Separate trials in K-Mart case

District Judge Carol Davies has granted a motion by K-Mart Kiddie Roundup defendant Sgt. Ken Wenzel to sever his trial from that of Captian Mark Aguirre.

In requesting the severance, [Wenzel’s defense attorney Joe] Bailey argued several points that he said could prejudice the jury against Wenzel if he were tried with Aguirre. They included the fact that Wenzel did not participate in formulating or directing the police raid from which the charges arise; that Wenzel did not participate in a raid the day before at another location; and that Wenzel might not be able to call Aguirre as a witness if they were tried together.

Wenzel and Aguirre “have inconsistent and incompatible defenses,” the motion stated. “When evidence is admitted against one co-defendant, but is inadmissible against the other co-defendant, severance is necessary … ”

Two items of interest here. One is that Wenzel clearly fears that Aguirre, as the designated villain of this drama, could sink him by association. Wenzel’s name never came up in any of the news stories until the original indictments were handed down, while Aguirre’s been in the news repeatedly from the get-go. Frankly, I think Wenzel is wise to be concerned. Idle thought – might he plead out in return for testimony against Aguirre? Probably not, especially since Aguirre’s trial appears to be first, but you never know.

Second, as Aguirre’s trial is set to begin on Monday, we might finally get the answers to some questions about the raid itself and Chief C.O. “BAMF”‘s involvement in it. Well, maybe it’ll be wild speculation and assorted allegations, but that’s even more fun. Stay tuned, hijinx will surely be ensuing in short order.

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