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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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