The trial of a man who prosecutors say attempted murder on a Temple student outside a house party west of campus gathered for a second time at the Court of Common Pleas in Center City today, with emotional testimony from the victim and his friends.
Ian Hirst-Hermans, a real estate photographer and a recent Temple graduate, described the scenario in which the defendant, Richard Dodds, not affiliated with the University, allegedly shot him during an argument at a Halloween house party in October 2010.
Dodds remained motionless at his attempted-murder trial as Hirst-Hermans told the jury that Dodds confronted him and his longtime friend, Justin Boylan, also a Temple student, while having a conversation with a woman at a house party on 17th street near West Diamond Street.
“It was just small talk,” Hirst-Hermans testified as he told the jury that he and Boylan just wanted to have a conversation with her. “I just said hi.”
After the first altercation, Hirst-Hermans said he and Boylan confronted Dodds again when Andy Choi, a former rugby player at Temple, punched Dodds in the face. The defendant was then kicked out of the apartment. A half hour later, according to Hirst-Hermans testimony, the victim and Boylan left the party as Dodds circled back and confronted the victim and shot him once near the chest.
“I felt a cold-breath of air hitting my body,” Hirst-Hermans said in a soft voice, trying to hold his emotion as he described the bullet piercing his skin.
According to his testimony, Hirst-Hermans had no movement on his right arm until recently, and his hand had no sensation.
Assistant District Attorney Allison Worysz gave the victim a chance to explain how much pain he endured after the shooting.
“It really hurt my family,” Hirst-Hermans said. “That is the biggest thing I hate about it.”
Cross-examinations, led by defense attorney Christopher Phillips, attempted to alter Hirst-Hermans’s testimony as someone who just had a few too many drinks and could not recollect what happened on the night in question.
First, Phillips questioned whether Hirst-Hermans’s initial interview with Sgt. Thomas Galonsky, who was a detective back in 2010, corresponded to his testimony. According to the initial interview with detectives at the hospital, he told Galonsky that he left the party five minutes after the second altercation with Dodds.
Phillips also told the jury that Hirst-Hermans signed a civil complaint statement claiming that Dodds was negligent when he fired the gun and was seeking an award of an excess of $50,000 in civil court.
The trial will continue on Monday, July 15.