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Larry Sevenski Trial Begins in Antrim County

It’s a story we’ve been following since March.

That’s when Larry Sevenski was pulled over by troopers near his bar on US 131 and Thumb road in Elmira.

Court documents say Sevenski got out of his car telling troopers aggressively he wished he had a weapon.

That’s when the trooper took the 83-year-old down to the ground.

Sevenski’s on trial for resisting and obstructing a police officer.

9&10’s Megan Woods was at the trial Wednesday.

Wednesday is just day one of the trial and both troopers involved, EMTs that responded and technology experts took the stand as witnesses, all to find out what exactly happened that Saint Patrick’s Day.

One of Sevenski’s attorney’s says, “It’s unfortunate that we don’t have video, it’s unfortunate we don’t have audio, but what we do have is credibility.”

Technology plays a big role in evidence but with a dash cam malfunction this trial heavily weighs on witness testimony to paint the picture.

Trooper Jacob Hubbard, who was driving the patrol when the incident first happens explains, “Trooper Artfitch, doing what we were trained to do, trying to create a little bit of a gap with his hand like so. Though I never saw him put his hands on the defendant I did see he had his hand like so trying to create a gap as so for safety reasons.”

The trial even included the testimony of a programmer for the dash cam as to why it could record the five traffic stops before Sevenski’s. Digital Ally Programmer Leslie Pingel traveled from Kansas City to come to the witness stand. Digital Ally is the supplier for Michigan State Police dash cams’. He explains there was a malfunction during the stop directly before Sevenski’s traffic stop and wasn’t triggered by the emergency lights as usual.

Antrim County Prosecutor James Rossiter asks, "There was no evidence or misbehavior, tampering or anything of that nature?"

Pingel answers, "No. In my 31 years of writing of software this is the first time having to go to court."

Pingel also explains that that malfunction is fixed.

The last witness Wednesday, Trooper Brock Artfitch, the trooper who took Sevenski down.

The courtroom got tense during his testimony.

One of Sevenski’s attorneys, Christoper Turkelson asks if Trooper Artfitch can demonstrate for the second time how he tried to pat down Sevenski for any weapons as Sevenski allegedly made a fist and tried to punch him.

"Show me again how he did this. Once you bring out Larry’s hand what did he do that you felt threatened?"

Trooper Artfitch responds, "So he immediately tenses up very tightly and grabbed."

Turkelson asks, "So tenses up means he grabbed your thumb?"

"Well he grabs it very–well we didn’t have thumbs we had more of a full hand hold that night. I don’t know how much you want to hold hands," says Trooper Artfitch. 

Turkelson then says, "I just want you to show the jury what he did."

Wednesday morning at 8:30 is day two of the trial where Larry Sevenski himself is expected to take the stand. 

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