Another victim, several witnesses take the stand in 'wrong neighborhood' trial

Another victim, several witnesses take the stand in 'wrong neighborhood' trial

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The so called "wrong neighborhood" trial of a man facing battery charges continued Wednesday as another victim, along with several witnesses, took the stand.

Donald Dickerson, 42, of Baton Rouge, is accused of beating a man, his wife and his daughter at a gas station two years ago.

He is charged with second-degree battery in the May 12, 2013 attack. He is facing the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison if he is convicted as a habitual offender. The district attorney is using his past run-ins with the law to increase the time he might face.

The couple's daughter took the stand Wednesday. She was punched in the face by someone when a fight broke out at a gas station where the family had stopped.

Investigators said Dickerson targeted the girl's father because he was white and in the "wrong neighborhood."

The incident happened at the Chevron station on Plank Road at Scenic Highway. Police arrested him on a charge of second-degree battery and ticketed two others. They are all accused of punching the family.

The store clerk who got an unintended front row seat to the fight testified that Dickerson was the aggressor and only person who threw punches the night part of David Ray's face was crushed. The clerk said she only saw a "black man" punching a "white man."

Another witness pointed out Dickerson and said he was wild that night and continued to try and beat the victim who was lifeless on the ground.

The case, which was racially charged from the beginning, took a different turn as multiple black witnesses took the stand and agreed with the white victim's account of what happened.

One witness testified that he tried to break up the fight and helped the white family who had been attacked.

Another witness who testified said she was scared when she saw a man punch another man several times and called 911 to get help. She also said that she watched several men, one of whom did the punching, leave the scene and get into a Jeep. She followed the group and relayed their location to police.

Defense attorney Bernard Blair grilled the lead detective in the case questioning why he only asked certain witnesses certain questions. The defense asserted that a black detective mistreated the defendant only because he was black.

The trial continues Thursday morning and is expected to wrap up sometime before the end of the week.

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