Posts Tagged ‘Chad Blakely’

Preliminary Hearing

Suspects in sword attack set for trial

POMONA – Two brothers must stand trial on charges they attacked a Mount Baldy man with pepper spray and a 3-foot samurai sword, a judge ruled Tuesday.

The ruling came at the end of a preliminary hearing for Wesley and Eric Brockway, during which the survivor of the alleged attack took the witness stand and described the harrowing ordeal.

David Gregory told the judge the attack happened just days after he cleaned graffiti the brothers left on the trail leading to his cabin.

The next time he saw the men, Wesley Brockway came at him with a “ninja samurai” sword and began hacking, Gregory testified.

“He had already hit me in the shoulder,” Gregory said. “I tried to pepper-spray him, but the sword kept chopping away.”

Gregory said his left arm and a finger on his left hand were nearly severed in the Sept. 30 incident.

After hearing the testimony from Gregory and two other witnesses, Judge George Genesta ruled prosecutors have enough evidence to try the brothers on charges of attempted murder, conspiracy, torture and aggravated mayhem.

The Brockways have denied the charges.

Gregory, 47, a thin man with neatly cut hair, wore a red and black flannel shirt underneath a tan vest as he sat on the witness stand Tuesday in Pomona Superior Court. His left arm hung in a black sling, with the still-bandaged fingers of his left hand poking out the end.

He answered questions from attorneys curtly, and kept his eyes turned away from the Brockways and their lawyers throughout his hour or so of testimony.

He told the judge the brothers had hiked to his cabin near Mount Baldy Road a number of times over the past several years. His relationship with them seemed fine until they came up with a couple of friends for a barbecue Sept. 27.

During that visit, he said, Wesley Brockway caught view of a magazine he had that showed an African-American man wearing a suit on the cover.

Gregory said Wesley Brockway made a series of inappropriate racial and sexual comments about Gregory and the magazine.

“It was irritating, but at the time I just dismissed it,” he said.

His guests hiked out later that afternoon.

Gregory said he awoke the next morning to find the Brockways and their friends had spray- painted vile insults on the trail leading to his cabin. Much of it appeared related to the discussion about the magazine from the previous day, he said.

Gregory, who earned the nickname “Mountain Man Dave” for his love of his canyon, said he was upset by the graffiti and quickly painted over it.

He said he next saw the Brockways the following Sunday. As he stood in the doorway to his cabin, Wesley Brockway walked up carrying the sword in his hands and asked, “Why did you do it?” in an apparent reference to the graffiti removal, Gregory testified.

Almost immediately afterward, Wesley Brockway began hacking at him with the sword, he said.

Gregory testified that after he fought off Wesley Brockway, Eric Brockway approached and twice pepper-sprayed him. Eric Brockway then made a comment about not letting Gregory leave the canyon alive, he said.

“I jumped up and took off running,” Gregory said.

A witness to the incident, Chad Blakely, also testified for prosecutors Tuesday. Blakely was one of the friends who hiked into the canyon with the Brockways on both the day of the incident and the prior visit.

His testimony corroborated much of Gregory’s story, although he said he was unable to remember large chunks of what happened or what he had previously told authorities.

After the hearing, Wesley Brockway’s attorney, Manuel Marin, said he believes his client acted in self-defense. He said evidence suggests Gregory may have started the fight by using pepper spray on Wesley Brockway.

Eric Brockway’s lawyer, Steve Urias, said he sees conflicts and gaps in witness accounts that leave him unsure of what happened and why.

The Brockways will return to court Nov. 29 to be arraigned.

They remain in jail with bail set at $1 million apiece.

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