Local

Warning to former FCC instructor during trial

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Six witnesses have now said they saw a Fresno City College instructor slam a student to the ground during a dispute in March.

Brian Calhoun is the former teacher and former Fresno city councilman on trial for battery. And he's gotten in some hot water during the trial as well.

Calhoun has made a habit of mumbling out loud during the trial, and the judge has tried to hush him a few times. He will eventually take the stand and speak for everyone to hear, but for now, he's had to hear student after student describe him as the aggressor.

A stoic stare is the most common expression on Brian Calhoun's face as he stands trial for battery on a Fresno City College student. But on more than a few occasions, he's broken his stare to speak out of turn. And the judge has taken note.

"It has been a problem," said Judge Denise Whitehead. "I have overheard comments and if I can hear them, I think the jury can probably hear them."

On Thursday, prosecutor Mike Brummel said Calhoun called a witness a liar, loud enough to be heard several feet away. The judge didn't hear it, but she warned Calhoun to keep quiet.

The witness in question was the State Center Community College District police officer who took Calhoun's first statement after his physical confrontation with a student. The officer indicated Calhoun's story has remained consistent. He claimed then and he claims now that Kevynn Gomez was attacking him and he was acting in self-defense.

"She punched him in the face three times before he could defend himself from her attack?" asked defense attorney Roger Nuttall.

"Yes, that was his statement to me," said SCCCD officer Brian Williams.

But six students who saw the skirmish all testified Calhoun made the first physical contact. All six described Calhoun grabbing Gomez's arm and pinning her to a wall, Gomez trying to punch her way out, and Calhoun slamming her to the ground.

"It just, it looked really forceful because he was so much bigger than she was," said student Jewleanna McConnell.

The trial resumes Tuesday morning. Calhoun will probably get the chance to testify in his own defense late next week.

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crimetracker, court, fresno city college, fresno, fresno county, local, corin hoggard
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