Attorney for accuser shows pictures to jury in Jon Beason lawsuit | People
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Testimony resumed Friday morning in the trial of a Carolina Panthers player who is accused of physically assaulting a man at a strip club near Center City Charlotte two years ago.
Gregory Frye is suing linebacker Jon Beason. Frye alleges that Beason punched him at the Uptown Cabaret in November 2009. Frye said the assault crushed his nasal cavity.
Beason is counter-suing Frye for only $1. It is not clear how much money Frye is seeking.
When court resumed Friday morning, Frye was called to the stand to continue testifying. His attorney also showed pictures to the jurors of Frye's bloody face following the attack.
"I was bleeding pretty bad, bad enough to break the bones," Frye said.
Just before noon on Friday, Carolina Panthers player Dante Rosario was called to the stand.
Rosario also testified to seeing Frye on November 15, 2009 at the Strike City bowling alley in uptown Charlotte's Epicenter as well and then in a VIP room at the Uptown Cabaret later that same night.
He told the court Frye approached him in the club and pointed to Beason, saying, "Hey, that guy over there, he's a teammate of yours, I saw him doing cocaine out at Lake Norman in the Summer."
Rosario says he was surprised by the accusation and immediately told Beason what was said.
"It was unbelievable to him (Beason), that someone he didn't know was talking about him," said Rosario.
While Beason listened to his friend detail the rest of the nights events, Rosario explained how he wasn't sure what happened next, but did testify to walking outside of the club and seeing Frye holding a bloody napkin over his face.
Rosario talked about how Beason went up to the front bar area to confront Frye about his accusation of drug use.
"He (Beason) said that someone hit Mr. Frye," Rosario said on the stand.
Beason's friend and private chef Joseph Simmons, also testified Friday.
He claims he saw Beason confront Frye and pulled him away, but he never saw him throw a punch.
On Thursday, Frye testified in court saying that Beason had punched him in the face.
Frye also claimed he previously saw Beason doing cocaine at a boat party in June 2009, and Frye demonstrated how Beason snorted a line of cocaine at the party.
He went on to testify that he told several people about Beason's alleged boat party drug use and he believes Beason may have punched him at the strip club because that information had gotten back to him.
"I felt the reason he assaulted me was because in June 2009, I witnessed Jon Beason do cocaine through a straw with a female," Frye said.
Frye continued to say he tried four times to have a magistrate issue a warrant against Beason, but each time, Frye claims he was given an excuse and told it was too much of a high-profile case.
During cross-examination, Beason's attorney fought back.
George Laughrun questioned Frye's testimony of playing rugby at UNC Charlotte by presenting him with a roster and asking him to find his own name.
"I want to know your name on there, show me your name on there," said Laughrun.
Frye appeared flustered when he couldn't find his name on the roster.
Later, Frye questioned Beason's attorney.
"What does my school record or someone doing drugs have to do with John Beason putting me in the hospital?" asked Frye.
"It has do with your credibility," replied Laughrun.
On Wednesday, Judge Lane Williamson said, "This is a kindergarten case blown up into a big boy's case," referring to the great deal of time both sides are taking to settle a blow up inside a strip club.
"We're all here today because Jonathan Sinclair Beason failed to take responsibility for his actions," said attorney Curtis Osbourne during opening statements.
Beason's attorney fired back during his opening statements saying.
"It's about credibility and believability," said Laughrun. "Folks, the NFL has summed this case up: No free lunch."
During several pre-trial motions on Monday, attorneys for both sides set the stage for the lawsuit, saying the fight followed an incident where Frye told people he had seen Beason doing cocaine. Word got back to Beason, and the confrontation came next.
Beason has denied ever doing drugs. He's suing for malicious prosecution, slander and damages.
Frye is suing for battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and damages.
Beason's attorneys brought up previous lawsuits and criminal charges against Frye and argued how they might be relevant in court.
They wanted to possibly question Frye in front of the jury about his failure to pay rent in the past, his failing grades at UNC-Charlotte, and a lawsuit where he settled with a woman who hit him with a beer bottle causing injury six years ago.
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