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VICTIM INTERRUPTED DRUG BUST, WITNESSES T

By Alfa, Sep 27, 2004 | |
  1. Alfa
    VICTIM INTERRUPTED DRUG BUST, WITNESSES TESTIFY

    LOUISVILLE - Undercover officers weren't expecting Michael Newby to
    interrupt the Jan. 3 drug bust that ended with Newby's fatal shooting,
    witnesses said yesterday in the murder trial of the detective charged
    in the killing.

    Louisville officers were waiting near a liquor store in western
    Louisville for a dealer whom the narcotics detective, McKenzie
    Mattingly, had contacted by phone that night. Some of the officers and
    two witnesses testified yesterday that while Mattingly was waiting in
    an undercover vehicle, he was approached by Newby and two other men
    who wanted to sell crack cocaine to him.

    Minutes later, Newby would be shot three times in the back. He died at
    a hospital the next morning.

    Newby, 19, was the seventh black man killed by Louisville police since
    1998, sparking weeks of protests of the department.

    Mattingly, who is white, was fired in April after the indictment. He
    was the first Louisville officer to be criminally charged in any of
    the shootings.

    "If you're here doing business, you need to do it with us," a witness,
    Matthew Gibson, heard one of the men tell Mattingly the night of the
    shooting. It wasn't clear if the man was Newby.

    Gibson and his twin brother, Mitch -- both civilians on a police
    ride-along that night -- were listening along with police to the wire
    transmitter that Mattingly was wearing as he sat in an undercover vehicle.

    "They were overbearing," Matthew Gibson said of Newby and the two men,
    who continued to prod Mattingly to buy from them instead of the dealer
    he expected to meet.

    Mattingly was then robbed by one of the men who approached his car,
    and he got out and scuffled with Newby just before the shooting,
    witnesses said.

    But none of the witnesses who testified yesterday, including a handful
    of officers with Mattingly the night of the shooting, said they could
    see both Mattingly and Newby during the shooting. Mitch Gibson said he
    saw Mattingly raise his weapon and fire, but he said he could not see
    Newby from the car he was sitting in.

    Mattingly's attorneys have argued that Newby made a gesture that
    signaled to Mattingly that Newby was reaching for a weapon. Newby was
    carrying a .45-caliber handgun, some crack cocaine and marijuana the
    night of the shooting, police said.

    Prosecutors said Mattingly never mentioned that Newby had a gun, and
    officers didn't know Newby was armed until after he was shot.

    Mattin
    gly's attorney, Steve Schroering, has argued that Newby grabbed
    Mattingly's own gun while they struggled, causing Mattingly to fear
    for his life.

    The shooting shocked Mattingly, witnesses said yesterday.

    Kyle Willet, a detective who worked undercover with Mattingly, said
    his partner was "pale-faced, somewhat distraught and wide-eyed" after
    the shooting.

    Mattingly put his hands on top of his head and said "Oh my god," Mitch
    Gibson testified.

    The trial is expected to last another week.

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