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Archive for the ‘sword’ Category

A security guard at the Church of Scientology’s Celebrity Centre in Hollywood Sunday shot and killed a man wielding two samurai swords, police said.

Police detained the guard for questioning but said that a surveillance tape at the facility backed his claim that he fired his semiautomatic handgun to protect himself and two colleagues.

“The evidence is very clear the security officers were defending their safety,” said Deputy Chief Terry S. Hara of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Police did not release the name of the guard or the man killed in the 1:30 p.m. shooting. An investigator said the man had a history with the church but was not a member now. The tape showed the man arriving at the Celebrity Centre’s Bronson Avenue parking lot in a red convertible, getting out of the vehicle and approaching a trio of security guards and waving a sword in each hand, Hara said.

He said the man, who was described as being in his 40s, was “close enough to hurt them” when the guard fired. The man was taken to County-USC Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Det. Wendi Berndt said the man was involved with the church “a long time ago.”

“There was a previous relationship, but it is unclear to what degree,” she said.

A teenager who saw the man arrive in the parking lot said he stopped the car abruptly in the driveway and climbed out with a 5-foot sword in his hand and an angry expression on his face. Tony Marquez, 17, said the man, who was bald and had tattoos on his arms, walked toward the building, then returned to the car to get the other sword.

“I thought it was part of a show,” said Marquez, of Ontario. He and his mother entered the building before the shooting began.

Police said the guard worked for a private security company. Detectives cordoned off the Franklin Avenue complex with yellow tape as investigators combed through the man’s Toyota Solara. The incident occurred at one of Hollywood’s most distinctive landmarks. Originally a luxury hotel, the eight-story building was built in the style of a 17th century French castle with a striking white facade and turrets that loom over the nearby Hollywood Freeway.

The church remade the building into a facility aimed at celebrities 39 years ago. According to a church website, the Celebrity Centre caters to “artists, politicians, leaders of industry, sports figures and anyone with the power and vision to create a better world.” The complex includes a restaurant, theater and hotel. Representatives of the church did not return calls.

“I have no information,” said a woman who answered the phone at the Celebrity Centre.

The facility is ringed by a fence, and security cameras dot the property’s perimeter. Guards on bikes also patrol the area.

“That is one thing about living here, you get free security,” said Brant Hoibin, 34, who lives in an apartment adjacent to the Celebrity Centre.

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A 27-year-old man was convicted Friday of attempted murder in connection with a samurai sword attack that nearly severed another man’s arm last year.

The Pomona Superior Court jury also found Wesley Brockway guilty of battery with great bodily injury and aggravated mayhem, but it acquitted him of conspiracy and torture charges stemming from the Sept. 30 attack on the then-47-year-old man outside the victim’s cabin on Mount Baldy.He is facing life in prison with the possibility of parole when he is sentenced Oct. 10 by Judge George Genesta.

Brockway’s older brother, Eric, was convicted of misdemeanor battery for using pepper spray after the victim had already been wounded with the sword, but jurors acquitted the 33-year-old man of attempted murder, conspiracy, torture and aggravated mayhem.

Eric Brockway, who was not accused of using the sword, was charged under a “conspiracy and aiding and abetting theory,” according to Deputy District Attorney Stefan Mrakich.

Eric Brockway was sentenced immediately to six months in county jail, which he has already served, Mrakich said. He was released from jail late Friday afternoon, shortly after the verdict.

The prosecutor contended that Wesley Brockway attacked the victim with a samurai sword that had a three-foot-long blade because he was angry that the victim painted out graffiti he had left on a pavement trail leading to the victim’s cabin.

The victim’s left arm was nearly severed, his pinkie finger was severed but reattached and his shoulder was split in two, Mrakich said.”He has limited movement of his left arm,” the prosecutor said of the victim, noting that he has no use of his left pinkie.

Both brothers testified and adamantly maintained that they had not tried to kill the victim, according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.

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By Will Bigham, Staff Writer

POMONA – Jury deliberations are expected to begin today in the trial of two brothers charged with attempted murder in connection with a samurai sword attack on Mt. Baldy last year.

Thursday’s proceedings in Pomona Superior Court included jury instructions and closing arguments from the prosecutor and the attorney representing one of the brothers.

Ontario residents Wesley Brockway, 27, and Eric Brockway, 33, are accused of trying to kill David Gregory at Gregory’s Mt. Baldy cabin on Sept. 30, 2007.

The attack was meant as retaliation for Gregory’s removal of graffiti left by the brothers and others along a trail leading to Gregory’s cabin, prosecutors say.

The two brothers testified this week, and both emphatically denied trying to kill Gregory, who nearly bled to death after he suffered stab wounds to his left shoulder, arm and hand.

Wesley Brockway, who is accused of hacking Gregory with a samurai sword, said Gregory attacked him without provocation.

Gregory may have been cut during a struggle over control for the sword, Brockway said.

The brothers are each charged with four felonies: attempted murder, conspiracy to commit a crime, torture and aggravated mayhem.

In his closing argument Thursday, Deputy District Attorney Stefan Mrakich said the Brockway brothers visited Gregory’s cabin the afternoon of the attack intending to kill the man, who Wesley Brockway said had been his friend since 2003.

Mrakich called the brothers “violent and sadistic.”

“In this case there is no reasonable doubt,” Mrakich said. “… The evidence is overwhelming.”

Three days before the attack, the brothers and two other men visited Gregory for an barbecue. When it ended, Wesley Brockway spray-painted several profane messages about Gregory on the trail leading to the man’s cabin.

Gregory said he woke the next morning and painted over the graffiti.

Wesley Brockway said he visited the next day as well, and was pleased to see the graffiti had been removed because he felt bad about it.

Mrakich said the facts of the case prove otherwise. The brothers, he said, felt “rage” over Gregory’s removal the graffiti, and returned on Sept. 30 intending to attack him.

In reference to the brothers’ testimony this week denying the prosecutor’s claims, he called them “liars.”

Eric Brockway is accused of spraying Gregory in the face with pepper spray once Gregory had already been wounded by his brother, then telling Gregory he wouldn’t leave the mountain alive.

John Stanley, Wesley Brockway’s attorney, said the prosecution’s version of events is implausible.

“If it’s implausible, it’s reasonable doubt,” he said.

He said the brothers went to Gregory’s cabin the day of the attack intending to apologize for the graffiti.

He said that if the brothers had intended to attack Gregory that day, they would not have brought food for a picnic and invited three potential witnesses along for the visit.

On the day of the attack, the Brockway brothers visited Gregory’s cabin with two of Wesley Brockway’s friends and a woman who was friends with Eric Brockway.

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Will Bigham, Staff Writer

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POMONA – Both defendants in the Mt. Baldy sword attack trial took the witness stand Tuesday to defend themselves against attempted murder charges.Wesley Brockway, 27, accused of trying to hack his friend to death with a samurai sword, faced cross-examination from Deputy District Attorney Stefan Mrakich, the prosecutor, in Pomona Superior Court.

As he did at Monday’s proceedings, Brockway stated that David Gregory attacked him first with a small baseball bat and pepper spray before both men began to tussle over Brockway’s samurai sword.

Brockway again denied striking Gregory with the sword.

Gregory suffered numerous cuts and stab wounds during the Sept. 30, 2007, confrontation at his cabin, including a wound to his left shoulder that caused him to bleed nearly to death.

Brockway’s brother, 33-year-old Eric Brockway, is accused of spraying Gregory twice with pepper spray after the man was injured and encouraging his brother and other people in the group to leave Gregory to die.

Eric Brockway denied the assertions presented by the prosecution during testimony Tuesday.

The Brockway brothers and two other men visited Gregory three days before the confrontation for a barbecue at Gregory’s isolated Mt. Baldy cabin.

As they left the barbecue on Sept. 27, 2007, Wesley Brockway spray-painted numerous profane, derogatory messages about Gregory along the path leading from Mt. Baldy Road to Gregory’s cabin.

The group returned the day of the confrontation intending to apologize to Gregory and to share food with Gregory, Eric Brockway testified. Sept. 30, 2007, was Eric Brockway’s 33rd birthday.

Eric Brockway said he and another person in the group had lagged behind his brother and another man, Chad Blakely, when Wesley Brockway and Blakely reached Gregory’s cabin.

Eric Brockway testified Tuesday that he heard his brother cry for help.

“It sounded to me like (my brother) was being attacked,” Eric Brockway said.

Eric Brockway said he ran to the cabin and saw Gregory and Blakely bleeding, and his brother covered in blood from the knee down.

Shocked that there had been violence, Eric Brockway said he asked the group what had happened, and took out his cell phone to call 9-1-1. But there was no signal.

He asked Gregory if he needed help. Gregory, who Brockway described as “angry,” said he didn’t want help.

“Why did you do this? We came to apologize,” Eric Brockway said he told Gregory.

“(Expletive) your apology. You made this personal,” Gregory replied, according to Eric Brockway.

Gregory was holding the 18-inch baseball bat in his right hand, and he walked toward Brockway as if he intended to strike him, Brockway said.

It was then that Brockway said he pepper sprayed Gregory. He denied ever encouraging his brother and Blakely to leave Gregory to die, as Gregory testified last week.

Eric Brockway is scheduled to continue his testimony today.

Three Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators are also expected to testify today. Closing arguments could begin this afternoon.

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Defendant takes the stand in samurai sword hacking case

Will Bigham, Staff Writer

POMONA – The man accused hacking his friend with a samurai sword testified in Pomona Superior Court Monday that he was acting in self-defense during the altercation last year on Mt. Baldy.

Wesley Brockway, 27, of Ontario said that on Sept. 30, 2007, David Gregory pepper sprayed him in the face and struck him in the head with an 18-inch baseball bat without provocation.

Gregory was angry over profane, derogatory graffiti left by Brockway three days earlier near Gregory’s Mt. Baldy cabin, Brockway testified.

Moments after he was hit by Gregory’s bat, Brockway said, Gregory reached for Brockway’s 3-foot samurai sword.

“My life was in danger,” Brockway said.

In the scuffle over the sword that followed, Brockway said he never struck Gregory with the blade.

Brockway and his brother, 33-year-old Eric Brockway, are both on trial on attempted murder charges for their role in the altercation that nearly killed Gregory.

Gregory suffered a catastrophic wound to his left shoulder and numerous other gashes to his left arm and hand.

Wesley Brockway testified Monday that he and Gregory, known by some friends and Mt. Baldy neighbors as “Mountain Man Dave,” had been friends since summer 2003.

Brockway said he and another friend, Chad Blakely, would often visit Gregory at his secluded cabin to hang out and have barbecues.

Three days before the attack, on Sept. 27, 2007, the Brockway brothers, Blakely and another man visited Gregory’s cabin for a barbecue. They were drinking heavily during the visit, Brockway testified.

Brockway said he had his sword with him that day, as he nearly always did during visits to Gregory’s cabin.

During the mile-long walk back to his car from Gregory’s cabin, Brockway said he spray-painted numerous profane messages derogatory to Gregory on rocks and trees along the trail.

Brockway said he did it to entertain the rest of the group, and felt bad about his actions the following day.

He went up to the trail that leads to Gregory’s cabin on Sept. 28 and saw the graffiti had been painted over, presumably by Gregory. He said he was pleased it had been removed.

“We’re not gang members. We don’t get angry and territorial,” Brockway said.

On the day of the attack, the Brockway brothers, Blakely and two other people returned to Dave’s cabin intending to have another barbecue.

They planned to apologize about the graffiti to Gregory, whom none of the men had spoken to since their visit three days earlier, Brockway said.

Brockway said he had his samurai sword with him when he went to the cabin.

When the group arrived, Brockway said it was clear Gregory was upset. Brockway said Gregory attacked him without provocation only minutes after he arrived.

After Gregory reached for the sword, Brockway said he reached for it too. As both men struggled for it, the sheath was pushed off, Brockway said.

Brockway said he did not strike Gregory with the sword, and picked it up only after Gregory left the cabin area to treat his wounds in a nearby stream.

Brockway is expected to remain on the witness stand during court proceedings today, and must still face cross-examination by the prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Stefan Mrakich.

The attorneys are also expected to give their closing arguments today.

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Will Bigham, Staff Writer

POMONA – A jury trial began Monday for two men accused of nearly killing a Mt. Baldy resident last year by attacking him with a samurai sword and pepper spray.

The proceedings in Pomona Superior Court included testimony from the victim of the attack, David Gregory, who while his alleged assailants sat in the courtroom only a few yards away described in gory detail the attacks against him.

Wesley Brockway, 27, of Ontario, and Eric Brockway, 33, are accused by prosecutors of attacking Gregory on Sept.30 and leaving him to die after a dispute related to graffiti.

Prosecutors say the brothers and two of their friends spray-painted graffiti three days before the attack along a canyon trail that leads to Gregory’s cabin about two miles south of Mt. Baldy Village.

The two men returned to attack Gregory after he painted over the graffiti, prosecutors said.

In testimony Monday, Gregory said the Brockway brothers, whom he had known since 2002, and two other acquaintances visited his cabin for a barbecue about noon Sept.27.

The men often met at Gregory’s canyon home to socialize, Gregory said.

Gregory said Wesley Brockway became angry the afternoon of the barbecue when he found a hip-hop magazine in Gregory’s possession with rapper Kanye West on the cover.

When he woke at about 8 the next morning, Gregory said he found graffiti along a half-mile stretch of trail leading to his cabin.

Gregory said he painted over the graffiti, and the Brockway brothers returned Sept.30 to confront him.Gregory said Wesley Brockway hacked him several times with a 3-foot samurai sword he often carried, nearly severing his left arm and a finger on his left hand.

Eric Brockway then sprayed him twice with pepper spray and told him he wouldn’t leave the canyon alive, Gregory testified.

Gregory was able to make his way to Mt. Baldy Road from his cabin after the attack, where he was helped by drivers who saw him lying beside the road.

The driver who initially found Gregory testified Monday that Gregory was covered in blood and drifted in and out of consciousness while he waited for help to arrive.

Gregory, who was dressed in a flannel shirt and jeans Monday, showed several of his scars from the attack to jurors during the court proceedings.

During opening statements Monday, Wesley Brockway’s defense attorney told jurors that statements from one witness conflict with the official police account of what occurred the day of the attacks.

The attorney, John Stanley, said that one of the men who was present during the attack told police a different version of events during untaped interviews with investigators.

Only statements that corroborated the official police version of the attacks were taped by investigators, Stanley said.

Deputy District Attorney Stefan Mrakich, the prosecuting attorney, said the Brockway brothers’ trial will likely last the rest of the week.

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Two accused of hacking victim with a 3-foot-long sword

POMONA – A trial date has been set for the two brothers accused of hacking a man with a 3-foot sword at a cabin at Mt. Baldy in September.Eric and Wesley Brockway will return to the Pomona Courthouse on April 28 to begin their trial. They have been charged with four counts of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit a crime, torture and aggravated mayhem, according to a Los Angeles County felony complaint.

Authorities said the brothers assaulted 47-year-old David Gregory outside Gregory’s cabin near Mt. Baldy Road.

Gregory said he has known the brothers since about 2002, when they first hiked into his canyon to escape the city below.

They became regular visitors to the area, hiking every six or eight weeks, Gregory said.

On Sept. 30, Gregory said he and the brothers barbecued chicken and drank beer together.

The men left and when Gregory awoke the next morning, he was shocked to see they had defaced the trail to his home with graffiti, he said.

The scrawl made derogatory comments about both Gregory and his dog, he said.

He cleaned up the graffiti, an act that is believed to have led to the attack.

The next time they met, Gregory said Wesley Brockway hacked at him with a sword and his older brother Eric Brockway sprayed him in the face with pepper spray. He fled the attack and was found on the road by a passer-by.

From the attack, Gregory had an arm and finger nearly severed by the sword. He was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center with severe injuries and had his limbs reattached.

The two brothers pleaded not guilty in October to the charges and are still in custody.

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