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Thursday, 15 March 2012

Reputed high-level Bloods street gang leader Asmar Bease and a co-defendant went on trial Tuesday on charges of attempting to murder a Paterson man

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Reputed high-level Bloods street gang leader Asmar Bease and a co-defendant went on trial Tuesday on charges of attempting to murder a Paterson man who the state says confronted Bease for having sex with his wife. Bease and co-defendant Corey Cauthen shot victim Alphonso Gee when Gee came after Bease looking for a fistfight, Passaic County Assistant Prosecutor Jason Statuto told jurors during his opening statement in state Superior Court in Paterson. Gee has said he found his wife, naked from the waist down, in the back seat of a car with Bease in Paterson as they were returning from a late night of drinking in New York City. He removed his wife from the scene, and went looking for Bease at 17th Avenue and East 27th Street. When he got there, Gee was shot multiple times in the neck on Aug. 2, 2008, leaving him a quadriplegic. “He went down to 17th Avenue to confront the man he caught with his wife and to fight him,” Statuto said. “No question about it. He was a hothead. When he got to 17th Avenue, he found what he was looking for.” But Gee underestimated his opponents, the prosecutor said. “Asmar and Corey were going to settle it another way,” Statuto said. “They both had guns.” Defense attorneys, meanwhile, told jurors in their opening statements before state Superior Court Judge Miguel A. de la Carrera that the state’s only eyewitness is the victim — a man who has motive to lie and who told multiple versions of what happened during the investigation. Morristown Attorney Joel Harris, representing Bease, said that Gee initially identified Bease and Cauthen as his attackers. Later, when he testified before a grand jury, he retracted that statement, saying the two were never even at the scene. He later retracted that statement as well, saying they were in fact there and were the shooters. Yet another statement puts the two of them and a woman at the scene, shooting him that night. “Here is a person who has a motive to lie, has the opportunity to lie, and has demonstrated the ability to lie,” said defense attorney Raymond Morasse of West Orange, representing Cauthen. “Do you think that affects his credibility? I think it does.” “He caught his wife having sexual intercourse,” Harris said. “You look at Alphonso Gee and see if he didn’t have a reason to make this up.”

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