Jury deliberating in former hand surgeon's assault trial
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The fate of a high profile former doctor accused of attacking his wife is now in the hands of the jury. Heated testimony wrapped up Monday.
He is accused of assaulting his estranged wife, Rachel Brown, who says she was attacked after she accused him of having an affair.
The alleged assault happened in August of 2010. Dr. Brown allegedly twisted Rachel Brown's arm behind her back and threw two vases at her and a heavy humanitarian award.
Rachel Brown was called back to the stand Monday, this time by the defense who wanted to ask about one issue: her romantic relationship with former Houston Astros star Jeff Bagwell.
Defense attorney Dick DeGuerin asked if Bagwell -- not spousal abuse -- was the reason she filed for divorce from her husband.
The defense maintains Rachel Brown began the romantic relationship with Bagwell before she was allegedly assaulted by her husband, Dr. Michael Brown, in August 2010. It was a point hammered home by the defense during closing arguments.
The defense says Rachel Brown only wanted a divorce after she began dating Bagwell.
"She finds her a new boyfriend and this is a boyfriend who can take care of her. I don't hold any ill will towards Mr. Bagwell at all. But, in my opinion, he made a bad choice," DeGuerin said, with the prosecution objecting immediately.
In closing arguments, the prosecution told the jury that Rachel Brown is a victim of assault.
"Did she expect to get the response she got? Maybe she expected him to say, 'I was wrong. I'm so sorry,'" prosecutor Jane Waters said. "Did she expect to get the rampage and the anger and the response that he starts screaming at her?"
KTRK legal analyst Joel Androphy said bringing Bagwell into the case questions Rachel Brown's believability with the jury.
"It has nothing to do with the assault, other than the fact that it tests her credibility," he said.
The jury deliberated about four hours Monday without reaching a decision. The judge ordered them back Tuesday at 830am.
During their deliberation Monday evening, the jury asked for the testimony from Rachel Brown's 13-year-old daughter to be read back to them. Her testimony centered on whether she saw her step-father chase her mother. The girl testified she did see her mom being chased in a circle.
If found guilty, Dr. Brown faces up to 10 years in prison.
We'll continue following this trial and let you know when and if a verdict is reached.
local, cynthia cisneros
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