"Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill it teaches the whole people by its example.
Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a law breaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself."
–Supreme Court Justice Brandeis

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pompper murder trial: Pompper's testimony about father's alleged abuse leads to tears

Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] Battered Mothers Rights - A Human Rights Issue.




By Matt Dunn
November 19, 2009, 11:15AM

BRIDGETON - Testimony from John Pompper about abuse he claims he suffered at the hands of his father brought the 48-year-old Millville man to tears on Thursday.

Pompper, charged with murder in connection with the death of his half brother James Ridgeway in 1979, took the stand Wednesday in Superior Court in Cumberland County in his own defense.

His trial began about four weeks ago. His testimony continued this morning.

Pompper was asked by defense attorney Mark Roddy about his relationship with his father, James Pompper Sr., after a lengthy cross-examination by Assistant Prosecutor Jon Reilly.

Pompper said that his father had a drinking problem.

"He would physically abuse my mother and I would step between them and he would beat the (expletive) out of my mother and brother and I," he said, breaking down in tears.

Two members of Pompper's family also left the courtroom in tears.

Prosecutors claim Pompper strangled Ridgeway to death in a dispute over a woman.

Witnesses testifying for the state claim that John Pompper Sr. may have aided Pompper in covering up Ridgeway's death.

"If you had done something wrong, would (your father) have been the first person you would have called for help?" Roddy asked.

Pompper said he would not.

John Pompper Sr. passed away about two years ago.

As Pompper's testimony came to a close this morning,

Roddy asked him one more time whether he had anything to do with Ridgeway's death.

Pompper said he did not.

Pompper said earlier this morning that he disagreed with testimony given by more than a dozen witnesses which incriminated him in connection with Ridgeway's death.

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