adult male at that time?
ORLANDI: Will you describe to this jury what he was wearing?
JUNTA: He had some hockey equipment on.
ORLANDI: What do you mean by hockey equipment?
JUNTA: Skates, shin pads, helmet, shoulder pads, gloves, stick.
ORLANDI: And do you recall approximately how tall he was?
JUNTA: Slightly taller than me.
ORLANDI: Okay. Now, did you say something to him at that time?
JUNTA: I had yelled out, first of all, to the kid, "hey, you never hit nobody with a stick," and the man skated up to me.
ORLANDI: Did you say something to him or did he say something to you?
JUNTA: He skated up to me, and put his hands up like this, and he said, "that's hockey, that's what it's all about."
ORLANDI: And as a result of him saying that to you, what, if anything, did you say to him?
JUNTA: I said, "bullsh*t, it's not. It's supposed to be fun."
ORLANDI: And at that point in time, did he say anything more to you, or you say anything more to him?
JUNTA: No, the kids kind of like broke up, like, on their own. I think, actually, that other kid there, L. Ryan Cock (ph), kind of like stood by, and the kid skated off.
ORLANDI: And did you return to where you had formerly been standing?
JUNTA: I started to walk back down there, closed the door, and started walking back.
ORLANDI: Now, at some point, as you walked back toward the other end, that would have been toward the other end, that would have been toward what is now known as the locker rooms?
ORLANDI: Did you see your skunt (ph) -- your son Quinny (ph), skating back toward that area?
JUNTA: Yeah, he was coming up back towards --
ORLANDI: Did you see -- what if anything did you see happening to Quinny (ph) at that time?
JUNTA: He was skating up the side of the boards, and one of the larger boys went over and elbowed right in the side of the face.
ORLANDI: You saw that?
ORLANDI: You see what Quinny's (ph) response was to that elbow?
JUNTA: He kind of like, just like, slumped and turned right away immediately and started skating towards the exit door of the ice.
ORLANDI: And were you there when he came off the ice?
JUNTA: No, he was already in the locker-room when I got there.
ORLANDI: Would you describe his emotional state when you saw him in the locker-room?
JUNTA: He was a little upset by it.
ORLANDI: Now, at some point, did you enter the locker-room?
ORLANDI: And, who were you with at that time? Just describe who was there?
JUNTA: By myself -- oh, in the locker-room when I got in there?
JUNTA: Travis was already in there, Garrett (ph), an older gentlemen and my son.
ORLANDI: Okay. And at that point in time, where were you in that locker-room?
JUNTA: In the doorway.
ORLANDI: Okay. And were you -- what direction were you facing? JUNTA: Like facing the boys, into the room.
ORLANDI: What, if anything, were you saying to your kids at that time?
JUNTA: I just told them if they were going to play like that, they had to defend themselves, if they were going to get hit like that.
ORLANDI: And, did you have any discussion further with them about cheap shots, or anything like that?
JUNTA: I had mentioned that the cheap shots were unbelievable, stuff like that, you know, in general.
ORLANDI: When you were saying this to your son, and his friends, did you hear anything from anyone outside of that locker room at that time?
JUNTA: For a few seconds afterwards, yeah.
ORLANDI: What, if anything, did you hear from any young adult or adults?
JUNTA: I couldn't make out any certain words, just a lot of noise, you know.
ORLANDI: Okay. When did you then see who is now known as Mr. Costin again, around that locker room area?
JUNTA: Well, hearing that noise, I kind of like, turned like this, just as, like, maybe two -- two kids had gone in, then it was him going to the locker room.
ORLANDI: Okay. Do you recall what, if anything, was said between you and he at the time?
JUNTA: I looked at him, and he looked at me, and went something -- he goes (ph), "that's it, that's hockey."
And I took about two steps over to him, and I said, "no, it isn't. That's bull. These kids are going to get hurt."
ORLANDI: Okay. Now, what did he do when you said, "that's bull, these kids are going to get hurt"?
JUNTA: I turned and went back to my locker room, and I thought he was going in his, and then I turned around and glanced again, he was still standing there.
ORLANDI: And, what, if anything, did he do at that time?
JUNTA: He had said something else, but I couldn't tell you what it was, because I couldn't hear it.
ORLANDI: Did he then do anything physically with you? JUNTA: After I walked out in the hall and I said, "what's your problem," he went like right into my face like that, and we grabbed.
ORLANDI: How was he dressed at that time?
JUNTA: He still had his hockey stuff on.
ORLANDI: Skates and a helmet?
JUNTA: Yeah, I believe his helmet was on, skates, pads. His gloves were off.
HARRIS: We're going to take a quick moment to bring in a guest who has been watching this along with us, Cynthia Alksne, who is a former federal prosecutor. I believe, Cynthia, you are in our Washington Bureau, aren't you?
CYNTHIA ALKSNE, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I am.
HARRIS: Hey Cynthia, good to talk to you again. What do you make of what we have heard so far?
ALKSNE: Well, the defense is based on two foundations. One is the expert, and the other is the testimony of the defendant. The expert today was eviscerated, you know, with a very sharp scalpel by the prosecutor, so the entire defense is now resting on this man's shoulders.
HARRIS: And it appears as though, by bringing out this equipment, is he trying to show that, perhaps, Costin was more of a threat, than we may have been thinking up to this point?
ALKSNE: Well, he is trying to make him larger. You know, when you have hockey skates on, you are two or three inches taller. Mr. Costin is 100 pounds less than the defendant, and they are trying to make him appear bigger. Shoulder pads, you know, he had arm pads on, you know, depending on how much pads he was wearing and with the addition of the skates, he would look larger and more of a threat. That is what they are trying to do, is deal with the differences.
HARRIS: All right, let's listen back in.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
JUNTA: -- inches, maybe (ph), bigger than me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, speak up Mr. Junta, please.
JUNTA: A couple of inches bigger than me, three inches.
ORLANDI: And is a fair and accurate representation of a hockey helmet?
JUNTA: Yeah, a lot of padding missing out of it, but it is.
ORLANDI: Okay. When he, as you say, pushed himself up into your face, what happened next, sir?
JUNTA: We kind of grabbed each other up around the shoulder area.
ORLANDI: Okay. When you looked at Mr. Costin at that point in time, can you describe his general temperament, as you perceived it?
JUNTA: He seemed to be -- it was more angry than it should have been. It was just a -- it should have been like a little argument. It was more -- excuse me (ph) -- confrontational type of thing.
ORLANDI: What do you recall happened next between and you Mr. Costin after he made that move into your face?
JUNTA: Well, we grabbed each other by the shoulders, and we were going like this, like trying to actually hit each other, but really nothing connected, and then he stepped on my foot with his skate.
ORLANDI: OK, what, if anything, did you say to him when he stepped on your foot with the skate?
JUNTA: At that time, really nothing, because when I pulled my foot is when we stared sliding down the wall.
And what if anything was he doing with his feet at that time?
JUNTA: That's when he started to kick out at me.
ORLANDI: OK, and what if anything did you do when he started to kick out at you?
JUNTA: I had one hand like up on the wall like this, and another hand holding his leg down, actually on his shoulder pad and another hand on the legs.
ORLANDI: What, if anything, were you doing with your legs?
JUNTA: I was trying to like walk backwards, but I was hunched over.
ORLANDI: OK. Would it be fair to state you were trying to get your legs away from his?
ORLANDI: OK. Now as he was on that wall, sliding down the wall, what if anything did he do relative to you physically?
JUNTA: I don't know what with a you mean physically.
ORLANDI: Did he do something to your face or your body?
JUNTA: I didn't know it until the boys said I was cut on my face. ORLANDI: Now on that date in question, were you wearing a blue shirt?
JUNTA: Yes, a work shirt, a work T-shirt.
ORLANDI: And was it torn or not torn when you arrived at the rink?
JUNTA: No it wasn't torn.
ORLANDI: Let me show you a blue shirt, exhibit number 67, Mr. Junta, and that is that the shirt that you had on that day. And is that the condition it was in after this altercation in the alcove?
ORLANDI: And who, if anyone, tore that shirt?
JUNTA: It was attorney during the fight with Mr. Costin.
ORLANDI: All right.
Mr. Junta, I want to show you exhibit number 68 in a plastic bag, a gold chain, and I want to ask you, is that a fair and accurate representation, not the chain, but an accurate representation of the chain you had on your neck that day?
JUNTA: Yes, it's about the same.
ORLANDI: Now, when you say it is about the same, sir, the chain you had on that day, what, if anything, happened to that chain?
ORLANDI: One moment.
HARRIS: Let's bring back Cynthia Alksne who is in our Washington bureau, who's been listening to this as well.
Cynthia, what do you make of what we just heard. We talked a moment ago about the description of the victim here, wearing the skates and appearing taller, do you think was a rather effective tactic to take there?
ALKSNE: Well, it's the smart tactic. Whether or not it's affective remains to be seen, but there really isn't anything else that he can do; he has to deal with the size differential.
HARRIS: All right, let's go back to it.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
ORLANDI: ... is a fair and accurate representation of the chain you had on your neck that day in question?
ORLANDI: On that day in question, what if anything happened to the chain itself that was on your neck as a result of the altercation in that alcove?
JUNTA: It was ripped off my neck.
ORLANDI: Will you tell the jury how that happened?
JUNTA: It was during the first wrestling match with him, he kind of like grabbed my shirt and my chain and was twisting it like that.
Now, how long would you say this initial fight took?
JUNTA: It was very fast, five, 10 seconds, maybe, if that.
ORLANDI: And as the result of that first fight, did you suffer some injuries?
JUNTA: I did not know it at the time, but the boys had told me I was cut, like I said.
ORLANDI: Mr. Costin -- I'm sorry, Mr. Junta I want to show you a group of a large photographs and ask you if these are a fair and accurate representation of your body, your face, your neck on this day in question.
Please look at these.
JUNTA: Yes, they are all me.
ORLANDI: Can I have those marked for exhibit, your honor. I believe they were marked only for...
Mr. Junta, I now want to show you exhibit number 59, and ask if you recognize what's in that photograph?
JUNTA: My hands.
ORLANDI: And when, if you recall, were those pictures taken?
JUNTA: After the interview with trooper Burke (ph).
ORLANDI: OK. And what, if any, marks or swelling do you see on your own hands?
I want to show you another photograph, I'm sorry, marked exhibit number 58, and ask you if you recognize that photograph?
JUNTA: Yes, the other side of my hands.
ORLANDI: What, if any, injuries do you see on the other side of your hand, on your palms?
JUNTA: Just a little mark there.
ORLANDI: You have to speak up a little bit there.
JUNTA: I have a mark there, I guess.
ORLANDI: Do you recall which hand?
JUNTA: The one to the left.
ORLANDI: The one to the left in that photo?
JUNTA: The one to the left, the little...
ORLANDI: Can you step done carefully and point out to it?
I will now show you exhibit number 57 and ask you if you recognize that photograph?
JUNTA: That's my leg.
ORLANDI: In a loud, clear voice so we can hear you, can you describe what injuries, if any, you had to that left leg?
JUNTA: It was all red, and I don't know, around my knees.
ORLANDI: Were those injuries to that leg on there prior to your altercation, this first altercation at the rink?
JUNTA: I don't know, I don't think so, I can't be sure if it was before or after. I don't know if they were there the first or second.
Let me show you another photograph, sir, and that marked -- I'm sorry, your honor, marked exhibit 56, and ask if you recognize that.
JUNTA: That is my own leg.
ORLANDI: And looking at that photograph, do you recognize any injuries to that leg?
JUNTA: It's all scratched up. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) raspberries, I said at the time.
ORLANDI: And is there a scab on that leg?
ORLANDI: Was that from some prior incident or this incident?
JUNTA: Yes, I think it was an old one.
ORLANDI: Let me show you exhibit number 55, sir, and ask you, is that a picture of both of your legs taken on that night in question?
JUNTA: Yes, it is.
ORLANDI: Can you describe any other injuries, abrasions on those legs?
JUNTA: It's the same, little red marks. One side is a little bit more bumpy than usual.
ORLANDI: Let me show you exhibit number 54, sir, and ask if you can describe that to us?
JUNTA: It's my arm.
ORLANDI: OK. And What if any injuries are there to your arm?
JUNTA: Scratches above the tattoo, and on the other side, up and down.
ORLANDI: Were those injuries as a result of that first altercation in the alcove?
JUNTA: I assume, yes.
ORLANDI: Let me show you another photo, marked exhibit 53, and ask you if you can tell us what injury that is, and on what part of your body.
JUNTA: That is my arm upside down with the scratches.
ORLANDI: I'm sorry.
ORLANDI: What arm is that?
For the record indicate? Left arm?
JUNTA: Left arm.
ORLANDI: You need some water, Mr. Junta?
JUNTA: No, I'm all set.
ORLANDI: Let me show you another photograph and ask you to describe that to the jury, and the injury.
JUNTA: That my other side still, the scratches...
ORLANDI: The left arm?
ORLANDI: Let me show you another photograph, sir, marked exhibit 51. Can you describe that injury to the jury?
JUNTA: The back of my neck, and chain mark with the scratch underneath it.
ORLANDI: Did that occur as a result of the chain being ripped off your neck? JUNTA: Yes.
ORLANDI: Let me show you exhibit number 50, sir, and ask you if you can describe that to the jury.
JUNTA: That's my face with a scratch on it.
ORLANDI: Was that a result of that first altercation?
ORLANDI: Let me show you another exhibit 49. Is that another photograph of the last side of your face?
ORLANDI: And was that a result of the first altercation?
ORLANDI: Let me show you an exhibit marked number 45, sir. Would you describe to the jury what that photo depicts and when those injuries occurred?
JUNTA: That is me when the trooper took my picture.
ORLANDI: And the injuries?
JUNTA: During the fight.
ORLANDI: Now after this first altercation, can you describe the general demeanor of Mr. Costin when you finished this first altercation with him?
JUNTA: From a couple of seconds, it kind of seemed he was calm, but then it didn't last long.
ORLANDI: What do you mean it didn't last? Can you describe what you mean in your words when you looked at him?
JUNTA: As we got broken up by the -- I think it was the kid Ryan Carr (ph), I am not sure, the rink guy, we kind of split up a little bit, and then he reached back out again at my shirt and ripped it a little bit more, and he kind of like started giving me the finger, and when he started doing that, it was kind of like a mutual thing, and then he started like drooling and stuff, and it just got, like, way out of hand.
ORLANDI: When you saw that, Mr. Carr was there at the time?
JUNTA: I believe Mr. Carr was there to the side.
ORLANDI: OK. And did he step in front of you at some point?
JUNTA: Yes, he came to the side. I'm not sure if it was him or Mr. Carr from the rink, but somebody did come in and, like, give a little more room.
ORLANDI: What do you do when he stepped in at that time?
JUNTA: I just backed up.
And what if anything did you say or do to the boys in the locker room at that time?
JUNTA: Mr. Carr handed me my medallion first as I was going back in. I went in and I told the boys to hurry up and come on.
ORLANDI: And then did you do something?
JUNTA: I went outside.
ORLANDI: Now when you left the locker room, just briefly, did you walk down the corridor through the doors?
JUNTA: Yes. I went all the way around and through and out the door?
ORLANDI: OK, when you went outside, what if anything did you do?
JUNTA: I dropped my tailgate and went to the cab of my pickup and put my chain and stuff in.
When you say chain and stuff, what do you mean?
JUNTA: There is a little shamrock on it.
And at some point in time, did you notice whether any of the boys were with you at that time?
JUNTA: Just Garrett was behind me.
And did you notice whether your other boys were there?
JUNTA: No, they weren't.
ORLANDI: OK. At that point in time, did you have any conversation with Garrett that you recall?
JUNTA: I can't remember specifically what was said between me and him.
ORLANDI: OK. Now your standing outside and you're with Garrett?
JUNTA: Yes. ORLANDI: OK. At that point in time, did you realize the other boys were not there?
JUNTA: After a few seconds, yes. Maybe a minute, maybe even a minute and a half.
What was your concern at that time if any?
JUNTA: They were inside of the rink and we just had this big semi-brawl, you know.
And were you worried about them?
JUNTA: Yes, I was.
ORLANDI: Were you concerned for their safety?
JUNTA: Yes, I was.
(INTERRUPTED BY BREAKING NEWS)
WOODRUFF: Now back to Massachusetts and the Cambridge trial of Thomas Junta, accused of killing another father after a hockey practice last year.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
JUNTA: ... wherever it was, when I go around the side like this, and as I stepped in and I went like this, that's when I seen Mr. Costin.
ORLANDI: Was that the first time you saw him since the first incident?
JUNTA: Yes, out of his equipment.
ORLANDI: What do you recall, slowly and specifically detail now, happened next physically between Mr. Costin and you?
JUNTA: Well, as I turned like this, he was already coming at me going like this, I went like this with one, with one arm kind of ducked and his knee started coming up, too, and along my back a little bit and not completely on, but on my shoulders kind of like a tackle maybe, a block.
ORLANDI: You were doing the blocking?
JUNTA: Yes. The way he came over like this, and my momentum carried forward.
ORLANDI: Did you throw your arms at him in that block?
JUNTA: I went like this.
ORLANDI: What was your mental state at that time when you were throwing your arms up? What were you doing?
JUNTA: I did not know what in the heck he was doing. I mean, why is he, like, jumping at me he so fast,. It was like crazy, I could not understand it. I did not know if he had something this his hands.
ORLANDI: OK, and did you then do something next physically?
JUNTA: When I got closer to the wall, kind of like a pull like this, and we slammed into the wall and fell to the floor.
ORLANDI: OK. And now when you fell to the floor, where was Mr. Costin's body at that time.
JUNTA: Right in front of me, like flat on the floor.
ORLANDI: Where was his head?
JUNTA: By my right hand.
ORLANDI: And was it facing toward the rink, or away from the rink?
JUNTA: It was facing towards the ice.
ORLANDI: And where were his feet?
JUNTA: Facing towards the side.
ORLANDI: OK. Now after you hit the floor, where were you on the floor in the position to Mr. Costin?
JUNTA: Right beside him on my knees.
ORLANDI: OK, and at that point in time, what if anything was Mr. Costin doing?
JUNTA: As soon as we hit the floor, he started pulling his knees up and trying to knee me, tried to get his feet up to my shoulder area, and then he started hitting me.
ORLANDI: What if anything were you doing? Were you trying to block any of his hands or feet?
JUNTA: I only had one hand, because he had my left wrist in his left hand.
ORLANDI: So he was holding your left wrist?
ORLANDI: With his left hand?
ORLANDI: OK. And what was he doing with his right hand?
JUNTA: Well I tried to pull my hand a couple of quick times, and each time I did, he tried to throw a punch in my face.
ORLANDI: OK. And approximately how long did this incident on the floor last?
JUNTA: Real fast, seconds.
ORLANDI: You thought about this for a long time, have you not?
JUNTA: Every day almost.
ORLANDI: And on that day in question, did you give the police officers a statement immediately after this incident?
ORLANDI: When you were on that floor and you thought about this all this period of time, sir, do you recall how many punches you through at that man on that day in court?
JUNTA: No more than three.
ORLANDI: And do you recall how many you may have thrown at you?
JUNTA: No, I couldn't tell you. A few.
ORLANDI: Do you recall how many times, if at all, he tried to kick you?
JUNTA: A few.
When you say you were throwing a few punches, would you say it was one or two, three or four?
JUNTA: I didn't throw any -- it was a total of three. I did not retaliate until there was nothing left to do.
ORLANDI: When you say there was nothing left to do, what if anything did Mr. Costin do when he stopped punching that you remembered?
JUNTA: Before I stopped punching him?
JUNTA: After I threw I think it was the third one, he went like this with his hand, the one he was hitting me with, so it would be his right hand.
ORLANDI: OK, now what occurred next? What did you do when he threw his hand up like that, if anything?
JUNTA: I kind of stopped him, like almost, like, was sitting back onto my heels of my feet, and then I got pulled from behind.
ORLANDI: OK. Did you hit him again after he went like that, do you recall?
ORLANDI: When you were pulled from behind, do you now know who that person was?
JUNTA: Yes, I found out from just basic news things, and yesterday for sure.
ORLANDI: OK. And his name was Ryan Carr?
JUNTA: Yes, that was the kid I called the good hockey kid.
ORLANDI: When he pulled you from behind, sir, did you threaten him?
JUNTA: No, I didn't.
ORLANDI: OK. What did you do next?
JUNTA: I stood up, stood there for a minute, saw Mr. Carr -- Mr. Costin kind of roll onto his elbow, and I turned around and went back down and the kids were there, and I had to go to take off my son's skates.
ORLANDI: When you were standing, were you swearing at Mr. Costin laying there on the floor, saying anything, yelling, screaming, threatening anyone?
ORLANDI: So you then took your kid, was that Quinny, and you took him back into the locker room?
ORLANDI: And what do you do with him at that time.
JUNTA: He had tape on his skate, and we had to pull it off so we could get his skate off.
ORLANDI: OK. And then did you gather the rest of the boys?
ORLANDI: And where did you head?
JUNTA: I started to go out of the rink with them.
ORLANDI: OK. And at some point in the lobby area, did you -- lobby or outside area have another conversation with the woman now known as Nancy Blanchard?
ORLANDI: And what, if anything, occurred in that conversation?
JUNTA: Just that one of the boys was real upset and a couple of others were crying a little bit, and she did say the boys aren't going with you. I said no, I have to take them, they are suppose to come with me, I called their mother, and she made a pretty good argument about the way I looked, and I said OK, take them, you know, I said go with her.
ORLANDI: So you were concerned about the way you look and it was affecting the boys?
ORLANDI: And then where did you go, sir?
JUNTA: Outside of the doors, outside of the rink.
ORLANDI: OK. And at some point in time, did the police arrive?
ORLANDI: Was that quick in time, or did it take a while, or do you recall?
JUNTA: I think they were there pretty quick.
ORLANDI: And did you have some conversation with a couple of police officers at that time?
JUNTA: I remember that (UNINTELLIGIBLE) they said yes the other day. I vaguely remember him, but the cop on the mountain bike I don't recall, and Lieutenant Silvia (ph) I did talk to for a minute.
ORLANDI: And do you recall at some point when you were outside that rink one of the police officers telling you that you had a right to remain silent?
ORLANDI: You had a right to an attorney?
ORLANDI: That you didn't have to make any statements at that time?
ORLANDI: That if you made any statements, they could be used in court against you.
ORLANDI: And did you say you understood that?
ORLANDI: As a result of that, did you then offer a written statement right there outside of the rink?
ORLANDI: Tell us how you did that, sir?
JUNTA: I think it was outside that Mark O'Brien (ph) gave me a pen, and an official police report form, and they did it on the back of his car.
ORLANDI: And you signed that right there?
Now as a result of meeting with the police at that point in time, did they then and you if you would voluntarily go to the police station?
ORLANDI: And did you go to that police station?
ORLANDI: And when you went to the police station, did you have occasion to talk with both Redding (ph) and the state police trooper now known as Mr. Burke?
And did they at that station on at least two occasions tell you, again, have the right to remain silent?
ORLANDI: Right to an attorney?
ORLANDI: That you didn't have to make a statement?
JUNTA: They told me I didn't have to, that's what they said.
ORLANDI: And they told you that anything you told them could be used against you?
ORLANDI: And you understood that?
ORLANDI: And you agreed to give a statement?
And did you give a statement?
ORLANDI: And did they tell you the statement was going to be recorded?
ORLANDI: And you agreed to let them record that statement?
ORLANDI: OK. And did you tell them at that time, shortly after the incident, your memory of what went on and what you observed?
JUNTA: Yes, pretty much the best I could, yes.
ORLANDI: OK. I know it was not every detail, but you at least tried to give them a general understanding?
ORLANDI: You're leading the witness.
ORLANDI: I'm sorry. I withdraw the question.
Did you at that point in time attempt to give them a general outline of what went on?
ORLANDI: Please don't lead, Mr. Junta?
ORLANDI: As a result of giving that statement, did they have some discussion with you again about taking some photos of your body?
ORLANDI: And your face, your body, your hands?
And did you agree voluntarily to let them do that?
ORLANDI: Now, after you had this statement taken by the police and you gave your statement, do you recall it at the end of the statement where the officer asked you if you had anything else to say?
ORLANDI: What do you recall you said?
JUNTA: I think it was in the effect of I'm sorry it happened, I hope the man or the guy is fine, or something like that.
ORLANDI: Can we have a moment, your, honor?
ORLANDI: Yes, sir.
ORLANDI: I have no further questions, your honor.
HARRIS: Well, with that, we have heard the defense attorneys complete their questioning of Thomas Junta. We have been waiting for days now to hear this man's testimony of his own behalf. Cynthia Alksne in Washington, what do you make of what we have heard so far. We knew that they were going in with the object here of trying to create a case where Thomas Junta was acting with in self defense. What do you make of the case he's made so far?
ALKSNE: Well, I think he presented himself well. He wasn't overly dramatic. He seemed genuine. He said he hit him with no more than three punches. He also effectively talked about how he waived all his rights, he was open with the police, he was willing to make a statement, take photographs and do whatever was necessary, he presented himself, I think, relatively well, and now we will see how the cross goes.
HARRIS: What do you make -- what I have been listening for, I heard a description of what happened here, but I have not heard talk of Junta's state of mind. Do you think that that's -- did you catch that?
ALKSNE: Well, he talked about a little bit, how he came into get the kids after he was in the truck. He's not an extremely verbal person, so it doesn't surprise me that the defense attorney tried to overstep what he thought Mr. Junta was going to be good at, but you will expect to hear more about of course that when the prosecutor does her cross-examination.
HARRIS: OK, Cynthia, we will take a break here and go back to my colleague Judy Woodruff who is also standing by in Washington.
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