Defense witnesses will take the stand this morning as the trial of Michael Sobel '72 and James M. Whitney, and associate professor from the University of Massachusetts, continues unresolved. Sobel and Whitney were arrested in connection with disturbances surrounding the Cheyney Ryan trial of October 30.
The Sobel-Whitney trial went on all day yesterday as Sobel faced charges of disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace, and Whitney charges of assault and battery on a policeman and disorderly conduct.
Witnesses for the prosecution said that Sobel had called Joseph Miceli, a plainclothesman with the Cambridge Police, a "fascist pig."
Molly Backup '72, however, a witness for the defense, testified that she had been near Sobel until he was arrested, and that Sobel had not screamed anything at Miceli. She added that Sobel spent that time running away from Miceli, who, she claimed, was after Sobel's camera, Sobel was trying to take pictures of the melee that followed the trial.
Prosecution witnesses also said that Whitney, after a girl had been pushed to the ground when police were clearing the courtroom, had struck Cambridge Police Captain Joseph Cusack, who wasstanding in a group of policemen surrounding the fallen girl.
Assault and Arrest
James Donnelley, a lawyer, testified that he had been keeping his attention on Whitney throughout the entire incident, and that Whitney had not struck Cusack or anyone else. He said that police officers knocked Whitney to the ground and arrested him.
Five other defense witnesses gave testimony similar to Donnelley's regarding Whitney's actions.
Donnelley's testimony was highlighted by an incident in which the prosecutor, Lt. Henry Breen, asked Donnelley whether it was not true that Donnelley had seen Breen many times before representing the Harvard Corporation and M. I. T. in cases such as the present one. Donnelley replied that he hoped Breen represented the Common-wealth of Massachusetts.
The last defense witness will be heard this morning, concluding the hearing.